UCL Urban Laboratory


Cities Methodologies 2014

2 October 2014

We are pleased to announce the programme of events for Cities Methodologies 2014

Cities Methodologies 2014 poster

Led by UCL Urban Laboratory, Cities Methodologies is an ongoing programme of events and exhibitions dedicated to presenting, sharing and experimenting with new methods of urban research.

Following on from our Spring 2014 edition, the programme represents the breadth of urban research currently being taken out, not only at UCL, but from the wider local and international community of researchers and practitioners developing new methods to tackle the questions at the heart of our cities. This follows from the widest response we've received yet from a call for proposals.

We welcome you to participate in the exciting programme of talks, screenings, poetry recitals, workshops and launches that accompanies this year's diverse schedule. All events are free but please check the listings for information on whether booking is required in advance.

All events take place in the Slade Research Centre (Woburn Square, London WC1H 0HB) unless otherwise stated.

Monday 27th October

Engineering Exchange launch
Venue: University College London, Gower Street, Wilkins Building, Front Quad Marquee, London WC1E 6BT (note venue change)
18.00 - 20.00

The Engineering Exchange (EngEx) will build stronger partnerships between UCL Engineering's world-class researchers and local communities. It will provide communities with access to leading technical expertise, and will give researchers inspiration for innovative research projects that meet community needs. This launch provides the platform for the first major EngEx project, an evaluation of the evidence for demolition or refurbishment of social housing in London for Just Space and the London Tenants Federation. The EngEx launch event will consist of brief talks from key project members, including UCL's Dean of Engineering Sciences, Prof Anthony Finkelstein. Talks will be followed by drinks and canapés.

Please book via Eventbrite: uclengineeringexchangelaunch.eventbrite.co.uk.

Tuesday 28th October

Cities Methodologies exhibition launch
From 18.30

Join us for the launch of Cities Methodologies 2014. Performances of projects will take place over the evening. Drinks and canapés will be served.

All welcome, no prior booking required.

Wednesday 29th October

Walking Stoke Newington: Controversy, values and daily life
Venue: Meet in ZAZA Express, 99 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL
10.00 - 13.00

Always, when we create a city definition, certain scales are weighted with more importance than others. This walk focuses on a small corner of a city in order to search for traces of how communities are built and look at how certain areas 'protect' themselves by creating communal identities.

Please book via Eventbrite: walkstokenewington.eventbrite.co.uk.

Youth Engagement Index
11.00 - 19.00
The Youth Engagement Index (YEI) is a research initiative into the participation of young generations into urban governance and policy making. This workshop will present a summary of the results of the application of YEI in Valencia, Medellin and Bucharest, including case studies of youth participation. Participants will feature from the public and private sector, academia and civil society, as well as the wider public.  Questions that will be addressed relate to the concept of city for life for the young, what makes young people feel part of communities and how can urban leaders encourage the young to invest in their urban future.
Lunchtime presentations: studio 5
13.00 - 14.00
Gallery presentations featuring discussions from the exhibitors in studio five of the Slade Research Centre. Casual and informal - feel free to bring your lunch!
CAFF: Lunch Hour
13.00 - 14.00
Screening of James Hill's Lunch Hour, a film that highlights the anxieties and ambiguities of this odd portion of the day in London in 1961. Where might romance fit into the workday? It's a question of accommodation - but it's complicated.
Telling Untold Stories


14.00 - 15.30

Despite numerous representations of cities from a variety of contributors, some communities and individuals remain marginalised. This means that their stories and experiences of the city often go unheard in the debate around the design, use and inhabitation of cities. Yet innovative participatory methods of data collection and representation make it possible to ensure these stories are told. Focusing on work carried out in the UK, this panel highlights and describes the opportunities and challenges of working with vulnerable communities to tell their stories, and the methods and techniques employed by the panelists to overcome the particular demands this creates.

Please book via Eventbrite: tellinguntoldstories.eventbrite.co.uk.

7 Isles Unclaimed
14.00 - 16.00

7 Isles Unclaimed imagines an image repository of speculative fiction regarding the reclamation (or lack thereof) of land masses for the city of Mumbai (then Bombay). Bombay was composed of 7 islands that underwent a series of reclamations forming a peninsula. There follows a trajectory of flash-points in the timeline of the city when specific incidents triggered the reclamation of land. This workshop will investigate how histories are recorded and how they can be altered by the removal/ addition of events that were critical in the development of a city (in this case Bombay).

Please book via Eventbrite: 7islesunclaimed.eventbrite.co.uk.

Mapping the New Metropolitan Mainstream
15.00 - 17.00

The New Metropolitan Mainstream (NMM) project of the International Network of Urban Research and Action (INURA). This workshop will directly contribute to the London mapping of the NMM. The first of two workshops.

All welcome. Please email m.edwards@ucl.ac.uk to register your attendance. 

From Garden City to Garden Left-Overs: Spatial appropriations in the gardens of Bahçelievler, Ankara
18.00 - 19.00
This lecture from Deniz Atlay (Assistant Professor, City and Regional Planning, Cankaya University, Ankara) examines the findings of research inquiring the way gardens of apartment blocks are used, appropriated and reclaimed by residents in an early republican era (1938) housing cooperative in Ankara, Turkey - revealing the significance of the gardens appropriated by the residents to create socialising spaces.

Thursday 30th October

Navigating SOHO: Introducing a Series of Interdisciplinary Experiments
Walk venue: Meet in Soho Square, W1D
10.00 - 13.00

Current knowledge of how the human mind and brain function during navigation comes predominately from lab-based studies. This event takes participants on an interactive walking tour of Soho to demonstrate the fieldwork - technologies developed to investigate spatial awareness and navigation. You will meet at 10am in Soho Square. Please book via Eventbrite: navigatingsoho.eventbrite.co.uk.

From 12pm in the Slade Research Centre, there will be a one hour talk shedding light on the theory and knowledge behind what was asked the participants to do on the walk and include methods into their own queries regarding urban navigation and spatial awareness. Open to all, no prior booking required.

Lunchtime presentations: studio 3
13.00 - 14.00
Gallery presentations featuring discussions from the exhibitors in studio three of the Slade Research Centre. Casual and informal - feel free to bring your lunch!
CAFF: Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems in their entirety
13.00 - 14.00
Join us for the first lunchtime based recital of Frank O'Hara's glorious joyful delightful and entirely edible Lunch Poems. The reading will take place over the lunch and in the mouths of Emily Berry, Rona Cran, Rob Keily, Robert Hampson, John Hughes, Heather Phillispn, Geoff Ward, Jamie Wilkes and you if you like. Turn up on time to get a seat at the table.
Urbanism in humanitarian settings: Stories, systems and spaces
14.00 - 16.00
Provoked by the action of international agencies after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, this session will discuss the following questions: what are the differences between urbanists and humanitarians in the ways that the two groups conceive, imagine and operate in urban space; can these be more fully understood through discourse analysis and inter-disciplinary research; and what does this mean for real-time discourse and intervention and research in cities?

Please book via Eventbrite: humanitarianurbanism.eventbrite.co.uk.
After the Storm workshop
15.00 - 17.00

Initiated by a collaborative multimedia performance of The Storm, a metaphorical account of the processes of regeneration, on the opening night of Cities Methodologies, join this workshop which will explore the themes of public, public space and the changing city.

This event will be available to pre-register soon.

London Aspects of Change 50th Anniversary Reading Group
16.00 - 18.00
A reading group to be based on the introductory chapter of London: Aspects of Change. This is the place in which the word 'gentrification' was first used in a publication. This will be a wide ranging discussion about the presentation of London in this piece, how the text may remain relevant in contemporary London, and what lessons those of us engaging with London, academically or otherwise, might take from this important piece of work.
Grounding Knowledge: Reflections on community-driven practices in South East Asia
17.00 - 18.00
This event seeks to showcase the long-standing and multi-faceted collaboration around the co-production of informal settlement upgrading in South East Asia between two Development Planning Unit MSc programmes, the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights, the Community Architects Network and the communities with which they work. The event will present the methodologies developed by the partnership in the contexts of field trips and studio work: participatory design, community mapping, strategic action planning, scenario development and new media to co-produce knowledge and disseminate findings.
Urban Pamphleteer #3 launch: Design & Trust
18.30 - 21.00

Join us for the launch of Urban Pamphleteer #3: Design & Trust, the third in a series of publications that confront key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives. Written in a direct and accessible tone, these pamphlets draw on the history of radical pamphleteering as a tool for instigating change. 'Design & Trust' asks what the consequences are of prioritising defence and security as a first principle in design - an issue that has recently fired up the news agenda in public campaigns to remove 'anti-homeless' spikes and critiques of so-called 'hostile architecture' in public spaces.

All welcome. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Friday 31st October

100 Days of Leake Street
Venue: Meet at exit 5 of Waterloo Railway Station on York Way
10.00 - 12.00

Get your hands dirty on our tour of Leake Street, known as the "training ground" for London's graffiti writers, and an ever-changing space since 2008, when it became legal to paint there.This tour, hosted by Sabina Andron, will contain information on ownership, legal graffiti sites, graffiti styles and histories. You will also be encouraged to use provided spray point to 'tag' a space in the tunnel.

Please book via Eventbrite: 100daysleakestreet.eventbrite.co.uk.

Ethnographic Conceptualism in the City
12.00 - 14.00
'Ethnographic Conceptualism' is an experimental methodological approach, which deploys conceptual art as an anthropological research tool. This discussion event features the exhibitors (Michał Murawski, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov) and an invited discussant, Jesse Weaver Shipley (Associate Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College), to explore the core proposition: that ethnographic conceptualism constitutes a methodological approach uniquely suitable for translating the 'holistic' gaze of anthropology to large-scale urban settings.
Lunchtime presentations: studios 1 and 2
13.00 - 14.00
Gallery presentations featuring discussions from the exhibitors in studios one and two of the Slade Research Centre. Casual and informal - feel free to bring your lunch!
CAFF: Sitting as a research methodology
13.00 - 14.00
Come and sit around the CAFF table and discuss what it means to plant your backside in the name of research, whether in the name of arts, humanities, or sciences. We have a diverse group of researchers and artists in attendance to share their thoughts.
Urban Lab Films: Concrete Heart Land
15.00 - 16.30
Film screening and Q&A with the directors of Concrete Heart Land (2014), an experimental documentary exposing the social cleansing of the Heygate Estate in South London and marking the moment the estate was finally lost as social housing to make way for a 'regeneration' scheme.
Mapping the New Metropolitan Mainstream
15.00 - 17.00
The second of two workshops formulating alternative mapping data for London.
The archive in the city: Reading space into written sources
17.00 - 18.00
Short papers from two historians, followed by discussion with a historical geographer and attendees answering how written sources can speak to us about theories of space in the city that emphasise planning and infrastructure.
Cities Imaginaries lecture: Amit Chaudhuri, 'The New Provinces'
Venue: Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
18.00 - 20.00

Join us for the Inaugural Lecture and launch of 'Cities Imaginaries', a new stream of activity from the Urban Lab, exploring representations of the city in world literature and media. We are pleased to be hosting Amit Chaurduri, one of the most exciting novelists of the 21st century.

All welcome. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.