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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Royal College of Art: Design and Animation Part Two

Our second visit to the RCA's Show Two stopped off at Animation, Design Interaction and Innovation Design Engineering Courses

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

The RCA’s MA Innovative Design Engineering – a double masters with Imperial College, erectile London – is described as a course which encourages (and it succeeds) students to produce original work of “world-changing impact.” It is not surprising therefore, symptoms that the majority have turned their thoughts towards Climate Change and the ever looming post oil world, recipe looking at the role design can play to encourage the world’s vast population to change their lifestyle habits.

First up is Matthew Laws’ Climate Machine, which demonstrates of our (individual) daily impact on the environment, the design is brilliant in it’s simplicity (simplicity to use, as Matthew talked me through the decision and engineering process it was decidedly complicated). The concept is that the user can gage their carbon footprint through the reaction of the mirrors and the light bulbs to their personal energy use. I.e if you use a car every day the light bulbs (representing a 40W bulb left on all the time) brighten in accordance to how much produced, and the mirror darkens. The more energy efficient you are the dimmer the light bulbs and the clearer the mirror.

On the back a screen displays in figures the users carbon footprint. What is brilliant about this design is that it reflects changes in your lifestyle, for instance if you were a heavy car user, if you switch to an electric car or a bicycle your carbon footprint decreases and the light bulbs dim.

Rich Gilbert produced the Embodied Energy Audit, displaying how much energy is required to make phones, clothes and everyday components that we don’t even consider cutting other aspects of our carbon emissions.

Jorge Manes graduated from the Design Products MA, described by the handbook as “an activity that fundamentally shapes our world and influences processes of change..” Usually focuses on product and furniture design, however the course does not impose limitations on it’s design students – therefore producing students such as Manes who exploration of how factories development can be examined through modern social and environmental reasons. Manes response was to produce an alternative factory…

Manes work was incredibly fascinating, looking at the methods of production and how they’ve changed and developed since the Bronze Age.

It is fantastic to see Design Students focusing their attention on the problems our consumer lifestyles are causing the planet, something British and World goverments have and are failing to deal with. In light of the recent report named Britain as the “Dirty Man Of Europe”, it was great to see MA design students providing innovative ways to tackle this problem.

Adam Paterson (Innovation Design Engineering) examines our global Marketplace and our current approach to transporting products from Market Place to Consumer. How can design help these Journeys more efficient?

Aymeric Alandry (Innovation Design Engineering) proposes an ingenious answer as an alternative to household food waste ending up as part of our overflowing landfills whilst making the claim that there is no such thing as waste. Proposing to transform what is currently perceived as waste into gardening products.

The Design Interaction MA focuses “on the interactions between people and technology.. concerned with the social, cultural and ethical consequences of living within an increasingly technologically mediated society,” produced Oliver Goodhall’s

Nucleaur is Good! a project which tackled the arguments for and against Nuclear Energy through Oliver’s take on a corporate training video, complete with team leader guiding new recruits through the pro’s, cons’ and slightly irrational solutions (but highly public friendly) to the problem ‘going nuclear’ proposes.

Damien Palin….

Design Interaction Student, Kjen Williams, deviated from Climate Change producing the Weather Camera, a beautiful alternative to the avalanche of public private data currently building within the corridors of the web. The Weather Camera can be used to record a special moment’s atmospheric conditions. Subsequently producing a new method of narration.

Described as a moment of empowerment, Becky Pilditch‘s prothestics showcase how functional pieces of designs can be both a thing of beauty and self expression, that these can be extensions of the wearer’s personality.

Hand 8 the final part of the project, played with ideas of gesture and personality by creating numerous arms that related to the way Holly acted as she spoke.

Moving onto Animation (the show is huge, but well worth the trip for its Textiles, Fashion Accessories and Curating Contemporary Art to name but a few, but that is without even mentioning Painting and Sculpture over at Battersea!) I discovered the wonderful sleeplike animation of Lauri Warsta, titled ….. the animation merged the borders between surreal dream and documentary as the calming voice, not too dissimilar to the 1940′s DONT PANIC! voiceover narrated the viewer through the reporting on a global reserves of dreams.

Adnan Lalani‘s experiment with augmented reality caught my eye; the action of turning the pages of a pop up book to read the story is suplimented by additional animation narration appearing on screen placed directly behind the book and inline with the viewers eye.

FINALLY on my second trip (yes second, it’s that big and really worth the time) I came across the brilliant work of Sivaprakash Shanmugam’s Expressive Scribble. Aimed at encouraging children’s creativity and “enriching their visual vocabulary” the projector enables children’s drawings come to life, helping them learn a sense of narrative and the possibilities drawing can open up….

Part two of the RCA show continues until 4th July 2010. It’s open from 11-8 daily at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU. Admission is free.

Images Courtesy of the Students and addition photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Deviating from the subject of Climate Change, pills Amelia’s Magazine finds ourselves mesmerised by Design Interaction Student, drug Kjen Wilkens’ Weather Camera.

What is the impact on our relationship with the environment – when existing in a world where sensor monitors constantly interpret our daily surroundings, prescription producing endless streams of data? Are we moving into the final phrase of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction?

Photograph by Ludwig Zeller

The Weather Camera is Kjen Wilkens response to her search for a human presence within this deluge of electronic readings. Instead of taking a photograph to a record a special moment, the user of The Weather Camera can record the atmospheric conditions, weaving these into autobiographical memory. In time encouraging new methods of narration, titled by the designer as “Sensor Poetics.”

Becky Pilditch‘s prothestics are “objects of empowerment”, showcasing how functional pieces of designs can be both a thing of beauty and an extension of the wearer’s personality. Becky worked and developed the project with Holly Franklin .

Hand 8 the final part of the project, played with ideas of gesture and personality by creating numerous arms that related to Holly’s actions as she spoke or moved around a space. A fantastic aspect of the website is the blog, which can be used by other prosthetic limb users to feed back directly to the project.

In the Animation section of the exhibition Lauri Warsta’s Traumdeutung awaited. A wonderful animation baring the hallmarks (whatever that may mean…) of a “documentary,” the calming, not too dissimilar to the 1940′s DONT PANIC! voiceover narrated the data currently available on the subject matter: The Global Reserves of Dreams. The beauty of the animation, being it contained the possibility, that it was entirely a dream.

The subtle block coloring of the animation maintained a ‘warmth’ more accustomed with hand drawn animation, that can sometimes be lost in 3D animation. This is an outcome of Warsta’s experiments in combining; “two extremes (3D and Handmade) clash and merge. For example, bringing the uncontrollable movement of real hand-held footage to an otherwise sterile computer animation”

Adnan Lalani‘s experiment with augmented reality catches the attention, through being something the viewer can interact with. The action of turning the Pop Up Book’s pages is suplimented by additional narration appearing on the screen placed directly behind the book and inline with the viewers eye.

Below is a video documenting the Pop Up Book’s Prototype. Earlier this week Adnan kindly took a few moments to explain the idea behind combining the narrative structure of a Pop Up Book with Augmented reality: “The pop-up book felt like a natural compliment to augmented reality. I was hoping to see how AR could be used in a more tactile, playful context… i.e. take something we already know and play with, and allow it to be enhanced with animation and digital interactivity.”

RCA Work In Progress Show – Pop Up Book Prototype Documentation from adnan lalani on Vimeo.

Eventually Adnan hopes that as we grow increasingly comfortable with the idea of Augmented Reality, ideas like the Pop Up book ” can allow a progression from the magical, novelty nature of AR, into more of a direct tool by which to communicate narratives and story telling”

The eye catching work of Design Interaction Graduate Louise O’Conner; used experimental dance to convey the movement of the smallest particles, for example: Atoms, in an attempt to connect us to movements that are beyond our physical awareness. Visit the exhibition to watch the film!

A particular lovely idea was the mapping out to scale, the measurements of the solar system along Kingsland High Street and up into Stamford Hill. Several shopkeepers were to host a planet…

Photography by Mark Henderson

You can find the map and information about the project here:

Katrin Baumgarten’s Aesthetics of Disgust explores humans’ relationship and our reactions; both emotional and physical to the things or materials which disgust us. Using inanimate objects all too often taken for granted, (i.e. Light Switches) Kartin added disturbing features such as goo or hair that moved as the light switch is pressed. By ‘touching’ us back, the presence of these inanimate objects is brought back to the forefront of our attention.

In the installation at the Royal College of Art a screen documents the level of the reaction of each user.

Another subject explored by Katrina is Intimate touch or sexual disgust and how these feelings can be created “merely by inappropriate behaviours in society, such as touching another person in an intimate or sexual way in public, even though that might comfort the two persons involved and is a part of our human nature.” The outcome of which is the Intimate Touch Object, an item which enables you to touch another person secretly…

FINALLY on my second trip (yes second, it’s that big and really worth the time) I came across the brilliant work of Sivaprakash Shanmugam’s Expressive Scribble. Children draw onto the projector screen (this could be the kitchen floor, wall etc…) and an bring their drawings to life by clicking the ‘movie’ button. The idea being to “enrich their visual vocabulary,” sense of narrative and most importantly encourage children’s creativity.

Part two of the RCA show continues until 4th July 2010. It’s open from 11-8 daily at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU. Admission is free.

Images Courtesy of the Students and addition photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

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2 Responses to “Royal College of Art: Design and Animation Part Two”

  1. Antonia Hazlerigg says:

    Hi, did you see the design product exhibition (in the RCA’s adjacent Stevens Building down Jay Mews)? It was also part of Show 2; well worth a third trip if you missed it!

  2. Amelia says:

    Hey Antonia thanks for the comment! I did indeed see the Design Product Exhibition, I included a students work from Design products in post one (posted on Wednesday) and I thought that the work was also well worth the trip (esp for all of you readers yet to go!), as was communication design, textiles and that’s before mentioning the MA in Curating Contemporary Art! It’s an incredibly vast show displaying how many talented innovative people there are! Sally

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