Founded in 1998, the Pokémon Company has been creating viral card and video games, films as well as television series about a fictitious world full of enchanted creatures. The famed franchise now pairs with London’s Royal College of Arts to give out two annual full-fee scholarships for students to ‘support the creation and exploration of innovative art and design.’
Pokémon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara stated: ‘Through this scholarship, I am delighted to support students who show the potential for creating a new industry or mode of expression by exploring unknown possibilities.’ According to Frieze, the head of the RCA’s school of communications Rathna Ramanathan explained: ‘Scholarships such as this, allow gifted students from different walks of life an opportunity to take risks, experiment and ultimately transform their practices as well as the broader context of the world.’
Masters’s students, Jesse Cahn-Thompson and Amir Afshar are the first two recipients of the grant. Cahn-Thompson is on the Information Experience Design programme where he looks into AI and ‘alternative sensory experiences’ whereas Afshar is integrating the technology of virtual reality into the field of architecture on the Innovation Design Engineering course.
‘The relationship between physical and digital space is a recurring theme in my work,’ said Cahn-Thompson. ‘Being recognized by such an innovative, imaginative organization as the Pokémon Company is such a privilege.’ The selected students will be exempt from fees for their final year and their trip to the Pokémon studios in Japan will be funded by the franchise.
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