The Bartlett School of Planning


Self-organisation: Bridging between biology and the built environment

15 March 2017, 5:00 pm–7:30 pm

Nature Inspired Urbanism

Nature-Inspired Urbanism

Event Information

Open to



Dr Claire Narraway


G01, Central House

The workshop is expected to feature [provisional billing]:

  • Welcome
  • Nature-Inspired Urbanism: A short presentation by Stephen Marshall, on our project interpreting self-organisation and other nature-inspired processes in the design of the built environment
  • Calibrating biological credibility and utility (Workshop session) – interactive discussions exploring analogues between biology and urbanism at different scales
    • which do biologists find convincing?
    • which do architects/planners/designers of the built environment find useful?
  • Why could Biology be useful for Urbanism? (a biologist’s perspective) A short presentation by Dr Claire Narraway
  • Mapping the analogies (Workshop session) – We will present some ‘knowledge mapping’ for discussion/ calibration/feedback
  • Reflections on prospects for future research and applications – A short presentation by Stephen Marshall and Claire Narraway, followed by half an hour for discussion.

The above programme will last about 2 hours, followed by a further open period for networking, with refreshments and nibbles, to close by 7.30pm.

The workshop should be a chance to

  • learn about our latest research in this area
  • engage with inter-disciplinary challenges
  • network with a diversity of other participants

The workshop is free to attend but places are limited. For this workshop we wish to have a range of participants, by background/area of interest, with a mix from professors to PhD students, theorists and practitioners;  and a balanced diversity.

Therefore we ask prospective participants to apply to join by including:

  • Your present role and affiliation (this could be in your signature)
  • Your disciplinary background and current area of interest (e.g. biologist turned sociologist; architect now working in biomimetics; building surveyor turned complexity theorist, evolutionary economist doing a PhD in public policy, etc.)
  • Please also let us know if you believe you are in an under-represented group (by gender, ethnicity, etc.)

If you are interested in participating, please apply by Friday 10th March, by contacting Dr Claire Narraway c.narraway@ucl.ac.uk or use the contact form on the WHO WE ARE page on this website.