TLmag22 (extended) – London Graduates and Postgraduates – Royal College of Art (RCA)
Short interview with Matteo Conti , Senior Tutor, Vehicle Design, School of Design – Royal College of Art – by Anne Pericchi-Draeger
TLmag: How would you define your school in a few words?
Matteo Conti: The Royal College of Art is the world’s most influential postgraduate university of art and design. Specializing in teaching and research, the RCA offers the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD across the disciplines of fine art, applied art, design, communications and humanities. There are over 1,300 masters and doctoral students and more than 1,000 professionals interacting with them – including scholars, leading art and design practitioners, along with specialists, advisors and distinguished visitors.
TLmag: Its specificity, the teaching, leading to what kind of job opportunities?
M.C.: Based in London, yet attracting talented students from around the world, the Royal College of Art is a unique postgraduate institution. Setting out the agenda for the thinking and practice of art and design disciplines, it also acts as a base from which many of its graduates go on to hold leadership positions within the industry. The College aims to foster a sense of enquiry and self-directed study such that every student graduate is an expert in a specific area, with a strong awareness of the wider context. The selection of the most able applicants coupled with diverse learning methods and experiences enables our graduates to be highly competitive in the art and/or design professional arena.
TLmag: On what criteria do you select your students for entering/studying into your school?
M.C.: Each student is required to submit a significant portfolio of art and/or design work. Selected students are expected to understand and develop art and/or design in an appropriate, original yet personal manner alongside some strong graphic and/or three-dimensional skills. Students from different but relevant work and educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Talented, imaginative and even provocative applicants are often selected if their approach to art and/or design is well communicated in their portfolio.
TLmag: What do you expect/require from your students?
M.C.: The RCA requires students to possess an individual ability and imagination and encourages experimentation and visionary exploration within a practical, artistic, commercially viable and aesthetically satisfying context.
TLmag: What do you think of the talents from your school that we have selected for the magazine?
M.C.: Your professional expertise in assessing designers’ talent is a further confirmation of your appreciation for design in a rounded yet focused way. From the multitude of exciting and forward thinking designers at the RCA your selection embodies the essence of the RCA’s culture as a design community which constantly aims to push the boundaries of design in relation to society and people needs, desires and behaviour.
Interview by Anne Pericchi-Draeger