ACCROSS RCA: IKEA X TOM DIXON. X RCA

One week in the year the Royal College of Art creates a number of interdisciplinary collaborative projects that explore new ideas, approaches and skills.  

One of the projects we could sign up for was a collaboration project between the designer Tom Dixon and the furniture manufacturer and retailer Ikea of Sweden AB. 

Delaktig’ is a new ‘living platform’ that Tom Dixon has designed for Ikea. The product is conceived as a set of components that can be customised, adapted and added to - an open platform to hack or co-create in your own way. The project provided us with an opportunity to experiment with the product and propose some ideas that explore its potential. 

Based on Tom’s lecture about collaboration and him working together with Ikea, who has a total different style than he has, Derek and I started a collaboration ourselves. Derek is a first-year Interior Design student at the Royal College of Art and had a similar idea as me, that’s why we decided to work together.  

We were both thinking in the direction of multiplying and connecting platforms/people. So, in all its simplicity we basically came up with a new element that you insert in 2 platforms to connect them. 

BLOOMBERG COMPETITION - THE ISOTROPE

Bloomberg offered interdisciplinary teams of RCA students an exciting opportunity to design a multi-purpose room divider screen for their new Fosters Architects headquarters in central London.

My group consisted out of 2 textile students, an IED student and 2 Interior Design Students including me. The brief was very open. The screen could be analogue or digital, kinetic or static.

We have designed a flexible screen which responds to and interacts with its surroundings.

Each screen is composed of two 2.5 meter panels, which can be wheeled out for functions and stored easily. They can be arranged in different orientations to allow passage.

A network of optic modules forms the screen’s geometric structure. The modules are made from translucent mirrored Perspex. Each module is hollow, projecting Bloomberg’s values of transparency. The modules act as individual kaleidoscopes, distorting visual information by diffracting movement from passersby. Perspective plays an important role as the screen looks different from every angle, the staggered optics create an undulating surface that emulates movement through reflectivity.

The effect is a collection of ever-changing, symmetrical patterns, which provide a subtle impression of the colour and movement surrounding the screen, while maintaining the feeling of openness and connectivity within the space.

Our design celebrates communication and visual data, creating a playful, yet elegant atmosphere. The Isotrope Experience involves, reflects and connects users within the Bloomberg environment.

I’m happy to announce that we are with the final SIX!! So this will happen next:

The SIX shortlisted teams will have a period of 5 months to develop and detail their designs. During this period, site visits, client meetings and end user workshops will be arranged. Tutorials with members of RCA Bloomberg Project team and relevant external experts will take place with the shortlisted teams every two weeks throughout this period. Small prototypes will be made as part of the final submission. Two days of focused technical support will be arranged for each team to facilitate prototype production.

I’m really looking forward to this part of the competition and will definitely keep you posted about the progress.

MARGATE POP-UP PAVILION COMPETITION

With a group of 5 Interior Design students we entered a competition for a pop-up pavilion in Margate.The brief was to create a temporary and creative transformation and / or animation of two or more of Margate’s seaside shelters, with the aim of re-ignitingthe public’s passion for these historic structures and helping them to find a new role in contemporary coastal life.Our group chose Shelter 8. It’s the site of demolished coastal structure. It is a lost link in the necklace of pavilions once lining Margate’s coast.

Our proposal investigated the disappearance of these coastal sites, while simultaneously considering a future where the temporality of said pavilions is the currency which keeps them relevant. Imagine a summer-long series of installations transforming the old Victorian walking trail into a modern promenade from one intervention to the next. A cultural take-over, if you will, of Margate’s pavilion shelters. Pulling from the existing community and abroad, this large site for exploration provides a consistent opportunity for interaction, conversation, and response.

On a smaller scale, our own pavilion is as much psychological experiment as it is visual ghost. Re-plotting the original footprint of a demolished shelter, the form grows up from a now empty grass field. For three days on this site, people will explore, converse, contemplate and interact. Then, once again, the physical structure will disappear (although its essence will live on virtually: #ghostpavilion). Drawing attention to the future fate of its sister shelters, the absence of our installation is meant to promote an awareness of the importance of these places. For a short time where once there stood a totem to place making, now there is vast emptiness. Where once there was a gathering point on the horizon, now there is a flat line. Where once there was a moment of cultural history, a place of gathering and community, now there is just dirt. What will happen when there are no more pavilions lining the coast?

Sadly, we were not chosen, but were the runner-ups. Hopefully we will have the chance to build our concept next year. Although we were not chosen, they loved our idea so much that during this year’s event they choose to present our idea on a banner. So it’s still a little bit of a win.

This commission was offered by the Margate Coastal Park Promotion Group with funding from Arts Council England and Kent County Council, withthe agreement and support of Thanet District Council.