UCL Urban Laboratory

Prof Camillo Boano

Prof Camillo Boano

Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2007

Research summary

My research has centred on the complex encounters between critical theory, radical philosophy and urban design processes, specifically engaging with informal urbanisations, urban collective actions, as well as crisis-generated urbanisms. In doing so, I have been practicing, conceiving and teaching an idea of urban design that should be treated as part of an expanded field, where the many scales of architecture are manifested –from their urban manifestation to how building and spaces are conceived, occupied and used, incorporating objects, spaces and theories.

I’m author of different publications in academic journals as The Journal of Architecture, Disasters, The Journal of Urban Design, The Journal of Developing Societies among others and edited a book on humanitarian urbanism and refugee camps tiled Citta Nude. Iconografia dei campi profughi (2005, in Italian) of The Ethics of a Potential Urbanism: Critical Encounters Between Giorgio Agamben and Architecture (2017), and two edited books Urban Geopolitics. Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities (2018) with Jonathan Rokem and Neoliberalism and Urban Development in Latin America: The Case of Santiago (2018) with Francisco Vergara-Perucich.

Teaching summary

Apart from co-directing the MSc Building and Urban Design for Development I'm teaching the following Masters modules:

- Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design For Development (BENVGBU1);

- Building and Urban Design Practice (BENVGBU3)

- Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives (BENVGBU7)

- Critical Urbanism Studio I: Learning from Informality - case studies and alternatives (BENVGBU8)

- Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design strategies for contested spaces (BENVGBU9) 


Oxford Brookes University
PhD, Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional) | 2007
Loughborough University
MSc, Water Quality Control | 2002
Politecnico di Torino
BSc, Architecture | 1998


Camillo Boano, PhD, is Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, Program Leader of the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development and Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory.

A qualified architect with a Masters in Urban Development and a PhD in Planning from Oxford Brookes University, Camillo has over 20 years of experiences in research, design consultancies and development work in South America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.

My research and consultancy roles have included work in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. This involved collaborations with numerous institutions, including UNHCR, UNDP, Refugee Study Centre, EU, Oxfam GB, Italian Civil Protection, World Bank and several architectural practices.

Prior to joining UCL, I worked in development and architectural practice for a number of years, became a research fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, joined the World Habitat Research Unit in Switzerland, UNHCR and  the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where I worked on a number of research and consultancy projects concerned with environmental forced migration, humanitarian urbanism, temporary shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and communication in emergencies.

I was visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, University of Bologna, Polytechnic of Turin, Polytechnic of Milan, Roma Tre and Université de Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne, as well as external supervisor at ETH-Zurich, NTNU in Norway and in ESARQ Barcelona and have been an external examiner of PhD dissertations in different universities in the UK and elsewhere.