The 1951 Festival of Britain was described as “a tonic for the nation”. In late 2015 students from the Royal College of Art Design Interactions programme were invited to develop new projects for the Changing Minds festival through an intensive three-week collaborative workshop.
The students were asked to consider how design can or could contribute in real ways to shaping individual and community mental health now or in future and the complex role of technology as both ‘cause’ or ‘cure’ in the Mental Health landscape.
* Tonic – a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigour or well-being.
Works developed from this project were shown at the Southbank Centre as part of the Changing Minds Festival on the 6th and 7th of Feb 2016.
Details can be found here.
“I was delighted to be approached to collaborate on a short project for the Changing Minds festival. In the Design Interactions we explore detailed encounters between people and technology often preferring questions to solutions – the open, experimental and receptive atmosphere at the Southbank provided an amazing space to think about these issues alongside experienced artists, designers, mental health professionals and service users. Two aspects of the project were of real value to the students – thinking about work for a particular public space and (by contrast) working with very personal first hand accounts or their own experiences of Mental Health.
The diverse work we are showing combines accomplished final projects by course alumni as well as work in progress by current students. Some projects will finish with the Festival and others will go on to be developed through the students’ final year work. We hope all of them will provide a starting point for interesting discussion on this important topic and invite the audience to engage with students and staff who will be in the space throughout the festival.”
Nina Pope – Design Interactions Tutor
Many thanks to our collaborators who worked on the initial 3 week project: Naama Schendar, Nathan Burr, Charlotte Jarvis, Marcus Coates, Mark Brown from Social Spider, Michael Smythe from Nomad and all the staff at the Southbank Centre.