4. Interior Futures

Adalberto Lonardi

I am an Italian designer with a passion for Architecture, Visual Communication, and the Social Environment. My fields of interest span across children's and adults' education, social integration, and community empowerment. 

I express myself mainly through hand-drawings, mixed media collage, photography, publications, and creative writing. I flow from one medium to the other depending on the message to communicate.

I come from a business engineering and marketing background in California, trained as a designer at FABRICA by Benetton in Italy and worked for the past ten years in art direction and visual communication. 

Recently, I exhibited at Domaine de Boisbuchet (2018), RCA Brexit Exhibition (2019) Kortrijk Design Week (2019), AcrossRCA (2019), Royal College of Art (2020), curated the RCA Interior Design program’s Inside/Out Lecture Series and co-chaired the RCA Walkative Society.





Prints RCA Sales



Design and architecture are dead. Pretty variations of the same objects, colors, forms are not enough anymore. The society needs are beyond aesthetics and function. We need to shift from ego-centrism to care-centrism. 

Rebels of a new era, we defend a more long-lasting, sustainable, and social-solutions based future. We must reuse, reintegrate, retrain, remarket the available resources. A universal, simple, and sustainable environment must be created for a healthier and longer life. 

Infrastructures, objects, and services, both virtual and physical, must be designed for the needs and dreams of the next old and new generations.The United-Generation Era must start.

The United Generations - Introduction

The United Generations - Events Live Stream

In the near future, a significant part of the population is older. Redundant urban land is now fertile. Mobility is electric or human-powered. Co-living, re-use lifestyles, and adaptation of the existing are the norm. And we humans, finally learned that together we are stronger, nature is sacred, technology is our ally, and life is slow. Here, I propose to go back to the Arcadian archetype where community, sustainability, and simplicity are the assets for a prosperous living. As a test, I have analysed the Golden Lane Estate in London, a post-war example of an urban microcosm designed to advocate the modernist principles of wellbeing and social living.

Using findings from my book “How to take care of the old” and from site-specific research, a tripartite strategy envisions how the Golden Lane Estate could transform. By intersecting the Arcadian landscape into the modernist geometries, I designed a domestic and public scheme where the residents and the community are engaged through activities and events that combine social, economic, and cultural values contributing to the wellness and the reconnection of old and new generations.

At the Estate level, the Adaptable Public Scheme (APS) merges internal and external spaces hosting activities that promote intergenerational moments connected to nature, care of the body, exercise, work, performance, spirituality, farming, and food. At the domestic level, the Adaptable Domestic Scheme (ADS) proposes reversible physical home adaptations of scale and accessibility that enable residents to stay in the Estate through the phases of life. A third scheme imagines the activities and cultural programming of the Estate, set up as a social enterprise, subsidized by government funding, and advertised by the United Radio Station to foster wellbeing and connection in the neighborhood.

The United Generations proposes a new fulfilling vision to create a thriving community of all ages and celebrate the advantages of shared resources. Integrated solutions like harvesting, renewable energy, local production, and smart homes allow sustainable living to be a seamless part of everyday life.


coloredpencil and oilstick drawings, book, collage

Arcadia: The Hills (Aerial Perspective) - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

Arcadia: the Estate Map - Digital drawing

"London has changed. Due to the climate crisis of 2019, the council decided to convert main streets and paved surfaces into green public spaces, repurpose public rooftops and private terraces for farming and allow nature to grow spontaneously to absorb toxic agents. The 2020 pandemic made metropolitan citizens rethink shared spaces and the relationship with people and other species. Larger spaces for new and old generations, Essential spaces. Spaces for conviviality, inclusiveness, and learning."

Crescent House Apartments: the Friendship Bench - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)*

Merged Apartments Typical Layout - Digital drawing

"It all starts on the friendship bench. Outside the Crescent House apartments on an autumn morning, the neighbors gather to pause and nourish their relationships surrounded by pets and plants. On top of them, solar panels and water collectors provide renewable resources to the community. While the chestnut benches with armrests for the elders offer moments of interactions between neighbors on the apartments’ communal pathways, indoor balconies extensions ensure shared spaces within the inhabitants."

*Giclée Prints available at RCA Sales.

The Work/Shops: From the Window - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

The Work/Shops: Strip Section - Pen on tracing paper (80 x 29.7 cm)

"It is fall, it is winter. One of the adaptable laboratories, part of the Work/Shops strip hosts the production of ceramic vessels run by the older residents. The young ones observe, learn, and reproduce. The tradition is kept and the outcome will be sold on the bright ground floor to feed the economy of the community. The Work/Shops are a series of converted older shops and basements dedicated to the disciplines of art&crafts, reuse, technology, and research. Conceived as permeable double-height volumes, they connect the high-street to the Arcadian Gardens."

The Arcadian Gardens: the Stables - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)*

"Outside the laboratories, underneath the previously forgotten underground colonnade, a strip of stables is the home of the farm animals. While the production activities are happening in the laboratories, children and the retired residents feed, nurse and pet other species, adopting them for a day, a month, or forever.
In front of the stables between two hills, a watering hole emerges in a valley of wild-flower fields, fruit trees, and medical plants. We are at the center of the Arcadian Gardens where chestnut benches offer to young and old a moment of meditation and seasonal natural landscape opportunities for picking, seeding, and bloom watching."

*Giclée Prints available at RCA Sales.

The Kitchen Club: Cooking Sessions - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

The Kitchen Club: Underneath the Canopy - Digital drawing

"On a sunny spring lunch, a cooking session is happening in the Kitchen Club underneath the new flourishing pergola extruded from the inherited iconic canopy of the tower. A famous retired chef from the public is invited to tutor the younger ones on how to preserve pickles vegetables which will be sold to feed the community. The panorama terrace has been converted into a place for cooking performances and homemade food. The central elevator brings the guests directly to the rooftop where they attend cooking classes, dine in between shimmering curtains, take away food from the deli displays, or sip a cocktail on top of the canopy to the soothing tunes of the United Radio Station."

UG.5 Baths: Washing Feet - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)*

UG.5 Baths: Hill Section - Digital drawing

"Those who seek for care after their hands, feet and body gather around the tepid walls of the baths. The most popular space here is the circular feet-care pool where the humble ritual of the younger washing the feet of the older takes place. The water complex is a conversion of the old gyms into a space for health, sensuality and freedom connected to the existing pool and gymnasium. Underneath the wings of the new walkable hill, two corridors guide the guests to the entrances of the interior space, built with locally produced merdacotta and black clay cladding."

*Giclée Prints available at RCA Sales.


digital collage, colored pencil, and oil stick on printed paper

The High Farms: The Strips - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

The High Farms: The Allotments - Digital drawing

"In summer late afternoons, the residents prepare to leave the High Farms, after a long day taking care of the crops. Sitting on the benches, they talk about life and prepare to transport the harvested goods to the underground refrigerated cells. On these long strips of land covering the converted unused rooftops, the young carers learn the cycles of life of vegetables which will be used in the Kitchen Club or sold during the Sunday Market."

Maisonettes: The Dinner - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)*

Maisonettes: Typical Merged Layout Table

"During a summery night, grandparents, parents, and children living in two recently merged maisonettes reunite around the combined chestnut tables for the usual family dinner. The households extend on two floors and combine in the living room through a perforation with foldable recycled aluminum doors which ensure the privacy of both families when needed."

*Giclée Prints available at RCA Sales.

The Arena: eyes - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

The Arena: eyes - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

"The sun is setting over the London grid and the residents are preparing for the long-awaited summer solstice celebration. It all happens in the Arena. The underground covered space created to promote amusement, excitement, and magic between generations. The volume is filled with a mist smelling like summer fields. Thick light beams move through the arena illuminating the Arcadian scene. Descending toe ground floor, the eyes, two large openings, visually connect the space, diffuse light, and host an explosion of plants.

The Temple of Resonance: the Handrail of Life - Coloured pencil and oil stick on digital print (29.7 x 20 cm)

The Temple of Resonance: the Handrail of Life - Pen on tracing paper (60 x 29.7 cm)

"To the sound of a morning gong echoing around the complex, the residents walk to the Temple of Resonance, a peaceful place for silence, prayer, and meditation among birds and rabbits. Inside a big aviary built on top of the existing conical bastion, the spiral internal ramp guides the pilgrims from the medicinal gardens to the main halls. A wooden handrail, recalling the quality of life of the residents, guides young and old towards the sublime."


Research Publication


148x210 mm

Population Pyramids 2005 - 2050 (original diagrams by www.populationpyramid.net reworked)

How to take care of the old: Cover - (21 x 14.8 cm)*

How to take care of the old: Spread - (21 x 14.8 cm)*

This research book looks at the relationships between gerontology and the disciplines of architecture, sociology, and technology. These fields inform the understanding of the fundamental behaviours and needs of the elderly and possible future solutions such as co-design, multigenerational living, and smart-homes to guarantee our future generations' a healthy and comfortable senior life.

The concept of aging successfully has become increasingly crucial as statistics predict that the total number of individuals over 65 is projected to nearly double before 2050.

The urban environment directly impacts the engagement profiles of older adults, and it is necessary to provide spaces designed to match the needs of the elderly. Based on my mother’s concerns and anticipations of her future, this book investigates how architecture, design, and technology can be age-friendly, mitigating some of the losses that come with old age.

*Book available upon request

Katherine Low Settlement

Volunteering at Katherine Low Settlement helped me to understand the needs, challenges, and dreams of older people. To experience how they live. To learn to talk to them. To be patient. To be respectful and see their perspective. To understand more how a community center works, what kind of activities are offered, when, and why.
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks of the Royal College of Art