Design Trust/ RCA Inaugural Fellow Mina Song’s Exhibition

14. 12. 2018

Mina Song, recipient of the inaugural Design Trust / RCA Fellowship in Design Curation presented [] White [City] Cube [] as part of her year-long fellowship, at White City Place in London, from 1st November to 8th November 2018.


This public exhibition applied findings from Mina’s research undertaken during the Fellowship into design tactics for curatorial practice. Work from four participating creators invited the public community to examine space in a different perspective. Asking the audience how they would react to a slight change to their everyday path to their destination and, rethink how signage could provoke an alternative response?


From the various design theories and tactics explored, the exhibition applies Carl Disalvo’s concept of “adversarial design theory” to the exhibition-making process. Incorporating designer and theorist Victor Papanek’s concept that everyone is a designer, Mina experimented with the roles of different and observed them during the curatorial process. Papanek’s concept offers a method for the reinterpretation and re-examination of how curating can be done, and for exploring how design is adaptable to curatorial practices.


Before coming to the RCA Mina worked in cultural administration for community arts organizations in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Arts Centre and Community Art Network, where she contributed to the multi-year Art@Government Buildings project. At the RCA she has considered how design theories, tactics and strategies can be interpreted and applied to curating public art in Hong Kong.


Discussing the motivation for her research Mina explained: ‘As I have worked with both designers and artists in my capacity as curator in public art, I am especially interested in how to best facilitate the different stakeholders involved in public art projects. I am also interested in how the public is formed and how design can identify and articulate the issues in and around any public. In turn, this will inform me as a curator to recognize the various potentials of using design and design thinking in curation.’


Throughout her time at the RCA Mina has worked closely with supervisor Dr. Sarah Teasley (Head of Programme for History of Design and Reader in Design History and Theory). Mina’s research has been supported through a programme of studies which included history and theory seminars, curating workshops and a curatorial placement with one of the RCA’s external partners under the guidance of Brendan Cormier (Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum). Design Trust is pleased for Mina to continue applying the research she has carried out at the RCA, and to expand and extend her research in Hong Kong.