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What Do These Renowned Artists & Designers Think Of The Next Generation Of Creative Leaders?

What Do These Renowned Artists & Designers Think Of The Next Generation Of Creative Leaders? main image

Sponsored by the Royal College of Art

As lockdowns were implemented across the globe, universities were forced to close their doors. Art and design students were faced with a unique set of challenges as they had no access to workshop materials and studios.

Online learning was implemented quickly, but for degree programs like art and design, students had to resourcefully adapt their creative practice. In the spirit of the ingenuity for which the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London is renowned, students used the opportunity to experiment and reimagine, leading to new discoveries and ways of working.

At the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, the world’s number one Art & Design University as ranked by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020: Art & Design, its graduate show – RCA2020 – went digital in July for the first time in its history. It showcased the work of 850 students from around the world who investigated contemporary issues, crossing over into material futures, identity and the environment.

Despite the quick turnaround, moving graduate events online has had its benefits, according to Tiffany Loy, a final-year MA Textiles student: “I got to present my work for the online private view and I could see there were 300 participants.

“In a physical event I wouldn’t have the chance to speak to 300 people,” she said.

RCA2020 welcomed industry experts, creatives and global media, along with family and friends, to participate in live events and explore students’ work from the comfort of their own couch.

With many students about to take their careers to the next level, or launch their own creative endeavor, a number of renowned artists, designers and business leaders from all over the world were invited to curate their own collections of graduate work.

Creative class of 2020

City Glider by Frederick Phua

Image credit: City Glider by Frederick Phua [his project can be viewed here]

Former Apple Design Chief, Sir Jony Ive, curated a collection for the graduate exhibition, named ‘Optimistic, Singular and New’, which is made up of work from graduates across architecture, communications, design, as well as arts and humanities.

“The work is so very good. There is a clarity and boldness that perhaps speaks to the absence of familiar tools or the usual distractions,” said Ive.

“To reconsider fundamental approaches to their work at a time of complete chaos and uncertainty demonstrates a remarkable drive and resolve and is ultimately a victory for creativity in its many areas of practice. This is a particular body of work that I believe will be regarded as significant in the future,” he added.

Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief at British Vogue spoke about how “this generation of RCA students is embracing creativity to show things to the world as we have never seen them before.” Enninful also curated a collection for the RCA’s 2020 Graduate Exhibition, named ‘New Frontiers’, comprising of work from fashion, architecture, and painting graduates.

Celebrating resilience and potential in the face of a pandemic

Francesca Mollett, Royal College of Art, MA Painting 2020

Image credit: Francesca Mollett, Royal College of Art, MA Painting 2020

With the new academic year just around the corner, school leavers and prospective students may be feeling uncertain about their academic future. Against this backdrop, the challenges students and this year’s Class of 2020 have overcome are nothing short of momentous.

“I was so inspired,” said Anya Hindmarch, a business owner and luxury fashion designer who virtually attended the RCA’s 2020 graduate show and curated a collection ‘Inspired by Design’.

“The output despite these strange times and remote working is properly impressive. This just goes to show that creativity can’t be thwarted and comes from everywhere all the time whatever the circumstances.”

Former Burberry President and Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, was in agreement: “It feels more important than ever, even urgent, to let innovation inform and lead global, joined-up decision-making, so what an uplifting joy to explore the intense creativity and curiosity of the RCA class of 2020 graduates”. Bailey also curated a collection of student work ‘Journeys, Experiences, Identities’.

Lead image credit: Rashmi Bidasaria, Royal College of Art, MA Design Products, 2020

Amarachi O, Mariana F & 2 others saved this
Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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It's a good picture