The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Camillo Boano

Dr Camillo Boano

Senior Lecturer

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2007

Research summary

My research interests are focused on urban development, contested urbanism, socio-spatial dialectics, design and urban transformations, shelter and housing reconstruction in conflicted areas, divided cities and post-disaster environments. More recently my specific interests on urban design were directed to the reconstruction of design through dissensus, calling for a deeper reorientation between politics and aesthetics, drawing on the theoretical constructions of Lefebvre, Foucault, and Rancière.

In addition to directing the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development, I am the Director of Communication and coordinate the dpu summerLab http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/programmes/visiting-and-exchange at the DPU.

Much of my teaching arises from my research interests, as I explore how an integrated multidisciplinary perspective on space could critically serve to analyze, understand and explain the form, structure, process and dynamics of urban areas. From this base the module also deconstructs and re-calibrates the discipline of urban design. I also examine the importance for urban development of some specific philosophical spatial ontologies (Lefebvre, Foucault and Agamben), the social construction of risks and vulnerabilities in urban areas and the contested nature of the production of effective and just post disaster reconstruction.

I’m author of different publications in academic journals as The Journal of Architecture, DisastersThe Journal of Developing Societies among others and edited a book on humanitarian urbanism and refugee camps tiled Citta Nude. Iconografia dei campi profughi (Franco Angeli, 2005, in italian) and contributed to the book Safer Homes, Stronger Communities: A Handbook
for Reconstructing after Natural Disaster. Washington Dc: World Bank, edited by Jha, K.A, with Duyne Barenstein, J., Phelps, P.M., Pittet,
D.,Sena, S., eds. (2010)
Available at: http://www.housingreconstruction.org). I've just published a book titled "Contested Urbanism in Dharavi. Writings and Projects for the Resilient City" DPU, London, with William Hunter and Caroline Newton https://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/publications/dpu-book-17

Teaching summary

Apart from directing the MSc Building and Urban Design for Development I'm teaching the following Masters modules:

- Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design For Development (BENVGBU1);
- Building and Urban Design Practice (BENVGBU3)
- Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives (BENVGBU7)
- Critical Urbanism Studio I: Learning from Informality - case studies and alternatives (BENVGBU8)
- Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design strategies for contested spaces (BENVGBU9) 


Oxford Brookes University
PhD, Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional) | 2007
Loughborough University
MSc, Water Quality Control | 2002
Politecnico di Torino
BSc, Architecture | 1998


Dr. Camillo Boano is an architect, urbanist and educator. He is Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College of London (UCL), where he directs the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development. He is also co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory. Camillo has over 20 years of experiences in research, design consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia

A qualified architect with a Masters in Urban Development and a PhD in Planning from Oxford Brookes University, Camillo has over 20 years of experiences in research, design consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. As an academic interested in practice, I combine interests in critical architecture, spatial production, transformations, urbanism with the exceptional circumstances of disasters, conflicts and informality. My interest in investigating the material and dialectical production of spaces emerged out of experiences of being a development practitioner in South America in the early 1990s and in war ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina.

My research and consultancy roles have included work in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. This involved collaborations with numerous institutions, including UNHCR, UNDP, Refugee Study Centre, EU, Oxfam GB, Italian Civil Protection, World Bank and several architectural practices.

 In addition to directing the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development, I am the Director of the DPUsummerLab initiative http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/programmes/summerlab

I am associate lecturer in Oxford Brookes University, University of Bologna, Polytechnic of Turin, Polytechnic of Milan, Roma Tre and Université de Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne, as well as external supervisor at ETH-Zurich, NTNU in Norway and in ESARQ Barcelona and have been an external examiner of PhD dissertations in different universities in the UK and elsewhere.

Prior to joining UCL, I worked in development and architectural practice for a number of years, became a research fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, joined the World Habitat Research Unit in Switzerland, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where I worked on a number of research and consultancy projects concerned with environmental forced migration, humanitarian urbanism, temporary shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and communication in emergencies.