UCL Urban Laboratory


Urban Miscellanea

Urban Miscellanea is an open call for creative work on the UCL Urban Lab theme of emergency urbanism/urban rhythms. *Deadline for submissions now extended to 28th February 2022, midnight GMT.*

Urban Miscellanea


This open call is organised by a curatorial collective formed by current students on the MSc Urban Studies programme in collaboration with the Urban Lab. Building on, and inspired by past Urban Lab events (Cities Methodologies 2009-2014), we seek to establish a platform that centres student voices through expressive frameworks. We recognise that COVID-19 has significantly disrupted and complicated engagement beyond classrooms, and therefore seek to establish a bridge between students and the Urban Lab.

We are accepting digital submissions in all creative formats, including, but not limited to: poems, photography, short essays, video, net art, audio clips, DJ mixes, playlists, and more! Expressions of interest, unfinished work and proposals are also welcome, as selected participants will be invited to take part in crit sessions to collectively reflect on the development of submissions.

Contributions to Urban Miscellanea will be collated in a digital anthology of multimedia work that celebrates creativity as a form of knowledge and critical consciousness about the urban. We invite students, staff, and alumni across departments at UCL to share submissions to this open call and embrace experimental methodologies in their work. The optional crit sessions for selected participants will be a space to meet practitioners sharing this space, exchange about each other’s work and build an interdisciplinary community ahead of the final presentation of the anthology.

To view Urban Miscellanea’s current digital anthology of creative work, collated from the previous open call, launched during the Open Day at Chiswick House on 23rd October 2021, click here.


Urban Miscellanea is an experimental anthology of multimedia formats that seeks to celebrate creativity situated within the urban. We invite collaborators to use what they have learned through their lived and embodied experiences, and their place in academia, to generate creative work that conveys emotions, stories, and perspectives about the urban that are often left overlooked. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited social contact amongst the UCL community and disrupted the interdisciplinary dialogue that sprung from moments in between events on campus. This project aims to address this loss by creating a space to meet other practitioners and build a community through dialogue about creative work.


The deadline for submissions has been extended to Monday 28th February 2022 at midnight GMT. Following the closure of this call, selected participants will be invited to a series of optional crit sessions and discussions from May to June led by the curatorial collective to develop the anthology. The anthology, and its online platform, will be developed further, going live in July 2022.

Submission guidelines

  • We accept all digitised creative work, including but not limited to: poems, narrative essays, photography, illustrations, short films, audio clips, playlists, etc.
  • Submissions should respond to ‘the urban’ and the Urban Lab annual theme, ‘emergency’.
  • Submissions can be either completed works, proposals, or expressions of interest; we encourage the submission of unfinished and ‘incomplete’ works.
  • Submissions must be original and not infringe on any copyrighted material.
  • We accept short written submissions up to 600 words and long written submissions of up to 1500 words.
  • We accept anonymous submissions and submissions under aliases, which can be noted upon submission.
  • If you are unsure of if your piece fits into our submission guidelines, do not hesitate to contact us at urbanmiscellanea@outlook.com

How to submit

Meet the students behind Urban Miscellanea

Alexander Salem (he/him)  

I am a part-time student on the MSc Urban Studies programme based between Berlin and London. I was raised between London and Cairo, and come from a Swedish, Egyptian, German background. My main research interests include queer nocturnal geographies and governance. Emergency means different things to different people across different temporalities and different geographies. 

Nikolaos Akritidis (he/him) 

I am a full-time student on the MSc Urban Studies programme, growing up between Belgium and Greece before moving to London to pursue academic studies. My background is in media, communications and curating, working across fine art, film and fashion. The research I am developing at UCL is centred on materialist and ecological perspectives about the urban, with an interest in reading the climate emergency through visual culture. 

Xiaowei Zou (she/her) 

I am Xiaowei Zou from China, a full-time student on the MSc Urban Studies programme. I once was an architect. Now I am doing research on contemporary art, urban ethnography and material culture while also trying documentary filmmaking. To me, emergency is something I am still trying to understand. 

Oliver Kirman (he/him) 

I am currently a full time MSc Urban Studies student. My research interests include: contemporary Chinese governance; consumer culture and citizenship; and social media as urban practice. I approach the Urban Lab’s theme by considering the slower temporalities of emergency, such as the lasting repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on our cities, and how to navigate these challenges across different contexts. 

Prashansa Atreay (she/her) 

I am an Urban Studies MSc student with roots in Jaipur and Panamá City. I’m interested in reframing creativity, emotion, and storytelling as epistemologies, learning about histories of movement and connections to land, and incorporating intuition into research. Emergency to me is a multi-layered and continuous state of existence that persists within the paradigms of capitalism and colonialism. 

Mia Foley Doyle (she/her) 

I’m a part time MSc Urban Studies student from Oxford. I’m interested in memory, mobility, mapping, materialism, and making! For me, emergency is a constant presence under capitalism and as a result it is deeply embedded in and continually shaping and disrupting all aspects of the urban.