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Interior Futures

Luigi Filippo Rodrigues Durando

Originally from Italy, I am an interior designer and researcher with a passion for Architecture, Narrative, and the Social Environment. My fields of interest span across adaptive reuse, wellbeing, and the emotional aspect of design. 

Prior to my time at the RCA, I studied Interior Design at the European Institute of Design (IED) with a major in set design (2013-2016).

After graduating, I enriched my professional background through national and international work experiences. I moved to the Netherlands where I worked as interior designer on projects that ranged from retail design to residential, observing and understanding the nordic design and the emerging trends. In Italy I acquired experience in the high-end residential and commercial sector, working on a number of luxury private residences and commercial showrooms.

Thanks to the combination of my Italian educational heritage and my international professional experience, I developed a balance of tradition and innovation in my design.

I have continued my higher education at the RCA, specialising in Interior Futures at the School of Architecture. With a passion for architecture and narrative, my final master’s dissertation, Architecture and the Human Experience, explored the emotional connection between architecture and experience. The increasing awareness of the experience that each one of us lives in the spaces we inhabit, that we perceive with our body, must stimulate a more conscious design. Spaces have expression, behaviour; they are never static. 

School of Architecture Prizes 2021 Joint Winner of Head of Programme’s Prize - Interior Design

Degree Details

School of Architecture

Interior Futures

Today, June 2021, London’s office buildings are still empty.

This is the time to question how we work and how we live.

The pandemic not only made safety the new top priority, it expanded our idea of what a “workspace” can actually be, accelerating the natural evolution of the office away from a productivity space to something else. Driven by a change in working habits, values in the workplace are changing, which in turn means that what occupiers want from an office building is also evolving rapidly.

What is the future of office spaces? Do we really need an office? What is an office for?

Forced into new socially distanced realities, we are able to consider what is valuable and how we might create more sustainable and meaningful workplaces. Local, resilient and flexible environments must be created for a healthier and more sustainable world. Infrastructures, objects, and services, both virtual and physical, must be designed to serve the local communities they support.

A new system will emerge, a new way of organising work and life will come to the fore. The future is OFF.

OFF is an ecosystem designed to create a vibrant hybrid environment that helps to revitalise town centres and to regenerate empty office towers into colonies of conviviality, serendipity, and shared moments between workers and the local community. A program of activities and spaces that create a truly inclusive community, where people are the cultural epicenter and wellbeing is a new economic value.

OFF: Reprogramming the Tower | Digital Painting
OFF: Programming | Digital Animation
OFF: Programming | Digital Animation
OFF: The Intervention | Digital Animation
OFF: The Intervention | Digital Animation

OFF is an ecosystem designed to create a vibrant hybrid environment that helps to revitalise town centres and to regenerate empty office towers into colonies of conviviality, serendipity, and shared moments between workers and the local community. A program of activities and spaces that create a truly inclusive community, where people are the cultural epicenter and wellbeing is a new economic value. 

A new system will emerge, a new way of organising work and life will come to the fore. The future is OFF.

My research focused on the future of workspace and in particular the future of office towers. The pandemic not only made safety the new top priority, it expanded our idea of what a “workspace” can actually be, accelerating the natural evolution of the office away from a productivity space to something else. 

Many companies, teams and employees have been obliged to work remotely for months and we now know we can perform many work functions without an office. Remote working had a direct impact on office and home environments. But if COVID-19 has accelerated this trend, it has also revealed its limitations. We will still depend on face-to-face interaction, collaboration and serendipity.

The future of work will be hybrid, it will be decentralised.

With Working habits, instruments and locations that are changing, we can create a more sustainable model, where centralised office spaces are downsized, and adapt to the new work settings. And the freed spaces can be used to create a PERMA space. 

Our site, it’s 5 Pancras Square. Camden Council’s headquarters building.

The building is located at the heart of the King’s Cross development with exceptional views over Camley Street Natural Park and Camden. It is characterised by a triple-height space that connects the street level public entrance with the administrative floors. A ten-storey open-sided atrium brings light into the centre of the plan and allows visual connection between the open plan floors.

The Urban Living Room | Digital Sketch
The Urban Living Room | Digital Sketch
The Tech-Free Garden | Digital Sketch
The Tech-Free Garden | Digital Sketch
The Farm Club | Digital Sketch
The Conversation Pits | Digital Sketch
The Childcare Garden | Digital Sketch
The Staircase | Digital Sketch
The Urban Living Room | Digital Painting — As the work becomes more independent of time and place, the building’s added value lies in the creation of spaces for interaction. I integrated the surrounding public space by drawing it into the building to create an open ground floor, un urban living room. This is the social heart of my ecosystem. As a meeting place for residents, occupants and the neighbourhood, I imagine it as an urban living room that is activated throughout the entire day.
The Urban Living Room: Ground Floor Plan | Digital Drawing
The Urban Living Room: 1 Floor Plan | Digital Drawing
The Urban Living Room: Section | Digital Drawing
The Staircase | Digital Painting — The staircases are a fundamental moment in my ecosystem of serendipity and collisions between people. Slow stairs, social spaces where people can meet with oak seating elements and plants bed integrated into the structure. Imagining cutting through the slabs and pushing down the floor, the staircases will connect the different spaces, creating fluid continuity between the floors.
The Staircase: Section | Digital Drawing
Conversation Pits | Digital Painting — Driven by the initial experiments that we did about proxemics, those built-in seating elements populate the atrium void and are designed for informal conversations that bring the occupants closer together than freestanding tables and chairs normally would, fostering interaction between the different floors. Oak structure with integrated steps and linen seating composition define the interiors. A task light models the atmosphere of the space. A steel metal structure, anchored to the concrete slabs, with
Conversation Pits: Plan | Digital Drawing
Conversation Pits: Section | Digital Drawing
The Tech-Free Garden | Digital Painting — A double height outdoor garden that creates a digital free zone to enable more authentic and face-to-face connections and contact with nature without the distractions of the online world. Following the same design principles of the staircase, an oak steps structure with integrated plants beds and seating elements surrounds the main outdoor garden. The glass structure allows a visual connection with the outdoor garden from all the areas of the Weaving Space and working and reading tables are placed all aro
The Tech-Free Garden: Plan | Digital Drawing
The Tech-Free Garden: Section | Digital Drawing
The Farm Club | Digital Painting — An indoor and outdoor farming program, with café and coworking spaces integrated into the space. Crops of seasonal vegetables and herbal plants are grown here. The food harvested here is used in the café and in the kitchens to feed the community.
The Farm Club: Plan | Digital Drawing
The Farm Club: Section | Digital Drawing