A studio-based programme bringing 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 programme
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 school'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 course provides the opportunity to discover new design skills, using specialist tools and technology.
The course 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 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
- Programme Director: Professor Mark Smout
- History and Theory Coordinator: Roberto Bottazzi
- Skills Coordinator: Maj Plementias
- All Urban Design MArch Staff
Mark Smout is Professor of Architecture and Landscape Futures at The Bartlett School of Architecture, where, in addition to directing Urban Design MArch he also runs Architecture MArch Unit 11 with Professor 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 interactions 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.
Sabine Storp is an architect, design tutor and short course coordinator at The Bartlett School of Architecture, educated in Italy and Germany. Co-founder of the 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 is an architect, design tutor and researcher at The Bartlett School of Architecture. He was educated in Germany and the UK where 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 Architecture BSc and Architecture MArch. In 2013 Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber set up Living Laboratory looking closer into projects relating to living and habitat.
Luke Caspar Pearson
Luke Caspar Pearson is a designer who has taught at The Bartlett School of Architecture 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, Architect’s Sketchbooks, CLOG, The RIBA Journal and Interstices.
- Website You+Pea
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.
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 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 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 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.
- Instagram @kostas__gr
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
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 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 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 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
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.
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.
Modes and duration
Full time - one year, taught over 12 months
Normally a minimum of a second-class degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received.
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.
The MArch Urban Design (UD) programme offers a large number of research-focused clusters and the Urban Morphongenesis Lab, which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. Browse the section the below to find out more about the research briefs which were undertaken last year.
- Research Cluster 11: Ana Abram, Aisling O'Carroll, with Rae Whittow-Williams
Ana Abram, Aisling O'Carroll, with Rae Whittow-Williams
- Research Cluster 12: Luke Pearson and Sandra Youkhana, with Gareth Damian Martin
Playing the Metropolis of Tomorrow
Luke Pearson and Sandra Youkhana, with Gareth Damian Martin
- Research Cluster 14: Roberto Bottazzi and Tasos Varoudis, with Annarita Papeschi
Machine Thinking and Urbanism beyond the Void
Roberto Bottazzi and Tasos Varoudis, with Annarita Papeschi
- Research Cluster 16: Claudia Pasquero, Filippo Nassetti, with Emmanouil Zarouka
Urban Morphogenesis Lab
Claudia Pasquero, Filippo Nassetti, with Emmanouil Zaroukas
- Research Cluster 17: Daniel Koehler, Rasa Navasaityte
Large City Architecture – The Universal Welfare State
Daniel Koehler, Rasa Navasaityte
- Research Cluster 18: Zachary Fluker, Enriqueta Llabres Valls, with Nuria Alvarez Lombardero
Bridging across Mass Customisation
Zachary Fluker, Enriqueta Llabres Valls, with Nuria Alvarez Lombardero
Urban Morphogenesis Lab
The Urban Morphogenesis Lab experiments with the application of recent scientific findings within unconventional computing to architecture and urban design at various scales. The aim of its research is to mobilise artificial and biological intelligence (computation) in search of a new mode of reasoning - and therefore a new mode of designing.
- More about the Urban Morphogenesis Lab
The shift to biological intelligence allows us to engage with the current disconnection between matter, information and energy and hack into natural as well as artificial morphogenetic processes in real time. As a result, we are able to discover new ways of working.
The Lab operates within a speculative assemblage of objects that the lab has termed 'Objects with Universal Relevance' (O.U.R.). Each O.U.R. aims to allow novel tactics of interaction to emerge, whilst various models, supported by collective intelligence and spatial memory, reveal universal intervention strategies. Bottom-up and top-down models of planning become obsolete methods in the wake of O.U.R.
The Urban Morphogenesis Lab adopts synthetic design methods (biological and computational, analogue and digital) in order to stimulate negotiations between strategic and tactical forms of intervention. Algorithmic coding enables both autonomous speculative computation as well as the study of biological models by experimenting with adaptive and resilient design solutions applicable to a broader eco-social domain. In this sense, the Urban Morphogenesis Lab generates a range of responses at various scales from the molecular to the territorial.
Recent projects include Solana Open Aviary for the Venice Biennale 2016, the Super Material Exhibition at the Building Centre in London, the Expo Astana BioTechHut exhibition and the Architectural Biennale of Tallinn 2017 (bioTallinn) for which Claudia Pasquero was the Head Curator. The Lab also produced a commission for the FRAC Center in Orleans, which is now part of the permanent collection.
Recent articles include ‘Design Prototype’ for UCL Publishing 2016, ‘Cities as Biological Computers’ for Architectural Research Quarterly by Cambridge University Press 2016, ‘Solana Open Aviary’ for AD Hyperlocal 2016, ‘The Morphogenetic City’ for TAB MATTER 2017, ‘On the origin of the Bio-Digital City’ for World Architecture Magazine Beijing, upon others.
The Urban Morphogenesis Lab has established a long-lasting collaboration with the European Space Agency exploring the application and algorithmic reading of data from their new Satellites Sentinella1, Sentinella2, Sentinella3 in an architectural and urban design context.
Lab Director: Claudia Pasquero
Tutors: Filippo Nassetti, Emmaouil Zaroukas