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Virtual Control exhibition at RIBA extended until Sunday 27 September

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Virtual Control exhibition

Virtual Control, produced by UCL Urban Laboratory with artist and photographer Max Colson, will now be exhibited at RIBA until Sunday 27 September 2015.

Registration open for Urban Lab+ London Symposium on urban education

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Global Urban Higher Education: the Challenges and Potentials of Internationalisation

Registration has opened for the Urban Lab+ London Symposium, taking place at University College London on 16-17 September.

UCL Urban Laboratory presents exhibition at RIBA on privatised public space this summer

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Virtual Control flyer

This summer, The Practice Space at RIBA hosts an exhibition of photography, video and installation by Urban Lab artist-in-residence Max Colson, exploring privatised urban public space and security design.

Cities After Hours: the shift from the diurnal to the nocturnal city

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Sam Nightingale 'The Remains'

Written by David Anderson, MPhil/PhD student, UCL English

Urban Lab Artists-in-Residence display work as part of UCL Festival of the Arts

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Hilary Powell - Urban Alchemy

As part of the 2015 UCL Festival of the Arts, taking place between 18-22 May, UCL's Artists-in-Residence (AiRs) have come together for the first time to exhibit their work and exhange dialogues on the role of art within the diverse academic communities across UCL.

New website documents Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron Tower

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Balfron Tower

Urban Lab tutor David Roberts has launched a new website that collates his three years of doctoral work with current and former residents of Ernö Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower in Poplar, London.

DPU summerLabs 2015 applications open

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DPU summerLabs 2015 poster

Applications are now open for the fifth year of the Development Planning Unit's (DPU) summerLab series.

Urban Lab awarded Leverhulme funding for artist-in-residence to research the Shard

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Shard at night

UCL Urban Laboratory is delighted to announce that UCL has received an award from the Leverhulme Trust to fund Tom Wolseley as artist-in-residence to work with Urban Lab Co-Director Dr Andrew Harris during the academic year 2015/16.

Call for papers: ‘Placing’ culture in urban China: Towards an interdisciplinary dialogue

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Placing culture in urban China

Workshop: 2 July 2015
Submission deadline: 15 May 2015
Response date: 5 June 2015

As the Chinese city transforms, arts and culture are widely used instruments of regeneration and competitive place promotion, and serve as well in the struggle to upgrade from labour-intensive manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy. The distinctive spatial articulations of cultural production in the context of the transitional Chinese city are of critical interest to the ongoing retheorization of the role of cultural production in the twenty-first century city broadly, and point towards possible urban futures for a country in a dynamic state of cultural redefinition. But arts and culture are not just associated with regeneration; they may also be used to contest the meaning and identity of urban space, politicize questions of belonging, and/or resist the insistent displacement pressures that accompany accelerated urbanization.

Interim research findings: university spatial development and urban regeneration

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University regeneration

New university developments are moving away from out of town campuses and focusing on integrated urban sites with good access to amenities and affordable housing. There are also high expectations of universities to lead the way in realising flagship developments which exemplify best practice in urban design, environmental and social sustainability. But universities are complex organisations and such projects require strong leadership, good communications, and solid financial underpinning to be successful.

Urban Pamphleteer is 'Magazine of the Week' on MagCulture

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Urban Pamphleteer featured on MagCulture

MagCulture have featured the Urban Pamphleteer in its 'Magazine of the Week' feature.

Matthew Gandy wins 2014 Meridian Book Award for ‘innovative’ The Fabric of Space

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The fabric of space by Matthew Gandy

Matthew Gandy, Professor of Geography and former Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory (2005-11), has been awarded the 2014 AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography for his book The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination.

Call for Contributions: Urban Pamphleteer #6 Global Education for Urban Futures

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Urban Pamphleteer 1-4

Proposal deadline: Wednesday 25 March, 12pm GMT

Guest Editors: Paola Alfaro d’Alençon, Ben Campkin, Rupali Gupte, Solam Mkhabela, Johannes Novy, Mika Savela

DPU summerLab 2014 pamphlet now available

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Each summer the DPU summerLab hosts a workshop series in cities around the world – seeking to stimulate and provoke a reconsideration of the role of designers in promoting spatial justice. Now, the 2014 series pamphlet is available online. You can download the document (pdf) for free or read the document on issuu.

Call for Papers: Urban Lab+ London Symposium 2015

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Urban Lab +

Global Urban Higher Education: the challenges and potentials of internationalisation

Urban Lab+ London Symposium, 16-17 September 2015

Call for Proposals: Open Source Housing crisis

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Open Source Housing

With a shortfall of 100,000 units per year and a decline in the availability of social tenancies, London's developers and housing associations add to the already considerable cost of housing by charging for the service of organising groups of people with the common need of accommodation. Those in need are often forced to accept precarious dwelling conditions, in buildings that are poorly designed, cheaply constructed and disadvantageously financed. The political and financial structures, such as the mis-alignment of average wages to the GLA’s interpretations of ‘affordability’ and predominance of insecure tenancies, that fuel London’s housing crisis continue to evolve beneath the radar of public scrutiny.


We are convening a workshop concerned to scope communication technologies with potential to disrupt these conditions. This workshop is concerned with the design of network-based tools that would nurture a many-to-many approach to 1) better understanding and engagement with policy changes and relevant expertise; 2) experimenting with alternative models that destabalise the central role of the developer / housing association in decision making about the future of housing in London.

The outcome of this workshop will be a special issue of the Urban Pamphleteer. Our starting vision for this is a catalogue of transformative tools, tactics, and ideas from a variety of perspectives featuring contributions by select workshop participants. Urban Pamphleteer is a series of publications that confront key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives. Issues are distributed for free in print and digitally. Urban Pamphleteer is a collaboration between Central Saint Martins and the UCL Urban Laboratory.


The workshop takes place on 13 March 2015 (10.00-16.30) at Central Saint Martins in the Graphic Communication Design studios and runs as part of CSM's Restless Futures Events Series. Confirmed participants so far include Joel Gethin Lewis, Adam Greenfield, and Dawn Foster. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, but please note that we are unable to cover additional costs.

We would like to hear from anyone who thinks they might have a contribution to make to this workshop. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to Shauna Scott (s.scott@csm.arts.ac.uk) and include a 100 word expression of interest that indicates something about your background and reason for wanting to get involved by 16 February. We will select approximately 18 participants representing a wide range of concerns and disciplines. We want this discussion to be highly interdisciplinary and we encourage participation from a wide range of fields, professions and community groups.

Thank you.

Rebecca Ross, Shumi Bose, Shauna Scott & Ben Campkin

Contribute to the new project 'London is Changing'

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London is Changing

London is Changing is a research project studying the impact of economic and policy changes on the culture and diversity of London.

Urban Lab partners with Somerset House and A(by)P for 'Mapping the City' exhibition

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Mapping the City

UCL Urban Laboratory is partnering with Somerset House and A(by)P to support the Mapping the City exhibition and events programme, opening on Thursday 22 January.

How Ruth Glass shaped the way we approach our cities

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Ruth Glass footage

In her carefully crafted introduction to the book London: Aspects of Change in 1964, the urban sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term ‘gentrification’. The term, referring to demographic shifts within an urban community, subsequently spawned an extensive and ever-growing field of urban research and debate.

Is urban graffiti a force for good or evil?

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Graffiti Sessions street art

Athlyn Cathcart-Keays writes for The Guardian on the debate over urban graffiti, drawing on the recent Graffiti Sessions conference co-hosted by the UCL Urban Laboratory.

New research blog launched by Urban Lab Artist-in-Residence

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Max Colson's Photo Recall

Max Colson, Urban Laboratory Artist-in-Residence 2014-15, has launched a new research blog, Photo Recall, complementing his residency.

UCL Urban Laboratory Activities Report 2012-14

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Cover image for Activities Report 2012-14

Publication date: December 2014 / Download (pdf) report by clicking on the icon below.

This new report covers the activities of the UCL Urban Laboratory across the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, with information on research, events, and staff.

Discussing the legacy of urban theorist Bernardo Secchi

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Bernardo Secchi

Urban Lab Co-director Camillo Boano discusses the legacy of the urban theorist and planner Bernardo Secchi, who passed away in September 2014, in Society and Space.

No regrets for police officer 'graffiti artists love to hate'

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Image credit: Sonia P. Sanchez Lopez

The Guardian report from the recent Graffiti Sessions conference hosted by Urban Lab and the Graffiti Dialogues Network at Central Saint Martins, with an article highlighting DC Colin Saysell's presentation on the first day.

Why Mumbai should get over its obsession with cars

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City traffic in Mumbai. Photograph: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images

Dr Andrew Harris writes in The Guardian that Mumbai's transport policy continues to be skewed towards cars despite 91% of trips in the city being made on foot, or public transport. The article appears as part of the Guardian Cities Mumbai series.

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