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Architecture (MA)

Rose Miller

Rose’s work continually questions the social, political, and environmental practices of architecture. She seeks to find alternatives to the massive structures of previous generations, finding an architecture that is light, changeable, and responsive to communities. Her first-year project at the RCA, 'Pigmented Landscape,' proposed a series of interventions to performatively decontaminate a former mining site in Cornwall. The capture and choreography of coloured metal pigments were used to critique exploitative extractive processes. Her thesis project, ‘Corridors of Power,’ counters power structures in British politics and examines the role of architecture in generating a culture of private exclusivity.

Rose graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2020 with first-class honours and won the Bowhill Gibson Scholarship. She has practised in London and California, working on public sector projects and natural building techniques. In August 2023 she is running a 2-week collective casting workshop at the European Architecture Students Assembly in Sheffield.

Curtain installation

How can we intercept the elite political network in London and democratize hierarchical architecture?

Unbuilding Private Members' Clubs and Georgian Townhouses in the political sphere

We are told that political decisions are taken in parliament, yet a network of Member’s Clubs and dubiously funded think-tanks are hidden in Palladian Villas and Georgian townhouses. These political spaces are modelled on aristocratic domestic architecture, bringing an exclusive intimacy to the political sphere. The presence of domesticity contributes towards creating a culture of corruption and abuse in politics, with its hidden interiors shielding the political elite from the outside world.

Tony Benn, an important Labour politician in the 60s and 70s, famously illegally put up several plaques in the House of Commons to celebrate women gaining suffrage. He said, “We have to ensure that we are a workshop, not a museum.” It is through this workshop methodology that I have worked across a scale of interventions to ask how we can intercept the elite political network in London and democratize hierarchical architecture.

The Carlton Club is focused on as a microcosm of the interior political sphere. Through my interventions, the spaces of women and servants are elevated, whereas the celebrated antiques of the club are relegated to the basement. Gradually, a shrine to aristocratic men transforms into an active, changeable political workshop. These alterations to the Carlton Club are envisioned as a first step in reconfiguring London’s elite political network. They ask how we can undermine and change the function of the hierarchical buildings of our past and enter the seemingly impenetrable architectural fabric of London’s political elite.

Screen Print of political networks in London
Political Networks in London
Indigo Screen Print, Carlton Club Section
Unbuilding the Carlton Club
Indigo Screen Print, Disco Ball
Disco ball dome
Indigo Screen Print, Carlton Club facade
Curtains moved to exterior
Indigo Screen Print, Carlton Club Fireplace
Fireplaces dismantled
Indigo Screen Print, Wood Panelling
Wood panelling unfolded
Indigo Screen Print, Carlton Club Stairwell Seating
Staircase into seating
Indigo Screen Print, Cad's Corner Stage
Corner into stage

Unbuilding the Carlton Club

The Carlton Club has close links with the Conservative Party. The 1922 Committee was established there 100 years ago, and more recently Boris Johnson was forced to resign after knowingly appointing a chief whip who had sexually assaulted 2 people in the Club. It is a purpose-built gentlemen’s club based on an aristocratic dwelling. Intimate spaces for private conversations are designed in, as well as separate circulation spaces for staff.

My architectural interventions use the material language of Georgian architecture to reconfigure the spatial dynamics of the club. Wood panelling is folded out to form bookshelves and tea stations, curtains are moved to the exterior of the building to be operated from the street, and the crown-like dome is undermined with a huge disco ball. The drawings are depicted on indigo screen prints as permissible objects that could make their way into the club and provide instructions for architectural political dissonance.

Wooden model of the Carlton Club
Wooden model of the Carlton Club
Wooden model of the Carlton Club


Beneath the grand central staircase in the Carlton Club, there is a small nook named Cad’s Corner. A Cad refers to “a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards women.” It is here that men are known to sit and look up the skirts of women climbing the staircase above them. My large-scale timber model exposes this previously hidden space and examines the spatial configuration of abuse.

Cad's Corner Posters
Cad: A man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards women
Cad's Corner posters at the Carlton Club
Cad's Corner posters at the Carlton Club
Cad's Corner Letters
Harriet Harman Letter
Caroline Nokes Letter
Harriet Harman Letter

Cad's Corner

I believe the naming of Cad’s Corner perpetuates the abusive activities that take place within it. Therefore, as a first step in unbuilding the Club, I tied posters to the exterior railings calling for Cad’s Corner to be renamed. Following this, I wrote to several MPs to rally support renaming the problematic nook. I received replies from Caroline Nokes MP and Harriet Harman KC MP who both agreed to contact the Club.

In my design, the space previously known as Cad’s Corner receives the greatest reuse by picking up on the characteristics of Working Men's Clubs. By folding out the wood panelling in Cad’s Corner, I have designed a stage for more overt political activity. The staircase above becomes a seating area, totally reversing the gaze of the occupier. The disco ball is designed to mimic the coffered surface of the dome it sits in. Instead of being a hidden nook for elicit activity, Cad’s Corner becomes a focal point in the club.

Knuckle Duster Tray
Knuckle Duster Tray
Boot Scraper
Indigo Screen Print
Indigo Screen Print

Disobedient Objects

My discreet unbuilding interventions highlight the interiority and exclusivity of the political network. My flattened version of a Georgian Boot Scraper draws attention to the transition into the domestic sphere and the knuckle-duster tray transforms a gendered object of suppression into a weapon. The disruptive potential of the objects are screen printed onto napkins as roadmaps for political dissonance served alongside your dinner.

Curtains and Frame
Curtains and Frame
Wooden Carlton Club Mode
Curtain Detail
Painting St. James's


The final installation undresses the Carlton Club and provides a forensic investigation into the unbuilding of its problematic spatial dynamics. It simultaneously adheres to Georgian architectural features, whilst also working to undermine the building in both subtle and overt ways.