Expo 2020 Dubai: Royal College of Art unveils new ‘boundary-pushing' exhibition

It is taking place at the UK Pavilion

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By Prasun Sonwalkar

Published: Fri 11 Mar 2022, 6:19 PM

The Royal College of Art on Friday announced what it called a ‘boundary-pushing' exhibition titled Shaping Futures; Design-Led Innovation at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, with designers and artists focusing on the question: “how will we advance as a species, a civilisation, and what will life on Earth or in our solar system look like?”

The RCA is the official Heritage Partner for the UK Pavilion, taking residence from March 15 to 16 to present futuristic design and digital art from the world’s leading art and design university. Creators of items for the exhibition include RCA’s alumni.

The RCA has trained some of the world’s leading automotive designers, who have led brands such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Audi, Aston Martin and McLaren. Through the work of the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre and its Intelligent Mobility MA programme, the RCA focuses on vehicles and mass transport systems for low carbon cities.

Paul Thompson, RCA Vice-Chancellor, said: “By combining art and design disciplines with science and technology, RCA students, staff and alumni are the embodiment of the UK’s participation theme for Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’. From the environment to healthcare, these artworks, designs, products and services are a testament to the spirit of entrepreneurship, imagination and collaboration we champion and strive for at the RCA.”

Besides the exhibition, the RCA is hosting a conference for global business leaders in collaboration with PwC Middle East to consider how creative vision and decisive leadership can deliver excellence in education, avenues for innovation to flourish and an integrated view on how we can live together in all our diversity.

Sally Jeffery, Leader for Middle East Education & Skills Practice, PwC Leader Global Education & Skills Network, PwC, said: “The vision and leadership of the UAE provides a real opportunity for innovation in education systems - a system that is welded to centuries old ways of thinking and doing.


“The experience of the pandemic has legitimised technologies and diverse delivery models - that now promise to have a real multiplying effect for economic and social development. The architecture of future education systems will be an interconnected network of physical, virtual and experiential spaces - better able to create future-proof talent - made possible by emerging technologies that are proliferating and evolving at a staggering pace”, she added.

Visitors will have the chance to see an iconic new British charge-point for electric vehicles designed by the RCA and PA Consulting, which was unveiled by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps at COP26.

The exhibition will take place within the stellar architecture of the UK Pavilion conceived and designed by Es Devlin OBE, working with global brand agency Avantgarde, and inspired by the Stephen Hawking project 'Breakthrough Message'.

The UK Pavilion invites visitors to consider what message we would choose to express ourselves as one planet should we one day encounter other advanced civilisations in space.

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