UCL Urban Laboratory


Vertical Horizons: Finance and the Imaginary City

25 January 2017, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Finance and the Imaginary City

Event Information

Open to



UCL Urban Laboratory


ROOM Artspace
24 Manchester Street
United Kingdom

As part of the exhibition and film screening of Tom Wolseley's Vertical Horizons at ROOM Artspace, join us for this roundtable discussion on the spectacle and dynamics of capital in the city.

London is undergoing a rapid change, materially, and in the imaginaries that enable, justify and accommodate this transformation of our city. One of the dominant stories of this transformation is that it is a simple response to global capital imperative.

  • How has this financial imperative been constructed, financially, politically and culturally? What has been the role of architects, urban thinkers and residents in the imagination of this financial 'pragmatism'?
  • What qualities does this financial pragmatism have, and how does imagining the city in this way change the shape and qualities of our city?
  • How does imagining the city as an engine for global capital shape, and conform the horizons of our lives within it?
  • How are the hopes and desire of our personal lives manifest in the imagination of this larger omnipotent entity? Does this intimacy also create personal agency in the imagination of these larger structures?
  • How does this financial imperative interact with the other narratives of the city, of municipal governance, social responsibility, community, history etc.

Tom Wolseley will be joined by social geographer Martine Drozdz, artist and architect Sean Griffiths, and psychoanalyst Ian Simpson. The event will be chaired by Carolyn McDonald.

Tom Wolseley has been Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at UCL Urban Laboratory, 2015-16. The accompanying exhibition runs from 12-28 January 2017 at ROOM Artspace. It includes a screening of the film, research material and photography.

RSVP: Aideen.morgan@btinternet.com

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