We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

Do humans dream of electric sheep?

Invisible Landscapes


Monday 25 February 2019
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

See upcoming talks

Part of our

Invisible Landscapes

events programme
Go to exhibition page

'The Value in the Virtual': the home (an ordinary home)

Image courtesy of Space Popular

How could virtual reality and the spaces it creates change our relationship to labour? In this panel discussion, we ask designers and academics to imagine the future of work in a world where virtual environments dominate.

In today’s cultural context, most visions of the future engage with the idea of virtual environments. Whether they’re seen as an inevitable part of our lives, or as passing technological developments that will lead to other equally interesting changes, it is difficult to question the relevance of virtual reality in contemporary culture.

While this talk is inspired by sci-fi futures reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s seminal work, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – where all work is done by compliant androids and humans are free to retreat to a life of permanent leisure in virtual reality – our panellists will consider scenarios where labour remains very much a human concern. Thus, we will invite designers and theoreticians to envision a version of the future where virtual environments are the norm and part of the daily working lives of at least some groups within society.

They’ll also discuss how the prevalence of virtual reality could transform the ways in which we work and the spaces in which that work takes place. What will the role of the architect be in designing these spaces, considering that today virtual reality environments are more often than not created by video game designers?


Mercedes Bunz is the Senior Lecturer in Digital Society at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. Her research explores how digital technology transforms knowledge and with it, power. She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities Terra Critica and co-founder of the open access publishing house, meson press, which publishes research on digital cultures and networked media.

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg co-founded Space Popular in Bangkok in 2013. They have completed built projects in Asia and in Europe and in the fall of 2016 they launched Tools for Architecture at the Architectural Association in London where they are unit masters (MA design tutors) of Intermediate One.

Carlos Bausa Martinez is an architect specialised in parametric design and digital fabrication and is currently working as Environmental Design Analyst at the Specialist Modelling Group at Foster and Partners. In parallel he runs Wild Design Studio, a London’s based design lab that works in the intersection between Architecture, Virtual Art and Industrial design together with his wife Dirce Medina.

Helen Ikla (chair) is the Architecture programme and Awards manager at the Royal Academy of Arts.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 25 February 2019

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9