Clive Wilkinson Presents at Monterey Design Conference

More than 800 architects convened this past weekend at the Monterey Design Conference, organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) California Council. The conference is held bi-annually at the historic Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, near Monterey.


A full house of architects in Merrill Hall at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. General session presentations in Merrill Hall designed by Julia Morgan in 1928. Morgan designed multiple buildings on the grounds of Asilomar, originally a retreat center for the YWCA.

On the opening day, architect Clive Wilkinson presented his work in a presentation entitled The Theatre of Work. Based in Los Angeles, Wilkinson has focused his work on interiors, including many notable workplace interiors.

In his presentation, Wilkinson notes that architecture frames the theatre of human experience. To become theatre, building design must address:

  • community structures
  • knowledge sharing
  • diversity, choice, and opportunity
  • tribal organization and connectivity
  • the concept of theatre, and of stage and auditorium

Clive Wilkinson gives a presentation about his work entitled The Theatre of Work.

According to Wilkinson, the determinants of the new workplace are

1. Culture Model

  • convergence of cultural and commercial aspirations
  • shift from maturity/sophistication (closed system) to immaturity/naivety (open system)
  • youth experiments with culture

2. The Urban Paradigm

  • Active: The city organizes complexity and provides a stage for cultural diversity
  • Passive: Embedded model of human achievement and embedded lexicon of familiar forms

3. Fluidity and Transparency

  • Unconfined, changeable, open system
  • Flexible, mobile, maleable

4. Disruption and Play

  • Cultural messages in the environment
  • Paradigm shifting /perspective shifting
  • Alternative realities
  • ‘Playing fields’

5. Choice and Diversity

6. Human Scale, Community, and Collaboration

  • Manageable groups or tribes
  • Neighborhoods
  • Interaction and Collaboration

Los Angeles-based architect Alice Kimm, chair of the conference, gives opening remarks.

Most of the conference speakers were architects, with other notables including Rand Elliott, Merrill Elam, Carme Pinos, and Bernard Tschumi.


Architect Rand Elliott of Oklahoma presents his work, including sketches and drawings.



Spanish architect Carme Pinos presented her work.



Architects gather during reception time at the Monterey Design Conference.

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