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MArch Urban Design

This 12-month studio-based programme brings together designers and thinkers from across the world for long-term research on the challenges of global urbanisation and the creative potential of design.

About the course

On this course you will:

  • be encouraged to innovate and explore new ideas in design and theory
  • be introduced to design skills and techniques, critical enquiry and related technologies
  • gain an understanding of the city as a place of human coexistence and devise strategies and projects to guide its future development
  • explore and understand London, one of the world’s richest and most diverse urban centres

Read about Urban Design Research Clusters and Labs below


Who should apply?

We’re looking for recent graduates in architecture and other disciplines – as well as design professionals – who want to be part of an experimental design environment dealing with the future of our cities.


Key staff

Please email any queries to course administrator Sally Parekh: sally.parekh@ucl.ac.uk

All MArch Urban Design and B-Pro Staff

Mark Smout, Director of MArch Urban Design

Mark Smout is Professor of Architecture and Landscape Futures at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where, in addition to directing March Urban Design he also runs MArch Architecture Unit 11 with Laura Allen. His design research practice Smout Allen undertakes work proposing that the built environment can develop a reading of, and synergy, with its surroundings informed by understanding the complex interaction of living and artificial systems, environmental processes and emerging technologies.

Smout Allen have produced award winning designs for the East Anglian landscape, published Augmented Landscapes, issue 28 of the seminal Pamphlet Architecture series and produced the centre piece installation for the Landscape Futures exhibition in the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Their most recent constructed work, commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of the 2012 Olympic festival, was a large binary calculator powered by marbles that made tea for passers-by. In 2013 Smout Allen exhibited their work at both the RIBA and the AA with a project looking at energy supply and demand in collaboration with Williams Formula 1.

They have won the prestigious Royal Academy Award for Architecture and represented the UK at the Venice Biennale in 2012 and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015. In the summer of 2015, Smout Allen exhibited a new project ‘L.A.T.B.D’ in Los Angeles, speculating on the future of the city in collaboration with Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG. Smout Allen have held notable Professorships in Denmark and California and regularly lecture throughout the world.

Teaching staff

Sabine Storp
RC11 Tutor

Sabine Storp is an architect, design tutor and short course coordinator at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, educated in Italy and Germany. Founder of award winning architectural practice storpweber architecture in 2000, she has been working in education and practice since 1997. In 2013 Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber set up Living Laboratory looking closer into projects relating to living and habitat.

Patrick Weber
RC11 Tutor

Patrick Weber is an architect, design tutor and researcher at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. He was educated in Germany and the UK were he set up practice with Sabine Storp in 2000. He has been working at the Bartlett since 1997, directing the first year for 12 years and teaching Bsc and Masters. In 2013 Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber set up Living Laboratory looking closer into projects relating to living and habitat.

Luke Caspar Pearson
RC12 Tutor

Luke Caspar Pearson is a designer who has taught at The Bartlett School of Architecture since 2009. He is the founding partner of You+Pea, a design research practice that was part of a collaborative team from UCL that designed and fabricated the Universal Tea Machine for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Their recent work has been exhibited at the RIBA and Peckham Levels, and they were the curators of UP-POP at the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. Luke has been the previous recipient of the RIBA Bronze Medal and a Leverhulme Trust Grant. He is currently undertaking a PhD in Design in Architecture at The Bartlett, exploring video games and architecture, and was awarded the UCL Graduate Research Scholarship for this work. As part of this research, he is developing a video game in collaboration with games studio Shedworks Interactive.
Luke’s work has been exhibited in the Royal Academy as well as being published in journals and magazines such as ARQ, Architect’s Sketchbooks, CLOG, The RIBA Journal and Interstices.

Sandra Youkhana
RC12 Tutor

Sandra Youkhana is an architectural designer practising in London. She has worked as Research Assistant at The Bartlett for a number of years and since graduating in 2014 has taught on various programmes including Urban Design and MArch Architecture. She is one half of the design and research practice You+Pea with Luke Caspar Pearson. Their work challenges various media as methods of engagement, ranging from immersive drawings, public installations, participatory video games, interactive devices, architectural ‘toys’ and 1:1 experiments.

Sam Jacob
RC13 Tutor

Sam Jacob is a leading figure in the architecture and design industries. He was a founding director of FAT Architecture where he was responsible for a range of internationally acclaimed and award winning projects for clients including Igloo, Urban Splash, Selfridges and the BBC as well as local authorities and private clients. Alongside commercial work, many projects have been exhibited at leading galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The MAK in Vienna and at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Sam continues to design, write and curate, often in partnership with other agencies and institutions.

Eddie Blake
RC13 Tutor

Eddie Blake is an architect at Sam Jacob Studio. He works on everything from master-planning and architecture to exhibition design and design products for clients such as the V&A Museum, London and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Before joining Sam Jacob Studio Eddie was part of Studio Weave where he designed Midden Studio. While at Weave he designed a wide range of schemes for clients such as the National Trust and the City of London. He studied at the Mackintosh, Glasgow, University of Westminster and the AA. He teaches at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He writes about architecture for Vice, Architects’ Journal, Icon, and Real Review among other publications.

Roberto Botazzi
RC14 Tutor

Roberto Bottazzi is an architect, researcher, and educator based in London. Previously, he worked and studied in Italy and Canada and was Master tutor and research coordinator at Royal College of Art (2005–15). His research analyses the impact of digital technologies on architecture and urbanism. His research has been exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally. Roberto is completing a book on the history of digital architecture due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Kostas Grigoroadis
RC14 Tutor

Kostas Grigoriadis studied Architecture at UCL followed by a Master in Architecture and Urbanism at the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory. He has been a Diploma Unit Master at the AA since 2011 and an External Examiner in Architecture at the University of East London since August 2015. He is currently pursuing a PhD that focuses on multi-material design methodologies at the Royal College of Art in London, where he was also a Visiting Lecturer from 2012 to 2015. He has edited the book ‘Mixed Matters: A Multi-Material Design Compendium’, published in June 2016 by Jovis Verlag.

Claudia Pasquero
RC16 Tutor and Urban Morphogenesis Lab Director

Claudia Pasquero is an architect, author and educator; she is co-founder and director of ecoLogicStudio ltd, Director of the  Urban Morphogenesis Lab and lecturer at The Bartlett UCL, Senior Tutor at the IAAC in Barcelona. Her work acts at the convergence of disciplines such as biology, computation and urban design; her projects have been exhibited internationally: in Karlsruhe (ZKM Collection, 2015), Milan (EXPO2015, 2015), Orleans (FRAC Collection, 2014), Paris (EDF Foundation, 2013), London (Architectural Association, 2011), Venice Biennales (2006; 2008; 2010; 2015; 2016), Astana Expo 2017, upon others. Claudia is co-author of Systemic Architecture: operating manual for the self-organizing city, published by Routledge in 2011. Claudia is currently curator of the Tallinn Architectural Biennale 2017, titled bioTallinn.

Tommasso Casucci
RC16 Tutor

Tommaso Casucci is a computational designer interested in exploring new design strategies ranging across the fields of computation, digital and robotic fabrication. He is a member of the Computation and Design group (ZH CODE) at Zaha Hadid Architects as well as curator of an independent design research platform named Synthetic Morphologies. Since 2016, Tommaso is a studio tutor at the Urban Morphogenesis Lab, the Bartlett UCL, while previously he has been contract professor of Digital Modelling Techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna from 2013 to 2015. Tommaso has been teaching and lecturing internationally at the Bartlett UCL, The Architectural Association, the University of Bologna, The University of Genova, The WAAG society upon others. Tommaso has been working at SPAN Architects (2010), Kokkugia (2012), DecodeBim(2013) and Co-de-iT(2010-onwards); he holds a Master of Architecture (MArch) and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) from the University of Florence, Italy.

Filippo Nassetti
RC16 Tutor

Filippo Nassetti is a member of  the Computation and Design team (ZH CODE) at Zaha Hadid Architects as well as tutor at the Urban Morphogenesis Lab, the Bartlett UCL; as part of his current practice and academic commitments he pursues his research interest on generative method and emergent technologies. Filippo has been working and teaching internationally, he has been architect at Plasma Studio Architects, SPAN Architecture&Design and he co-founded MHOX, a practice focused on generative design and 3d printing, where he explored their potential for the design of wearable products. Filippo has been lecturing at The Royal College of Arts, University of Bologna, the AA Visiting School Jordan upon others.

Enriqueta Llabres
RC18 Tutor

Enriqueta Llabres is an architect, social scientist and researcher with an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics. In 2009 she founded award-winning practice Relational Urbanism. She is a design critic in Landscape Architecture at Harvard and has collaborated with institutions worldwide as a critic and lecturer.

Zachary Fluker
RC18 Tutor

Zachary Fluker is an architectural designer with a background in industrial design and cabinet making.  He is a graduate of both Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the Architectural Association. His research into interfacing digital with physical environments and computational fabrication has led him to collaborate with several practices in the UK and Canada, including Philip Beesley Architect.

Contributing and affiliated staff

Professor Frédéric Migayrou 
B-Pro Director 

Frédéric Migayrou is Chair, Bartlett Professor of Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture and Deputy Director of the National Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris. He was the founder of the Frac Center Collection and of ArchiLab, the international festival of Prospective Architecture in Orléans. Apart from recent publications and exhibitions (De Stijl, Centre Pompidou, 2011; La Tendenza, Centre Pompidou, 2012; Bernard Tschumi, Centre Pompidou, 2013; Frank Gehry, Centre Pompidou 2014), he was the curator of Non Standard Architectures at the Centre Pompidou in 2003, the first exposition devoted to architecture, computation and fabrication. More recently, he co-organised the exhibition Naturalising Architecture (ArchiLab, Orléans 2013), presenting prototypes and commissions by 40 teams of architects working with new generative computational tools, defining new interrelations between materiality, biotechnology and fabrication. In 2012 he founded B-Pro, The Bartlett’s umbrella structure for post-professional architecture programmes.

Andrew Porter 
B-Pro Deputy Director

Andrew Porter studied at The Bartlett School of Architecture and has collaborated in practice with  Sir Peter Cook and Christine Hawley CBE. In 1998 he and Abigail Ashton set up ashton porter architects, they have completed a number of award winning commissions in the UK and prizewinning competitions in the UK and abroad. Andrew is co-leader of The Bartlett’s MArch Architecture Unit 21, and has been a visiting Professor at the Staedel Academy, Frankfurt and guest critic at SCi-Arc, Los Angeles and Parsons New School, New York.

Professor Peter Bishop 
Professor of Urban Design

Peter Bishop was Director of Design for London, advisor to the Mayor and deputy CEO of the London Development Agency. He has worked on regeneration projects includiång Kings Cross and the Olympics. He is a director at Allies and Morrison and author of The Bishop Review and The Temporary City, an exploration of temporary urbanism.


Research Clusters and Labs

The MArch Urban Design (UD) programme offers a large number of research-focused clusters and the Urban Morphongenesis Lab, all of which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. Browse the sections below to find out more, or see past work in The UD Book on issuu.com.

RC11: Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber, with Rae Whittow-Williams

2016–17: Sabine Storp, Patrick Weber

In RC11 we like to cultivate the interests of individual students working on shared collective approaches, developing engaging new urban scenarios and fictions. Students will be allowed to explore and test their own alternative urban experiments working on a variety of scales using the whole range of representation techniques. There has to be a spirit of experimentation to evolve new ideas and concepts. 

RC12: Luke Pearson and Sandra Youkhana, with David Roberts

2016–17: Luke Caspar Pearson, Sandra Youkhana

RC12 will operate as a think-tank exploring cities through radical methods of representation and experimental distortions of media. We will undertake conceptual and fictional design projects as a critical tool to shed light on the complexities of real cities.

    RC13: Eddie Blake and Sam Jacob, with Amica Dall

    2016–17: Eddie Blake, Sam Jacob

    RC13 will consider the wider consequences of work and its effect on the city: How workspaces have organised the city. Downtown, Industrial Estates, Business Parks are all urban configurations of work. So are London’s East and West Ends. But so too are suburbs and dormitory towns.

    RC14: Roberto Bottazzi and Kostas Grigoriadis, with Annarita Papeschi

    2016–17: Roberto Bottazzi, Kostas Grigoriadis

    RC 14 explores the role of Big Data in urban design. The research focuses on mining large environmental datasets to question issues of scale, material and strategy in urban design. By looking at the city through the lenses of data, a non-human, previously inaccessible image of the city emerges calling for a more complex, fluid, open, incomplete type of design. 

    RC16: Tommaso Casucci, Filippo Nassetti and Claudia Pasquero, with Emmanouil Zaroukas

    2016–17: Tommaso Casucci, Filippo Nassetti, Claudia Pasquero

    The studio RC16 in the Urban Morphogenesis Lab works at the convergence of discipline such as biology, computation and urban design. In the Lab look at the city from a non-anthropocentric point of view, realizing that in our contemporary global world it is impossible to trace a clear distinction between nature and artifice, between landscape and city and ultimately between the biosphere and the urbansphere.

    If we look at the city from far we realize that it is quite difficult to define the boundaries between natural and artificial, contemporary global cities despite being large artificial systems develop patterns that seem to recall natural formations of a radically different kind

    RC18: Zachary Fluker, Enriqueta Llabres Valls, with Nuria Alvarez Lombardero

    2016–17: Zachary Fluker, Enriqueta Llabres

    RC18 will work establishing new domains that cut across data, the material and the digital. In order to engage with the topic of customization the students will work on the development of a composite as a material research and explore how to manipulate it through the design of an interactive mixing-desk. The design research will firstly focus on the ways this composite allows for variations in its properties engaging the user at the individual level.

    This individual customization of the architectural material will then be deployed in the urban realm through a social design platform where the students will explore how existing agencies will engage with the design process and how new agencies could emerge thanks to the platform itself. Leading the discussion about the future of our discipline and what new forms of documentation can help our discipline to gain domain within the city.

    Urban Morphogenesis Lab

    The MArch Urban Design programme Lab allows students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. 

    The Urban Morphogenesis Lab engages urban design as a computational practice to prefigure alternative models of the city represented as a complex dynamic system. The ambition of the Lab is to stimulate a transdisciplinary discourse that reaches wider academic research networks and scientific organisations involved in the study of the city as a living system, and to develop future bio-digital technologies.

    The Lab adopts computational, analogue, biological and digital design methods to draw terrains of negotiation between strategic and tactical forms of intervention. Algorithmic coding enables the study of biological models and the testing of iterative, adaptive and resilient design solutions applicable to a broader eco-social domain. It generates a multiplicity of responses and effects at scales ranging from the molecular to the territorial, from the quasi-instantaneous to the geological.

    The Lab’s work is largely studio-based and students are encouraged to work in teams and to engage design as a form of research. Current research clusters focus on the urban application of models of collective intelligence inspired by ants, corals and slime moulds, on the development of resilient and distributed bio-energy infrastructures, on the engineering of bio-digital soil remediation, urban landscapes and on the material articulation of adaptive water management territories.

    While escaping conventional urban categorisation, the Lab’s Research Clusters engage specific regions that are gaining a new centrality, as both producers of the resources adsorbed by existing global cities and receivers of the surplus to society, the human and material waste byproducts of contemporary capitalist system. Current locations include the oil-rich desert of the Rub Al Khali in the UAE, the copper mining corridor in Arizona, USA, the Tar Sands region in Alberta, Canada and the water basin of Manaus, Brazil.

    Collaborators include UCL’s fluid mechanical and coastal engineering, and bio-material and tissue engineering teams; the artificial intelligence lab at the University of Brussels; and most recently the E.S.A. [European Space Agency] in Rome.
    The reference text for the Lab is: Systemic Architecture: Operating Manual for the Self Organising City, co-authored by Lab Director Claudia Pasquero. The book outlines a design method and describes design techniques relevant to the Lab.

    Recent articles discussing student work which has been carried out in the Lab can be found online in UNCUBE magazine and Urbanista.

    Lab Director: Claudia Pasquero
    Programme History & Theory Coordinator: Godofredo Pereira
    Coding and Media tutors: Immanuel Koh, Stuart Maggs, Filippo Nassetti
    History and Theory tutors: Emmanouil Zaroukas, Sara Franceschelli
    Research Clusters:
    RC16: Claudia Pasquero, Maj Plemenitas
    RC18: Eduardo Rico, Enriqueta Llabres, Zachary Fluker


      B-Pro

      B-Pro is the School of Architecture’s incubator for new and emerging professional practice, and the overarching structure for its MArch Architectural Design and MArch Urban Design post-professional programmes.

      Attracting high-calibre staff from all over the world and led by Chair of School Professor Frédéric Migayrou, B-Pro includes a number of research ‘Labs’ dedicated to advanced experimentation in architectural and urban theory.

      B-Pro Director: Professor Frédéric Migayrou
      B-Pro Deputy Director: Andrew Porter
      MArch AD Programme Leader: Alisa Andrasek
      MArch UD Programme Leader: Mark Smout
      B-Pro & Programmes Administrator: Tom Mole

      About The Bartlett School of Architecture

      We are:

      • one of the most influential, exciting and innovative architecture schools in the world
      • located within the UK’s largest multidisciplinary faculty of the built environment, in one of the world’s top universities
      • the UK’s highest-rated department for architectural research (REF 2008, 2014), and ranked the best British school of architecture by AJ100 for 13 consecutive years
      • based in a new building at 22 Gordon Street in central London, close to world-leading architectural, engineering and creative practices, many of them partners. From 2017/18 we will also have new high-volume facilities for experimentation, making, and performance at Here East in Hackney Wick, East London
      • host to students from over 40 nations, many of them among the most sought-after in the world for their drive, creativity, and skills
      • the school where students have won a total of 6 Bronze, 3 Dissertation, and 10 Silver RIBA Presidents medals
      urbanism design cities architecture