UCL Urban Laboratory


Cities Methodologies 2013

23 April 2013–26 April 2013, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm


Event Information

Open to



UCL Slade Research Centre, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0NS

The UCL Urban Laboratory community is delighted to present the 2013 edition of Cities Methodologies, an annual exhibition and events programme showcasing recent innovations in urban research methods and cross-disciplinary work on cities worldwide.

From the start, five years ago, Cities Methodologies has been a pan-UCL cross-faculty initiative and we are pleased to once again be able to hold the exhibition in UCL's Slade Research Centre. Previous shows have also travelled further afield, most recently to Bucharest in 2010.

The exhibition and events feature work by undergraduates, masters and PhD students as well as academic staff and the wider community of researchers and practitioners developing new methods to tackle urban questions. We welcome you to participate in the exciting programme of talks, screenings, workshops and launches that accompanies this year's diverse array of individual and group exhibits. In each gallery space visitors will be exposed to different methods of scrutinising the city and processes of urbanization, including practice-led research from art and architecture, ethnography, film-making, graphic design, soundscapes, photography, archival studies and performance.

All events are open to the public and free to attend. No booking is required.


Exhibition launch:

23 April 6.30pm - 9pm

Exhibition and events continue:

Wednesday 24 - Friday 26 April, 10am - 8pm


UCL Urban Laboratory, Slade Research Centre, UCL, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

We welcome your responses to the exhibits and events:

@UCLurbanlab #CitiesMethodologies



Luisa Alpahão - Architrope - Dana Ariel - Anchor and Magnet - Raphaële Biddault-Waddington - Anja Borowicz & Vanessa Maurice-Williams - Ben Campkin & Rebecca Ross - Max Colson - Richard Dennis, Carlos Galvix & Sam Merrill - Bernadette Devilat - Fugitive Images - Michael Hebbert - Hanna Hilbrandt, Anna Richter, Thomas Le Bas, Fiona McDermott, Nayeli Zimmermann, Jenny Baese  - William Hunter - isik.knutsdotter - Peter Ivanov, Yegor Korobeynikov, Yuriy Milevsky & Kristina Popova - Felipe Lanuza Rilling - Little Red Dots - MA Architectural History module, UCL: Theorising Practices/Practising Theory: Art, Architecture and Urbanism - MA Culture, Materials, Design, UCL - Material Museum - Ioana Marinescu & Tapio Snellman - Nela Milic - Gynna Millan, Juraj Rutsek & Matt Wood-Hill - Isis Nunez Ferrera - Hilary Powell - Harriet Poznansky - Screens in the Wild (UCL, University of Nottingham & the drawing shed) - Simson & Volley - Andrew Stevenson - Giorgio Talocci & Camillo Boano - Maider Uriarte & Luisa Alpalhão - Henrietta Williams


April 23, Tuesday

Join us for the opening of Cities Methodologies 201, 6.30pm - 9.30pm. All welcome.

Slade Research Centre, UCL, Woburn Place, London WC1H 0AB.

April 24, Wednesday

10am - 6pm: MA Architectural History module: Site Writing/Site Reading

Masters and doctoral students from the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture MA Architectural History module Theorising Practices/Practicing Theory: Art, Architecture and Urbanism have produced an exhibition of site-writings that open out into a performative display of site-readings. Join the students and visiting critics throughout the day for presentations and discussion of the exhibition.

11am - 12.30pm: Artists in Residence, the drawing shed: Screens in the Wild

'Screens in the Wild'  explores the spatial, social and cultural dimensions of Urban Prototyping by connecting urban screens in four locations (London and Nottingham), exploring how this medium can enable participation in the urban environment. Artists in residence the drawing shed (Sally Labern and Bobby Lloyd) will present their work using situated screen and online social media Twitter and Instagram to raise awareness of challenges in urban space such as 'homelessness'.

1.30pm - 3 pm: Katharine Willis, Remediating Urban Space: Screens in the Wild

Katharine Willis, Lecturer in Architecture at Plymouth University, will investigate the impact of social networks on public spaces. Her work focuses on the emergence of hybrid neighbourhoods, new types of spaces which will be explored and reviewed through some current empirical work.

2pm - 3 pm: Anchor and Magnet

Anchor and Magnet are hosting an open discussion around the outcomes of their recent residency in Brixton which explored issues around migration, place and identity through participatory art and dialogue. They will be also be sharing outcomes of The Brixton Exchange, a one-day debate which took place in February 2013 focusing on questions of  how  regeneration/redevelopment affects urban areas with a migrant history/migrant communities. For more info see:http://anchorandmagnet.wordpress.com/the-brixton-exchange/

3pm-5pm Interchanges #1

Gallery presentations by exhibitors followed by Q&A sessions

Korobeynikov, Milevsky - Social Survey Method and Courtyard Design Process in Post-Socialist Moscow, Russia

What is the logic of the planning process in contemporary Moscow? How is it informed by traditional sociological methods? In this talk and Q&A session, we will use an experimental study conducted in one of Moscow's courtyards to discuss the challenges of a participatory design process in post-socialist cities and the methods which inform it.

Hilary Powell - Book of Hours - chapter 1

A behind the scenes look at the materials, methods and stories Hilary is working with to construct a book of hours based on the changing fringes of the London Olympic Park. The project explores the process of working in direct collaboration with the materials of these sites (from roofing zinc to London brick stock) to experiment with and reinvigorate the traditions of etching and pop up book construction.

Max Colson - Hide and Seek: the Dubious Nature of Plant Life in High Security Spaces by Adam Walker-Smith

A review of the latest photographic research project by the artist's alter-ego (the paranoid photojournalist Adam Walker-Smith), illuminating some of the extraordinary methods that he used to identify and document plants he suspected as being part of the high security apparatus found in London's secure financial and commercial spaces.

Giorgio Talocci, Camillo Boano - Deconstructing Porto Fluviale's Odysseys. Urban Social Movements in Rome and the spatial practice of squat-occupying. 

Looking at an inner courtyard that now wants to become a public piazza, we will try to understand a Social Movement and the wider process of the Struggle for Housing in Rome deconstructing its space and everyday life. In so doing, the talk will discuss the conditions of possibility for an archaeological approach to the study of the built environment. 

5pm - 6.30pm Interchanges #2

Gallery presentations by exhibitors followed by Q&A sessions

William Hunter - Four Men and a Methodology in Beirut

This "critical poetic reading" of Beirut traces a week-long research immersion into the conflicting politics, visions and approaches to urban development in a still on-going post-war reconstruction context.

Andrew Stevenson - 16 Cities: Participatory potentials for sensory ethnographies in exploring place-making in newcomers to a city

A showcase of collaboratively produced artworks from Andrew's sensory ethnographic fieldwork exploring place making amongst new arrivals in a city.

Isis Nunez Ferrera - Tracing Scarcity in the Built Environment: From Material Accounts to Socio-Spatial Realities

This talk will explain a series of diagrams that illustrate the construction of spatial scarcity in informal settlements and how these diagrams can be used as analytical and projective tools to reveal spaces for change and creative intervention.

7 pm: Gynna Millan and Juraj Rutsek - Whose Olympics?

An exploratory project carried out during London 2012 to record transformations in open spaces and citizens' experiences as a result of the Olympic Games. During this talk, the team will present how video was used as a methodology for urban research as well as sharing some original footage that is part of the forthcoming documentary Whose Olympics?

April 25, Thursday

3.30pm: Architrope - House

Film screening followed by Q&A: House is a 20-minute video projection that explores aspects of what the house means to us today, using the example of a derelict Georgian town house in Marylebone.

4pm - 5.30pm Interchanges #3

Gallery presentations by exhibitors followed by Q&A sessions

Felipe Lanuza Rilling - Materializing Absence: the Present of the Heygate Estate

The exhibited pieces are palimpsests that represent the Heygate as an absence by over-layering its different times. Here, absence embodies multiple and simultaneous presences situated at a distance, creating an alternative vision for the vanishing Heygate Estate while interrogating the processes of urban renovation.  

Raphaële Biddault-Waddington - Paris Galaxies, A Vision for the Greater Paris

Starting from a design for Grand Paris, this is an experimental artistic and academic project which combines creative inputs and formats with transdisciplinary theoretical and critical thinking, organising them in a conceptual model of the urban galaxy in order to design a future strategy for the extended urban area.

Michael Hebbert - Klimaatlas: revealing the invisible city

Michael examines the methodology of the urban climate map, connecting meteorological observation and modelling with real-world urbanism and the complex microclimate of urban streets, illustrating a method that is up-and-running in several cities world-wide, but unaccountably missing from mainstream literature on urban climate change.

6 pm - 8 pm: Participatory Methodologies PhD workshop

A cross-disciplinary conversation about participation focusing on a selection of projects in progress by doctoral students from the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment (Architecture, the Development Planning Unit, Planning) and affiliated with the UCL Urban Laboratory, including members of the recently formed Participatory Activist and Research Network (PARN).

April 26, Friday

10 am - 6pm: isik.knutsdotter - astate

astate is a continuous public meeting presented here as a series of conversation-events, films and workshops. 

11.30am -1pm: Dennis, Galviz, Merrill - Under London by Rail: Memory, the Archive and Heritage: A Round-Table

A round-table discussion on themes of heritage, memory and the archive, focused around the three presenters' (Richard Dennis, Carlos Galviz and Sam Merrill) research on and participation in the ongoing commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, with contributions from guest discussants including Sam Mullins (Director, London Transport Museum) and David Lawrence (Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University).

3pm-4.30pm Interchanges #4

Gallery presentations by exhibitors followed by Q&A sessions

Bernadette Devilat - The role of the record: photography of earthquake-affected areas through time

The exhibition explores the changes - and the non-changes - that a heritage village in Chile, San Lorenzo de Tarapacá, has experienced since a large earthquake affected it in 2005. Photographic records from different historical periods are juxtaposed, aiming to reveal sometimes imperceptible variations and to question the reconstruction process that follows the earthquake.

Anja Borowicz and Vanessa Maurice-Williams - Urban Pathways and Seams of Space

This project deals with movement and identity in the city, questioning our interaction with various spaces through an overlap of language and painting, sculpture and architecture. The exhibit is offered up for interaction and engagement - to be walked through, picked up, worn and imagined.

Little Red Dots - First Person Audio/Visual Urban Narratives

A short presentation explaining some of the ideas underpinning the First Person Audio/Visual Urban Narrative approach, as well as the related research material presented in the exhibition. Followed by a brief tour of UCL's immediate environs designed to explore the collaborative possibilities of the methodology.

5pm-6.30pm Interchanges #5

Gallery presentations by exhibitors followed by Q&A sessions

David Roberts and Andrea Luka Zimmerman of Fugitive Images - From 'Heroin' to Heroines: Performing social housing in an inner-city estate

A dialogue between filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman and writer David Roberts of Fugitive Images to discuss their long-term collaborative engagement filming residents of the Haggerston Estate.

Ioana Marinescu + Tapio Snellman - Dalston Fluxus

Discussion of the making of 'dalston fluxus' (5') - a continuous elevational portrait of Dalston High Street, originally commissioned for the London Cultural Olympiad 2012.

Henrietta Williams - The Secret Security Guard

Exploring the theatre of security: Henrietta Williams explains 'The Secret Security Guard', a photographic project based on fortress urbanism, private security and regeneration which resulted from her experience working as a security guard and x-ray screener during the London Olympics.

6.30 pm: Ben Campkin, Rebecca Ross and Guglielmo Rossi - Urban Pamphleteer

The launch of Urban Pamphleteer issue #1, 'Future & Smart Cities'. Each illustrated pamphlet in this series collates and presents expert voices, across disciplines, professions, and community groups, around one pressing contemporary urban challenge. The intention is to confront key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives, in a direct and accessible tone, drawing on the history of radical pamphleteering. 

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of:

UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment

UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

UCL Engineering

UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities 

Curatorial committee:

Wesley Aelbrecht, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

Sabina Andron, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Pushpa Arabindoo, UCL Geography

Dr Camillo Boano, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Ben Campkin, UCL Urban Laboratory

Dr Adam Drazin, UCL Anthropology

Dr Ger Duijzings, UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies

Laura Hirst, UCL Urban Laboratory

Dr Caroline Newton, UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Kieren Reed, UCL Slade School of Fine Art

Dr Claire Thomson, UCL Scandinavian Studies (chair)