Learning about the office from other environments

Life of Work


About the book

Life of Work is based on a major research project carried out by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art. It takes lessons from the knowledge interactions of the academic library, the emotional landscapes of theatre design, flexible temporary events in the urban public realm, and intensive team environments in air traffic control, media newsrooms and emergency medical departments.

The book views working life as a combination of process and experience – what we do and how we feel. By exploring analogous environments, it builds up a whole new picture of the workplace encompassing not only physical settings that support work processes, but also people’s psychological experiences within those spaces.

Life of Work presents a framework for change that the authors hope will encourage everyone in workplace design to plot an escape from the tradition of mechanistic offices that are programmed for maximum efficiency without taking into account the human need for comfort and connection.

Life of Work book cover
Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy Myerson is co-founder and director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art, London, where he is a research professor and the first ever holder of the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design. An author, academic and activist in design and innovation, he has written widely on workplace design and chairs the international Worktech conference series.

His many books include The 21st Century Office, The Creative Office, New Demographics New Workspace andTime & Motion: Redefining Working Life. He sits on the advisory boards of leading design schools in Korea and Hong Kong and holds art degrees from the Royal College of Arts and the University of Hull.

Imogen Privett

Imogen Privett

Imogen Privett is an architectural designer and researcher. She graduated with a Masters degree in Architecture from the Royal College of Art in 2011 and joined the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design as a research associate in its Work & City Research Lab.

With a background in workplace and education design, Imogen has worked with leading architectural practices Pringle Brandon, Perkins + Will and Surface to Air. She holds undergraduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Westminster and in History from the University of Cambridge.