Intrepid urban explorer, Dr Bradley Garrett is an American-born social and cultural geographer at the University of Southampton, he was previously at the University of Oxford. His PhD research was a visual ethnography with urban explorers – effectively place hackers.
Place hacking can highlight a political tension between public and private spaces - urban exploring can be a reassertion of a right to explore places built with public money.
Garrett looked at people who trespass into off limit urban spaces, in fact he was one of the group of place hackers (the now defunct London Consolidation Crew), who explored the forbidden limits of Britain’s towns and cities. His forays into London’s underground World War Two bunkers and the city’s secret tunnels have been photographed. He also scaled London’s skyscraper - The Shard while it was under construction, bringing him to the notice of authorities. He has been spared possible jail time by successfully arguing prosecution was a fundamental breach of academic liberty. He is the author of Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City.
Photo gallery: Place-hacking with Bradley Garrett
Bradley Garrett talks with Kathryn Ryan.