Today we had a member of the RSA come to the university to illuminate the “Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce” , shorted to the RSA because thats quite a mouthful! The RSA was formed during the enlightenment period, in times of Cafe culture where people would meet to discuss new ideas about how to achieve social progress, it was founded in 1754! The aim of the RSA is to achieve social progress, they are committed to creating enterprises for the common good using design thinking.  The first example of this was an extendable chimney brush, that allowed adults to sweep chimneys so that children were not shoved up chimneys and in turn could spend their time getting educated and enjoying their childhood safely.  This was a huge social impact and something the RSA continues to strive for today.

The RSA has a big action and research center, called the “Think & Do Tank” and a network of 27,000 “fellows”. They also fun a free public events programme that is similar to TED Talks, based upon contemporary issues and social issues.  This talk has encouraged me to think more about attracting a wider and more diverse audience with my submission for the RSA Animate student design award. Because the aim of RSA “shorts” is to inject inspiration and curiosity into everyday lives of all people.

We were shown the “Gobblynne Animation” that you can see below, RSA Shorts combine real time knowledge visualization techniques to make talks witty and more accessible to the public. The RSA student design awards have been running from 1924 onwards and they are the longest running student design competition.  

Famous winners of RSA Student Design Competitions include:

  • Richard Clark- head of Nike
  • Bill Mogridge- IDEO Head
  • Jonathon Ive- Apple

In 2000 the RSA switched the multidisciplinary briefs that allowed artists and designers to be diverse and try new techniques and mediums. the RSA Slogan was mentioned and it was very powerful ” We cannot NOT change the world” this implies that as designers we can change the way the world is viewed, and improve social issues through design thinking and we should all as designers be foremost thinking of designing for positive impact.

This talk was very informative, especially as we are already working on a submission for the RSA Student Design awards because it allowed us to learn more about what the RSA aim for and their goals, now i know my animation needs to have more of a social impact than i had originally thought and has given me a few ideas for other existing RSA briefs that look interesting.

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