UCL Urban Laboratory


UrbanLab Films: London Flows

26 March 2013, 6:00 pm

London Flows

Event Information

Open to



UCL Urban Laboratory


London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
United Kingdom

UrbanLab Films in collaboration with Artakt, Central St Martins and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine present


An interdisciplinary evening of films, audio, readings and talks exploring the swirling debates about water quality and infrastucture in London after John Snow, featuring:

Emma M. Jones, reading from her forthcoming book Parched City (Zer0, 2013), a popular history of London's drinking water through the lens of contemporary discussions of sustainability. Emma will also play an audio recording of Metropolitan Water Board water engineers reminiscing about their work during WW2, and will show an extract of Every Drop to Drink - a 1948 Metropolitan Water Board 'corporate film' promoting London's water quality - in order to reflect on the shift in the city's drinking water concerns a century after John Snow's seminal 1849 pamphlet about the spread of cholera.

Cultural and architectural historian Barbara Penner, author of Bathroom (Reaktion, 2013), on Joseph Bazalgette's 1849 plan for urine harvesting and his later role in the construction of London's sewers.

Architectural design research practice Smout Allen on their speculative design project for London's Hydro Infrastructure, a proposal for an oasis that manages, distributes and displays water, river flood, sea surges and rain fall, concentrating and localising the infrastructure as an alternative to the extensive and embedded systems global cites presently rely upon.

Anthropologist Bruno Rinovulcri will present highlights from Tunnel Visions, a ten part series in which he duped a collection of writers, musicians, activists and academics into wading knee deep through the swollen rivers of sewage and miles of forgotten sewers that stretch beneath London's surface. Safely esconced in the London's effluvia, Tunnel Vision's troglodytes explored this hidden and somewhat mysterious subterranenan environment sonically and historically, leading us through a narrative of fact, fiction, anthropology, architecture, activism, music and sound.

This event is free but places are limited so please book at londonflows.eventbrite.co.uk

Image: City of London, London Metropolitan Archives. Reproduced with kind permission from Thames Water.