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RAE 2008

Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design


Postgrad design students take part in workshop for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Postgraduate design students from the Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design joined students from the Royal College of Art and the University of East London last month in a collaborative project for the London 2012 Olympics.

The students were asked to inject their creativity and inventiveness into a design venture. The brief invited the 50 artists and designers to reinvent the "gabion" structures that will be used extensively on the Olympic site in Stratford, East London.

A gabion is a large, usually steel mesh, basket structure filled with broken stone or rubble, in part excavated from the site where the gabion will be used. Gabions are usually used as structural devices as an alternative to walls or concrete, for example in retaining river banks. However they can be used in many different situations, both structurally and decoratively such as animal habitats and art installations, to embed lighting or digital media and to express the character of an area using found objects. Many of the gabions will remain after the 2012 Games, as part of legacy plans for regeneration of the Lea Valley area.

The main purpose was to explore as many creative possibilities presented by the gabions as possible, from innovative new functions to installations telling the story of the site. The outcomes will provide inspiration to the Olympic Delivery Authority design teams as they develop the Park.

The workshop was organised by InnovationRCA at the Royal College of Art, in collaboration with the Olympic Delivery Authority, with a judging panel chaired by Sir Nicholas Serota.

The exciting collaboration provided hands-on experience of interdisciplinary working and was an early opportunity for postgraduate art and design students to contribute to the London 2012 Games.

13 March 2008

back to News & Events Archive: March 2008

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