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Urban Design

Overview

Director of MArch Urban Design: Mark Smout

The MArch Urban Design (UD) is a 12-month studio-based programme that brings together a new generation of designers and thinkers from across the world. It is established to provide a rich and challenging environment for long-term research on the challenges of global urbanisation and the creative potential of speculative design.

Urban design is a particular form of enquiry into the nature of the city, its form and function. It seeks to understand the city as a place of human coexistence and to devise strategies and projects to guide its future development and evolution. Throughout the UD course, students are encouraged to innovate and explore new ideas in design and theory. They are introduced to design skills and techniques, critical enquiry and related technologies. They use this experience to shape polemic interventions, and through the design portfolio and thesis, develop speculative projects on a variety of scales. Students are encouraged to explore and understand their host city whilst in residence, a city that arguably is one of the richest and most diverse in the world.

Approach

This is first and foremost a design-led course that culminates in a major project and thesis, where cities and regions are usually chosen as the basis for study. The year is underpinned by a lecture-based series in the history and theory of urban design, and a high proportion of time is devoted to studio-based design enquiry, supported through tutorials from designers and experts in associated fields such as computing, drawing and making. The curriculum introduces students to diverse fields such as archaeology, anthropology, design theory, ecological history, advanced computing, governance, law, media, philosophy, planning and political theory. Environmental and ecological questions are given high priority within a critical structure that embraces the dispersed, often paradoxical nature of contemporary urbanism, and the challenge in resolving complex issues facing populations, public space, land use, and building typologies through innovative design strategies. 

What’s new?

For 2015 we have welcomed a diverse range of new staff including Usman Haque, Adam Greenfield, Shumi Bose, Finn Williams, Patrick Weber, Sabine Storp, Roberto Botazzi, and Kostas Grigoriadis. Joseph Grima and Dan Hill are joining the programme as Sir Bannister Fletcher Visiting Professors.

The MArch Urban Design Programme and the MArch Architectural Design programme sit within the overarching structure of B-Pro, led by Professor Frédéric Migayrou, Chair of the School of Architecture. In addition to dedicated teaching and support, both programmes are supported by complementary resources such as open lectures, classes, project reviews, and publications. Students participate in a joint exhibition in early September each year.

Enquires should be addressed to Tom Mole

B-Pro

Situated within one of the world’s most innovative and advanced schools of design research, B-Pro was established by the Bartlett Professor and Chair of School Frédéric Migayrou in 2011-12, as a new overarching structure for the MArch Architectural Design (AD) and MArch Urban Design (UD) post-professional programmes. ‘B’ stands for ‘Bartlett’; ‘Pro’ stands for ‘Prospective’, meaning ‘to look forward’.

From 2014-15 B-Pro AD and UD will consist of six research ‘Labs’, dedicated to advanced experimentation in architectural and urban theory through computation, geo-morphology, fabrication, interaction, biotechnology, and robotics. Operating in tandem with the School’s renowned professionally accredited programmes (BSc RIBA Part 1, MArch Architecture RIBA Part 2, and RIBA Part 3), B-Pro is the School’s incubator for new and emerging professional practice. It attracts a high calibre of staff and applicants from all over the world, and is developing new and potent links with industry and science.

B-Pro Director: Professor Frédéric Migayrou
B-Pro Deputy Director: Andrew Porter
MArch AD Programme Leader: Alisa Andrasek
MArch UD Programme Leader: Mark Smout
B-Pro & Programmes Administrator: Tom Mole

Labs

The MArch Urban Design programme operates in two Labs, which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. 

New Labs for 2015-2016 to be announced soon.

RC16 Urban Morphogenesis Lab
The Urban Morphogenesis Lab engages urban design as a computational practice to prefigure alternative models of the city represented as a complex dynamic system. The ambition of the Lab is to stimulate ...

Research Clusters

The MArch Urban Design programme offers a large number of research-focused clusters, all of which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context.

UD RC11 2016 MArch Urban Design Cluster 11
Sabine Storp, Patrick Weber - RC11 explores, speculates and invents new concepts for Housing and a Garden City Habitats for tomorrow as part of our Bartlett Living Laboratory ...
UD RC12 2016 MArch Urban Design Cluster 12
Usman Haque, Adam Greenfield - RC12 asks how we might invite ordinary people to participate in the active cocreation of everyday experience in the networked city ...
UD RC14 2016 MArch Urban Design Cluster 14
Roberto Botazzi, Kostas Grigoriadis - RC14 looks at Big Data – the possibility to aggregate and manipulate large datasets enabled by computers ...
RC16 MArch Urban Design Cluster 16
Claudia Pasquero, Maj Plemenitas - Bio-Urban Design: structuring bio-digital urban landscapes - The research cluster on Bio-Urban Design pursues a non anthropocentric ...
RC18 2016 MArch Urban Design Cluster 18
Enriqueta Llabres, Zachary Fluker - RC18 will work establishing new domains that cut across data, the material and the digital. In order to engage with the topic of customization the students will work ...

Staff

Mark Smout
Director of March Urban Design

Mark Smout is a Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where, in addition to directing March Urban Design he also runs MArch Architecture Unit 11 with Laura Allen. His design research practice Smout Allen undertakes work proposing that the built environment can develop a reading of, and synergy, with its surroundings informed by understanding the complex interaction of living and artificial systems, environmental processes and emerging technologies. Smout Allen have produced award winning designs for the East Anglian landscape, published Augmented Landscapes, issue 28 of the seminal Pamphlet Architecture series and produced the centre piece installation for the Landscape Futures exhibition in the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Their most recent constructed work, commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of the 2012 Olympic festival, was a large binary calculator powered by marbles that made tea for passers-by. In 2013 Smout Allen exhibited their work at both the RIBA and the AA with a project looking at energy supply and demand in collaboration with Williams Formula 1. They have won the prestigious Royal Academy Award for Architecture and represented the UK at the Venice Biennale in 2012 and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015. In the summer of 2015, Smout Allen exhibited a new project ‘L.A.T.B.D’ in Los Angeles, speculating on the future of the city in collaboration with Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG. Smout Allen have held notable Professorships in Denmark and California and regularly lecture throughout the world.

Teaching staff

Sabine Storp
RC11 Tutor

Sabine Storp is an architect, design tutor and short course coordinator at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, educated in Italy and Germany. Founder of award winning architectural practice storpweber architecture in 2000, she has been working in education and practice since 1997. In 2013 Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber set up Living Laboratory [ www.bartlett-living-laboratory.tumblr.com ] looking closer into projects relating to living and habitat.

Patrick Weber
RC11 Tutor

Patrick Weber is an architect, design tutor and researcher at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. He was educated in Germany and the UK were he set up practice with Sabine Storp in 2000. He has been working at the Bartlett since 1997, directing the first year for 12 years and teaching Bsc and Masters. In 2013 Sabine Storp and Patrick Weber set up Living Laboratory looking closer into projects relating to living and habitat.

Usman Haque
RC12 Tutor

Usman Haque is founding partner of Umbrellium and Thingful, a search engine for the Internet of Things. Earlier, he launched the Internet of Things data infrastructure and community platform Pachube.com. Trained as an architect, he has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and dozens of mass-participation initiatives throughout the world. His skills include the design and engineering of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life. He received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize.

Adam Greenfield
RC12 Tutor

Adam Greenfield is a writer and urbanist based in London. He is author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (2006), Against the smart city (2013) and a new book forthcoming from Verso in 2016. Adam blogs at speedbird.wordpress.com.

Roberto Botazzi
RC14 Tutor

Roberto Bottazzi is an architect, researcher, and educator based in London. Previously, he worked and studied in Italy and Canada and was Master tutor and research coordinator at Royal College of Art (2005-15). His research analyses the impact of digital technologies on architecture and urbanism. His research has been exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally. Roberto is completing a book on the history of digital architecture due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Kostas Grigoroadis
RC14 Tutor

Kostas Grigoriadis studied Architecture at UCL followed by a Master in Architecture and Urbanism at the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory. He has been a Diploma Unit Master at the AA since 2011 and an External Examiner in Architecture at the University of East London since August 2015. He is currently pursuing a PhD that focuses on multi-material design methodologies at the Royal College of Art in London, where he was also a Visiting Lecturer from 2012 to 2015. He is currently editing the book "Mixed Matters: A Multi-Material Design Compendium" that will be published in June 2016 by Jovis Verlag.

Claudia Pasquero
RC16 Tutor and Urban Morphogenesis Lab Director

Claudia Pasquero, leader of the Urban Morphogenesis Lab and co-founder of ecoLogicStudio in London, is an architect, author and educator. She has been Unit Master at the AA in London, Senior Tutor at the IAAC in Barcelona and visiting critics at Cornell University. Her projects have been published and exhibited throughout the world, at various Biennales such as Venice, Seville, Prague, London and Istanbul, at EXPO Milano, at the Frac in Orléans, at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. She is co-author of Systemic Architecture: Operating manual for the self-organising city, published by Routledge.

Maj Plemenitas
RC16 Tutor

Maj Plemenitas is an experimental architectural and cross-scale design practitioner, researcher and educator, and founder and director of award-winning design practice, LINKSCALE. His work has been exhibited globally in venues including Royal Academy of Arts, Venice Biennale among others. His work is continuously presented at peer revived conferences and publications and is part of collections in Europe, US and Japan. Maj is also the Co Founder and Director of the design research practice Amphibious Lab.

Enriqueta Llabres
RC18 Tutor

Enriqueta Llabres is an architect, social scientist and researcher with an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics. In 2009 she founded award-winning practice Relational Urbanism. She is a design critic in Landscape Architecture at Harvard and has collaborated with institutions worldwide as a critic and lecturer.

Eduardo Rico
RC18 Tutor

Eduardo Rico is a Civil Engineer and MA Landscape Urbanism graduate and a member of design practices including Groundlab and Relational Urbanism. He is currently engaged in strategic advice on infrastructure and transportation for urban masterplanning at Arup. His work is focused on alternative design practices feeding infrastructural inputs into architectural urbanism.

Zachary Fluker
RC18 Tutor

Zachary Fluker is an architectural designer with a background in industrial design and cabinet making.  He is a graduate of both Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the Architectural Association.  His research into interfacing digital with physical environments and computational fabrication has led him to collaborate with several practices in the UK and Canada including Philip Beesley Architect.

Contributing and affiliated staff

Professor Frédéric Migayrou
B-Pro Director

Frédéric Migayrou is Chair, Bartlett Professor of Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture and Deputy Director of the National Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris. He was the founder of the Frac Center Collection and of ArchiLab, the international festival of Prospective Architecture in Orléans. Apart from recent publications and exhibitions (De Stijl, Centre Pompidou, 2011; La Tendenza, Centre Pompidou, 2012; Bernard Tschumi, Centre Pompidou, 2013; Frank Gehry, Centre Pompidou 2014), he was the curator of Non Standard Architectures at the Centre Pompidou in 2003, the first exposition devoted to architecture, computation and fabrication. More recently, he co-organised the exhibition Naturalising Architecture (ArchiLab, Orléans 2013), presenting prototypes and commissions by 40 teams of architects working with new generative computational tools, defining new interrelations between materiality, biotechnology and fabrication. In 2012 he founded B-Pro, The Bartlett’s umbrella structure for post-professional architecture programmes.

Andrew Porter
B-Pro Deputy Director

Andrew Porter studied at The Bartlett School of Architecture and has collaborated in practice with  Sir Peter Cook and Christine Hawley CBE. In 1998 he and Abigail Ashton set up ashton porter architects, they have completed a number of award winning commissions in the UK and prizewinning competitions in the UK and abroad. Andrew is co-leader of The Bartlett’s MArch Architecture Unit 21, and has been a visiting Professor at the Staedel Academy, Frankfurt and guest critic at SCi-Arc, Los Angeles and Parsons New School, New York.

Professor Peter Bishop
Professor of Urban Design

Peter Bishop was Director of Design for London, advisor to the Mayor and deputy CEO of the London Development Agency. He has worked on regeneration projects includiång Kings Cross and the Olympics. He is a director at Allies and Morrison and author of The Bishop Review and The Temporary City, an exploration of temporary urbanism.