The Bartlett School of Architecture


New for 2023: Cinematic and Videogame Architecture MArch

4 November 2022

The Bartlett launches a new Master’s programme that explores the intersection of architecture, film and videogames, taking applications for its first intake in autumn 2023.

computer generated cityscape with tall, multi-coloured buildings emitting a purple neon glow

This pioneering new programme, the first of its kind in the UK, reflects the convergence and crossover of architecture and video game design and filmmaking in a world where the physical and virtual are increasingly intertwined.

The new course’s two programme directors are Prof Penelope Haralambidou and Dr Luke Caspar Pearson. Prof Haralambidou is Professor of Architecture and Spatial Culture and Director of Communications at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and leads Unit PG24 on the school’s world-class Architecture MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2) programme. Dr Pearson is Co-Director of Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and an Associate Professor. He also co-leads Urban Design MArch’s Research Cluster 12 (‘Videogame Urbanism’) and is the co-founder of an architectural design studio, You+Pea.

The programme is located at Marshgate at the new UCL East campus, featuring eight floors of hi-tech, cross-disciplinary research space. The programme will provide access to advanced software and equipment, the use of a dedicated studio as well as access to specialist media  and the UCL East cinema.

Cinematic and Videogame Architecture MArch

Architecture has a long history of acting as an underlying structuring device for both film and videogames. From the construction of film sets to developments in film compositing techniques and innovations in computer graphics, the depiction of space has been a key challenge in arriving at our contemporary media landscape of film and videogames. In turn, the narrative and storytelling power of time-based and interactive media are reshaping not only how architecture is constructed and represented, but also how it is conceived and experienced.

Students will critically situate their work in relation to new developments in time-based digital technologies and the way these are shaping our culture, identity and politics. The programme prepares students for the emerging futures of architectural design, developing skills also applicable to the film and game industries, and VR/AR environments.

Supported by a world-leading team of tutors and visiting industry figures, students will learn innovative design techniques using film, animation and game engine software, becoming architectural storytellers and worldbuilders who engage with the key issues facing our world. Students will develop their own creative practice through design projects and theoretical writing, culminating in the production of a final project that demonstrates their unique research methods through a film, game or interactive environment.

Students will have the opportunity to engage with the exciting worlds of cinema, gaming and animation to create design solutions for our increasingly hybrid physical/digital world. The programme will use cutting-edge digital technologies and spatial storytelling to generate new forms of architectural design that look towards the future by challenging the boundaries between the real and the virtual.”

– Luke Pearson

Applications for 2023 entry for Cinematic and Videogame Architecture MArch are open now, and close on 30 June 2023.

More information

Image: DeFi City by Wenbo Di, Angyi Li, Yutong Wu & Kerun Yu, 2021-22