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Interior Design (MA)

Alice Penner

In the Futures pathway of the Interior Design MA we explore how spaces and interiors will change with the advent of new technologies and global events. By imagining a plurality of futures, we speculate and evaluate different ways of living, having relationships, and creating our own identities.

I'm interested in what healthcare will look like in 2043. Based on extensive research, I suspect we will constantly monitor our physical and mental wellbeing through intelligent systems embedded in our devices, spaces, and bodies. Sensors will track our individual bodily functions and behaviours, connecting us to a collective ever-evolving bank of information from which patterns and treatments emerge. The physical world will be merely the stage set of our digital lives, and our bodies inconvenient appendages that remind us of our mortality. With our continued exposure to curated digital ‘selves’ leading us to want to change our physical reality to match our digital one, body altering practices will proliferate. We will amend, augment, reshape, and extend our bodies at our leisure thanks to advances in gene manipulation and near god-like surgical prowess.

My project, entitled 'The Fleshy Apparatus', has culminated in the design of Charleston Landing, a retreat centre for people experiencing body dysmorphia or dysphoria in 2043. The design solution came about through the development of three key personas (part research, part speculation), each with their own stories, motives, and desires. Each of them is tackling an experience of bodily discomfort, whether they have undergone surgery, are questioning their identity, or are contemplating a physical augmentation.

Please read their stories below.

Portrait of Alice

I'm a British/Italian designer interested in how design can enable better ways of coexisting, communicating and interacting. I particularly enjoy speculative design and design thinking because they allow me to explore technology, emotion and the human mind.

I mostly design interiors, exhibitions, and graphics, although I believe it's important to think beyond disciplines to make a meaningful difference in addressing real-life problems. My projects and writing have covered topics as wide-ranging as artificial intelligence, language and grief, sound and structuralist cinema, spatial neglect and cognitive impairments, the future of healthcare, sound and paper, future fossils, biofuels and the mathematics of algae, stammering and more.

My background is primarily in graphic design communication, having graduated from Chelsea College of Art in 2018 and having worked in branding and strategy for a number of years prior to studying at the RCA.

Isometric drawing of Charleston Landing
Floorplan with images from stories
Architectural strategy
Mara's story part 1
Mara's story Part 2
Vivek's story summary
Vivek's story continued
Hassan's story part 1
Hassan's story, continued
material explorations
photo series
hand drawing
view of building wip
view from entrance
light floorplan
floorplan circulation
material strategy sheet