The students produced four projects: The Economics of Uncertainty; looking at world in which Fordist industrial regulation had been replaced with unpredictability and randomness with the intent of pursuing a riskier and thus more profitable economy. The Free Associates in which a group of labourers reject structure and routine and decide instead to perform labour on whim. A History of Value + Labour in Music; an analysis of technological and social changes in the history of music and sound. The Memorial of Unrest; a series of memorials designed by task-rabbits to workers who had died at work. Performative Finance; a ritualising of high finance through television broadcasts and the exchange of gifts.

As part of the Swiss Pavilion's School of Tomorrow at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Royal College of Art's MA Design Interaction department organised to send a team of 14 students for a one-week residency at the pavilion exploring the theme of The Future of Labour:

Looking towards a speculative future London, the participants will look critically at the changing nature of labour in one of the world’s financial capitals. With mass automation of production and services, a reliance on algorithmic finance and a growing income gap, the participants will question, speculate and propose forms of labour (in the broadest sense) that power a future London. The students will consider the systems, tools and technologies that might augment or dictate the work of humans as a physical and cognitive presence. The value of the human body as a labour machine will be brought into question in the context of the proliferation or non-proliferation of technology as well as the nature of future political systems that dictate human value as a work object.

The outcomes will be based in a range of media chosen by the participants from prototypes and designs to film or performance.

Participants: Amina Abbas-Nazari, Timothy Clark, Sam Conran, Debbie Ding, Zoe Hough, Rodrigo Lebrun, Anna-Luise Lorenz, Henrik Nieratschker, Ira Pappa, Nestor Pestana, Channing Ritter, Johanna Scmeer, Neil Thomson, Beth Bramich

Teacher: Tobias Revell

More photos on flickr.

Last updated: 05.2020