From the RSA to the RCA

Just a quick post to say that, after a tip-off from a colleague, this evening I dropped in to the Royal College of Art’s interim show. Running from the 5th to the 11th February, the show features work from the RCA’s Architecture, Innovation Design Engineering (used to be Industrial Design Engineering), Design Interactions, Printmaking and Animation students.

As always, there was a huge amount to take in, and if I tried to describe any of the work there, I’d probably misrepresent it horribly… So I’ll settle for saying that I enjoyed the Architecture – particularly the Hero section (inspired by the idea of gritty “anti-heroes”, and the communities shaped by that concept) and Tribes (“micro-societies” of people with shared values – who are they in today’s world, and how should buildings accommodate them?), and also pretty much any of the lovely work from the Animation students.

The reason I was tipped-off though, was that one of the projects from Innovation Design Engineering featured some energy-related ideas. The Potential (website currently down) project focuses on the near-future, when almost every home will have a smart meter. Smart meters primarily allow electricity companies to get real time data on people’s electricity consumption (allowing them to match their electricity production to your consumption more closely) and will probably also include the sort of real time displays I’ve blogged about before to help people understand and reduce their energy consumption by switching off non-essential appliances. The Potential project imagines three electricity tariffs that use different interfaces to help people interact with their smart meter – maximising, the designers hope, the savings that smart meters could provide by using design to engage people with their energy supply. It will be interesting to see the direction that these interfaces take over the next few months.

By the way, if you drop in to the exhibition, do check out my absolute favourite thing; also from Innovation Design Engineering – 1234 Lab’s 8hertz jewellery:

8hertz is jewellery formed from phrases of intimate communication. A recording of an individual’s voice is translated into a unique three-dimensional form, capturing every nuance, subtlety and accent. [1]

You can have a look here.

[1] 1234 Labs,


1 Response to “From the RSA to the RCA”

  1. 1 Guillaume Drapier February 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    hi there, thank you very much for the kind words, don t hesitate to drop by the RCA this coming week, we ll be there to answer your questions :-)

    have fun

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