This year’s Royal College of Art degree show is the first to show the work of the young designers graduating from the Intelligent Mobility course.
It is not only the name that has changed but the timing of the event with the warm summer evenings replaced by mid-February moonlit nights.
So with all that change did the work reflect the shift of emphasis for the better? Well, yes and no. It was still quite clearly at the level you expect from the RCA MA graduates, and the major project seems to have the same amount of background research and thought process, even though the course is now only 15 months long.
The variety of projects certainly shows the breadth of exploration that the students are encouraged to follow with a research focus on innovation and disruptive design solutions. Zi Lin brings a new meaning to ‘car tuning’ with his sports car inspired by / incorporating a grand piano for composers.
To truly appreciate the projects it is important to spend time with the young designers who were all very capable of conveying their ideas and discussing their projects. Rhys Llewellyn had two projects, a new wheel design and Range Rover submersible, whilst the Bellwether industry team presented the hover car, and as with all the students there was indepth research and development backing their designs.
The presentation techniques are the same, with the requisite CG visuals of the digital models and well finished scale models, but perhaps what was not so obviously on show was the initial inspiration for all good design – the biro sketch. Maybe this is where the previously longer course with potentially more quick fire projects encouraged the sketch books’ revealing thought processes.
That is why when discussing the show with the likes of Simon Cox and Mark Oldham that it was the doodle sketch pad of Yuxuan Yang that got special mention.
Pei Chan also has to be mentioned as he was in contact with Drive well before the show, sending information and advice on the various schedules, and an invite as well.
Make the time to visit, you won’t be disappointed by the quality of the work.
Darwin Building RCA Kensington Gore London SW7 2EU