RCA graduation show 2016

Posted on July 8, 2016 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Javier Gallardo

Autonome by Javier Garcia Gallardo


I have always enjoyed discovering new talents at the annual RCA graduation show in the Kensington campus. This year, however, I was slightly disappointed with the overall show. It is not to say that there weren't many interesting projects, but somehow they were not as inspiring than the previous years. Was let down by my high expectations? Perhaps.

The project that first caught my attention was Christian Felsner's 'Aktor', an exploration of deployable structures for organic forms. The material softens when it is activated with electricity and a diverse range of shapes can be achieved through pulling and pushing. The efficient manufacturing process generates minimal waste, and the structure has multiple functionalities and can be applied in health care, packaging, interior elements, disaster relieve and DIY.


christian Felsner Aktor

christian Felsner Aktor  Philippe Hohlfeld Growframe

Top & bottom left: Christian Felsner's Aktor; Botton right: Philippe Hohlfeld's Growframe


Philippe Hohlfeld's 'Growframe' GrowFrame is a collapsible hydroponic farm that cultivates food in empty 20 and 40ft shipping containers on the way back to China. Since half of the containers going back to China are empty; GrowFrame aims to turn these containers into the sustainable farms of the future.


Thomas Leech's shoey shoes  IMG_6183-min

Soo Hyeon Goo's pinball

studio ilio the-soft-side-of-steel

Top row: Thomas Leech's 'shoey shoes'; 2nd row: Soo Hyeon Goo's 'pinball'; Bottom row: Studio Ilio's 'the soft side of steel'


Thomas Leech's 'Shoey shoes' is an exploration of how leather offcuts from the fashion industry can be used to develop a range of children’s shoes. The recyclable children shoes are produced entirely from waste materials, combining new material composites with simplified production techniques. Once outgrown, shoes are returned to the manufacturer and parts are reused wherever possible.

Soo Hyeon Goo's pinball table from her 'a sense of' attracted a lot of attention at the show. The project highlights and enhances the potential of sensorial qualities of materials, and it aims to stimulate new levels of sense-driven innovation via providing analogue interactive products. I love the sound produced from this unconventional pinball table!


A sense of_ 01 pinball from soo hyeon goo on Vimeo.


We often consider steel as something hard, but Studio Ilio's (Seongil Choi and Fabio Hendry) project 'The soft side of steel' explores the alternative qualities of the material. the The project transforms steel fibres into flexible sheets, and creates a series of objects that take advantage of steel and its contradicting states. The work is driven from a blacksmith’s perspective with a tailor’s ideology, and I found the process and results uttering fascinating.


Odds & Ends: Better end of life experiences Lilith Hasbeck and Kay Dale

Project Circular Opendesk  Junction by JooHyun Ryu

zekun Chang  IMG_6162-min

Top: Odds & Ends: Better end of life experiences by Lilith Hasbeck and Kay Dale; 2nd row left: Project Circular Opendesk by Andrea Fischer and Mariana Pedrosa; 2nd row right: community engagement project, Junction by JooHyun Ryu; Bottom left: Zekun Chang; Silk Violins by Luca Alessandrini


'Odds & Ends: Better end of life experiences' by Lilith Hasbeck and Kay Dale was the winner of the Age UK Inclusive Design Award. The online service for Royal Trinity Hospice, brings together the fragmented pieces of end of life planning and recommends which documents are relevant to personal circumstances. It helps to break down some of the barriers when dealing with end of life planning and conversations.


IMG_6209-min  ziyang zhang Qilin


Jelka Kretzschmar’s Pick up the Pieces   Yijin Huo's 'Sky blue'

inefficiency machines by waah studio

James Fearon's 'Protein Scaffolding'

Top left: The foyer at the Stevens building; Top right: Ziyang Zhang's 'Qilin'; 2nd row: Sam Phong Nguyen's 'Neo-Biophilic: Oscillating Landscape'; 3rd row left: Jelka Kretzschmar’s 'Pick up the Pieces'  3rd row right: Yijin Huo's 'Sky blue'; 4th row: 'Inefficiency machines' by Waah Studio; Bottom row: James Fearon's 'Protein Scaffolding'


A rather conspicuous installation was Jelka Kretzschmar’s 'Pick up the Pieces' in the foyer of the Stevens building. The project addresses the issue of migration by showcasing a white plaster wall with a hole in the middle, surrounded by gray-painted foam rubble. Visitors were invited to eavesdrop on recordings by refugees inside the hole or in the rubble. It is a sombre piece that is pertinent to the current political situation in U.K.

Yijin Huo's 'Sky blue' installation displayed a wall of traditional Chinese Ru porcelain vases in various colours. Famous for the 'sky blue glaze', the colours of these Ru vases actually reflect the data of the deadly small particulate air pollutant PM2.5 recorded in Beijing's changing skies!

'Inefficiency machines' by Waah Studio is an energy efficient devices that offer a convenient solution to the scarcity of resources. In order to make people understand how devices work, a series of interactive objects invite participants to perform repetitive, exaggerated bodily movements to understand the effort necessary to power something taken for granted, like a light bulb.


Ailsa Sinclair

Yiyu lam  jean vatchara's I am listening

Filippo Fontana Magnum

Qian Yuan  The Book Of Wang-Nu Junwen Tan

Top: Ailsa Sinclair's 'Wide awake and jolly as fuck'; 2nd row left: Yiju Lam's 'From the Jungle' illustrations; 2nd row right: Jean Vatchara's 'I am listening'; 3rd row: Filippo Fontana's Magnum; bottom left: Qian Yuan's '∞_Independent Publishing in China'; Bottom right: Junwen Tan's 'The Book Of Wang-Nu'


I really liked the graphics and dark humour of Filippo Fontana's Magnum, a comic book inspired by the contemporary figure of the Nouveau Riche in our society. The project portrays the adventures of three characters who each symbolically represent an extreme aspect of human behaviour and our relationship with money.


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