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Team & Partners

Utopia Now brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, creative practitioners and community experts to work with novel methods and co-productive approaches to research 

King's College London 

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Dr Charlotte Kühlbrandt

Charlotte Kühlbrandt is a postdoctoral researcher at King’s College London, interested in community participation and health. Before joining the team at King’s she completed her doctoral research on the politics of participation in the Romanian health system. She likes to combine ethnographic research with visual methods and film. 


Dr Hannah Cowan

Hannah is a researcher at King’s College London and is interested in activism, social inequalities, and health. She is passionate about bringing non-academic communities and researchers together to help shape research agendas and find everyday ways of resisting the reproduction of inequalities. 


Hana Riazuddin

Hana is a Research Assistant and PhD Candidate in Health Geography at King's College London. She is also a writer and the Director of The Body Narratives, an arts organisation that supports storytelling and women of colour creatives. She is inspired by wholehearted communities and justice-led approaches to cities, living and loving.


Dr Christine Aicardi

Christine is senior research fellow in King’s College London Foresight Laboratory, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine. Christine worked for many years in the Information and Communication Technologies industry before returning to higher education to pursue a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Before joining the Ethics and Society programme of the EU’s Human Brain Project, she was a Wellcome Library Research Fellow.


Dr Archana Tapuria

Archana is a Research Fellow in Health Informatics at King’s College London. She has a background of clinical medicine and her research area includes clinical knowledge modelling for Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, EHR standards, clinical ontology, clinical terminology, and computable phenotyping. 


Professor Tim Hubbard 

Tim is Professor of Bioinformatics and Head of Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. He is also Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England, a company established by the UK government to execute the 100,000 Genome Project, which aims to mainstream the use of whole genome sequence analysis for treatment in the UK National Health Service (NHS).


Dr Nele Jensen


Nele is a lecturer in the Department for Global Health and Social Medicine at King's. She originally trained as a medical doctor before gaining a Sociology PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her interdisciplinary background is reflected in her broad range of research interests that include how demands for 'evidence' are re-shaping global health policies and practices and how equity considerations feature in the design and implementation of health interventions.

Creative Partners


Mathijs Swarte

Mathijs is an actor, workshop leader, and teaching assistant in special educational needs, originally from Amsterdam, now living and working in South London. Currently he’s working with KCL on the Future Voices public engagement project and with Theatre Peckham producing online content with its Young & Talented students. Besides this, he’s busy with other creative projects including a short film and web series.


Gabrielle Quaye

Actor and drama facilitator, Gabrielle can be seen on stages throughout London. Among her recent are ‘Staying Faithful’ and ‘Juicy’ a revealing and brutally honest one-woman show. She is currently repping Theatre Peckhams Academy whilst finding ways to champion black women in theatre.

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Florence Low

Florence is a visual artist and graphic designer. They explore themes of queer time and space, inherited landscapes and sites of memory, and horizons of utopia through photography, installation, embroidery and quilting, coding, tarot cards and zines. You can find their portfolio at and on instagram


Block Builders

Block Builders engage young people in the real world by modelling it in Minecraft ™. BlockBuilders was founded in 2014 to bring more young people into the planning process. Since then they have engaged over 10,000 young people in their communities across the U.K.
They have developed multiple processes for engaging young people in planning, history and the environment.

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Ralph Pritchard

Ralph is a film director interested in mental health, desire and human connection. He also works as a videographer for Verso Books and other cultural/political organisations. 


Belinda Zhawi

Belinda is a Zimbabwean born writer, sound artist & educator currently based in London. Her work explores Afro-diasporic research & narratives; how art & education can be used as intersectional tools. She is the co-founder of, literary arts platform, BORN::FREE. Belinda experiments with sound as MA.MOYO, & heavily collaborates within the ever-growing South London jazz & beat-making scene.  Belinda is the author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018) and micro-pamphlet, South of South East (Bad Betty Press, 2019).

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Kay Rufai

Kay is a Photographer, Poet, Filmmaker, Author, Mental Health researcher and founder of the internationally acclaimed S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys projects.  Kay is currently the first national Artist in Residence for the West Midlands police, using creative arts to build positive relationships with marginalised communites as part of Coventry City of culture. He has spent the past 3 years exploring the intersection between culture, masculinity, identity, racial emancipation, mental health and community cohesion through art, photography, educational workshops and public events.

Community Partners


Theatre Peckham

Theatre Peckham is a flagship cultural venue and a pioneering Learning Theatre, where inspirational artists meet aspirational young people. It is a home to world class creative learning and performance, with, by and for young people, providing a talent pipeline into the creative industries. From their home in South London, Theatre Peckham aim to give all children access to the arts.

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Southwark Libraries and Heritage

Southwark Libraries and Heritage are pleased to support this initiative for young people. 

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Grove Adventure Playground

Grove Adventure Playground was re-opened in 2018 by the efforts of the community, co-ordinated by the Loughborough Junction Action Group, (LJAG), and is now run by a dedicated group of workers and volunteers who are making a genuine change to the lives of many children and young people who live in Loughborough Junction.

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IntoUniversity, Kennington

IntoUniversity provides local learning centres where young people are inspired
to achieve. At each local centre IntoUniversity offers an innovative programme that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration.

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Lambeth Libraries

Lambeth Libraries are pleased to support this initiative for young people. 

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High Trees Community Development Trust

Based in Tulse Hill (Lambeth) in South London, High Trees Community Development Trust is an established community anchor and hub. Working on the basis of early intervention, they deliver youth clubs and forums, adventure play, wellbeing projects, self development programmes, mentoring and youth leadership.

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Building Young Brixton

Building Young Brixton (BYB) is a consortium of 9 Lambeth-based organisations working together to inspire and empower young people in Brixton. Our multifaceted youth service offers a wide range of opportunities and support to empower young people to build the lives that they want.

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NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a collaboration between one of the largest hospitals in the UK, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and one of the world’s top universities, King’s College London.

Acting as a catalyst at local, national and international level we deliver new medicines and diagnostics to patients and drive research innovation into the NHS for maximum impact for our patients.

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The Research
Design Service

The Research Design Service (RDS) London is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


Led by King’s College London, we offer a free, confidential service that support clinicians, health and social care professionals and academics to develop competitive funding applications for applied health, global health, public health, and social care research.


RDS London is pleased to support the Utopia Now! project.

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