The Core • The Frontier
Incredible diversity of work is the hallmark of the RCA. It’s informative, inspiring and in many ways a glimpse of the future. So, it’s tough to select a single list of projects – please take this as just a slice of an all-round amazing cake. In this collection I am focused on the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) programme – to which I have many links. IDE too has a diverse spread of ideas so I wanted to illustrate two points on the spectrum of that spread that I feel are important.
The core of design is people, so the first cluster are projects that explore high impact social themes; clever use of technology to solve everyday problems and ones that solve issues not frequent in our everyday lives but are real issues in developing countries. Finding clever insight and opportunity are the key.
The second batch are ideas exploring the frontier of applicable science of technology. We are about to experience a wave of new technological development, so placing designers at the forefront of this change to navigate the future is important, represents a new way of designing and is the absolute cherry on the cake.
Miles Pennington is professor of Design Led Innovation at The University of Tokyo, where he directs the unique international and multidisciplinary DLX Design Lab. Previously he was at the Royal College of Art in London and was Head of Programme of the Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) joint Masters programme with Imperial College – he is an alumnus of the IDE programme and graduated in 1992. He was also Founder and Head of the pioneering international exchange programme Global Innovation Design (GID).
In the past, in parallel to his academic work he was a Director of the innovation consultancy Design Stream and more recently Director in the London office of the international design agency Takram. He moved to Japan in September 2017 to join The University of Tokyo.