UCL Urban Laboratory


Urban Room and Memory Workshop

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 and gentrification on the six Olympic Park boroughs and their people, the Urban Room and Memory Workshop will be 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 in Pool Street West (the first phase of the development), the public-facing Urban Room will host 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 dialogues between UCL urban researchers and local community partners. Together it will present 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.

Curated by UCL Urban Laboratory in collaboration with Culture Lab, the space is also designed to create opportunities for academics, students and partners from either lab to be exposed to what each other are doing, and will be used as a teaching resource for programmes closely linked to both labs, including the MA Public History, MSc Urban Studies, MASc Global Urbanism, MSc Connected Environments, and MSc People, Planet and Prosperity.

Urban Rooms: Civic Schools & City Learning

In May 2018, UCL Urban Laboratory hosted a one-day symposium, keynote lecture and exhibition to discuss the past, present and future of ‘urban rooms’ as spaces of engagement in the UK, and to inform the vision for the planned Urban Room at UCL East.

Led by PhD student Sol Pérez Martínez, the event considered the ‘urban room’ concept in the context of the 2013 Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment and the several initiatives that have since come together under the umbrella of the Urban Rooms Network, but also in the historic precedent of ‘urban studies centres’ in the UK that emerged during the 1970s.

On the opening day, Christine Gaspar from the Centre for Urban Pedagogy in New York City gave a keynote lecture, and on the second day there was a symposium with 25 speakers. People who attended the exhibition contributed with ideas and comments for UCL’s Urban Room in a participatory wall.

Read more about the event