exploring the collective behaviour of Hackney Wick


Crowd Control is a collaborative research residency bringing together experts in art, science, performance, law and urban design to engage local communities in creative experimentation into collective behaviour.

Heather Barnett’s art practice engages with natural phenomena, complex systems and biological design. Working with live organisms and imaging technologies, her work explores how we observe, influence and understand the world around us. Projects include microbial portraiture, cellular wallpapers, performing cuttlefish, and an ongoing ‘collaboration’ with an intelligent slime mould, Physarum polycephalum. She teaches on the MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) and chairs London LASER art and science talks. She is currently a Leverhulme Artist in Residence with Swansea University.

Dr Andrew King is an Associate Professor and Behavioural Ecologist at Swansea University conducting research in the field of social behaviour. His research group, SHOAL, works with a variety of group-living fish, bird, and mammal systems, and is most well-known for his work investigating the evolution and ecology of leadership.


Dr Ines Fürtbauer is a Senior Lecturer and Behavioural Endocrinologist at Swansea, conducting research from a comparative and evolutionary perspective. Her research team rely on behavioural observations in the field and laboratory and the application of non-invasive hormone analysis techniques to understand variation in behaviour and physiology.

Nimrod Vardi is the director and curator of arebyte gallery in Hackney Wick, East London. His practice revolves around new media and performance arts, examining the relationship between technology, the body and human experience. arebyte Gallery is a leading organisation in providing further access to information about digital technologies and new media, and offers audiences meaningful engagement with these developing art forms.

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, LLB, LLM, PhD, is Professor of Law & Theory at the University of Westminster, and founder and Director of The Westminster Law & Theory Lab. His interests are typically interdisciplinary, including space, corporeality, new materialism, and philosophy. Andreas also pursues an art practice under the name of picpoet. Edited volumes include Law and the City (2007), Law and Ecology (2012), Luhmann Observed: Radical Theoretical Encounters (2013), and with Augusto Cusinato Knowledge-Creating Milieus in Europe (2015). He has published three monographs, Absent Environments (2007), Niklas Luhmann: Law, Justice, Society (2010), and Spatial Justice: Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere (2014). Andreas is the editor (with Christian Borch) of the Routledge Glasshouse series Space, Materiality and the Normative.

Liu Yang is a visiting PhD student in the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London. Liu is also a second-year PhD student in the College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and a Graduate Member of ICE. She received her Bachelor’s degree on Architecture from Beijing Jiaotong University and attended in a successive master-doctor program in UCAS. Her research focuses on using urban design and urban modeling methods to integrate urban transport infrastructure, public space and human behaviour.

Dimitra Georgopoulou‘s research focuses broadly on the rules that underlie complex collective behaviours in vastly different biological systems. To one end, I am interested in understanding the proliferation dynamics of the population of human cancer cells and its collective response under drug treatment. To the other extent, I am studying the rules that are responsible for the emergence of the coordinated motion seen in fish shoals. Experimental procedures, image/video processing techniques, network theory and statistical analysis tools are the main methodological approaches used for this purpose.

Daniel Strömbom is a Swedish Research Council funded research fellow working to understand certain collective behaviours observed in animal groups and use the insights to develop engineered solutions to real-world problems. At present Daniel’s work focuses on herding and collective transport problems. In particular, adapting and implementing algorithms inspired by how sheepdogs herd sheep in robots to collect and herd inanimate objects, such as oil spills on water, and living agents, such as cockroaches.

Jamie Harper trained on the Directors’ Course at LAMDA and went on to win the JMK Directors’ Award and the Cohen Bursary which led to a year as Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. From 2008-2010 he was Associate Director at the Rose Theatre, Kingston then moved on to work with London Quest, a company specialising in interactive experiences. In 2011, his interactive drama It’s Not the Winning was a finalist for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Award and his cross-media project A Tale of Two Johns was short-listed for the New Transmedia Concepts Award at the 2012 MIPCube Festival in Cannes.

Laura Cappelatti is a biologist with a master degree in Ecology, now on the second year of her PhD in Biology at Swansea University. She is investigating how seaweed diversity responds to and impacts the environment. Seaweeds perform ecological functions that are of extreme importance to the environment at different scales at the same time as they are impacted by change at many different levels. She is particularly interested on the individual differentiation (called intraspecific variability) and how it helps maintaining biodiversity and ecological functions in face of change.

Amanda Fry is PhD candidate at Swansea University studying behaviour endocrinology. She is interested in studying individual variation and variation among individuals of a population across different contexts; linking behavioural traits to endocrine mechanisms and exploring any relationships that exist between hormones and certain behaviours. In humans she is particularly interested in the links between an individual’s physiological stress, their perceived stress and their personality and behavioural traits.

Julius Colwyn is a nomad, in between disciplines, walking the strange space between bodies of knowledge, a thought ecologist. His creative practice is based in the movement of ideas from one context to another, from science to art, philosophy to activity, concept to object. His recent work has been in collaboration with system scientists at the LSE, neuroscientists at the CUBE London, Strategists in International Development, and with the civil service in the Government Office for Science. A current project in development, Systems Games, aims to find intuitive, embodied methods for explaining systemic processes.

Kira Wainstein is an Art Foundation graduate from Central Saint Martins, currently studying Physics with Philosophy at the University of Manchester. Her creative practice primarily explores how imperceptible scientific concepts can be expressed through art, such as dark matter and specific interpretations of quantum mechanics. She is also interested in self evolving work such as utilising crystal growth and yeast expansion. Her role in Crowd Control will be documentation and content contribution for the website.

Additional team members are Josh Greenfield (urban design & swarm systems), Annarita Papeschi & Vincent Nowak (urban design & crowdsourcing), and Melanie Phillips (interactive theatre maker).