MAS Context Fall Talks 2019
Clive Wilkinson


Video shot and edited by Matt Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.


Clive Wilkinson, president and design director of Clive Wilkinson Architects, lectured on Wednesday, October 30, as part of MAS Context’s 2019 Fall Talks series. The lecture and book launch, co-organized with IIT College of Architecture, took place at S.R. Crown Hall (3360 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616).


The Theatre of Work

In this illustrated talk and book launch, architect Clive Wilkinson discussed his latest book The Theatre of Work (FRAME, 2019).

The Theatre of Work proposes an evolution of the relationship between office users and the spaces they occupy. As work processes and community relationships evolve, new collaborative synergies within the workplace are created. The interplay between space and people offers a new kind of theater where parallels with the archetypal theater of the street and the marketplace occur. This emerging new workspace should amplify and celebrate the activity of work and of human community, and in the process, become vital and compelling theater.

In defining this new office landscape, architect and writer Clive Wilkinson examines global developments in workplace thinking, historical antecedents, the performance touch-points for the new office, and proposes seven humanistic principles that will inform a holistic design process that can bring this concept of theater to fruition. Each of these principles is demonstrated through case studies of the work of his renowned design studio, Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWa), with rich iconography, diagrammatic strategy, and contextual ingenuity. The outcome of this process, with its multiple performative layers, effectively promotes elevating a corporate brief of basic needs and goals to a profoundly human-centered presentation of “work as theater.”


Macquarie Group, Ropemaker Place, London, 2011. © Riddle-Stagg. Courtesy of Clive Wilkinson Architects.


Macquarie Group, One Shelley Street, Sydney, 2009. © Shannon McGrath. Courtesy of Clive Wilkinson Architects.


Pallota Teamworks, Los Angeles, 2002. © Benny Chan, Fotoworks. Courtesy of Clive Wilkinson Architects.


TBWA Chiat Day Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 1999. © Benny Chan, Fotoworks. Courtesy of Clive Wilkinson Architects.


The Theatre of Work, FRAME, 2019. © FRAME.


AIA Chicago is an official collaborator for this event. Learning Units for this talk: 1 LU.



This event is a partner program of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.









Clive Wilkinson is an architect, designer, writer, and strategist with expertise in the application of urban design thinking to interior design, specifically in workplace and educational communities. His practice, Clive Wilkinson Architects, was established in Los Angeles in 1991 and is an acknowledged global leader in workplace design. | @clive_wilkinson

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