Why are European designers so much better than Americans? The profession has pondered the question for decades. A new show of graduate work from the Royal College of Art in London posits an answer: Credit should be given to the teachers.
In this case, the students in the RCA show were led by a scintillating lineup of professors, including Sam Hecht, the co-founder of Industrial Facility, which has made instant classics for Muji; Luke Pearson, of PearsonLloyd, which is best known for the their work designing Virgin’s aircraft cabins; Julia Lohmann, one of the most exciting young designers working today. Pearson’s class, dedicated to exploring function, was co-taught with the superb but lower profile Michael Marriott; Lohmann’s class was dedicated to abstract, experimental design, and was co-taught with artist Gabi Klasmer; while Hecht also explored the boundaries of function, with co-teachers Andre Klauser and Durrell Bishop, who are lesser know but enormously talented.
Wallpaper recently visited the show, and brought back an excellent round-up of the designs. Here’s a selection.
In Hecht’s class, Alex Hulme produced dinnerware with an unexpected bit of whimsy. Each bowl is crafted with varying thickness, so each produces a different note when struck:
Also from Hecht’s class, a set of reconfigurable wall plugs, designed by Min-Kyu Choi:
Another one of the gems from Hecht’s class, Therese Glimskar created a full-length mirror that doubles as an ironing board:
Also from Hecht’s class, Il-Gu Cha produced these vacuum cleaner attachments that can also serve as brooms:
One of Lohmann’s students, Ioli Sifakak, designed a dinner service molded in porcelain from her own body parts:
Also under Lohmann, Georgios Maridakis designed an ultra-minimal timepiece, which strikes a vase (or whatever you choose to put on the pedestal) in thirty minute intervals:
In Pearson’s class, Felix de Pass designed and office system with objects that can be hung from an elegant rail, as well as a gorgeous table lamp:
Also in Pearson’s class, Lewis TaylorKai Malte Röver designed a table whose legs attach on grooves, thus enabling easy assembly. No more broken and wobbly furniture, every time you move:
Wallpaper didn’t note the designer here, who worked also worked under Pearson–maybe someone could help us out? Kai Malte Röver also designed this bike pump that doubles as a light, powered by the pumping action:
Check out the rest of the entries at Wallpaper.