Short courses


Bartlett DPU summerLab

  • 36 hours per Lab
  • 6 days per Lab


This series of one-week workshops gives you the chance to visit, work and experience one or more cities across the world under the supervision of leading researchers and practitioners from the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at The Bartlett, UCL.

The interdisciplinary programme is intended to provoke, stimulate and help reconsider the role of designers in promoting spatial justice.

It's aimed at students and emerging professionals with backgrounds and/or a keen interest in the urban environment.

Each year a number of cities are chosen to host the various summerLabs, with the input of partners from all over the world. In 2019 Labs were held in Jerusalem, Chengdu, Hargeysa, Athens and London.

What the summerLab involves

Within your selected destination(s) you'll work with local organisations and institutions to tackle existing urban issues in innovative and creative ways.

By attending a DPU summerLab, you'll:

  • gain a better understanding of the challenges of designing in contested urban spaces, and a critical understanding of informal contexts and their actors
  • get the unique chance to collaborate with emerging grassroots realities in the city, or cities, of your choice
  • get first-hand experience of the progressive action-research and practice-based ethos of the Bartlett's DPU

Structure and applications

You can select one or more Labs to attend, depending on your interest in the proposed case studies. 

You can apply as an individual or as part of a team.

To apply, you'll need to submit a completed application form, your CV and letter of motivation.

Costs and concessions

The standard fee for each Lab is £450.

A discounted fee of £350 is available for:

  • currently enrolled DPU students
  • DPU alumni
  • group applications (5 or more people)

Discounts are also available if you register for multiple workshops. Please contact dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk for more information.

Fees don't include travel or accommodation.


At the end of the summerLab you'll get a certificate of attendance from the DPU

Your work will also be published in the DPU summerLab series, which is free to download from the summerLab website.

Course team

Dr Camillo Boano - Programme Director

Dr Camillo Boano - Programme Director

Camillo is Director of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit. He's a qualified architect with a Master's degree in Urban Development and a PhD in Planning from Oxford Brookes University. His research focuses on urban design, shelter/housing interventions and socio-spatial transformation within the exceptional circumstances of disasters, displacement and conflict. He's consulted and worked in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, Salvador, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia.

Giorgio Talocci - Coordinator

Giorgio Talocci - Coordinator

Giorgio is a Teaching Fellow in the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at the Development Planning Unit. He's co-director of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development and runs the modules Transforming Local Areas - Urban Design for Development, and Critical Urbanism Studio II - Designing Investigative Strategies for Contested Spaces. He's completing the PhD programme at the DPU researching destituent politics and use in urban design: an archaeology of Phnom Penh’s inoperative spaces, grounded in the reality of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He's also worked in Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Albania and the Philippines.

Course information last modified: 4 Sep 2020, 12:45