2012/13 is best characterised as one of growth for the RCA – both in physical space and educational impact. Once again, it seems that Royal College of Art students are rising to the challenges of an austere economic environment by becoming more inventive and seeking out opportunities for game-changing innovation.

The RCA has a deserved reputation for innovation, and a remit – embodied in its Royal Charter – to take that innovation out into industry and engage with real-world issues. 2012/13 has been notable for the number of School- and student-led projects that seek to influence areas as diverse as material use in public building design (Architecture’s Pop Down Square project for the London Borough of Brent, scheduled for construction summer 2013); or industrial design solutions for future economies (Innovation Design Engineering).

This year, some 486 Master’s and 23 research students graduate from the six Schools of the RCA. As ever, the breadth, quality and originality of projects at the RCA’s annual Show is inspiring and energising. On behalf of the staff and faculty of the Royal College of Art, we offer our sincere congratulations to the graduands of 2013.

Dr Paul Thompson