UCL Urban Laboratory


DPU summerLab 2012 series pamphlets launched 

11 March 2013


Drawing on the extensive resources of the UCL Development Planning Unit in collaboration with local partners in various host cities, DPU summerLab leverages the reality of the city as a laboratory for developing socially responsive design measures that provoke, stimulate, strategize, and reconsider the role of designers in promoting spatial justice. During August and September 2012, the DPU summerLabs were held in Zurich and in Rome. 

In Zurich DPU summerLab saw the exploration of renewed ways of 'mapping' and 'interpreting' as a gesture of complex lines of movement, a series of spatial storytelling along the edges of the spaces that contains it, creating, like in a musical plot, a sequence of distinct intervals of silence, emptiness and thresholds. DPU summerLab in Zurich tried to understand the Langstrasse Quarter and the Altstetten site across a package of thematic notions: visibility, thresholds, juxtaposition, inheritance, temporary, and public as potentially reconfiguring elements for mapping the phenomenological characteristics of these areas that lead to the interpretation of potential tactics and interventions of a spatial design thinking. Link to Zurich publication. 

In Rome, for the second year DPU summerLab had the privilege of being exposed to the rich political galaxy of squat-occupations spaces network in Rome. Guided by extremely committed activists, citizens and friends, the participants were exposed to the challenges and the potentialities of the "act of occupying", from memorable personal narrative of inclusiveness to the making and remaking of anti-entropic and anti-obsolescing spaces. DPU summerLab in Rome took place mainly in Porto Fluviale, a squat-occupation whose community is currently building on its complex past to re-write a different future: for its space, for its city. A new Porto Fluviale, the "piazza del Porto Fluviale" made possible to invert the processes that has formed the occupation - emptiness and obsolescence - through an act of opening and re-programming. Link to Rome publication.

For more information please visit the summerlab website.