The University of Chicago’s Urban Theory Lab (UTL) seeks to develop frameworks of critical spatial knowledge that illuminate the planetary dynamics of urbanization and environmental transformation under modern capitalism.
We explore these dynamics through research, teaching, and public engagement, with an emphasis on the coproduction of critical scholarship with experimental forms of urban theory, geographic visualization, and spatial media.
Major research projects explore the interplay between city-building processes and, among other issues, (i) the transformation of non-city territories and environments; (ii) the production of energy, raw materials, and food; (iii) geopolitics and empire; and (iv) socio-environmental crises such as global warming and biodiversity loss.
Through these initiatives, the UTL seeks to contribute to the urgent collective project of imagining new spaces of solidarity and emancipatory forms of urbanization for the flourishing of human and non-human life.
The UTL comprises a University of Chicago research group and a network of Research Affiliates.
University of Chicago research group:
NEIL BRENNER → | Director
ALEXANDER ARROYO → | Associate Director, Senior Research Associate in Global Political Ecology
GRGA BAŠIĆ → | Senior Research Associate in Cartography and Spatial Media
SALMA ABOUELHOSSEIN ↗︎ | Harvard GSD
WILLIAM CONROY ↗︎ | Harvard GSD
SWARNABH GHOSH ↗︎ | Harvard GSD
MARIANO GOMEZ LUQUE ↗︎ | Institute of Advanced Architecture of Cataluña
NIKOS KATSIKIS ↗︎ | TU Delft
CARLO DIAZ → | Project and Communications Coordinator
The UTL was established in 2012 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). A redesigned UTL website will be launched in the coming months to reflect future directions, projects, and people at our new institutional home. For updates on the site, events, and publications, subscribe to our email list. ↗︎ For information about the previous iteration of the Urban Theory Lab, based at Harvard GSD, visit our archive site. ↗︎