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#Smarter London


Project Type: Ethnography & Culture in Design 

Date: Spring 2015

Location: Kilburn, London, UK​

Group Members: Mengjiao Han, Erik Reiblein, Lauren Haggerty, Urszula Warszawa

Role: Concept, Research, Analyst, Visualization, Presentation, Ideation, Interviewer

Skills: Interactive Design, Design Research, Communication, Human Environment Interaction, Cultural Probe


The Ethnography & Culture in Design course over 14 weeks will unearth people’s insights by studying underlying behaviors, assumptions and beliefs Londoners have about living, working, and playing in core London boroughs through their interactions with the city’s urban products, services and infrastructure experiences. The goal of this project is to propose practical solutions in meliorating the disconnection between different groups. Designers are required to familiarize with the neighborhood through various research methods in order to develop empathy and awareness.


We aim to understand the communities and boundaries that exist within Kilburn, and develop new ways to unify the area. 

Kilburn is an area of London that exists between Brent and Camden. Due to the influence of those two boroughs, Kilburn’s identity is complex and difficult to define. Kilburn is very difficult to completely understand, both from a geographic and cultural perspective. Its boundaries aren’t clear, and there is such a large variety of cultures in the area that identifying a dominant group or ethnicity is impossible. Using a combination of cultural probes and social media outreach, our group worked to discover the biggest issues afecting Kilburn. By utilizing the data we collected, we created a catalog of products and services that could be used to improve Kilburn and connect its fractured communities.

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