The facilities and technical equipment at the RCA support students in their explorations of the creative possibilities of the new and the traditional, and the interplay between them.
Among the best of their kind in the world, the College provides specialist facilities to enrolled students, as well as bookable gallery spaces, library facilities and social spaces.
Traditional workshop facilities are maintained in all areas of the College, alongside cutting-edge digital technologies. Glass is worked, as it has been for centuries, while metal typesetting vies for student attention with Adobe InDesign™. Printmakers work with a one-tonne etching press, originally exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition, alongside the most sophisticated digital imaging technologies. RapidformRCA provides on-site access to sophisticated rapid prototyping equipment, and CNC milling, laser-scanning, vacuum-casting and computer-controlled knitting equipment are also available.
Access to a range of technical resources can be provided, and students are encouraged to use College-wide facilities, including the RCA Library, located in Kensington. Some facilities are subject to an induction and access is granted following an assessment of academic need.
Facilities include a wood workshop, metal fabrication, engineering, plastics workshop and a resin and moulding studio. A spray booth is available for spray paint finishes and a number of bookable project and making spaces are also available. Digital making facilities support subtractive manufacturing in the form of laser cutting, CNC machining and plasma cutting. The equipment includes 3 and 4 axis bench top CNC and large-format CNC machines. Students are able to experience working with a variety of materials including plastic, wood, metal and synthetic media.
Ceramics & Glass
Facilities include areas for hot glass making, cold glass working, kiln forming, plaster model and mould making, plastic clay making, as well as clay and glaze development.
The stores sell a variety of graphics, art, fabric and haberdashery supplies, wood and acrylic, stationery and paper, as well as free hire of tools and ladders.
Facilities include access to a fabric stockroom and specialist software within the College computing suite, as well as a wide variety of specialist sewing machinery, for both apparel and footwear, as well as dummies and finishing presses.
Jewellery & Metal
Processes available include anodising, CAD/CAM-milling, computer modelling and rapid prototyping, casting, electroforming, enamelling, forging, tool making, patination, plating, presswork, spark erosion and laser, MIG and TIG welding.
Lens-based Media and Audio Resources
Facilities include a variety of photography, animation and moving-image studios that provide filming, lighting and sound workshops.
The RCA Library’s extensive collection of material includes over 70,000 books on art and design and other complementary subjects, an expanding e-book collection, featuring critical and theoretical titles in the arts, humanities and social sciences subjects, a wide range of periodicals, and a collection of feature films and off-air TV recordings. It also provides access to key online resources, databases and journals.
Painting and Sculpture
Materials workshops are provided, as well as a stretcher service and well-equipped metal and wood workshops.
Provides various high-quality, large-format inkjet printing and vinyl cutting in colour, greyscale and black and white.
There are etching, lithography, intaglio, screen printing and letterpress areas available to students, as well as a digital suite with large-format digital printing and a reprographics workshop.
Free hire of lens-based media and AV equipment.
The SmartZones across the College include training rooms and open-access computer areas. The technical workshops here showcase a variety of software and digital processes including group and 1:1 sessions with technologists.
Workshops for textiles include a large-scale printmaking workshop, a dedicated dye lab, mixed media and sewing workshop and extensive knit and weave facilities that include computerised handlooms, an industrial jacquard power loom with APSO software and a dobby power loom. High-tech printing and knitting is also accessible with a state-of-the-art Shima digital knit facility.