The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU summerLab

The DPU summerLab workshop series aims to leverage the reality of the city as a laboratory for developing socially responsive design measures.

summerLab 2017 final poster

Born out of the MSc Building & Urban Design in Development (BUDD) course in 2009 and expanded in 2010 into a wider The Bartlett Development Planning Unit initiative, it is intended to provoke, stimulate, and reconsider the role of designers in promoting spatial justice.

Focusing on cities’ contested spaces, their mutable landscapes and visible/invisible thresholds, the DPU summerLab asserts that – to appropriately engage in this arena – a critical recalibration of (architectural and urban) design practice is required: every year’s workshop series lies within, and wants to contribute to, this paradigmatic shift.

The DPU summerLab seeks to establish a unique rotating platform for in situ immersion and experimentation where the boundaries of spatial agency and design processes are actively pushed, hinging upon critical analysis and design research.

The workshops – which are geared toward students and emerging professionals with backgrounds and/or keen interest in the urban environment – offer a vital testing ground for the proposing of contextual, hybridised spatial interventions deeply embedded into socio-political agendas. 

Read and download the latest DPU summerLab pamphlet, with works and reflections from the 2015 workshop.

Please scroll down for more information on applications and fees

Lab pages

2017 series
2016 series
2015 series
2014 series
2013 series
2012 series
2011 series



Dr. Camillo Boano - Programme Director

Camillo is a qualified architect with a Masters in Urban Development and a PhD in Planning from Oxford Brookes University. Currently Director of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, his research focuses on urban design, shelter/housing interventions and socio-spatial transformation within the exceptional circumstances of disasters, displacement, and conflict.

He has consulted and worked in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, Salvador, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. Camillo is also a reviewer for Disasters, International Development Planning Review, Urban Design and Planning Journal, Journal of Refugee Studies.

He is an associate lecturer in Planning at Oxford Brookes University and a visiting lecturer at University of Bologna and Polytechnic of Turin.

Email: c.boano@ucl.ac.uk

Giorgio Talocci - Coordinator

Giorgio Talocci (BSc, MArch, MSc) is a Teaching Fellow in the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at the Development Planning Unit. Currently co-director of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development, he runs the modules Transforming Local Areas - Urban Design for Development (term 2), Critical Urbanism Studio II - Designing Investigative Strategies for Contested Spaces, and collaborates to the coordination of the MSc BUDD’s practice module.

He is a PhD candidate in the PhD programme Development Planning, with a research on the potential of ‘failure’ in Urban Design, grounded into the reality of Phnom Penh, Cambodia – where he collaborated with several NGOs during a 7 months fieldwork. His background is in architecture and urban design. He graduated in Rome (Faculty of Architecture - University of Roma Tre) with a thesis on the transformation and decay of collective housing structures over time.

He has been a designer for the office Atenastudio, where he worked on several urban regeneration projects in Tirana, Albania, and developed an interest for the implications and potentialities of Urban Design in developing contexts. This interest led him to enrol in the the MSc course Building and Urban Design in Development at the DPU, where he graduated with Distinction in September 2010.

Email: ucfugit@ucl.ac.uk

Azadeh Mashayekhi – Co-Coordinator

Azadeh Mashayekhi (BSc, MArch, MSc) is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at the Development Planning Unit.

Originally trained as an Architect in Iran, and later as an urban planner in the Netherlands at the Technical University of Delft (TUDelft), she specialized over the years in the fields of urban development planning and urban policy mobility. She has over 10 years’ international experience in research and practice in different countries in the Middle East and Europe. As an academic her work focuses on political and institutional dynamics of urban development planning in the context of the global south.

Over the years she worked for several international organizations, offices, and universities including UNESCO in Iran, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, Delft University of Technology, and University of Westminster in London. She has been working on several urban design and master plan projects at (OMA) in Rotterdam - she has been involved in various teaching courses at the department of Urbanism (TUDelft), and also took part in number of research projects at TUDelft and University of Westminster. She is part of the editorial team at the International journal of Planning Practice and Research. 

Application and fees

The DPU summerLab is open to all students and professionals with an interest in urban environments.

The international participation fee for each workshop is £400. The fee is discounted to £300 for: currently enrolled DPU students (2016-17), DPU alumni, and for group applications (5 people or more). Discounted fees apply for participants intending to register to multiple workshops too, please contact us for further info. Please note that these fees do not include travel or accommodation, though advice and local information will be provided. The application deadline for all workshops is Monday 3 July 2017. For more information and to apply please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/programmes/summerlab or write to dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk

Participants are responsible for obtaining any visa they might require to which the DPU can provide proof of workshop registration if needed.

Personal equipment

Participants will need to bring their own laptops and digital equipment. Please ensure that this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the DPU cannot take responsibility for items lost or stolen during the workshop.


The deadline for application for the 2017 series will be on Monday 3 July. The applicant will need to e-mail the form, along with a CV and a letter of motivation to dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk

Expression of interest

Interested in joining dpu summerLab? Please email dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk if you have any queries. For more information about the application process please click on the Applications menu

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