Written by Jasmine Popper (MA student, UCL Anthropology)
Shown in the appropriate setting of the expansive Slade Research Centre, the eighth edition of Cities Methodologies questioned how we design, navigate and imagine cities as places. The exhibition and event series, organised by the UCL Urban Laboratory, represented an overall sense of investigation into what constitutes the lived experience, and the social and political construction of urban environments.
After a call for proposals, a number of artists, academics, researchers and students from across the world working on urban topics showcased their research at UCL. Of these, a number of contributors unraveled day-to-day urban narratives and political issues as lived at a ground level.
As soon as I entered the fifth floor (where the exhibition took place), I was transported back outside by an atmospheric soundscape of road sweeping and birdsong. It was part of Cally Calls, a project in which seven artists collaborated with seven local inhabitants of the Caledonian Road area in north London.