UCL Urban Laboratory


Translocal Networks of Mutual Learning in Urban Design Education

The MA in Urban Design (MAUD) at the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture is a studio-based programme that applies research-based design methodologies with a strong emphasis on participatory practice to address the challenges of uneven urban development, both locally and internationally. Building on urban design studios and live projects across a number of cities in Europe, the Middle East and Central America, this paper aims to position the programme in relation to the growing range of actors and situations with which it interacts, by articulating a narrative of design-based, locally-driven global engagement with urban learning and interventions. 

Drawing from a tradition of situated engagement with the urban contexts of Sheffield, Yorkshire, and the UK, central to the programme's on-going development is the notion of trans-local knowledge production and exchange. This notion underpins MAUD's pedagogical approach of fostering local-to-local exchanges alongside global-to-local connections to create meaningful and transformative learning opportunities for urban design in an international context. Expanding on this notion, the paper will explore a constellation of concepts contributing to the programme's imaginary and future narrative: the centrality of the small-scale as a lens to observe and transform complex urban situations, as seen through the layered stories of people and places. An idea of situatedness through mobility and partnership - embedding learning experiences within locally-driven initiatives, and connecting to site-specific debates and timeframes. An attention for mutual equitable learning, the forms of dialogue informing ethical collaborations, and the continued effort to jointly interrogate both locally devised and 'imported' concepts and design methodologies. Finally, the interlinking of local and international networks, as a way of facilitating exchange across locales and scales - striving to act as catalysts for the dissemination and exchange through the networks of our institution and to contribute towards local 'communities of urban practice'.

15 minute paper by Cristina Cerulli (University of Sheffield), Beatrice De Carli (University of Sheffield), and Florian Kossak (University of Sheffield). 

Session one: 10.30 - 11.50, Thursday 17 September, Darwin Lecture Theatre.


Image: Mapping relationscapes, a workshop with CLUSTER Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training, and Environmental Research

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