The Vehicle Design studios, which overlook the Royal Albert Hall


Sarkis Benliyan, with help from Katsuhiro Suzuki, working on final assembly of his motorcycle concept 'Snow White'


Christine Kesel works on the fiberglass surfacing of her Rolls Royce sports coupe


Sun-Jin Yong adds details to his sports offroader concept


Rajinder Mehra's 'AGT' in the clay modelling studio


Enrique Minarro Minguez works on final surfacing of 'T.LAB'


Pierre-Olivier Garcia adding details to his Luxury Cab concept 'Coupé de Ville'


Concept sketches and tape layout for model development


Components for Tue Beijer's motorbike scale model


The Vehicle Design studios. Scale models are from a Renault sponsored project

Jun 14, 2001 - Final year students at London's Royal College of Art Vehicle Design course are preparing for their annual degree show. We visited the college, located in the heart of London facing Hyde Park and next to the Royal Albert Hall, to bring you a look behind the scenes of the final preparation for the show.

The Show: Two, the second part of the RCA's annual exhibitions, features the work of students in Vehicle Design, Design Products, Industrial Design Engineering, Architecture and Interiors, Computer Related Design, Textiles, Animation, Communication Art and Design, Conservation and History of Design.

Variety is the key in both the cultural backgrounds of and the approaches to vehicle design by the postgraduate students. One student is developing a sports pick-up truck for the American market, another is redefining the Bristol as a modern luxury car; another project endeavours to bring back the romance of driving and another student is creating a truck for developing nations. But it's not just cars: one student is developing a low speed aeroplane, another a 'Bugatti' catamaran, whilst two others are tackling motorcycle design.

The Vehicle Design Department, which is supported by many major automotive manufacturers, aims to develop the student's creative, intellectual and critical potential. The course has an impressive employment record and almost every automotive design studio in the world employs a Royal College of Art graduate, many in senior executive positions.

Over 150 vehicle designs 'on the road' can be attributed to earlier Royal College of Art graduates. They are responsible for designing vehicles as diverse as the McLaren F1, the Lotus Elise, the Ford Ka, the LandRover Freelander and the Audi TT.

The Royal College of Art is the world's only wholly postgraduate university of art and design - fine art, applied art, design and communications - offering the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD. Eight hundred students are taught by nearly 100 full-time and visiting staff, all of whom are distinguished practising artists, designers and scholars.

Admission to the Show: Two is free and much of the work on view is available for sale or commission. The show runs from Friday 29 June to Sunday 8 July (closed Friday 6 July) 10am-6pm daily, with late night openings on Friday 29 June and 5 July until 10pm.

The Show Private View and Lattice Group awards are on Thursday 28 June, by invitation only. For more information visitors should phone The Show 2001 hotline on +44 (0)20 7590 4498 or visit the College's website at www.rca.ac.uk

Each student on the Vehicle Design course has their own workspace in the main studios. There is a computer room within the studios, a separate clay modelling studio, and students have access to the School of Architecture and Design workshops and other facilities throughout the college.

The course benefits from the close proximity to the other courses in the college, with collaboration across fields actively encouraged. One only has to take a short walk around the college studios to see how the diversity of talented students, drawn from all around the world, generates a tremendous cross-pollination of ideas and exchange of influences across the different fields of design.

The Vehicle Design course has students from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds, with many coming from non-automotive fields of design. The department has recently expanded it's research programmes, with students studying for both MPhil and PhD qualifications within the MA studio environment.

We will have full coverage of the work of the graduating Vehicle Design students, and an overview of The Show: 2001 soon after the opening later this month.