UCL East


Smithsonian intends to create permanent exhibition space in London with the V&A Museum

30 June 2016

Stratford Waterfront


V&A and Smithsonian has announced an exciting new collaboration that will take place at the future V&Albert East museum opening at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford in 2020 next to UCL East campus.

For the first time in its 170 year history, Smithsonian together with the V&A will develop a permanent gallery space outside of the United States. This new collaboration comes with a wealth of opportunities for all partners of this cultural and educational district. Smithsonian is the latest addition to the list of partners already present at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park namely V&A, Sadler's Wells, University of the Arts London and Studio Wayne McGregor. Welcoming such an influential international partner will create new opportunities for research collaborations, exhibition and events that will reach even wider audiences. The regeneration of East London aims at inspiring new approaches to culture and heritage as part of the legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games.

UCL is an active participant of this ambitious project and will be contributing with the new UCL East campus opening in 2019/2020.  To support public engagement and bring students and local communities together, UCL will create a new facility in the form of a Creative Engagement Hub that will showcase research, community engagement activities and performance. UCL will create new degrees and research programmes that are developed from   multi-disciplinary collaborations across the core themes of heritage, design, materials, performance, memory and media.

The Public and Cultural Engagement (PACE) department is actively working to create this new space, offering cultural and creative activities for local communities in Hackney, Stratford and Newham. "The co-location of the V&A and Smithsonian and our leading edge approach to co-creation and co-production through the Creative Engagement Hub creates as yet unimagined opportunities to develop new and exciting cultural engagements" said Simon Cane, Director of UCL Public and Cultural Engagement.

This new area will provide a base for experimental, new forms of cultural production and representation. Partnerships with V&A, Sadler's Wells and now Smithsonian will certainly add value to all partners' programmes and create new and interesting opportunities for UCL students and researchers.

Photo: LLDC, Stratford Waterfront (March 2016)