Dezeen Magazine

Charles Walker and Ab Rogers to head up architecture and interior design at RCA

Dezeen Wire:
architect and structural engineer Charles Walker has been appointed head of architecture at the Royal College of Art in London, while designer Ab Rogers will become head of interior design.

Walker, who also consults for Zaha Hadid Architects, replaces architect Nigel Coates, who retired in the summer - read about that here.

See more stories about Ab Rogers here.

Here's the full press release from the Royal College of Art:


The Royal College of Art has announced that two new Heads of Programme are to be appointed to its newly formed School of Architecture. Charles Walker and Ab Rogers will take up their posts in the summer term 2012 in Architecture and Interior Design respectively.

Ab Rogers is a London-based designer known for a wide-ranging international practice. A former cabinet-maker, Rogers earned his MA in design from the Royal College of Art. He has lectured widely and held various teaching roles, including in the RCA Design Products department, where he ran Platform 9 with Tord Boontje. In 1997 he cofounded Kitchen Rogers Design (KRD) with Shona Kitchen. Kitchen and Rogers' projects included the Comme des Garçons store in Paris, the Al-Ostoura luxury department store in Kuwait City, and the Michel Guillon flagship store in London. In 2004, he founded Ab Rogers Design (ARD), now an established studio that plays with colour, materials and function to inject a sense of poetry, magic and wonder into the everyday world.

ARD’s multifaceted work includes designing for hotels, restaurants, retail environments, domestic interiors, museum exhibitions, websites and brands; past clients include the Pompidou Centre, Tate Modern, Science Museum, the Australian Centre for Moving Image, Conde Nast, Pizza Express, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Parc1, a mixed-use development in Seoul.

Charles Walker is an architect, structural engineer and industry leader on the effects of digital technology on modern architectural design and construction. Having first studied architecture at the University of Waterloo in Canada he then received an MSc in structural engineering from Imperial College London. Charles has been teaching at the Architectural Association’s School of Architecture since 2003 where his students design and build the annual AA summer pavilion.

Walker has worked at the forefront of the current international architectural discourse with many of the worlds leading architects including: Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer and Renzo Piano. Early in his career Walker worked in a number of architectural offices including Richard Horden Associates, Michael Hopkins and Partners and Ron Arad Associates. He has also worked in design based engineering offices Whitby and Bird where he designed the Merchants Bridge in Manchester winning an Institution of Structural Engineers Special Award and Ove Arup + Partners where he co-founded in 2000 the Advanced Geometry Unit. In early 2007 Charles left Arup to found from-work projects and to join Zaha Hadid Architects where he currently consults.

The two new Heads of Programme join the Royal College of Art during a period of expansion as the College completes its new campus development. The College’s strategic plan aims to widen the Masters’ programme to advance new developments in design and art, ensuring 21st century relevance; consolidate research excellence; and strengthen the culture of design innovation and entrepreneurialism with closer links to industry. The new MA in Interior Design will receive its first intake of students in September 2012.

Professor Alex de Rijke, Dean of the School of Architecture said: “I am excited about these two appointments to the School of Architecture. Both are internationally recognised practitioners as well as skilled teachers. Charles combines wide ranging experience in architecture with an equally strong background in structural engineering and Ab’s impressive track record in embracing new materials and technologies will be especially valuable in framing and launching our new Interior Design programme.”

Ab Rogers said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to head up the new Interior Design programme. I plan to create an inspiring and purposeful course that deals with space and the object – abstract and concrete – on a human scale, and this is why I particularly look forward to contributing to a multidisciplinary School of Architecture along with Alex and Charles.”

Charles Walker said: "It's a privilege and an honour to be taking this post at the RCA, which is unique among architectural programmes in being positioned within such a rich and diverse art and design context and tradition. I am very much looking forward to working with Alex and Ab."

Professor Susannah Hagan completes the team, having been appointed as School Research Leader. Prior to joining the College, Susannah was Director of R/E/D (Research into Environment + Design), and Professor of Urban Studies and Director of the Office for Spatial Research at the University of Brighton. She has written and lectured extensively on the theory and practice of environmental design in relation to contemporary architecture and urban design. Susannah is a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design, New York, and a member of the Royal Society of Arts, the International Development Network, Royal Town Planning Institute, the Newham Borough Design Review Panel, and the Urban Buzz Programme Committee. She was a finalist in the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Competition 2008/09.