The Grand Challenge, an innovative educational journey exclusively designed for MA students in the School of Design, witnessed an exciting collaboration in 2021/22. The Royal College of Art's School of Design continued their partnership with industry-leading design company Logitech, supported by Extreme E, a groundbreaking off-road electric motorsport series, and Sustainable Ventures.
The focus of The Grand Challenge 2021/22 was the creation of a "New Economic Model for the Oceans." This initiative encouraged students to explore pressing global issues such as environmental sustainability, plastic pollution, marine habitat loss, and the development of novel ocean economies.
Our project, "Kelp" is a Virtual Reality (VR) game contributing to this global discourse. This immersive VR experience enables users to delve into the art of undersea kelp gardening. Users interact with the VR environment using a controller, customising their unique underwater garden with various kelp species. The aim of this initiative is to provide a model for marine conservation organizations, offering a blueprint to aid in real-world kelp protection efforts. By gamifying this important issue, we hope to raise awareness of ocean sustainability, inspire creativity in conservation strategies, and spark a greater appreciation for the underwater ecosystems that sustain our planet.