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Knowledge Exchange and Impact

Research that has real world impact 

Our research engages with policymakers, activists and the arts and cultural sector to have real-world impact beyond academia. Here are some examples of the department's current impact and knowledge exchange projects.

We focus our energies through concerns with escalating inequalities and injustices across the globe.

Dissembodied Territories

Disembodied Territories 1

Disembodied Territories is a creative project that explores radical uses of maps and mapping in light of the colonial and racist history of technologies of mapping and maps themselves. The projects asks: how can we map against our own epistemic displacements while most of the maps we know are devices of that displacement? Co-curated by Dr Sara Salem, the project features over 50 contributions from filmmakers, artists, academics, architects and visualisers who map the ways in which the African continent keeps reinventing, resummoning, or unbounding itself from dominant frames of place-making. 


Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States


Dr Rebecca Elliott’s research examines transformations in the calculation and distribution of flood risk as the American state responds to the rising costs of flood losses. It has been featured in a video by the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the state of flood insurance in the US. The video is titled Flood insurance is...complicated. Here's why


Golden Passports and Visas: the global market in residence and citizenship 

Dr Kristin Surak’s research into ‘golden passport’ and ‘golden visa’ programmes addresses how these schemes are about gaining mobility and options in a world with huge inequalities between citizenships. This research was presented to the European Parliament and you can read more about it here.



Kuwaitscapes' is a card game that developed from the LSE Middel East Centre Kuwait Programme research project 'Public Space in Kuwait: From user behaviour to policy-making'. Part-funded by LSE Sociology and co-created by Alexandra Gomes (LSE Cities), the cards are contextualised to Kuwait’s socio-cultural conditions and its built environment. This game facilitates the discussion of real urban issues, engaging everyone (from kids to adults, from lay citizens to planners and designers), while reducing the knowledge gap on urban planning and design within the Kuwait society. To read more about the cards, get to know all the members of the team and download the game, just visit Kuwaitscapes.


Revolutionary Papers 

Revolutionary Papers

Revolutionary Papers is an international, transdisciplinary research and teaching initiative on anticolonial, anti-imperial and related left periodicals of the Global South. Led by Dr Mahvish Ahmad, it includes over forty university-based researchers, as well as editors, archivists, and movement organizers from around the world. The initiative looks at the way that periodicals—including newspapers, magazines, cultural journals, and newsletters—played a key role in establishing new counter publics, social and cultural movements, institutions, political vocabularies and art practises. 


Configuring Light/Staging the Social 

Led by Dr Don Slater, Dr Elettra Bordonaro, and Dr Joanne Entwistle (KCL), Configuring Light/Staging the Social is an interdisciplinary research programme that explores the role lighting plays in people’s everyday lives. Working with lighting professionals, local government, community groups and residents, it aims to help build a better social knowledge base and professional best-practice in lighting design and urban planning. Projects apply creative qualitative social research methods to better understand the spaces that designers are working on, and ensure that lighting and other design elements support the social lives of the diverse people trying to live there. The programme is international in scope, including work on public spaces, social housing, retail centres and districts in Europe, Latin America, Australia and the middle east.

We are currently part of EnlightenME, a four-year Horizon2020 project on lighting and well-being in ageing populations: working with older citizens and carers in three cities (Amsterdam, Bologna and Tartu) we are carrying out social research, community engagement and co-design workshops to develop age-friendly lighting installations that will allow us to explore age-related design options in strategic urban sites.