So, the RCA mid year architecture, product design, 'interactions', animation, vehicle design and printmaking show was the draw last night (did I miss anyone out?). As always, it's an intriguing glimpse into works that remain 'in-progress' and the challenge for the students is to show their work in a convincing and professional way whilst acknowledging just that.
Some courses are more suited to this kind of output than others, not least demonstrated by the fact that the fashion students get to distance themselves into an entirely separate show. At present there was no stand out idea in the product design section purely because, I suspect, it simply hasn't occurred to anyone yet. Here I suppose I should insert a generic statistic about perspiration vs. inspiration, but it is certainly true that the mid-year show often comes too soon for these students.
Printmaking, of course, is a different matter, as the act of making show worthy product is a daily occurrence and is not bound into the one great artefact, again, evidenced by the price list attached to the works. It was a good show, with one or two beautiful things, but unfortunately nothing that made me want to let the moths out of my wallet.
The interactions show is always entertaining, with a variety of Heath Robinson-esque contraptions and devices and, quite frankly, it doesn't matter if they are finished or not, because they always come out looking like some kind of digitised torture machine anyway. I think a trip back away from the party vibe to talk through the content with the students is the best way to get anything out of this part of the show.
My personal interest, of course, was in the architecture room. Architecture is a difficult discipline to squeeze into the concept of 'show' in the first place. The usual approach of the four units here is to take this halfway point of the year to teach the students how to make the beautiful object, for which the RCA is renowned. This is often the product of a personal or group narrative by which the projects live or die. Personal favourites unit was ADS3 for quality of curation. They quite sensibly subordinated the emerging lumps of buildings neatly out of the way and concentrated on the story which they intend to underpin an architecture which will resolve itself later. Star of this particular show was Lauren Dutton's Necromance. Apologies for the lack of photography, but if you've been to this show before, you'll know why...
Another enjoyable unit was to be found under the theme of Immortality in ADS4, with a beautiful piece exhibited by Eliot Postmas 'Genetic Relic of the Reformed Church of England. I look forward to seeing how each of these find their way into the final show.
Last star mention goes to the exotically named Marie-Margoux Tsakiricanatoukis, who's name I almost certainly can't spell but who can definitely draw in an hypnotic etch a sketch kind of way in the animation school.
And on a final note, I didn't go into the vehicle design show because all vehicle design courses show precisely the same work as each other, every year, in every school, so I thought I'd save myself the trouble.....
That's your lot. The show is open to the public from today until the 09 Feb, go and check out vehicle design and tell me if you saw something you never saw before.