Department 21 a student-led interdisciplinary department at the Royal College of Art

Department 21 at Show 2

Although Department 21’s residency in the college has come to an end, during this year’s Show 2, as an interdepartmental group of students, we will create an installation in the internal courtyard of the Royal College of Art. This will not be a mere representation of our previous activities, but a reactivation of Department 21’s working methodology and spirit. Consequently, within the installation, on each day of the Show, we will address a different critical theme within art and design practice through a series of conversations and workshops with graduating students, alumni and external guests.


To display the complete schedule of events:

25 June – .ORG: Architecture for art and design education

• 12.00 noon – An all day workshop with Roberto Bottazzi and Finn Williams.

Together we will create, compile and discuss both practical and utopian ideas for the spatial reorganization of existing art and design schools.

26 June – EATING PRACTICE: Food in art and design

• 12.00 noon – Artists and designers discuss the significance of food in their respective practices, including textile designer Marie Paysant-Le Roux, illustrator and post-modern food culturist Jan Lun Lee, architect Rebecca Lane, applied artists Jasleen Kaur and Therese Mørch-Jørgensen, ceramicist Brigit Connolly together with textile artist Anaïs Tondeur.
They will be joined by Martin Newell, who runs a soup kitchen for homeless and a community café for vulnerable people at the edges of society.

• 4.30pm – Danielle Inga, design historian and food writer, and Cathrine Kramer, interaction designer, discuss food in a broader theoretical context, speculating on the future role and ideological implications of design in the production of food

All day: post-modern British-Asian food by Jan Lun Lee & Bart Marett and Chai Tea by Jasleen Kaur & Ian McIntyre.

27 June – CHALK AND TALK: Modes of teaching and knowledge distribution

• 12.00 noon – Six independent, bottom-up educational initiatives share their experiences of experimenting with different systems of teaching, radically reassessing accepted modes of knowledge distribution. Guests include Critical Practice, FLAG, Interdisciplinary Critical Forum, Parallel School, Thinking & Practice Group and Department 21.

Followed by a workshop aiming to compile a manual of good practice for future initiatives exploring horizontal, transparent educational models within institutions.

• 4.30pm Presentation of final projects by students working across disciplines

28 June – FILLING IN THE BLANKS: Amateurism by numbers

• 12.00 noon – PhD student Stephen Knott leads a paint-by-numbers workshop introducing participants to the various manifestations of amateur practice today

• 3.00pm – Glenn Adamson presents a talk on De-skilling in amateur art, craft and design practice.

29 June – SEVEN CENTURIES IN HALF A MILLION WORDS: Current ideas in design history

• 12.00 noon – MA History of Design graduates present their dissertations for discussion. Their research ranges from the decorative arts of India and Japan to digital design in the contemporary museum. This new generation of design historians are expanding the subject beyond its conventional themes and geographies, pointing to new ideas and changing themes in culture.

30 June – STAYING ALIVE: Collaboration for survival

• 12.00 noon – Barbara Stevini will reveal the inner mechanics, debates and decisions that drove the Artist Placement Group, founded in 1966

• 4.30pm – Animator Callum Cooper, Sam Potts from the Redundant Architects Recreation Association (RARA) and Simon Elvins, Julie Hill & Tom Mower from St. Pierre & Miquelon discuss how collaboration and networking keeps them on track

1 July – DOCTORS IN CHARGE? Research students take over

• 12.00 noon – PhD student and mother Jessica Jenkins hosts SMALL TALK, a session dedicated to thinking creatively about how children, design and research can meet successfully.
With guests Donna Brennan, Jasper Joffe, Ekua McMorris and Heather Peak.

• 2.30pm – Guerilla crits. Interdiciplinary encounters: student-led conversations with practioners about their work.
Led by Dialogues in Design, a team of research students from the History of Design Department.

Starts at the D21 space and continues in the galleries.

2 July – Convocation day – Show closed

3 July – FINESSING THE FINITE: Sustainability in art and design

• 12.00 noon – Sophie Thomas of Thomas Matthews communication design company discusses how she addresses sustainability in her graphic design practice.

4 July – CULTURES OF RESISTANCE: Commodification of cultural production

• 12.00 noon – Ruth Potts from ‘the new economics foundation’, theorist and designer Adriana Eysler, the Carrot Workers Collective, product designer David Hood and colour artist Seainin Passi reevaluate the value of labour and discuss cultures of resistance.

All day: artist Seainin Passi will be present with her colour apothecary stall.

Looking forward to welcoming you all in Department 21.

Download the print-friendly PDF of the schedule

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