As part of a year-long series of celebrations around its 175th anniversary in 2012, the Royal College of Art will present a major publication exploring key facets of the RCA over three centuries, providing a fascinating insight into the world's oldest art and design school in continuous operation. Designed by Neville Brody and Research Studios, this 40,000-word illustrated book, centers on an intimate portrait of the RCA by the writer and cultural historian Fiona MacCarthy. Exploring the evolution of this renowned institution, since its founding in 1837 to the present day the book includes both student work and later professional achievements such alumni and faculty as: Gertude Jekyll, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Lucie Rie, Sir James Dyson, Eric Parry, David Adjaye, Tord Boontje, Ron Arad, Dame Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore OM, David Hocknew OM, Tracey Emin and Spartacus Chetywnd will be represented. Notions of what constitutes 'Art' have changed over the centuries, from the Victorian model of art in service to industry, morality or religion to a twentieth-century concept of fine art as an act of personal creative expression.
So too, has the late twentieth-century view of 'Design', with the advent of critical design; the concept of function, use, form, and value, as well as the rationalist notions of utility, the arts and crafts desire for 'fitness of purpose', or the International Style's rejection of ornament. The publication accompanies a major exhibition in the Royal College of Art Galleries from 16 November 2012 to 6 January 2013.