UCL Culture

Read more about our manifesto in this online version
Open Up
UCL was founded on a vision to open education to the world. Back in 1826, this was radical and revolutionary thinking. It still is today.

We’re here to champion this founding principle. Active and at large across the university, UCL Culture is dedicated to breaking down barriers, crossing borders and opening minds.

We’re here to stimulate and provoke. To bring the outside in and the inside out. To use our expertise and energy to help foster a culture of disruptive and critical thinking and create an environment and student experience that encourages the new ideas and invention we need to tackle humanity’s biggest challenges.

Light Sparks
When we open our doors, we open our minds. When we integrate education, research, innovation and enterprise, the future happens faster. When people, ideas and influences mix, sparks fly.

At UCL, we have what it takes to be one of the world’s most vibrant creative organisations. A place where connections fire between departments and disciplines. A diverse intellectual community where opinions are challenged, perspectives shift and lateral leaps are made.

We’re here to help spark these creative connections. To set the scene and make the time and space. To bring the different parts and players together. To create the stories, events and interventions that light a fuse and fan the flames.

Inspiring and sustaining an open, connected and creative culture at UCL is our project and our passion. But we believe everyone throughout the university and across the communities we serve has an active part to play.

At UCL Culture, we use our specialised skills and unique resources to draw others in and equip them with the advice, materials and encouragement they need to open minds and spark ideas.

Our collections, artefacts and themes kick things off. Our museums, galleries and performance spaces play host. And our links with the wider world bring unexpected influences and ideas back and forth to start new conversations and sow different seeds.

= Health
Can a stimulating environment keep us well? Do paintings, sculpture, dance, literature, theatre, music, heal? What part can culture play in mental health? Should hospitals be more like galleries? Can we be happy without art?

In a programme of performances, exhibitions and experiments harnessing UCL’s unique blend of medical and cultural expertise, we will explore the relationship between our wellbeing and the art, science and ideas that surround us.
= Lab
What is the definition of a 21st century museum? How should a university museum be different? Should museums create knowledge as well as share it? Can a museum be an innovation studio, a workshop, a theatre? What are the limits?

In a programme of performances, exhibitions and experiments focused around our own venues and collections we will push the boundaries, challenge expectations and explore new possibilities to help draw up a blueprint for the museums of the future.
= Knowledge
How does information become understanding? Is storytelling the ultimate teaching tool? How do medium and message blend in education? What can we all learn from the rehearsal process? Is cognition powered by emotion?

In a programme of shows, events and presentations across our performance and teaching spaces we will bring academic knowledge and data to life using the techniques of stagecraft, theatre and the performing arts.