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.
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.
The MArch Urban Design Programme and the School’s highly experimental 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.
MArch Urban Design Programme Leader: Mark Smout
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
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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Professor Frédéric Migayrou
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.
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, completing a number of 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.
Director of MArch Urban Design
Mark Smout brings extensive experience as an internationally recognised design researcher to the programme, as well as a portfolio of extraordinary projects he has developed with Laura Allen, as part of Smout Allen, that address the relationship between design experimentation, science, land use, environments, cities, populations and buildings.
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 including 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.