Last Thursday we visited London's Royal College of Art summer graduation show to view this year's student projects.
Thanks to friendly social media connections, we arranged to meet Jakub Pollág, a student from the Design Products programme, who is also one of the designers behind deForm - a studio he founded with his fellow student Václav Mlynář during their studies at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Jakub very kindly gave us a guided tour of the wide range of projects the Design Products course has produced this year. It was great to speak to so many of the students and to learn more about the individual and team based projects they have been pursuing.
This year's diverse and engaging show includes a broad range of creative outcomes, with projects ranging from the domestic to the outdoor, and from the technological to the political.
Here is just a small selection of them.
Gemma Roper's internet enabled radio allows you to select music by tempo or beats per minute. The device pairs with Spotify and features a single dial that moves vertically to mimic a metronome for music selection.
The aim is to explore physical and tactile interfacing for online music without a screen through the use of an overtly reduced aesthetic that becomes the central focus for interaction.
Also by Gemma Roper in collaboration with Jakub Pollág, Stackabells is a wireless modular doorbell system where the aesthetic and musical qualities can be interchanged.
Aiming to move away from the idea of the doorbell as an unsightly white box "discernable only by its unenthusiastic tinny playback of a chime recording in response to a visitor" the system aims to instead celebrate the arrival of visitors in a playful and engaging way.
We loved Daniel Durnin's mobile architecture project WaterBed - a wooden barge that can be towed by bicycle, and then launched onto the water without the need to remove the wheels.
Flip by Stine Keinicke Jensen is a flexible and functional cabinet system with detachable doors that can be flipped over to reveal an alternative colour on the reverse. Spheres on the corner of each door magnetically connect it to the cabinet frame.
This modularity is designed to create a satisfying way of rearranging a layout through a stimulating and novel movement.
Stine has also designed a lamp with a rotating controller made using a glass disc that can adjust the brightness of the light source, again offering the user a satisfying interaction with the product.
CanopyStair by Robert McIntyre and Thorwald Ter Kulve, created with the support of Haworth Tompkins Architects, is a modular system of steps that can be attached without tools to form a spiral staircase around a tree trunk, allowing you to walk up into the canopy above.
Carefully designed not to damage or mark the tree in any way it evokes childhood memories of climbing trees and the idea of being able to acess a secluded habitat.
It certainly made for an impressive focal point in the tree fern courtyard at the RCA.
The RCA show 2015 at the college's Kensington and Battersea campuses is open daily 12-6pm until 5 July with late night opening until 9pm on 1 July. Closed 3 July.
With thanks to Jakub Pollag and Rob Phillips for the guided tour.