Rawthmells - RSA's 21st Century Enlightened Coffeehouse

Cognitive’s Andrew Park and Suzanne Mills - creators of the RSA Mural at Rawthmells Coffeehouse

Cognitive’s Andrew Park and Suzanne Mills - creators of the RSA Mural at Rawthmells Coffeehouse


A 21st century enlightenment coffeehouse

About the client

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) is dedicated to finding better ways to tackle our most pressing social challenges. Adding to their thought-provoking events, lectures and materials the RSA have created the Rawthmells Coffeehouse. Based in London it honours the tradition of the coffeehouse as a social hub where ideas are shared and explored.

The challenge

The original Rawthmells was a London Coffee House situated in Covent Garden, and it was here that a group of like-minded individuals founded the RSA. In 2015 it was recognised that there was a lack of critical-thinking space in the RSA House in John Adam Street. Three years on and the RSA have opened the doors to a new Rawthmells - A 21st Century Enlightenment coffeehouse to help people come together and share ideas. We were engaged to help design and produce artworks to capture the history and spirit of the RSA and its mission of enlightenment.

The mural

From the earliest conversations we had with the Society, it became apparent that this was to be a large history piece that would encompass the almost 300 years of the RSA, it’s people and its achievements. The RSA also has a rich and large archive of artifacts and documents that they were keen on representing and showcasing in some way.

The mural is structured as a timeline which explores how the Society helped inform the agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions that have shaped our world. Andrew Park, Cognitive’s founder and Suzanne Mills, a senior illustrator worked, closely and tirelessly, with the RSA’s historian Dr Anton Howes to make sure his visual research was historically accurate.

The mural sits proudly in the coffeehouse and illustrates the spirit in which the RSA continues to operate. One where people and their ideas come together to help improve society.

The context

Visit the Rawthmells Coffeehouse website to read about it’s vision, history and to find out about events happening there.