Soane-Inspired Project by Royal College of Art Design Students

Students from the Royal College of Art were recently tasked with creating work inspired by Soane and his museum. Here Acting Joint Head of Education Kenn Taylor presents the fascinating results.  

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a popular place to visit for students at universities and colleges and the Museum has a long history of inspiring the next generation of architects, artists, designers and curators during their studies. Where possible, the Museum provides sessions for visiting students and also engages in longer term projects with higher education institutions.

(Credit: Charles Richardson)


(Credit: Xinglin Sun)

One such recent project was with Masters degree students on the Royal College of Art’s Information Experience Design course.

Their course tutor, Kevin Walker, set his students a brief to think about ‘cognitive architecture’ or architecture in mental and physical spaces. This course module was centred on Sir John Soane's Museum, which has been described by some as a physical manifestation of Soane’s mind. The students were then asked to create a work in response to this theme which related to the collection, the man, or the buildings that make up the Soane.

On 6 February, the students visited the Soane to present the results of their work to curatorial, retail and education staff at the Museum. The students took a wide variety of approaches, from creating a new museum logo inspired by Soane’s fragment of plaster from Pompeii, to creating ‘speculative architecture’ from real and imagined memories of the Museum and producing a sample case were some of the materials in the Museum are related to different stages of Soane’s life. 


(Credit: Jae Kyung Kim)

Abraham Thomas, Director of the Soane who witnessed some of the presentations says: “It was a real pleasure to be reminded of how inspirational Soane’s architecture and collections are today, 200 years after they were used as teaching resources for Soane’s office assistants and Royal Academy students. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing such a rich range of projects presented, and I look forward to inviting other art, architectural and design schools to get in touch with us to share any Soane-inspired projects and research that they’re currently engaged in, or considering developing for the future. Our wonderfully rich Museum thrives today with its potential as a contemporary think tank and a laboratory of ideas, and we’re always keen to explore how our unique historical building and collections can provide inspiration and provocation for emerging designers today.”


(Credit: William Fairbrother and Charles Rickleton)


(Credit: Xinglin Sun)


To find out more about the Information Experience Design students and their work please click here.

If you work in a higher education institution and are interested in linking your work with the Soane, please email Acting Joint Head of Education Kenn Taylor at (this email requires javascript)

Posted on 02 April 2014 in Education & Outreach
Return to main menu ›