Craft a celebrated career with the Royal College of Art
Promoted by Royal College of Art

Craft a celebrated career with the Royal College of Art

Nothing speaks better of how impactful a university is than its graduates — especially those who strike the kind of success the Royal College of Art (RCA) students do.

Among its 20,000 alumni all over the world, there are well-known leaders in their respective industries. Some of these prominent names include abstract painter Sir Frank Bowling, inventor and founder of Dyson Ltd Sir James Dyson OM, and Turner Prize-winner Chris Ofili CBE and architect.

Many RCA graduates now work at organisations such as the Apple design studio in Cupertino, California, as well as big companies in the automotive sector in Sweden and Germany, and fashion in India and Italy. As the world’s foremost artists, designers, writers, educators and strategists, they’ve made contributions near and far, from Britain’s iconic road signs to the London 2012 Olympic torches.

To help current students join their ranks, there are a range of studio projects by companies, charities and NGOs, from the automotive, advertising and service industries to bank sectors and not–for–profit organisations. “Working with industry teams opens a rare window for students into the workings of the industry, broadening their contextual understanding and informing them on design and production processes, priorities and directions for development,” says Alon Meron, tutor, RCA x OPPO project lead.

RCA has partnered with some big names, including Telefonica, McKinsey and JP Morgan with Service Design students; Burberry, with Fashion, Interior Design, Photography and Architecture students; and Airbus on “Lightweighting Aircraft,” with Innovation Design Engineering students. Industry leaders often give guest lectures and masterclasses. Past line ups have included artist Olafur Eliasson (2003 Tate Modern Turbine Hall artist) and Clare Waight Keller (former Head of Design at Givenchy).

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No matter the industry, RCA has connections with industry leaders you can learn from. Source: Royal College of Art

Born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mallaa Alamoudi is now based in London undertaking her PhD at RCA. Feeling a sense of social responsibility, her study area is based in the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Interested in social design and public services, Alamoudi is taking a human-centric and culturally sensitive design approach to improve the experience of Zamzam water service for Umrah visitors.

“This practice-led PhD research resides at the intersection of graphic design, social design and service design, with particular reference to the work of Jorge Frascara, Teal Triggs, Yoko Akama and Jonna Choukeir,” Alamoudi says. “These authors have in common their graphic design background, social design thought leadership and exposure to different cultures in their education and practice. Due to the lack of Saudi scholarship in the previous fields, I synthesised elements from Western design models. Precisely, I question the transferability of Western Covid-19 participatory design response to the Saudi context.”

London is the perfect location for students like Alamoudi as it’s rich in culture and electrifying in its energy. Being surrounded by such creativity and life makes it the ideal place for artists to find their place and formulate their best work no matter where they are from. For international students, being in London gives them a never-before-known perspective on their own home country, allowing them to dig deeper into their well of creativity.

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RCA has a lineup of programmes that are unique, allowing you to find your perfect area of study. Source: Royal College of Art

Growing up between England and Saudi Arabia, Ahaad Almoudi uses her art to explore the boundaries of the historical representation of Saudi Arabia, by studying the country’s reforming ethnography. Earning a BA in Visual Communication in 2014 from Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, she went on to graduate with an MA in Print from RCA in 2017.

“I use ethnographic methodologies to study the outlets of internet integration in Saudi Arabia,” Ahaad says. “A new global thought is emerging on the internet and is impacting on a culture that is deep-rooted in traditions and customs. This is creating a new wave of cybernetic culture. By archiving mass media products generated within the kingdom, I formulate a perception of the world around me. This allows me to engage with and question the changes that are occurring within my country through cultural and historical semiotics.”

She has since presented her work as part of the Parallel Kingdom exhibition at the Station Museum in Houston, the Generation exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco and in the Phantom Punch exhibition at Bates College of Art in Lewiston, Maine. In 2018, Alamoudi was the recipient of the Crossway Foundation x Middle East Now Festival Residency in Florence. She is now a PhD candidate at RCA.

With the world’s largest community of postgraduate art and design students and ranked number one in the world for a remarkable nine consecutive years (QS World Subject Rankings 2015-2023), the RCA has a lot to offer its students — from incredible alumni who offer priceless connections and networking opportunities to a wide range of high-quality programmes in areas you might not expect (such as Service Design, Environmental Architecture, and Information Experience Design). When you look at its graduates and the fascinating impact that its graduates are producing, you’ll see that RCA will take you far.

To learn more, attend one of RCA’s events or visit the campus.

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