UCL Urban Laboratory


UCL Urban Room

A new space for events, exhibitions, workshops and engagement with local stakeholders, professional audiences, and the wider public in east London.

Exploring the impact of industry, globalisation, regeneration and gentrification on the six Olympic Park boroughs and their people, the UCL Urban Room is a practice-based, multi-purpose space at the heart of the new UCL East campus, dedicated to debate and engagement around key questions of future living and urbanism.

Located at One Pool Street (the first phase of the development), the public-facing UCL Urban Room hosts events, exhibitions, workshops and engagement with local stakeholders, professional audiences, and the wider public, whilst the Memory Workshop will open up access to UCL’s public and oral history collections, forging dialogue between UCL urban researchers and local community partners. Together they represent an exciting resource on the past, present and future of cities that will enable innovative explorations of London’s history, and the site in east London, through both ideas and objects.

Managed through a partnership between UCL Urban Laboratory, The Bartlett, School for the Creative and Cultural Industries and UCL Library Services: Special Collections, the space is designed to create opportunities for academics, students and partners to be exposed to each other's work and initiatives. It operates as a research-led teaching resource for two associated Masters programmes, Urban Lab's MASc Global Urbanism, and MA Public History (History), as well as a space for engagement and participation by the wider academic community.


Kara Blackmore
UCL Urban Room is curated by Dr Kara Blackmore, an anthropologist and curator who specialises in community-driven exhibition making, and has an established track record in developing innovative collaborations between educational institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and cultural organisations. She brings an ethics of care to her work that is inspired by decolonial methodologies and looks forward to inspiring students, staff and partners to experiment in the new space.
Kara combines extensive experience of working internationally with communities in south and east Africa, with local perspectives on London in the shadow of Grenfell Tower and during the pandemic. She is very well-placed to develop a vision and programme for the UCL Urban Room that speaks to the local and global identities embedded in London’s diaspora communities, critically engages with its complexities and inequalities, and helps us to realise the commitment to equitable and inclusive regeneration in east London that has driven this project from the start.

Dr Clare Melhuish, Director UCL Urban Laboratory