Dr Jane Clossick

Dr Jane Clossick is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture (Urban Design), course leader for Architecture, Cities and Urbanism – MA and convenor of the Art, Architecture and Design Research Seminar. 

Dr Jane Clossick

Jane Clossick

Jane is Course Leader for Architecture, Cities and Urbanism – MA and unit leader for the Cities unit in Architecture (RIBA 2)– MArch. She studied architecture at Sheffield University (2001 - 2004) and the University of East London (2006 - 2009) and worked at practices in London and Manchester. She completed her doctorate at London Met (2010 - 2017).

Jane has taught Architecture and Urban Design at London Met since 2013 and has been invited as a guest lecturer at the University of East London, Cambridge University, The Bartlett (UCL), University of the Arts (London), Queen's University Belfast and Central Saint Martins (UAL). She co-leads the Cities Research Group, is a member of the Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) Research Strategy Group and convenes the weekly AAD research seminar.

Jane is an active researcher whose interests include urban depth and city morphology, high streets, industrial and workspace accommodation, participatory design processes and activism through design.

Jane is a member of the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE) and since 2015 has co-led the Cities Research Group with Professor Mark Brearley. She is Principle Investigator on Autonomy and Urban Depth – a nascent collaboration with Prof Ben Colburn (Glasgow, Philosophy), Prof. Machiel van Doorst and Dr Birgit Hausleitner (TU Delft, Urban Planning). It explores how the spatial, temporal and psychological ordering of space in the built environment shapes people’s capacity to exercise their autonomy in public places.

Jane is also Principle Investigator on The Southwark Industrial Economy Audit, with Prof. Mark Brearley and Nicolas Palominos (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL), and undertook a survey of every industrial workspace in the London Borough of Southwark in 2019, with the project due to reach its conclusions in 2021. It will offer an evidence base for the New Southwark Plan. The Southwark Audit grew from participatory design and consultation events such as Action Old Kent Road (OKR), in which Jane collaborated with a number of grassroots organisations: Southwark Planning Network, Vital OKRPeckham Weeklies and what if: projects to help equip business owners and residents in Southwark with the knowledge and skills to participate in the planning process.

Since 2017 Jane has also been part of ongoing research into the nature of streets, a project called Streetspace led by PI Dr Agustina Martire (Queen's University Belfast, Architecture) and is co-authoring a book about it.

Jane is Course Leader for Architecture, Cities and Urbanism – MA and unit leader for the Cities unit in Architecture (RIBA 2) – MArch. She has taught across all levels of architecture including running seminars for undergraduate module, Critical and Contextual Studie,  Dissertation Studio 'Made in London' and guest lectures for other modules on the topics of urban design, high streets, public space, morphology, local economies and industry/workspace. Jane supervises a number of PhD students whose research concerns urban-scale investigation: Bobby Supatira, Annisa Jabbour, Lara Kinnier and Julia Atkins.

The Depth Structure of a London High Street: A Study in Urban Order

Prof. Peter Carl

Abstract from Jane Clossick's full thesis:
This thesis is a study of Tottenham High Road, and how the urban blocks which comprise its depth are composed. Depth has a number of components: architecture, space and time; depth is the armature in which people live their social lives, and the place where local cultures emerge. The conception of depth offers a way of capturing urban life in its richness and its reciprocities. The literature about high streets offers few detailed analyses of their spatial and psycho-social ordering and this thesis seeks to fill that gap. The approach is a hermeneutics of praxis, using ethnographic methods, in-depth interviews, and situating the information spatially using architectural drawing techniques. It offers a novel method of investigating and understanding the structures and processes which make up the high streets and which, in aggregate, make the whole city. Tottenham High Road is used here as a case study, a vehicle through which to interpret evidence about the existence and nature of depth, with its manifold structures. Understanding depth is vital to understanding high streets, so this thesis allows a deeper and richer interpretation of high streets than has previously been possible.

There is a problem in planning orthodoxy around high streets, typified in Tottenham: the richness of depth is flattened and codified, in order to frame swathes of city as sites from which to reap economic reward. In fact, depth contains all of human life, and understanding it, therefore, is an ethical responsibility for planning. Depth has a number of characteristics, ordered by different processes and forces. Firstly, physical order, shaped by both economic and social forces. For example, the most public uses are found in the ‘shallowest’ parts of depth, and these are the most valuable sites because they command the greatest passing trade. Secondly, depth has a social order, through playing out of place ballet by people as they live their lives. The social order operates interdependently and reciprocally with the physical order of depth. Commitment between people and places (citizenship) results in special place cultures, which are hosted in depth. Depth has variation in the scope of decorum from the outer edge of the block to the centre: more things are possible inside the block than at its edge.

The insights about depth in this thesis are relevant to many areas of life: to planning, to politics and to existing theory, because depth provides an account for the ethical order in which other areas of human life take place. With an understanding of depth it is possible to evaluate planning proposals, efforts at ensuring political participation, to shed light on existing theories such as Cosmopolitanism, and to add a valuable layer of information about the real structures of London to the existing literature.


Dr Jane Clossick
Senior Lecturer in Architecture (Urban Design)
Twitter: @jane_clossick
Instagram: @cities_ldnmetarts


  Tottenham High Road
Jane Clossick 1 - Tottenham High Road


  Windsor Parade
Jane Clossick 2 - Windsor Parade


 Shops and businesses
Jane Clossick


 The Victorian terrace
Jane Clossick


 Morrisson Yard
Jane Clossick