citiesLAB has emerged from collaboration between PhD students at the LSE’s Cities Programme. The Cities Programme is an interdisciplinary graduate centre bringing together a diversity of expertise and approaches to the study of the city. The citiesLAB workshop reflects that diversity and includes architects and designers, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers and planners, with a common interest in understanding the interplay between the social and the spatial in contemporary cities. The product of this collaboration is both a working group and a set of common projects to focus our explorations. citiesLAB has grown from the need for regular communication between students engaged with the solitary nature of doctoral research, towards a forum in which we regularly discuss our work and present ideas.
The Politics of Design is a compilation of working papers that focuses on different forms of ‘design’ in the city – from the design of policies to that of buildings and public spaces – and considers the ways that these practices and processes of design are implicated in various kinds of politics, both official and informal. This is the second volume in the citiesLAB series, based on our ongoing discussions and the development of a shared intellectual project out of the individual work of the doctoral researcher. The principle of collaboration – the exchange of ideas and the development of work in progress – is central to the ethos of academic life.