Six students from the Royal College of Art have been named as winners of the 2010 Conran Foundation Awards.
Now in its fifth year, the awards were set up to encourage and support young artists and designers graduating from the Royal College of Art. The students were presented with their awards by Terence at a ceremony held at the College during SHOW TWO which ended last week.
“The Conran Foundation’s support of the College and the SHOW has been terrific. With the Conran Awards the Foundation is also helping six graduating students to realise their post-education dreams – a wonderfully appropriate way of recognising talent that has been nurtured and grown here at the College” – Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the RCA.
The prize is worth £12,000 and the awards are open to students from the Schools of Fine Art, Applied Art, Fashion and Textiles, Architecture and Design, Design for Production, and Communications.
Lady Victoria Conran and Sebastian Conran from the Foundation as well as Professor Alan Cummings, Pro-Rector of the College, spent three days interviewing all of the candidates and discussing their work.
And this year’s lucky winners are…
Innovation Design Engineering student Richard Gilbert’s project Embodied, explores the larger systems that design operates in. By highlighting how much energy is used in the design and manufacturing process through a simple ‘Top Trumps’ style information system, Gilbert hopes to alert people to the environmental impacts of design work and find alternatives to inherited design practices that simply do not have a place in the future.
From Photography, Agata Madejska’s work deals with extracting man-made objects from the urban environment. Photographs of monuments and statues are blacked out, giving them a different meaning to the viewer.
Sculpture student Lucy May was selected for her remarkable large-scale pieces – False Paradise 1, 2 & 3. Wax, foam, fake flowers, shredded plastic and wire were all utilized in giving these sculptures a distinct presence and spectacular beauty.
David Seesing from Vehicle Design has devised Symbiosis, a car made from an inner and outer layer of glass designed to channel air flow through the vehicle to aid fuel efficiency and temperature control. It is also intended to interface with buildings and homes by using a ‘chimney effect’ charging system, using the building to create internal airstreams which constantly pull air through the vehicle parked outside. Any surplus energy generated can feed into the national grid, as a more rounded concept of living.
Fashion Menswear student Hanna Ter Meulen’s exquisitely crafted garments caught the judges attention, with a combination of classic tailoring and innovative fabric manipulation. Hanna uses smocking and weaving techniques to shape the material in a contemporary way, creating a comfortable, flexible cut which shapes to the male body.
Harry Thaler, graduating from Design Products, was praised for his ingenious pressed aluminum chair which is bent into shape to form a super-light, stackable design. The chair is light enough to be lifted with only two fingers, yet extremely strong without any external structural support.
What’s the CONRAN Foundation?
Terence founded The Conran Foundation in 1980. Its first initiative, the seminal Boilerhouse Project gallery at the V&A became the Design Museum at Butlers Wharf which – did we mention? – became the first museum in the world dedicated to the promotion and examination of design.
The Design Museum then…and now.