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College Exhibition: Royal College of Art Vehicle Design students prepare for the The Show 2004

Wed, 16 Jun 2004 00:00:00 -0700June 16, 2004 - Final year students at London's Royal College of Art postgraduate Vehicle Design course are preparing for their annual degree show. The design concepts exhibited by the 17 graduating students explore themes for future mobility, including: A public bike using new plastic forming technologies, a three-wheeled motorcycle for Aprilia, and a mobile living space that solves the probems of commuting by moving the home close to the workplace.

Heung Soo Kim's coupe concept explores 'light as communication', with intuitive gestural driver controls, simplified instrumentation using color-coded indicators and exterior lamp elements embedded within the vehicle's glass surfaces. The project will be presented as a scale exterior, featuring laminated ebony on a metal frame, and a full-size interior model, with laminated, formed and milled wood seats.

Alvaro Del Campo's project explores a new form language where the interior elements of the car feature as part of the exterior design, seemingly impacting the interior components with the exterior.

Tom Eaton uses new polypropylene forming techniques for a cheap-to-make and fully recyclable bike that could be used for public transport or custom-built for promotional campaigns.

The models, sketches, video and interactive presentations to be shown provide a narrative of the design process, showing how research meets design concept and both emerge in creative studio practice. Central to the RCA Vehicle Design course methodology is the understanding of the broader issues of vehicle design necessary to optimize opportunities for mobility. Students are expected to develop an awareness of the range of issues that affect mobility including accessibility, aerodynamics, environmental impact, ergonomics, legislation, materials, production, safety and technology, as well as aesthetic principles.

The Vehicle Design student's exploration of the future of mobility is structured around three themes:

'Urban Flow' - concentrating on providing advanced inclusive mobility, moving people and/or goods within specific urban environments, improving vehicles and systems.

'Inside Out' - Focussing on the vehicles materials, production and manufacturing technologies, considering in particular the functional design of vehicle interface with the user.

'Automark' - exploring strategic design solutions, creating innovative vehicle concepts that provide significant value to a business, identifying and creating new commercial and brand potential.

The course has students from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds, with many coming from non-automotive fields of design. The department has a range of research programmes, with students studying for both MPhil and PhD qualifications within the MA studio environment.

The Vehicle Design department collaborates with major automotive and transport providers, and has an impressive employment record - almost every automotive design studio in the world employs a Royal College of Art graduate, many in senior executive design positions.

The Royal College of Art is the world's only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, specialising in teaching and research across the disciplines of fine art, applied art, design, communications and humanities.

Visitors to The Show: Two will also be able to experience the work of graduates in the fields of Textiles, Architecture & Interiors, Design Products, Interaction Design, Industrial Design Engineering, Vehicle Design, Animation, Communication Art & Design, Conservation and History of Design.

The Show: Two at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, is open from Friday 25 June to Sunday 4 July (closed Friday 2 July), 10am-6pm daily, with late night openings 25 June and 1 July until 10pm. The Show Private View is on Thursday 24 June, by invitation only.

Royal College of Art website:

Related stories:
Interim Exhibition: Automotivation
Royal College of Art - The Show 2003
Royal College of Art - The Show 2002