Is the office working? The London Festival of Architecture explores the future of the workplace

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) continues the big workplace conversations next week with focused discussions, debates and exclusive access to the leading architects who are embedded in addressing and designing the future workplace.

Running in tandem with London Technology Week (15-21 June), week 3 of the festival will centre on several game-changing workplaces as well as the smart technologies and architecture being created by industry leaders shaping where we work, how we work and what the next generation office and employee will need.

Exclusive access will also be given into the practices realising the new models of the workplace through the RIBA Open Studios programme.

Kicking off the programme for the third week is the keynote LFA debate, The Working City: Eindhoven, London, New York (18 June, Southbank Centre). Using case studies such as London’s Here East development in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a leading panel of experts – including Gavin Poole of Here East, David Bickle of Hawkins Brown, Thom Aussems of Trudo and Andrew Kimball of Industry City – will address the changing face of cities and nature of work, debating how best to accommodate the type of jobs, industry and infrastructure vital to a healthy economy.

Similarly, LFA partner RIBA London will address The Changing Face of Workspace (22 June, RIBA) in a discussion that will see panelists, such as workplace expert Jeremy Myerson, debate their views on past, present and future workspaces, and their subsequent impact on workers’ behaviour.

Other leading names contributing to the debate on the future of the workplace are Carlo Ratti, who will lead an interactive Archiboo session in partnership with the London School of Architecture on The future of work: the new ideas that will kill the office (18 June, Brewhouse Yard), Gensler, who will ask Why keep work in the office when we have the city? (18 June, Aldgate House) and Hawkins/Brown Architects, who will look at The Whole-Life Workplace (23 June, Vitra Showroom) and whether co-working spaces can be applied to professional demographics beyond young creatives.

Supporting the programme of talks and discussions on the office of the future, the RIBA Open Studios programme offers a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the work that architects are doing towards the new workplace model. John Robertson Architects will present Architecture + Art: Collaboration, Growth and Opportunity in the new Workspace of the City (18 June), Tim Flynn Architects will present Work Has no Boundaries (18 June) and Collective Architecture will present Home from Home (18-21 June), amongst others across the whole of London.


Talks & Debates

Ebbsfleet Garden City – A work in progress
16 June, Architecture Foundation
A new Urban Development Corporation has been created for the Ebbsfleet area to accelerate the construction of a locally-led, garden-city style development which will unlock up to 15,000 homes. Ellis Woodman, Director of The Architecture Foundation, and Louise Wyman, architect and Ebbsfleet UDC Masterplanning Director, will discuss ways in which this project can engender new design processes and approaches for creating high quality and ambitious places.

Is work killing us? Innovative ideas in workspace design
17 June, Roca London Gallery
Jeremy Myerson, Nicola Osborn and Andreas Klok Pedersen, moderated by Martha Thorne, will address key questions surrounding the new work environments.

Never Mind the Bollards – Soapbox Talk
18 June, New London Architecture
Bring your lunch and debate and heckle our public space experts – each of whom has been given 15 minutes to talk about the history and design of telephone boxes, explain the social history of railings, their love of bollards and the rise of London’s street trees.


Exploring Nine Elms – Animating Nine Elms – The Arches Strategy
16 June, Nine Elms on the Southbank
A walking tour led by Robin Hughes of Network Rail. Robin will discuss strategy for the arch refurbishment programme. The tour will start at Vauxhall Station and end at the new Damien Hirst Gallery on Newport Street.

International Focus Country: Ireland

New Now Next
17 June, Design Museum
Panel discussion with Hall McKnight, Clancy Moore, TAKA and Steve Larkin chaired by Olly Wainwright, Architecture and Design Critic, The Guardian. Delivered by the Irish Architecture Foundation and supported by Arup.

The Sunday Sketch
21 June, Design Museum
A workshop for all abilities, exploring through drawing the theme of Nine Lives.

Exhibitions & Installations

Organic Grid+ – Vision of the workplace of the future
15-26 June, Cassidy + Wilson
This interactive exhibition allows visitors to experience the workplace of the future with Organic Grid+ – the international awarding winning entry to Metropolis Magazine Workplace of the Future 2.0 competition by Cassidy + Wilson. The exhibition is a fun and informative experience that lets users experience first-hand how technology and nature can be brought together to create exciting opportunities for the office of the future.

Designing the Urban Commons
15 June – 11 July, Theatrum Mundi
This exhibition showcases the most stimulating and challenging responses to Theatrum Mundi’s 2015 ideas competition ‘Designing the Urban Commons’. The competition this year invited anyone to re-imagine spaces in London as places for collaboration, sharing and collective ownership.