RIBA Silver Medal Commendation: The Grand Domestic, Elliott Wang

We are incredibly proud to announce that our 2023 graduate Elliott Wang has been awarded a RIBA Silver Medal Commendation. To learn more about his project, hear what his tutors have to say and to read an interview with Elliott, see below.



The Grand Domestic presents a new form of domestic life driven by the recognition and revaluation of reproductive labour.

The proposal turns away from a capitalist agenda of consumerism and its associated tropes of individualism, quasi-efficiency – represented here by housework – and an exacerbation of gender inequalities. It presents a new form of collective living enabled by a tenancy agreement that equates reproductive labour to market labour, challenging domestic dogmas.

An analogous map examining the current conditions, requirements and outcomes of reproductive labour within the home and the potential for the utilisation of these to break the glass ceiling surrounding value and gender within the domestic space.

The project adopts a nuanced form of the hotel-apartment typology, separating out domestic processes from the dwelling. It celebrates all forms of reproductive work in grand spaces furnished with new forms of shared equipment that operate as social mechanisms to playfully engage in domestic work. The private dwelling is subsequently reduced and refined, forming the once theorised respite from the surrounding world of work.

The project presents a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable mode of living with reproductive labour at its core.

  • SPACES OF PROCESS - THE IRONING HALL Spaces of process are filled with all forms of domestic labour found throughout the proposal. All these spaces theatrically and playfully express the processes taking place, imbuing them with the grandeur and volume that would normally be associated with the most important spaces of the domestic sphere.

Driven by reproductive labour, the pandemic, and alignment with feminist campaigns, the project hypothesizes that the City of London chooses to retrofit and extend the Museum of London site, including Bastion House, thereby circumventing the controversial demolition of the landmark – a symbolic act for reproductive labour and retrofitting first.

The project seeks to redefine the politics, culture and economics of the home at a time when we are experiencing a housing and environmental crisis… [creating] a disruptive and impactful collective housing proposal at the heart the London and proving the viability of the existing Museum of London to support this future use
Matthew Whittaker and Esther Escribano, LSA Design Tutors

  • A STATEMENT IN THE CITY The Grand Domestic - the white plinth base of the Museum of London, retained Bastion House and the new Rotunda House all form a symbol of reproductive labour in the city. The building becomes an icon of the new, radical typology of living within the city.

Our Academic Director, Samantha Hardingham writes:

“Elliott’s work is a particularly fine example of the LSA MArch programme as it draws on all aspects that the two-year programme offers, comprising practice placement and studio-based learning. Elliott has used his time to build-up extensive knowledge in the field of housing, drawing on best practice globally, as well as digging deep into local cultural and historical sources”.




Elliott, congratulations on receiving a Commendation! How does it feel for your work to be recognised in this way?

Receiving this commendation is of course an honour. Personally, it is an opportunity to reflect on my time at the LSA and the research and work that has driven the project. Throughout my two years at the school, my work across our modules has in one way or another fed into my final thesis. So I don’t just see this as a culmination and celebration of a singular design project but rather my education at the LSA.

Elliott, and fellow 2023 graduate Semi Han, discussing their Design Thesis work

Do you have any plans to take the project further?

I would love to take it further. The research that I did throughout my time at the LSA has the potential to be applied and expanded on in so many ways. I would be annoyed to not build on it, both in an academic and professional setting.

If anyone would like to get in touch with any ideas, please do!

This is the first year someone from the LSA has ever won or got a commendation for the Silver Medal. Can you tell us a bit about how you think the LSA supported you throughout your Master’s, to help you get to this point?

I believe that my time at the LSA has allowed me to develop as an independent thinker. The LSA’s model of student-driven projects, as opposed to a typical unit-based system, fosters an environment that allows students to develop and challenge their personal interests and aims, whilst maintaining an academically questioning and rigorous nature.

Simply put, I believe the independent system at the LSA allows students to find something that they are truly interested in and their projects to flourish.

At the LSA you work with two Design Tutors throughout Second Year and you worked with Matthew Whittaker (Director at Whittaker Parsons) and Esther Escribano (Senior Architect at Studio Weave). What was it like working with them?

Through my time at the LSA, my tutors were incredibly helpful, always offering supportive and challenging voices. The interest, excitement, and questioning attitude they brought to all of our tutorials enabled the project to become what it is. Their expertise in practice, education and general academia allowed my design to go down so many avenues, which was always followed by their support in refining and defining the outcome.

This award I feel not only represents my efforts but also the support that I received throughout my time at the school. My tutors across the two years have had such a substantial impact on my work and I am very grateful for that.

Elliott, Ellie and the LSA team at the Silver Medal ceremony

And finally, Elliott, tell us about something you are working on know, that you’d like people to know about!

At the start of next year, my ongoing panel ‘Pathways’ will have a new fortnightly series. They are open panel events so all are welcome! Keep your eyes peeled.