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Challenges for the Future of Interior Design 2023

Custom Executive Education to deliver a three-day intensive programme for senior level professionals from the interior design industry in China, developed by the School of Architecture.


This high level short course led by RCA academics from the School of Architecture was designed to stimulate a diverse understanding of the material, programmatic, economic and social implications of current interior design and architectural practice.

Planned during the London Design Festival, participants from China were exposed to emerging debates and discourses, with a rich mixture of lectures and talks from industry-leading guests at the RCA Battersea Campus. Each afternoon, participants explored the city of London with exclusive visits to leading architecture practice offices and exhibitions.

Course structure

The programme was structured around three themes: Creative Reuse in Architecture and Interior Design, addressing the growing importance, challenges and opportunities of sustainable design practices; Challenges to the Future of Retail Interior Design, focusing on the evolving landscape, challenges and trends shaping the future of retail interiors; and AI and Machine Learning in Architecture, exploring AI's contribution to design practice.

Site visits across London includedHeatherwick Studio, Coal Drops Yard, Gasholders Residences, Jonathan Tuckey Design and the Material Matters exhibition at London Design Festival, Bargehouse.

The programme featured rich interactive sessions led by industry-leading practitioners including Martha Tsigkari and Sherif Tarabishy (Foster + Partners), Tim Fu (Founder and CEO, Studio Tim Fu), Ian Hunter (Director, Materials Council), Robert Storey (Founder/Creative Director, StoreyStudio), Duncan Baker-Brown (Founder, BakerBrown), Mat Barnes (Director, CAN) and more.


Participants came away with a wide range of pioneering perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in interior design, with a specific focus on sustainability, retail design, materials innovation and AI to take back to their own practice.

The custom executive programme was convened by Gosia Starzyńska-Grześ (Current RCA MPhil/PhD student, Architecture) and Aidan Walker, author, editor and conference who has worked on Design Shanghai, Design Shenzhen and UK Construction Week, with support from the RCA Executive Education team.

Key details


More information

RCA academics:

Industry-leading practitioner talks:

-Martha Tsigkari (Head of Applied Research and Development, Foster + Partners)

-Sherif Tarabishy (Associate Partner in Applied Research + Development, Foster+Partners)

-Tim Fu (Founder and CEO, Studio Tim Fu Ltd)

-Ian Hunter (Director, Materials Council)

-Robert Storey (Spatial Designer; Founder/Creative Director, StoreyStudio)

-John Ryan (Stores Editor, Retail Week; European Editor, VMSD & Frame; Editor MiND, ALU; Retail strategy & trends Consultant)

-Lisl du Toit (Associate Design Director, Universal Design Studio)

-Duncan Baker-Brown (Founder, BakerBrown)

-Mat Barnes (Director, CAN)

-Francesco Cascone (Senior Engineer, AKTII)

-Alessandro Margnelli (Technical Director, AKTII)

Custom Executive Education Masterclasses and Workshops

Through our portfolio of innovation masterclasses and workshops, the RCA provides senior-level professionals and business leaders with critical business skills. We deliver courses for businesses, organisations and universities on design thinking, service design, creative leadership, disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, human-centred design, artificial Intelligence and healthcare design.

We can tailor the curriculum for a day, a week, or several weeks over the course of a year with interrelated projects. Courses can be delivered online, on-campus, hybrid or at partner organisations. Previous courses have been delivered in Dubai, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Germany and Mexico.

Find out more here.

Please get in contact with us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss developing a custom programme:

Peter Christian, Head of Executive Education

Hattie Allen, Executive Education Manager

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