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Royal College of Art Degree Show 2021

Royal College of Art 2021 website​

MTJ created the front end website and the visual identity, alongside the editorial back end interface for the 2021 Royal College of Art Degree show.

MTJ worked closely with a fantastic team of students and staff at the Royal College of Art to make their identity a reality and craft a huge variety of content to represent their online degree show.

The website is built to work as a static site, enhanced by dynamic web app capabilities. This gives it the benefit of being very fast, while also providing modern app systems such as a live search and chat. The front end website was created with GatsbyJS and integrated with a custom back end for student submissions developed by Platform 3. Careful consideration of the best modern technologies made this site extremely fast, standards-compliant and accessible. The website smartly utilises modern progressive web app technologies allowing it to operate offline and work excellently on mobile devices.

The identity on the homepage represents the creativity and plethora of languages at the RCA. Students presented MTJ with well crafted animations that formed the basis of their social media campaign for the degree show. Our task was to recreate this work as an interactive, physics based digital reality. Using Matter.js we created the physics based environment then Paper.js rendered the students illustrations as vectors that could work in a virtual gravity and be dragged while acting as masks for the alternative languages in the identity.

Over 1000 students contributed work to the website with RCA staff and guest contributors providing hundreds of collections, collaborations, themes, events and stories. Multiple back end systems – each tailored to its own task – were combined to allow for streamlined student upload, editorial and contributions from guest curators. Instant search allows users to rapidly jump to any part of the website. A Content Delivery Network was used to serve all of the images efficiently and at high quality.


MTJ was contracted to develop the RCA 2021 website by Unthinkable working alongside Platform 3.