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Experience Coventry as you never have before at new University of Warwick exhibition

  • Urban Sensographies: an Urban Room takes place at Metropolis between 22 and 30 July and is free and open to the public
  • Draws upon the three-year Sensing the City project that explored Coventry using human senses to gather data
  • Images from the exhibition available in Notes to Editors

Lead image from the Urban Sensographies exhibition. Credit: Nicolas WhybrowCoventry and Warwickshire residents are getting a second chance to see and experience artworks created as part of the Sensing the City project, previously shown in The Herbert in 2020.

Urban Sensographies: an Urban Room comes to city-centre venue Metropolis between Friday 22 and Saturday 30 July, presenting highlights of the 2020 exhibition and new work developed subsequently, in light of the coronavirus pandemic and Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.

The three-year Sensing the City project drew on arts and humanities skills and practices to explore Coventry city centre, using the human senses to gather data about life in the city and to map how its urban spaces are used and experienced.

The exhibition will include photographic collages, texts, and interactive materials; video and sound work; and performance ‘actions’ by sirenscrossing. Visitors to the Urban Room on Sunday 24 July may take part in a guided artists’ sensory walk around the city centre (at 2pm), introducing some of the research techniques used and visiting some of the most interesting spots explored during the project.

'Peeling Paint' from the Urban Sensographies exhibition. Credit: Michael LightborneDr Michael Pigott of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick said: “Our collaborative research group came together to ask two key questions: who and what is Coventry city centre for? And how might we use the human body as a data-gathering sensor to investigate the rhythms and atmospheres of urban space?”

“Following the radical re-evaluation of city spaces caused by the pandemic and the accelerating climate crisis, we are returning with renewed urgency to the central question of what we want our cities to be and do for us, and how we can make this happen.”

'Ring Road Ring' from the Urban Sensographies exhibition. Credit: Michael Lightborne

Members of the Sensing the City research collective include Professor Nicolas Whybrow and Dr Michael Pigott (University of Warwick), Coventry University's Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), the dance company enter&inhabit, and the London-based artist-researcher Dr Carolyn Deby/sirenscrossing.

In addition to the creative outputs, findings from the project are being shared with urban planners and other professional specialists in fields related to the design and planning of urban futures. Professor Whybrow and Carolyn Deby/sirenscrossing were both invited to contribute essays to the Local Government Association’s “The Future of Cities” debate. [LINK:]



Download images from the exhibition: (credit: Michael Lightborne) (credit: Michael Lightborne) (credit: Nicolas Whybrow)

Urban Sensographies: an Urban Room. Upstairs in Metropolis, Earl Street, Coventry CV1 5RU. Friday 22 to Saturday 30 July, 12-8pm.

The exhibition is free to visit.

Guided walk around the city centre: 2pm - 3.30pm, Sunday 24 July

The exhibition is supported by: University of Warwick, Coventry University, University of East London, AHRC/UKRI, Metropolis and Historic Coventry. More information can be found here:

Sensing the City: an Embodied Documentation and Mapping of the Changing Uses and Tempers of Urban Place (a practice-based case-study of Coventry) was funded by the AHRC and ran 2017-2020. More information on the project can be found here:

Photos from the enter&inhabit strand of the research can be seen here:

Film and sound work from Michael Pigott’s strand of the project, including an album of sounds of the Ring Road, can be viewed here:

The title of the exhibition was inspired by the new Routledge book Urban Sensographies that draws together the findings of Sensing the City, published by Routledge and available in paperback from August:
Whybrow, Nicolas (ed) (2021) Urban Sensographies (London and New York: Routledge).

The Sensing the City Project Team:

  1. Professor Nicolas Whybrow, University of Warwick
  2. Dr Natalie Garrett Brown, University of East London
  3. Dr Emma Meehan, Coventry University
  4. Dr Michael Pigott, University of Warwick
  5. Dr Carolyn Deby, sirenscrossing
  6. Dr Nese Ceren Tosun, University of Warwick
  7. Rob Batterbee, University of Warwick

20 July 2022

University of Warwick press office contact:

Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics) | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick

Tel: +44 (0) 2476 151512

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863