Phase 2 is a programme of exhibitions and events which supports collaborations between artists, architects and engineers as well as with external cultural organisations. Artists commissioned by Phase 2 have included Matthew Ritchie, Nicolas Grospierre and Fritz Haeg.

To find out more, contact phase2@arup.com or visit us on Twitter or Facebook 


Previous exhibitions

Changing approaches to design

9 November 2018 – 1 March 2019

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (closed 24 Dec 18 – 2 Jan 19)

Private View: 8 November, 6pm to 8.30pm

The exhibition explores the impact of digital technologies on contemporary design. On show are works from the fields of architecture, engineering, interior design, fashion and art. They range from the 2008 design for the Beijing National Aquatic Center to contemporary open-source schemes like WikiHouse, SPACE10’s Growroom and furniture by Opendesk; running shoes with 3D-printed midsoles by Nervous System for New Balance and foræva, a dress made from over 25,000 Swarovski crystals by Lana Dumitru and Vlad Tenu. Different materials and plug-in systems are explored by Beat Karrer and Stefan Borselius for their biocomposite and felt space dividers and Manuel Kretzer for his cardboard Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair. These and other works in the exhibition are based on the sharing of information across disciplines.

Image credit:
Architectural elements / space divider, 2012
Studio Beat Karrer GmbH, © FluidSolids Ltd

Conflicts of an Urban Age

25 June – 19 October 2018

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (closed bank holiday Monday)

Arup London, 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BJ

Cities occupy less than 1% of global land, but generate over two-thirds of the world’s economic output. They are the stage-sets for social opportunity and social inequality. While some cities are pioneering sustainable and imaginative solutions, many are not. New city forms are also emerging, with profound social and environmental consequences for billions of urban dwellers.

The Urban Age, a research project jointly organised by the London School of Economics LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, has been exploring the conflicts that lie behind this new urban reality. This exhibition was first developed as a special project for the 2016 International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Within this iteration of the exhibition, as a new element to the project, Arup is showcasing a range of inspirational solutions, developed and implemented by individuals, local communities or organisations at grassroots level in different regions of the world, that address challenges posed by rapid urban growth.



Edward Burtynsky: Water Matters

14 March – 8 June 2018

The exhibition explores the multi-faceted nature of our relationship with water through photographs made by Burtynsky between 2010 and 2016 in different locations around the world, including Gujarat, India; Yunnan Province, China; Aragon, Spain; and Florida, USA.

Shot from aircraft, helicopters or drones several thousand feet above the earth, the large-format photographs are both detailed and panoramic, beautiful and disturbing. Though not immediately apparent, all the photographs in this exhibition connect to water and our use of this finite resource.

This project has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of Flowers Gallery, London.

Image credit:
Edward Burtynsky, Phosphor Tailings Pond #2, Polk Country, Florida, USA, 2012 © the artist, courtesy Flowers Gallery, London


Pinwheel Pavilion

11 November 2016 – 10 February 2017

  A new configuration of the Pinwheel Pavilion designed by Five Line Projects explored the potential energy triggered by a single action. The original Pavilion was on display in the gardens of the V&A Museum of Childhood Bethnal Green, London, in June 2016. The designers were inspired by the nearby museum to use the pinwheel, a classic children’s toy, to develop their concept. The installation reminded us that the energy of an individual contributes to urban life, affecting the local community as well as the city as a whole.


Concrete Inspirations

14 July – 7 October 2016

  This exhibition was about the innovative use of concrete, which continues to capture the imagination of engineers, architects and artists alike. It included Arup projects dating from the founding years of the firm to the present: Busáras, Dublin’s main bus station, the Brynmawr factory, Wales, the Barbican Centre, London, and the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, Taiwan. Concrete was also the subject of the work of artists Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Demand, Luisa Lambri, Simon Phipps and Rachel Whiteread.


Inside Cities: Art and the Built Environment

23 June – 11 September 2015

  This show presented aspects of built and proposed infrastructure, community projects and explorations of materials and objects related to sustainability in the urban environment. Artists included Mark Titchner, Heather & Ivan Morison, Fischli and Weiss, Damien Hirst, John Wood and Paul Harrison and Something & Son. Myvillages showcased a cultural drinks enterprise http://companydrinks.info/about/ while Park/Park tackled traffic and environmental issues.


Building the Sydney Opera House

11 April – 25 July 2014

  The exhibition focused on two phases of the Opera House’s 16-year construction story: the evolution of the roof structure, known as Stage 2, and the design of the glass walls by architect Peter Hall who joined the project after original architect Jørn Utzon’s departure in 1966. The show included photography, historical drawings and models as well as a specially commissioned digitally fabricated model of the roof’s geometry. Find out more here.


Traces of Peter Rice

27 November 2012 – 5 April 2013

  In 1992 Peter Rice was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal for his outstanding contributions to the design of the built environment. It was also the year of his untimely death at the age of 57 years. Twenty years on this exhibition celebrated the life and work of Ireland’s most gifted structural engineer of the late 20th century. Projects like Centre Pompidou and the Menil Collection were highlighted through vintage photographs, prototypes and drawings. Find out more here.


MyStreet: Your story told through film

13 June – 5 October 2012

  This living archive of everyday life was launched through the Open City Documentary Film Festival and UCL, London. The initiative asked UK residents to record places and experiences that were of significance to them. It revealed the richness of UK society at grass roots level in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games and the power of film as an intrinsic element of the growing social network phenomenon.


Charles Morrow: Land Sea Air

17 February – 4 May 2012

  Together with Arup Acoustics, Charles Morrow developed a three-dimensional, immersive, sonic journey beginning 400 million years ago and continuing through different ecological epochs. It ranged from the sounds of giant dragonflies of the Carboniferous period through to circuitry noises from our contemporary digital era. Find out more here.


Animal Estates

13 October 2011 – 20 January 2012

  American artist Fritz Haeg www.fritzhaeg.com raised awareness of the plight of endangered urban wildlife by creating a consultancy where they became the clients. Made from salvaged materials the “Headquarters” was a location for public events, workshops and meetings by Arup staff, schools and universities and local interest groups. This radical and ingenious initiative was an unforgettable experience for all involved. Find out more here.


Stories of Change

13 July – 30 September 2011

  Stories of Change used a call-out to students worldwide to collect stories told through film, architectural design and text that responded to the global trends identified in Drivers of Change. Shortlisted entrants were invited to attend the opening of the exhibition where the winners were announced. Kibwe Tavares’ film “Robots of Brixton” went on to win the Jury prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Watch the film here.


Nicolas Grospierre: Paper Planes

31 March – 1 July 2011

  Nicolas Grospierre (http://www.grospierre.art.pl/) studied the award-winning Aviation Museum, Krakow, designed by Justus Pysall, Peter Ruge, Bartlomiej Kisielewski and Arup by taking photographs of all the surfaces of the building, including the floor, ceiling, roof, interior and exterior walls. Then playing with the accustomed norms of two- and three-dimensionality he used his prints to create a series of photo-mosaics as well as several large format paper planes. Find out more here.


Bridge Stories

22 October 2010 –  31 January 2011

  This exhibition explored the history of bridge design over the past fifty years through film, photography and 3D representation as well as showing how the use of photography has changed since the firm was founded in 1946. Included were photographs by John Donat and Henk Snoek, leading architectural photographers in Britain and assigned by Arup in the 1960s and 70s and a specially commissioned digital taxonomy of bridge spans by digital arts group onedotzero. Watch the film here and watch the public discussion here.


Constructing Realities

1 July – 1 October 2010

  Phase 2’s second collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture showcased work from the school’s Advanced Architectural Research program, supported by The Economic Challenge Investment Fund. These Masters portfolios contained the seeds of further design proposals for creating new types of space, novel interactive building elements and new façade and structural systems. Find out more here.


Ways of Seeing London

16 March – 18 June 2010

  For this exhibition, artists, engineers, designers and architects provided historical, contemporary and future representations of London using different media. The show included work by Rut Blees Luxemburg, Christian Kerrigan and a dystopian visualisation of Whitehall under water by GMJ. Also on show was a large intricate timber model of Arup Associates’ unrealised 1987 plan for Paternoster Square.


Renoma: Reflections of Wroclaw

16 October 2009 – 26 February 2010

  This exhibition mapped the turbulent history of the city of Wroclaw, Poland, by telling the story of RENOMA. Designed in 1930 by Hermann Dernburg for the Wertheim family as one of the largest, international department stores in Europe, its original concept was shortlived when the store was confiscated by the Nazi government. After years of neglect, it re-opened in 2009 as a shopping centre with a new wing designed by Mackow Architects in collaboration with Arup. Watch the film here.


Digital Hinterlands

8 September – 2 October 2009

  This group exhibition was a collaboration between Arup, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL and the University of Westminster with the aim of demystifying computer technologies. Some of the best cutting-edge work by architecture graduates from the three schools showed the effects of an ever-expanding digital world on architectural agendas, processes and outcomes.


Matthew Ritchie: The Last Scattering

8 April – 26 June 2009

  Phase 2’s first new commission was a collaboration between Matthew Ritchie and Daniel Bosia of Arup’s Advanced Geometry Unit. The modular sculpture was inspired by dark energy, the Big Bang Theory and the moment in space and time when light separated from matter. The parametric design also represented the intersection between art, design and engineering. Watch the film here.


Force Field

14 October 2008 – 20 February 2009

  This project was a collaboration between Arup’s lighting designers led by Rogier van der Heide and the University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, which investigated the different energy forces flowing through Arup’s London headquarters.  An installation made up of 64 luminous rods was programmed to react to the movements of visitors in the space by changing colour.


China in Motion

7 July – 2 October 2008

  This exhibition explored the dramatic effects of migration and construction on Beijing and Shanghai in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games with works by Edward Burtynsky, Natalie Behring and Helen Couchman.  G2 Studio’s film Honey & Bubbles, commissioned for the exhibition, told the story of the changing face of Beijing from the perspectives of a local beekeeper and a Beijing taxi driver. Watch the trailer here.


Drivers of Change

28 April – 27 June 2008

  Phase 2’s first exhibition showcased work by some of the first  “Flickr photographers” who had contributed to the Drivers of Change publication. Themes included Water, Urbanisation, Energy, Waste, Climate Change and Demographics.  Brazilian photographer Tuca Vieira’s Paraisõpolis (Paradise City), 2006, became renowned worldwide as an iconic image of two-tiered urban society.