Show RCA: History of Design 2014

Charlotte Flint


History of Design show space, Royal College of Art.

History of Design show space, Royal College of Art.


With the end of the academic year rapidly approaching, art and design institutions are frantically preparing for their final year degree shows, one of the most important events in the calendar of soon to be graduates. The Royal College of Art show is one such example and has opened to the public today; running from the 18- 29 June the RCA show is held at both the South Kensington and Battersea campus. Walking through the galleries and seeing the wonderful results of two years of hard work is a thrilling experience, creating a palpable feeling of excitement and possibility.

Every year, each individual programme is allocated a space within either the Kensington or Battersea campuses to display pieces of work produced during their two years at the RCA. However, as humanities students having produced 30,000 word dissertations, the History of Design students have also overcome a number of challenges in how to visually present history and an aesthetically pleasing presentation of the subjects of our theses. Caterina Tiezzi’s responses to the process of humanities students contributing to a fine art and design show can be read here at It’s Nice That.

The History of Design Show team includes Frankie Kubicki, Hollie Chung, Nick Petters, Jo Tierney, Thomas Warham, Caterina Tiezzi, Tania Messell, Elodie Mallet and Charlotte Flint. After months of planning, the team had decided upon displaying a range of different objects, each of which would relate to a student’s dissertation, demonstrating the diverse selection of interests and ideas explored throughout the programme.
Having been given a space in the South Kensington campus just by the Royal Albert Hall entrance, a position with high footfall and visibility, we set to work quickly working out how to best use the space given to us and how to display the range of objects that we had accumulated.

Plan HoD Show 2014


After assessing the space and drawing a floor plan (above) the team ordered a variety of different shelves and plinths in order to display the different objects. Come the day of the shelves delivery and the mountainous pile of wood left in our space, we all set to work building shelves, assembling plinths, painting, hanging and copious touching up to ensure the methods of displaying these objects as successfully as possible.

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The arrival of wood for shelving and display plinths.

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Beginning to assemble the shelves.

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Having successfully assembled each of the plinths and the shelving, the next step in the process was beginning to map out the location of each item to be displayed and its position within the show space.

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Building a model of the show layout.

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Positioning the shelving according to the object’s planned location.

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More painting…

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The completed hang of shelves.

Shelves successfully hung ready for the arrival of the objects, our attention turned to the mounting, framing, sourcing and production of the items to be displayed.

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Re-piecing Hollie Chung’s show object: A broken plate bearing her name.

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Working out the position of various framed visual sources.

Having determined the positions for hanging our additional visual material, the next stage was the hang and install of the objects themselves which took place over the weekend before the opening on Monday the 16th June.After installing each object and many days of coffee fuelled DIY, the show was completed ready for the early morning view on Monday.

After two weeks of planning, painting, sanding, assembling and eventually displaying our work, the show is open to the public, please come along and visit!

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Charlotte Flint – 

Charlotte joined the History of Design MA programme after studying History of Art at the University of Birmingham. After writing about the electronic ankle monitoring of offenders during her first year, this has led to a fascination with all forms of surveillance, their technologies and other designed forms of power and control. Writing her dissertation about Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) in America, Charlotte will continue exploring these themes in addition to discourses surrounding space, visibility and gender.


© Charlotte Flint, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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