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Show RCA 2019

Guillermo J. Whittembury Castillo

Show RCA work

Major project:

In the makings of :Rheform/The Red Mud Project

The Red Mud Project starts with the exploration of the byproduct of the aluminium industry – 150 millions tonnes produced per year. Even though, there has been a lot of research done, and there are many application for this red element, the industry is still struggling with this misunderstood residue. 


This project took a turn when we figured out that there is not right solution; there is no 'silver bullet' that can solve this problem. So we aimed to change the perspective of this residue by making ceramics, tableware and constructing materials that could hint at a future where bauxite residue is seen as an asset more than a waste.


The second project is Rheform. Exploring a Non-Newtonian polymer that gets hard on impact. I focused on vacuum forming and composite materials to find an innovative use for this smart material. The end products are a custom mouthguard and custom made shoe, which showcases the amazing properties of this material, while also hinting at all of the possible applications this strain sensitive polymer might have in the future.

Info

  • My interests are the amalgamation of the different disciplines that have shaped me through the years. Starting with handcrafting and making, I find my thoughts, ideas and inspiration to be shaped by the action of making. Jewellery was one of my first passions; where I found myself exploring aesthetics, materials and processes. From there, I've done numerous works using wood, metal and unconventional materials, which I use to incorporate process and story into my projects. 


    I continued with mechanical engineering, a field of study that let me understand better materials, processes and viability of ideas. This evolved my practice to have the right knowledge to materialise my ideas. Engineering also introduced me to parametric design, which I find to be fascinating and an important tool and driver for my projects.

    Coming from a country immersed in chaos, corruption and social injustice has also influenced my design practice and how I see the world. The current situation made me seek and try to become the person I would aspire to be – one that will rebuild the place I came from. In that search I came across the Royal College of Art where finally, I have been able to merge all of these separate interests, skills and ideas into the designer I am today.  



  • Previous degrees

  • BSc Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela, 2016
  • Experiences

  • Designer, Biomekatronica, Caracas, 2016–2017; Engineer internship, Haas Automation Inc., Oxnard, USA, 2016; Designer and engineer, CUTS, Caracas, 2016–2017; Design engineer, Rheon Labs, London, 2018–2019
  • Exhibitions

  • La Biennale di Venezia, Venice Design exhibition: Provoke, Unlearn, Change: Designing Perspectives, 2019; 'Model Room', ANAGRA Gallery, Tokyo
  • Publications

  • From Waste to Living Room, Designboom, 2019; From Waste to Living Room, Dezeen, 2019
  • Sponsors

  • Rio Tinto; Rheon Labs; Alcoa
Royal College of Art