This month, world leading smart device manufacturer and innovator OPPO celebrates a successful three-year partnership with the Royal College of Art (RCA) as its students showcase the latest in a series of studio projects in collaboration with OPPO during London Design Festival 2021.
OPPO believes that well-designed technology should be seamlessly integrated into one’s life and adapt to our needs. As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world and imposed a myriad of consequences impacting our life – habits, wellbeing and social connections – OPPO x RCA’s studio project ‘The New Extraordinary’ invites us to reimagine technology for life beyond the new normal, through design, and embrace a humanistic approach to the colossal changes taking place in our everyday lives.
Taking place from 18 to 26 September at 35-36 Thurloe Place in London’s Brompton Design District, MA Design Products graduates from the RCA present their findings having considered how the past year has brought into question the relationships designers have with technology, non-human entities, society and the state. Highlight projects – across sectors such as health and wellbeing, education innovation, connected services, systemic changes, and new realities – include:
· Inspired by the 1.43 trillion pictures humanity produced in 2020, the collective minds of Arnau Donate Duch, Marco Da Re, and Ilayda Kal present C-Earth, a system that allows us to give a second purpose to images we take every day with our phones and to help scientists and policymakers monitor the impact of climate change at a local scale.
· 3Doodle is a new educational platform for children to enjoy and share real-time 3D drawings to easily understand the three-dimensional world in their future.
· Aura, a project by Harika Adivikolanu, is an interactive device and wearable system that enhances the yoga practice through tactile assistance, bridging the gap between studio based exercises and home alternatives by creating an experience for a more mindful practice.
“This programme is an extraordinary opportunity for us to meet, work with, and even potentially hire some of the world’s most adventurous and talented young designers,” says Jintong Zhu, Head of OPPO London Design Centre. “With the theme this year, ‘The New Extraordinary’, we want young design talents to rethink two very important questions: ‘How do we work in this unexpected new global landscape we find ourselves in after Covid?’ and ‘What is the future of design considering what the past year and a half has taught us?’”Jintong Zhu, Head of OPPO London Design Centre
Collaborating with the world’s most influential postgraduate institution of art and design for the third consecutive year, OPPO reaffirms its commitment to the future of design by continuing to support emerging talent globally.
“Working with a real industry partner gives our students the opportunity for some insider feedback, reflecting the multiple contexts that design projects need to balance. Insights from the OPPO teams are a brilliant push to the development of concepts with relevance to reality. Our students are given complete liberty to develop their personal visions, with the support of the teams from the RCA and OPPO to help them steer between the fantastical and the super practical.” Alon Meron, Design Product Tutor, Royal College of Art.
OPPO’s international design hub, OPPO London Design Centre, is responsible for forging the triumphant partnership between the tech brand and the design institution. The programme is mutually beneficial as it provides mentoring and design project feedback covering topics such as industry insights, technology trends, and consumer insights in product design. RCA students have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field whilst the programme enables OPPO to work with some of the most promising future designers to further aid its position globally as a leader in technology design and innovation.
About Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading university of art and design. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in London, the RCA provides over 2,000 students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. Offering MA, MPhil, MRes and PhD programmes across the disciplines of architecture, arts & humanities, design and communications, the RCA’s approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges. The College employs around 1,000 professionals from all over the world to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes; exposing them to new knowledge in a way that encourages experimentation. The RCA was named the world’s leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2021 for the seventh consecutive year.