The Bartlett School of Architecture


MA Situated Practice

This 15-month Master's course teaches the principles and skills of situated practice in relation to conceptual spatial theories in art, architecture, performance, urbanism and writing.

About the course

This programme focuses on four key areas: site-writing, critical spatial practice, urban intervention and mediated environments.

On this course you will:

  • develop a strong understanding of appropriate research methodologies in art and design practice-led research, specifically relating to approaches to criticality, performativity and textuality
  • make ‘situated practice’ projects that are site-related – from physical installations to digital interventions and site-writings
  • deliver high-quality practice-led research to enable you to carry out future doctoral research in the field of situated practice

Programme summary

This pioneering course examines the fertile territories where the discipline of architecture cross-pollinates with the other creative arts. Students will make work that is situated physically and engages with contemporary social, cultural and political conditions.

Outcomes will combine media – comprising site-specific and performative installations, interventions, designs and events – that engage with their contexts and particular publics.

MA Situated Practice graduates will be highly equipped to pioneer new forms of hybrid practice between art and architecture in the domains of critical spatial practice, urban design, event design, site-writing, performance and craft. 

Who should apply?

Situated Practice encourages applications from creative individuals from across disciplinary boundaries who want to develop a platform to define their own forms of practice. Candidates may be interested in curatorship, public engagement, event design, creative regeneration, participation design and activism, site-writing, filmmaking, information design and new media, publishing, civic media, and the management of associated institutes. 

Key staff

  • Programme Director: James O'Leary 

James O’Leary and Professor Jane Rendell will deliver the core programmes. 

James O’Leary

As part of Kreider + O’Leary, O’Leary’s performance, installation and time-based media work has been exhibited in the Tate and the Whitechapel in London and at major events such as Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Istanbul Design Biennial. 

Professor Jane Rendell

Rendell introduced the concept of ‘critical spatial practice’ in her 2006 book Art and Architecture, and has since been developing practices of ‘site-writing’ from her 2010 book of that name. A student on another programme has written the following about Rendell’s teaching:

By establishing and encouraging an extremely supportive, warm, and intellectually rigorous atmosphere with regular feedback on individual projects as they developed, Jane enabled us to be playful with our spatial writing, move against conventional boundaries of academic work, and inspire each other to experiment – pushing ourselves in new and unexpected directions.

Leyla Williams, MSc Urban Studies student 2015–2017 

Other visiting tutors and academics drawn from The Bartlett’s internationally renowned teaching and research programmes will teach supporting modules, and international practitioners and theorists will lead workshops and contribute to roundtables and talks programmes.

Affiliated centres and institutions

Our staff are very closely linked to several other groups both within The Bartlett and across UCL, in particular: 

  • The Slade School of Fine Art
  • UCL Urban Laboratory

More information

  • To find out more about this programme, please send your name, address, details of your first degree and/or experience to: architecture@ucl.ac.uk
    The Programme Director will respond to you ASAP. 
  • For core course information, including how to apply, visit our programme overview page 
About The Bartlett
  • The Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary faculty of the built environment and part of UCL, one of the world’s top universities
  • The School is located in London on two sites: Bloomsbury and Here East, next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – East London’s most dynamic neighbourhood and a destination for creativity and invention
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture is the UK’s highest-rated department for architectural research (REF 2008, 2014) and is ranked second in the world for architecture (QS World University Rankings)
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