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Brief Published: 30 Jun 2016

Show RCA 2016: Highlights

From left to right works by: Pinja Piira, Jacqueline Lefferts, Clea Jentsch

From readdressing manufacturing processes and modern dining behaviours, to simplifying our interaction with tech, graduates at this year's Show RCA at London's Royal College of Art upheld its reputation as the leading institution for design innovation. We select three highlight projects.

  • Efficient Production: Textile designer Jacqueline Lefferts explores fashion-production efficiency with garments that can be made using one process: weaving. The three-dimensional garment is machine woven into a flat piece of cloth that can be cut and turned inside out. No sewing is required; the piece is simply melted together at the seams. The method ensures waste material is reduced and removes sewing, fashion-garment development and finishing from the manufacturing process.

See Layer A/W 16-17 for further examples of designers readdressing conventional processes and manufacturing methods to create more sustainable design solutions.

  • Discreet Tech: Pinja Piira's screenless radio device focuses on simplifying the audio experience by focusing on the essential listening behaviours. Eliminating scrolling, swiping or tapping on a screen, the user places the dial into one of four different positions on the top surface to switch between playlists and channels. Twisting, tapping or pressing the knob allows to adjust volume, play, skip and save favorites. Minimalist and inconspicuous in style, the device appeals to the lifestyle-driven consumer concerned with sophisticated and subtle tech design.

A new wave of audio innovations are arriving to meet consumer demand for devices that look as good as they sound – see Alternative Audios and the Power of Sound. Read New Tech Aesthetics for more on design-led products that employ tactile finishes more akin to furniture or home accessories.  

  • Modern Eating Habits: Design Products graduate Clea Jentsch's modular and versatile kitchenware is designed for solo dining. Her MEaltime project is born out from the behavioural observation that many city dwellers' lack of space and time affects the way they eat – such as on the sofa or in bed, for instance. The multipurpose kitchenware accommodates various steps in the cooking process: preparation, cooking, carrying, eating and storing. For example, the enamel pan transforms into a bowl with the aid of a wooden heat-protecting outer bowl, to enable eating while standing up. The versatility of the system can adapt to personal habits and ways of eating.

Read Future Family Dining for more on the opportunities that solo diners and unconventional family structures present for product and service industries.

Look to our previous coverage of the graduate show – Show RCA 2015 and Show RCA 2014. For a wider round-up of talent, see International Design Graduates 2015.