Studio 12: London Walks

First seven weeks of study

Studio Outline

There is a long history of artists, architects, filmmakers and writers employing walking as a means of creatively appropriating the city.  The studio will look at this phenomenon with particular attention to our own city, London.  We will lead extended walks through London and study texts and films which are structured in the form of guided walks.  We are particularly interested in the role that walking might play in the formulation of an artistic practice or design methodology.

You will ultimately be asked to lead a walk of your own devising - a kilometre long journey structured around a particular theme.  Its documentation in words and images will form the basis of your dissertation.  The studio aims to encourage ways of looking at the city ranging from the architectural to the literary, the economic to the biographical and to explore ways in which those different kinds of observation might inform each other.  By inviting you to construct the narrative of your dissertation with attention to the needs of an audience, we also hope to encourage your development as writers.

Weeks 1-7: The first seven weeks of study will be split between sessions held in the classroom and on the streets of London.  You will be led on guided walks and be asked to undertake research on areas of the city yourselves. Sessions will be devoted to highlighting the sources that you can use in your investigations of the city and also to the varying modes of observation and description that other artistic practitioners have employed. 

Contact Tutors: Ellis Woodman | Matthew Turner

Reading List

  • 1. Night Walks (1861), Charles Dickens.
  • 2. Introduction to Critique of Urban Geography (1955), Guy Debord.
  • 3. Monuments of Passaic (1967), Robert Smithson.
  • 4. Nairn’s London (1966), Ian Nairn.
  • 5. The London Nobody Knows (1969), directed by Bernard Cohen.
  • 6. London (1990), Tony Fretton.
  • 7. London (1994), directed by Patrick Keiller.
  • 8. Lights Out for the Territory (1998), Iain Sinclair.
  • 9. A Guide to Postmodern Architecture in London (2008), Pablo Bronstein.