If you are after the best emerging talent and have no intention of pacing across London from East to West, stick to Battersea and Kensington.
The Royal College of Art has been celebrating 175 years of innovation at its annual graduation show. The exhibition sums it all up; international talent and the best of British with ground-breaking design in textiles, architecture, jewellery, photography, ceramics, vehicles and more...
Incredible explorations by MA graduates include inserting a deer’s jaw with gold teeth into handmade Ray Ban style sunglasses, a fully automated string wrapping machine producing a gorgeous line in furniture alongside one piece metal origami cars by Kyungeun Ko and Jan Rosenthal. Whilst admiring surreal organic aluminium curves in the Vehicle Design exhibit a quote on a wall caught my eye; “This program seeks to pioneer new design, innovation and new approaches for the mobile futures. The graduates presenting here are not only the future of the discipline, they are defining it.”
I had to find out how these shapes were made possible in metal whilst adding strength to the shape and without using moulds. I found a gem. An ingenious new fabrication process by RoboFold was used by both Jan and Kyungeun. It allowed them to explore new possibilities of curved folding in metal sheets as if they like were paper. “I wanted to do something different rather than the usual way of sketching, photo shopping and 3D”, Jan comments. “I started with just random experiments folding some paper and then grouping paper models together, the front parts, rear parts, etc., and I found the design after an intense workshop at RoboFold in Brixton.” Kyungeun explored the same process and emphasized “...the advantage is that it gave me inspiration. Indeed, when you work with sketching you can’t really see the physical shape. With the paper model, you can see right away the physical form. Also, it gave me a better understanding of form.”
Both agreed to point out the particular aesthetic result achieved with RoboFold’s method. However Jan insists: “My challenge was to create a luxury car in a sustainable way with a new aesthetic for Lexus, and RoboFold allows this new approach. I think RoboFold technology has a lot of potential for the car industry and beyond, because its technology brings sustainability with a very special aesthetic.”
The RoboFold’s website reveals that founder and inventor of this robotic folding metal origami is an ex RCA-er himself, Gregory Epps. Epps has developed a new way to think and design and he openly shares his knowledge and facilities. He is an utter folding devotee, and even developed a software plugin for the Rhino3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) software.
Well, if you missed this year’s incredible pickings, don’t worry as Jan Rosenthal’s ‘Lexus LF-Zero’ has been shortlisted for the Sustain Awards 2012 and will be on show at the RCA galleries during the London Design Festival in Autumn 2012. For Gregory Epps’s RoboFolding keep your eyes and ears open, and perhaps take a visit to the Venice Biennale of Architecture where RoboFold are fabricating a pavilion designed by top architect Zaha Hadid.
So, no wonder the rich and famous have their homes in the capital - with so many new thinkers and neo-makers defining the world’s most avant-garde culture, where better to shop and get inspired?