|Degree:||Master of Arts (MA)|
|University website:||Design Products|
Developing design discourse. Responding to and creating design discourses.
Design Products explores new terrain for designing products aiming to evolve new design disciplines and practices. We question ‘what is a product?’ and the assumption of adding products to uncover critical questioning to inform cutting edge creative practices for designing better futures. Our programme ethos focuses on a range of ideas for exploring these new areas for product design practice including design subtraction, multi-species design, circularity, questions for action, products delimited, design doing, design justice and decolonising design. We anticipate that these areas will evolve and adapt year-to-year.
We work in collaboration with industry but also explore new locations and relationships for designing products: the experiences and impacts they generate whether these are design interventions or working with start-ups, governments, or global agencies. We measure the success of our design impacts against the United Nations Sustainability Development Goal’s and the design territory of products within systems.
Please note all applications must be submitted by 12 noon on the given deadline.
The programme is delivered across three terms and includes a combination of programme, School and College units. Learning will develop during the programme through terms 1 and 2 via a series of short projects focussed on experimentation and developing a strong and adaptive personal creative process, building a portfolio of projects culminating in the independent research project in term 3.
In the first term we help you locate their own practice at the forefront of the design products landscape in the unit Locating Practice. This is supported by enhancing research skills and identifying additional technical and intellectual skills to develop new and improved design methods and approaches connecting research and making.
Experimental Design allows you to expand the range and ambition of their design practice through various forms of experimentation to uncover new skills, methods and ideas. This unit covers a broad spectrum of experimentation from methods to materials, technology, making, manufacturing, futures, social and participatory.
Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit. See below for more details.
The second term engages with Advanced Practice by deepening your own creative methods through specialist focus via elective programme platform options, based on programme ethos themes and School-wide electives. Programme specialist design input is delivered via platform electives in the Advanced Practice unit.
You will also collaborate with other School of Design programme disciplines in a team-based School-wide Grand Challenge, tackling a major emerging strategic design issue. There are also opportunities to take part in commercially sponsored projects in terms 2 and 3 depending on availability.
In the third term you will demonstrate that they can draw together learning from terms 1 and 2 by independently developing, managing and delivering a high-resolution advanced Design Products project (Independent Research Project). The emphasis here is showing how you have brought together skills, learning and design practices from across terms 1 and 2 to design and deliver a project that sits at the forefront of the design products landscape and enables the delivery of a design discourse that argues for the new design space within which it sits.
The Independent Research Project (IRP) will be delivered through a supervision model, and it is expected that students will spend the majority of their time on personal study and making. We anticipate that students will have the option of completing term 3 (IRP) remotely or in their own studio/employment/placement/designer in residence subject to a satisfactory IRP proposal agreed in advance.
The School of Design is based across our Battersea and Kensington sites.
Students have access to the College’s workshops, with traditional facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and resins, including bookable bench spaces. Computer-driven subtractive milling equipment is available, as well as additive rapid prototyping.
To provide prospective students with opportunities to find out about the RCA experience and programmes we run a number of on-campus and online open days as well as events in various countries around the world. You can find out about upcoming events or watch replays of past open days on the RCA website.