what is visual urbanism?
Visual Urbanism is an interdisciplinary field of practice drawing on a wide range of approaches to representing and evoking urban spaces. Such practices may be variously described as documentary, fine art, design, architecture, ethnography or social science based, depending on their historical traditions and contexts, but they are all connected by an intention to make sense of, research and interact with urban life through lens-based media or other forms of visualisation.
The International Association of Visual Urbanists (iAVU) is an academic and creative arts organisation that aims to foster the study and use of visual materials within urban research. We are committed to creating an inclusive forum where researchers, scholars and creative practitioners from various disciplines (including sociology, anthropology, geography, urban studies, cultural studies, media, art practice, architecture, photography and film) can discuss, exchange ideas, study and produce a range of knowledge forms related to urban visual research.
We organise an annual international conference designed to promote dialogue and debate around developments and concerns within contemporary visual urbanism. Additionally, iAVU provides a number of related educational and research initiatives including: workshops and practical/theoretical training in visual research methods; seminars and discussion based events; consultancy and mentoring; an internship scheme; an international public exhibitions programme.
Paul is a photographer, film-maker and urbanist who originally trained in photojournalism and fine art film at the London College of Communications (LCC) and Central Saint Martin’s Art College. He did postgraduate studies in social anthropology art history at Goldsmiths College and the University of Oxford. Paul's main focus is on urban and fine-art photography, film ethnography, materialities and narratives of city life. He has worked on a number of long and medium-term photographic projects including a twenty-year project about London’s streets and public places, a project focusing on urban materialities, and a recently completed project about global spaces and the collapse of geographic certainty. Paul is the course leader of the international MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, convener of the International Urban Photography Summer School, a former media adviser at the British Refugee Council, and a director of Photofusion.
Rachel Sarah Jones
Rachel is an artist and visual sociologist whose work explores photographic and filmic approaches to urban space and temporality. She is particularly interested in the relationship between visual arts practice, critical urbanism and cultural geography. Rachel has exhibited her work in New York, Glasgow, London, and Washington, including participating in the ColorField Remix Fesitval in conjunction with the Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC. She has presented her work at numerous international conferences and festivals, including the Sensing Site seminar series at Parasol Unit and Urban Encounters Photography and the Practice of Walking. Rachel is currently an Associate Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.