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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Exploring the urban landscape

Published: 5 May 2016
Exploring hidden spaces
Photo credit: Dr Jonathan Prior

Renowned social geographer, urban explorer and photographer Dr Bradley Garrett is one of Geography and Environment’s human geography experts and brings a wealth of experience to the University of Southampton.


His pioneering third-year Experimental Geographies module gives students the opportunity to experience hidden spaces for themselves by exploring abandoned buildings and telling stories about the spatially marginalised places through audio, video or photography. It also features guest lectures from different creative perspectives, including psychogeographer Will Self and leading sonic geographer Jonathan Prior.

Bradley, whose research is inspired by his fascination with hidden, overlooked and forgotten environments, came to Southampton two years ago as a Lecturer in Human Geography.

He said: “I was in the last year of my postdoctoral fellowship when the position in Geography and Environment at Southampton was announced. I was determined to keep my research career moving forward and being based at a research-focused Russell Group university was exactly what I was looking for.

“Southampton is one of the best geography departments in the UK due to the breadth of its research which ranges across the full range of physical and human geography. We are respected and appreciated as scholars and are given the space to develop our research specialisms.”

Bradley’s research is renowned across the UK and has featured on television, radio and in print media around the world. He has also had a number of books published including his latest book London Rising that explores the sights from London’s highest rooftops.

His previous books Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City and Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital recount his experiences of urban exploration that have taken him from the depths of disused London underground stations to the top of the Shard building while it was still under construction.

“All of my projects work to reveal, through experiential engagement, what is hidden from plain sight,” said Bradley.

As a social and cultural geographer, he is interested in experimental geographies – the intersections between photography, film-making and related creative practices and he shares this ethos with his students.

“My students seem to really enjoy being able to create scholarly, non-textual material and I am very proud that over the past few years dozens of them have gone on to become very adept photographers and film-makers.”


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