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Future of Work Focus

MRes RCA Architecture Pathway

The Future of Work research focus within the MRes Architecture Pathway looks critically at the architectural implications of changing patterns of work, opening up new research perspectives around how spaces, systems, and settings for work will be designed in the future.   


Presented in partnership with WORKTECH Academy and the Work Futures research group within the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA, this specialism offers students the opportunity for engagement and collaboration with leading practitioners and thinkers in the field, as well study of ‘live’ case studies and projects.

Central to this research strand is the digital disruption of work, which is transforming established notions of space, place, and time, and renegotiating the relationship between labour and capital. What are the architectural responses to the rise of the intelligent building and district, and also to the emergence of neural networking, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, and machine learning?

Potential areas of research include the social and spatial characteristics of co-working, the impact of new work technologies on city planning, the ethnographic design processes that enable greater employee participation in workplace design, and the interior elements and components that support psychological comfort at work.

The Future of Work strand seeks to work with students to identify their own research questions within the body of theory and practice around work futures, and welcomes emerging researchers with backgrounds in architecture, design, media, science and technology, economics, real estate, product development, and psychology.

WORKTECH Academy is a global knowledge network set up to leverage new insights and ideas from the WORKTECH conference series, now in 16 cities around the world. The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA has an extensive background, in partnership with the School of Architecture, in investigating user experience in the workplace. Live projects, site visits, and expert consultations will inform the final individual thesis, opening up new research vistas that can both inform and invigorate practice and lead to PhD study.  

This specialism is delivered in partnership with Jeremy Myerson, WORKTECH Academy, and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.