A studio-based programme bringing together designers and thinkers from around the world for long-term research on the challenges of global urbanisation and the creative potential of design.
Urban design is the study of cities, their form and nature, as well as the complex challenges and opportunities of global urbanisation. This programme belongs to The Bartlett School of Architecture's suite of B-Pro programmes, which focus on advanced digital design and computation.
Working collaboratively within teaching groups called Research Clusters, students explore new ideas in both design and theory, developing a complex understanding of the city as a place of human co-existence. Students are encouraged to use the school’s home in London as their primary ‘laboratory’, but also undertake other field work. The programme provides the opportunity to discover new design skills, using specialist tools and technology.
Urban Design MArch culminates in the annual B-Pro Show – an exhibition of student work, attracting thousands of visitors to the school’s central London home.
- Work collaboratively to innovate and explore new ideas in design and theory
- Discover new design skills and techniques, critical enquiry and related technologies
- Gain an understanding of the city as a place of human co-existence 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
- Have access to B-made workshop facilities and fabrication expertise unrivalled in the UK
Full-time: one year, taught over 12 months
A minimum of a second-class UK degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with extensive experience in the field may also be considered.
A design/creative portfolio is also expected. Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received, and should not send or upload work until it has been requested.
Applications open for this programme on 15 October 2018 and close on 26 July 2019 for 2019 entry.
We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high.
Fees and funding
- Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
- For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.
- Roberto Botazzi, Programme Director and Research Cluster 14 Tutor
Roberto Botazzi 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 the Royal College of Art from 2005 to 2015. Roberto's research analyses the impact of digital technologies on architecture and urbanism. His research has been exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, with his latest publication being Digital Architecture Beyond Computers: Fragments of a Cultural History of Computational Design.
- Ana Abram, Research Cluster 11 Tutor
Ana Abram is a landscape architect and urbanist who divides her work between academia, research and practice. Over the last decade, she has collaborated with several globally recognised practices like Gustafson Porter + Bowman and Turenscape, where she contributed to competition-winning designs and delivered projects from concept to completion.
Her research is based on understanding natural and social contexts through complex design syntheses, while engaging with territorial, urban and natural systems. She is a co-founder of the award-winning AMPHIBIOUS Lab, which focuses on dynamic landscapes and their interfaces with anthropogenic environments. Ana has lectured and been an invited critic at several leading institutions including the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural Association and the University of Melbourne. Her work has been published and exhibited throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
- Zachary Fluker, Research Cluster 18 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 and physical environments and computational fabrication has led to him collaborating with several practices in the UK and Canada, including Philip Beesley Architect.
- Daniel Koehler, Research Cluster 17 Tutor
Daniel Koehler is a design and theory tutor at The Bartlett, a research associate at the University of Innsbruck and a co-founder of the Lab for Environmental Design Strategies. Daniel is the author of The Mereological City (Transcript, 2016), a study of the modes of part-to-whole relations between architecture and its city during modernism. Daniel’s recent research investigates the architectural implications of digital logistics.
- Enriqueta Llabres Valls, Research Cluster 18 Tutor
Enriqueta Llabres Valls is an architect, social scientist and researcher with an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics. In 2009 she founded the 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.
- Filippo Nassetti, Research Cluster 16 Tutor
Filippo Nassetti is a member of the Computation and Design team (ZH CODE) at Zaha Hadid Architects as well as Tutor at The Bartlett's Urban Morphogenesis Lab. As part of his current practice and academic commitments, Filippo is pursuing his research interest of generative method and emergent technologies.
He has taught and worked internationally, including as architect at Plasma Studio Architects and SPAN Architecture&Design. Filippo 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 lectured at The Royal College of Arts, University of Bologna, and the Architectural Association Visiting School Jordan.
- Rasa Navasaityte, Research Cluster 17 Tutor
Rasa Navasaityte is an architect and Co-founder of the design practice lab-eds. Alongside her teaching at The Bartlett, she is a research associate at the University of Innsbruck. She has taught workshops, seminars and design studios at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and the University of East London. Rasa holds a Master's in Architecture, which she received with distinction at the Angewandte in Vienna, supervised by Prof. Zaha Hadid. Her project contributes to an architectural framework of ecological form and is acknowledged through several publications, awards and exhibitions.
- Aisling O'Carroll, Research Cluster 11 Tutor
Aisling O'Carroll is a licensed landscape architect, whose work bridges practice, academia and research, addressing the relationships between landscape, urbanism and ecological process. She is currently completing her PhD in Architectural Design at The Bartlett with a focus on critical approaches to preservation as design in landscape. She has previously taught design studio at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has practised with several international firms in architecture and landscape architecture. She is Co-editor-in-chief of The Site Magazine, and founder of Scenographic Land, a platform for research and design investigation.
- Claudia Pasquero, Research Cluster 16 Tutor
Claudia Pasquero is an architect, author and educator. She is Co-founder and Director of ecoLogicStudio, Director of the Urban Morphogenesis Lab, Lecturer at The Bartlett, and Senior Tutor at the IAAC in Barcelona. Her work is carried out at the convergence of disciplines such as biology, computation and urban design; her projects have been exhibited internationally in Karlsruhe (ZKM Collection, 2015), Milan (EXPO, 2015), Orleans (FRAC Collection, 2014), Paris (EDF Foundation, 2013), London (Architectural Association, 2011), Venice (Biennales 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016) and Astana (EXPO, 2017).
Claudia is co-author of 'Systemic Architecture: operating manual for the self-organizing city', published by Routledge in 2011. Claudia was the Head Curator of the Tallinn Architectural Biennale 2017, titled bioTallinn.
- Luke Pearson, Research Cluster 12 Tutor
Luke Pearson is a designer who has taught at The Bartlett since 2009. He is a 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 a 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, Architects' Sketchbooks, CLOG, The RIBA Journal and Interstices.
- Dr Tasos Varoudis, Research Cluster 14 Tutor
Tasos Varoudis is a Senior Teaching Fellow, professional architect and computing engineer with research focusing on hybrid architecture, computational analysis and machine intelligence. He has considerable teaching experience with UCL, the Architectural Association and the Royal Academy of Arts.
Since 2011 he has been instrumental in the spatial and architectural computation research for the Space Syntax Laboratory, where he develops new methodological and computational innovations combining spatial data-driven models with machine learning and agent-based models. He is the lead developer of 'depthmapX' spatial network analysis software, the most widely used tool in research and practice, and he is part of UCL's new Urban Dynamics Laboratory.
- Sandra Youkhana, Research Cluster 12 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 MArch and Architecture MArch. 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.
- Affiliated staff
Professor Frédéric Migayrou
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 Centre Collection and ArchiLab, the international festival of Prospective Architecture in Orléans. Apart from recent publications and exhibitions (Bernard Tschumi, Centre Pompidou, 2013; Frank Gehry, Centre Pompidou 2014; among others), he was the curator of Non-standard Architectures at the Centre Pompidou in 2003, the first exposition devoted to architecture, computation and fabrication. In 2012 he founded B-Pro, a suite of postgraduate programmes at The Bartlett.
B-Pro Deputy Director
Andrew Porter studied at The Bartlett and has collaborated in practice with Sir Peter Cook and Christine Hawley CBE. In 1998 he and Abigail Ashton set up ashton porter architects, which has completed a number of award-winning commissions in the UK and prizewinning competitions in the UK and abroad. Andrew is co-leader of Architecture MArch Unit 21, and has been a visiting Professor at the Staedel Academy, Frankfurt, and a 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 including 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.
The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world's top-ranked architecture schools and our graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities.
Urban Design MArch students work collaboratively within teaching groups called Research Clusters, which allow them to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. Find out more about this year's Research Clusters below.
2018-19 Research Clusters
- Research Cluster 12
Videogame Urbanism: Allegorithmic Utopias
Research Cluster 12 challenges the media of urban design using videogames as an alternative model of computation to speak about real conditions.
This year we will study Wark and Galloway’s definition of games as ‘allegorithmic’ constructions – operating between algorithm and allegory, systems and stories. We will emphasise links between computation, visual culture, narrative and politics, and their reference to experimental architecture and urbanism of the past.
Using the Unity game engine to design virtual worlds, we will examine the agency of utopian structures in relation to contemporary society, and respond to real urban issues by developing experimental virtual worlds with logics and politics to be uncovered through their playing.
- Research Cluster 14
Machine Learning Urbanism: City Beyond Cognition
Research Cluster 14 explores the role of algorithms in order to conceive innovative urban environments through mining, analysing, visualising and designing with very large datasets.
This year, we will consider computation as a means to expand design conversations and include urban elements that are either beyond human perception or have not been fully integrated into the design process. We will use algorithms to augment the categories in which we interpret space, and observe the consequences.
- Research Cluster 15
Cross-Scale Design: The Amphibious Laboratory
This year, Research Cluster 15 will investigate and address urgent and relevant questions associated with the rapidly evolving relationship between the built environment and intensified climate dynamics. This includes symptoms such as rising sea water, new forms of energy, food production and complex population dynamics.
We will develop, test and fine-tune a selection of computational design techniques, generative and analytic data, matter-based methods for design decision-making and scalable and transferable applications. These include multi-objective simulations, deep learning and the embedding of computation and actuation capacity into the architectural structure and urban tissue.
- Research Cluster 16
The Inhuman City
Research Cluster 16 (Urban Morphogenesis Lab) aims to mobilise multiple forms of intelligence, human as well as non-human, in order to redefine the urban.
This year, we will loop information between the physical and the digital realm. We will extract information from material systems and process it into the digital environment, materialising it through fabrication and feeding it back into matter.
- Research Cluster 17
Large City Architecture: Where Numbers Dwell
Research Cluster 17 uses mereology as a methodological framework to design a building through the resonance of its parts.
In this mindset we will design participatory capacities that matter at a certain size. Analogous to the villa, the slab, the block, and their cities, we will look for the urban forms of participatory thinking.
- Research Cluster 18
Bridging Across Mass Customisation: Fab & Media Urbanism
Research cluster 18 aims to design new methodologies based on a symbiotic relationship between human and machine thinking.
This year, we will investigate how back-end computing infrastructure and front-end computing infrastructure can link digital fabrication and social media.
- Urban Morphogenesis Lab
Filippo Nassetti and Emmaouil Zaroukas
The Urban Morphogenesis Lab is a research and teaching environment, affiliated with The Bartlett School of Architecture's suite of B-Pro programmes.
We experiment with the application of scientific findings within unconventional computing, at various scales. The aim of our research is to mobilize artificial and biological intelligence in search of a new mode of reasoning, seeking to transform the act of design into the possibility to hack into natural and artificial morphogenetic processes.
We adopt synthetic design methods to stimulate negotiations between strategic and tactical forms of intervention. Algorithmic coding enables both autonomous speculative computation and the study of biological models, by experimenting with adaptive and resilient design solutions applicable to a broader eco-social domain. In this sense, we generate a range of responses at various scales from the molecular to the territorial.