Triplex starts from individual responses to Research, Design and Publish.
The process is an endless repetition between these steps.
Publishing is not the end of a project, but a trigger for moving forward.
This becomes a collective question of how to expand the boundaries of circulation.
This exhibition provides a space for understanding new facets of RDP.
Through many responses, new hearts of circulation are found – Reflection, Dialogue and Participation.
This triplex strengthens the relationships between ourselves and our interpretations during the era of strangeness and reversion.
There were only three meetings. RDP members had to hold an exhibition in just four weeks. We learned a lot and gained a lot during that intense preparation period.
The beginning of the exhibition, probably began at the opening of the school in September last year. RDP members felt a lot from each other as they watched all their fellow members’ stories change and develop from ‘Walking with’ to finishing RDP with ‘Triplex’. I want to look back on our Reflection, Dialogue and Participation as we wrap up the exhibition, semester, and year 1.
First of all, I prepared three types of questions to match the name of the exhibition, ‘Triplex’. It contains a reflection on RDP and its members, consists of dialogue, and the results of everyone’s participation. From rolling papers in which all members participated to personal interviews in more detail, from simple answers to long responses with increasing depth.
Wouldn’t this be authentic Research, Design, Publication & Reflection, Dialogue and Participation for RDP 2022? Well, let’s see.
“RDP is __”
“Research Design Publish”
“Reflection in Design Practice”
“New process, Valuable time”
“Participation & Interaction”
“Strat point” (You mean Start Point?)
“‘R’emember this term’s ‘D’iscovery & everyone ‘P’ermanently”
“A conversation where everyone is invited to take part.
A conversation between others
A conversation with yourself
And a conversation with your work”
With adorable drawings
Despite being very busy preparing for the exhibition, all RDP members participated in the rolling paper. With their own honest and plain response.
Next is a cycle interview. The cycle interviews consist of questions exchanged between students and tutors. . Uh, not four interviews. Once again, it’s a total of three interviews. (I don’t know. I think I was seduced by the number three by participating in this exhibition.)
The cycle interview with the tutor took place on the main day of the exhibition but everyone was busy and tired, so I prepared a simple game to wake up our brains first . It was an image speed quiz in which the students needed to draw the given word in a short time and the tutors guessed what it was . And yes. The winner takes it all!
Let me introduce one of them. Personally, I like the drawing of the Prime Minister very much.
I was worried, but it made us a little more awake, as I wished. Later, students had a cycle interview to answer questions from tutors, which guaranteed anonymity. The scene looks more passionate thanks to the red and blue light.
Below are the questions and answers to the cycle interview with the tutors.
What are the key considerations that you have in mind when a project has come to an end and you want to reflect and debrief?
-Worry about all the frame I’ve figured out fall apart when giving the presentation :(
-To doubt for that!
-Don’t do that! Never!
-Rest, chat and then discuss on how the project can be developed :)
-Need some time to think deeply, and review the project later. The work never really comes to an end…
-Get some looooooooong kip
-Reaction from audience. Any reconsideration on the format/development
-Call mum. If she can understand the project then I haven’t overcomplicated things
-Looking at me bigger picture identifying key themes, methods, working & other insights
-Keep sleep relax, chat with others
-Take a shower, Deep breath
What does it mean to work together? Kinship, friendship, collectivity…
-Collective outcome,Collaboration between different backgrounds
-The more brains, the better ideas
-Argument needed, Understand others, exchange ideas,
-It is mean everything will be changed. Everything is changing
-Generate endless inspiration
-Give & take, Understanding the other & communication
-Push & Pull
What have you learnt from another student in RDP this year?
-Get to know some nice people :)
-I learnt that sharing snacks & skills is the best way to collaborate
-I learnt that it is never too late to start on a new project
-How presentations can influence perception of work
-Presentation, discussion is the KEY
-Installation set up
-Keep focusing on one field and hold on to the end
Next I conducted cycle interviews between the students in the order of Team R-D-P (Reflection, Dialogue & Participation) and the cycle would be completed as Team P asked questions to Team R.
The only rule given to RDP members was to include the other group’s team name in the question. I had to ask and answer questions in a short time, but thankfully everyone asked nicely and answered surprisingly.
But there is still something lacking. Can’t you hear a little more profound thought? As soon as the exhibition started, I asked my friends, Yueh and Anupama, for an interview. Why don’t we have a personal interview where the three of us can give more serious answers?
What was the most impressive moment or thought you had while participating in RDP?
The manner in which briefs were set, the structure and logic really impressed me. Particularly, the way in which our tutors took us on a walk that covered significant places in the City of London, with each place encouraging a new method of thinking about Archives during the ‘Living With’ project.
What do you think changed the most while taking the RDP class?
Reframing the design process as a triangle/circle as a loop - Research, Design, Publish, Repeat- a process where publishing and getting feedback is also a form of research.
I have always been interested in History and storytelling, RDP provided me with a method of engaging with history/ archives.
Our first year in RCA is coming to an end as we are organising & finishing the RDP exhibition. What do you think of this?
Well, it has been quite an eventful, rather challenging first year. I think this year has been more about learning about different methods of working and experimenting with different mediums rather than producing a ‘finished piece of work’. I’m thinking of this exhibition more as a collective reflection of the different processes and experiences.
Describe your 1st year RCA experience as an Asian.
Studying abroad is not that easy. To start with, international students can experience culture shock. As for me, the learning environment and the teaching methods are completely different from my undergraduate in Taiwan. One significant difference is the school opening hours. We used to have working areas that are open 24 hours in my university, which means the students can have flexible time plans on their project. In contrast, RCA is more like a company that keeps everything tidy and on schedule. Thus, the ability to time manage is crucial in order to study in RCA.
Language is another of the barriers during my studies. Although mostly I can understand what people are talking about, I still lack the confidence to speak English sometimes. My mind goes blank when it comes to my turn to speak in public. Furthermore, it is noticeable that there is a huge number of Mandarin speakers in RCA. I had a strange feeling in the beginning and got few chances to speak English. However, practice makes perfect, I believe that opportunities are everywhere and I’ll make progress after all.
What is your most precious take away from RDP?
I really liked visiting Bishopsgate Institute. I haven’t had the chance to get access to the archive before (except libraries), and I found a lot of fun during the research. There is no denying that ‘research’ plays the most important role in order to produce any work, and this is what I’m still learning as an MA student. The walking sessions are also memorable, students to learn outside the college.
Mention a moment that surprised/shocked you in your 1st year.
I was really impressed by our RDP tutors on the day we listened to introductions of each field. They were so enthusiastic and energetic to invite us to the field, along with biscuits and more biscuits! I like the way of having chats in small groups and sharing ideas on a huge piece of paper. I really enjoyed that day, and I really believed that RDP would be a great family.
At the beginning of the first term, what did you expect to gain from the expanded field?
Literally, I was really looking forward to an ‘expanded field.’ I came to the MA course with the same major as when I was in college. So I thought, “Did I major in graphic design without thinking? I love this more than graphics!” I was hoping for a new shock. I didn’t change my major (fortunately), but I learned how to explore more diverse tasks and express them in other ways.
I answered the above in terms of academics, and I wanted to make friends because it was my first class at RCA. It’s our first time going through this environment together, so it will be strange and challenging, but it’s good to be friends. As a result, I think I made it.
According to your answer above, did RDP meet all your expectations? If yes, explain more on how it had worked. If not, what actions should it take to have improvement?
Definitely. Totally yes. I really like learning new things and meeting people. So I really liked the RDP class. Remember our first session? It was “Walking with.” I also enjoy walking, so it was nice to have the opportunity to get close while walking forcibly(?) at the beginning of the term. And it was so lovely to go to the Bishopsgate Institute while doing the “Living with” project. I’ve been to museums and libraries a lot, but I’ve never been to such a specialised archive. While doing the “Learning with,” I sent the mail like ‘Please answer this. Please.’ Almost begging. It was my first time sending an email to someone I didn’t know. Looking back, it was full of new things.
What is the most challenging thing in your 1st year studies?
At first, I was intimidated because I didn’t have confidence in the language, and it was an unfamiliar environment. Still, when I saw many of my friends struggling with the same thing, I was relieved because I thought, “It’s not that different because they’re different.” And that doesn’t really matter.
Isn’t ‘now’ the most challenging moment? I didn’t know the last term would be this short, and I didn’t know everything would be done like this. I feel like I’m getting an uppercut several times when I’m not ready. But I’m still working hard. I’m worried that everyone looks tired while working at school for a long time. But I’m going to cheer up thinking that there’s not much time left!
This is the end of all the interviews between RDP members. As part of the exhibition, we welcomed former RDP alumni. Will we be able to grow that cool? The first year of RCA, which began in September last year, seems to be coming to an end.. As the last students to spend two years doing the MA, everyone will agree that this year is precious. This year seems to have come to a different meaning for everyone – struggling for someone, proud for someone, too busy for someone, and relaxed for someone else. I’m already looking forward to our next term, the first term of Year 2.
Congratulations to all the visual communication students who engaged in the exhibition! In particular, I would like to thank all RDP members for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk and share with me
Especially, thanks to Anupama Iyer, Yueh Huangfor personal interview, Seenyoung Kang for photos