Complex Made Simple

RCA to unveil ground-breaking design technology innovations at Downtown Design 2014

The London-based Royal College of Art (RCA) will be unveiling three groundbreaking projects featuring some of the world’s most promising new technologies at the upcoming Downtown Design, the Middle East’s platform for original design, which is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and sponsored by Emaar and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority , running from October 28-31 at The Venue, Downtown Dubai.

The theme for this year is “Original Design’ ; innovation is central to the them and the RCA exhibition introduces fair-goers to cutting-edge, pioneering concepts that have yet to go into production highlighting the importance of design thinking to breakthrough discoveries.

The RCA, long recognized as the world’s most influential post-graduate art and design institution has produced many of the best-known contemporary names across multiple disciplines including Sir James Dyson, Tracey Emin and David Hockney, has chosen Downtown Design to premiere three ground-breaking projects to the region: Silk Leaf, Stay Plastic and Gravity Sketch.

Each of the three projects has the potential to revolutionize the broader design industry and also have fascinating transferable applications into the medical and bio-physics fields. In addition to the exhibition, the RCA’s head of the Interior Design Programme and one of the UK’s leading designers, Ab Rogers will be one of the headline speakers at Downtown Design’s talk series program that will run alongside the exhibition.

“Today, we are experiencing the integration of technology with design to produce breakthroughs that have far-reaching implications. Even within traditional design disciplines, we are far more attuned to interconnectivity. In my field, for example, interior design influences and communicates with the architectural exterior of space in a way that is far more meaningful than ever before,” said Rogers.

The RCA exhibit will be one of the innovation initiatives that are this year taking centre stage at Downtown Design, as part of the fair’s effort to highlight new talent and technologies and highlight Dubai’s role as a global hub for innovation and creativity.

Silk Leaf
Made from an innovative synthetic leaf, Silk Leaf is revolutionary technology that mimics the natural process of photosynthesis, producing oxygen when provided with light and water –just as a natural leaf would. This technology enables breakthroughs in vital areas such as the purification of the air in urban environments and the generation of oxygen in spaceships.

Gravity Sketch
Gravity Sketch is a device that uses augmented reality to provide designers and architects with an extraordinary tool that allows them to view their drawing in 3D. Redefining the traditional process of designing a building, the tool allows drawings to be transformed and amplified with volume, which can be seen through a pair of augmented reality glasses. Gravity Sketch’s radical innovation is attracting attention in the medical field, where its bioengineering applications are currently being explored, including surgeries, which will allow physicians to sketch directly in the area of the human body which requires attention.

Stay Plastic
Using emerging techniques in 3D printing, the third project, Stay Plastic, investigates an architecture completely built from recycled plastic and has produced a prototype housing project made from 100% recycled plastic. The project study also includes a fascinating transformation of the Eastern Riverside Recycling Centre on the banks of the River Thames, in London. Besides opening new horizons in the way we view the architectural process, Stay Plastic offers an alternative solution for recycling the plastic waste that contaminates 88% of the ocean’s surface, according to recent studies.