Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Sensing the City: an Urban Room

Project Exhibition at The Herbert

13-18 January 2020, 10am-4pm


We are bringing together the findings, stories, questions, images, inspirations and much more from our three years long journey in and around Coventry city centre in this exhibition taking place on 13-18th January 2020 at The Herbert Gallery. We are hoping this exhibition will serve as an Urban Room, to revisit together some of the key questions the research team and commissioned artists have been working with...

  • How can the human body be in measure of the city?
  • How can a focus on human sensing enhance the habitability of urban life?
  • What do the sensed contours, textures and atmospheres of the city tell us about it?
  • Who and what is Coventry city centre for?
  • What kind of city do we wish to live in?

Here are some of the activities our team prepared for you during the week of the exhibition in and around The Herbert Gallery:


Daily screenings | Coventry Radiant City by Michael Lightborne with the participation of the artist, The Tank.(Mon-Fri | 3pm, Duration: approx. 80mins, no booking required).

Beginning inside the exhibition space, Carolyn Deby/sirenscrossing will offer short audience experiences for up to eight people at a time beginning daily 12.00pm, 12.20pm, 12.40pm, 1.00pm, 1.20pm, 1.40pm (Mon-Fri, Duration: 15 mins). The work will end outdoors close to the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Please dress for the weather conditions. (Daily booking recommended with the exhibition invigilators).

Visit the underpass system at Junction 5 of the Coventry ringroad and surrounding areas daily between 3.30pm - 5.30pm (Monday 13 & Friday 17 January); 12.00pm - 2.00pm (Wednesday 15 January); 7.30am - 9.30am (Tuesday 14 & Thursday 16 January) to encounter the movement practice of enter & inhabit.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Sensing the City Salon
19 November 2019, 10-4pm

In this final salon of the "Moving & Mapping: Knowing Sites Through Dance Practice" microproject, we will discuss the relationship between dance and urban planning.

What role can dance play in urban planning?

What are the needs and challenges?

Dr Natalie Garrett Brown and Dr Emma Meehan will also lead a city walk during the lunch break.


Aude Bicquelet-Lock, Deputy Head of Policy and Research, Royal Town Planning Institute

Jo Shore, Head of Public Realm, Coventry City Council

Clare Mitchell, Development Manager of Arts and Cultural Partnerships, Coventry City Council

Jade Somal, Programme Assistant for Transport & Infrastructure, Coventry City Council

Helen Roby, Coventry University from the Centre for Business in society

Caroline Salem and Ed Frith (Dance Artist and Architect Partners)

Rachel and Alice Sara (Dance Artist and Architect Sisters)

Sarah Spanton (Performance Artist and Town Planner)

Dani Abulhawa (Performance Artist)

Amy Voris (Dance artist with extensive work in Coventry)

Sensing the City project team: Nicholas Whybrow (PI, walking artist), Emma Meehan (dance), Natalie Garrett Brown (dance), Nese Ceren Tosun (impact), Michael Pigott (film/sound), Carolyn Deby (dance).

Past Events

Sense & Capture: A Coventry Grid Project in Collaboration with Dave Allen

We will walk the streets of Coventry, if the weather allows, this time joining the dots of the grid prepared specially for Sensing the City, and will take pictures of or at the assigned grid points. What sensations and atmospheres can we document? How does your body respond to the city? What does YOUR sense of the city look like?

15 of these images will be printed and exhibited at Herbert & more will be on Dave Allen's webpage.

Upcoming Sense & Capture event meeting point: 9 November 2019, 11.30am Drapers.

Please email to sign up & for more information. 

Coventry Collaborates - Family Fun Day at Fargo Village

5th of October 2020, 12.00-4.30pm

Sensing the City team was at the Family Fun day at FarGo Village with "Sensing Opportunities" and shared ways you can be involved in the project. We also had lovely conversations about "What could the ring road be, if there were no cars?". Deer park? Cycle path? And why not a bouncy castle and "donkeys & unicorns"!


Nicolas Whybrow was in conversation about Sensing the City with Saul Hewish at "ArtCity" in Stoke on Trent, Thursday 10th October. The three-day conference event, convened by B-Arts, addressed key questions about the intersection of art practices and urban living.

More on the event: 

Sensing the City commissioned artist Carolyn Deby invited Coventrians to a journey through the messy real and to remember their place in the wildness with her guided audience experience.

urbanflows: entangled in the grain of worlds, becoming was an audience experience that journeyed through the city of Coventry, with elements of performance, installation, sound, video, and words scattered throughout the everyday spaces passed through.

IN COLLABORATION WITH: Jia-Yu Corti, Katye Coe, Annalise Cowan, Lauren Sheerman

urbanflows: entangled in the grain of worlds, becoming

Urbanflows upcoming

Coventry...England...Britain. On the edge of the Atlantic. Not Europe...and not-not Europe. Planet Earth. Burning up. Somewhere in this mess of roads, construction site optimism and hyped-up fast moving tunes, fast food, slow decline, urban wasteland and screen swipe seduction, retail stupor-uber, zero hours, no time left. The vegans and petrol guzzlers are taking a stand. Can we dance the vitality of a wild planet even as it is dangerously altered by human technologies? By walking/moving through the urbanwild of Coventry, can humans begin to sense their own profound entanglement? urbanflows proposes a hybrid ecosystem, highlighting cycles of carbon (in the making of concrete; the burning of fossil fuels; the metabolisms of plants and creatures), and the meshed movements of air, water, mobile phones, machines, and living things. The wildness is mutating fast, but maybe not fast enough. The seduction of code/space, the cloud, the network...these condition us to stay locked-in. Come on a journey through the messy real and remember your place in wildness...

Sensing the City Principal Investigator Prof Nicolas Whybrow presented on 14th of September 2019, in "Play and its Potential Publics" symposium.

Play and its Potential Publics Symposium Poster

Play and its Potential Publics

14 September 2019, Common Ground Room, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London

Play and its Potential Publics is an interdisciplinary symposium funded by the Open University and The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), UCL. It took place on the 14th of September 2019 at the IAS. Please visit

Sensing the City Researcher Michael Pigott presented his 'urban essay film' at the City, Essay, Film event on 7th of June, 2019 as part of the UCL Festival of Culture (3-7 June 2019).
Jordan Rowe – UCL Urban Laboratory


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Wilkins Building
Gower Street

Pencil the dates in!

Sensing the City: An Urban Room
Project Exhibition curated by Sarah Shalgosky & Fiona Venables
Herbert Gallery
13-18 January 2020