Museum of London



What does city living look like today? We featured urban communities from all around the world, examining their strategies for dealing with challenges from housing to loneliness. We also ran salons, workshops and talks that asked Londoners how they saw their city, and what they’d like to change.

Keep in touch to learn what we’re planning as we move towards the new Museum of London in West Smithfield.



The City is Ours

July – December 2017


This interactive exhibition explored how and why cities are changing and what urban communities around the world are doing to improve city life. Building on an exhibition from the Paris Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, we added sections that covered London’s urban unique challenges. A series of interactives let visitors play with the city, experimenting with how to make the city flow more smoothly, build more sustainable neighbourhoods, and stand on top of unbuilt skyscrapers.

We welcomed 73,247 visitors to The City is Ours

See inside The City is Ours >


Exhibition created by:




February – July 2018


City Now City Future was about what the city is like today. So when we heard, in September 2017, that Thames Water had discovered the world’s largest fatberg in the sewers below Whitechapel, we knew it had to go on display.

This mass of congealed oil and sewage became an international media sensation, revealing unpleasant realities about life in modern London. Weighing 130 tonnes and over 250 metres long, it was one of the largest fatbergs ever found. Our conservators, curators and staff worked round the clock to create a display around the only surviving fragment of this very modern marvel.

Face the Fatberg: how & why it went on display >

4.4 billion litres of sewage are processed every day across London and the Thames Valley 

City Now City Future - Museum of London

Here & Now

May – October 2017

Niall McDiarmid’s London street photographs are a collective portrait of London. We displayed them in our museum rotunda to welcome visitors to the City Now City Future and remind them of the vibrant and thriving city we live in.

Each portrait is of someone who McDiarmid crossed paths with in London, in Niall’s words: “A confident city, a city of the future, a city I call home.” From Holborn to Croydon, from Hackney to Ealing, they show the many faces of Londoners in the city now.

Find out more >

City Now City Future - Museum of London

My Point Forward

May – September 2017

Created by artist group Blast Theory, this interactive installation asked visitors to  imagine a new city and life you might live there.

A series of short silent films from around London played at the heart of this display. Each visitor was encouraged to record their own voiceover speculating about how London might change, which would be heard by a future visitor. My Point Forward shared 1000s of personal perspectives, connecting visitors who never met in person.

Find out more >

City Now City Future - Museum of London


July 2017 – April 2018

A live insight into Londoners’ thoughts and feelings, as expressed on social media. Pulse, a digital display created by design studio Tekja, showed a live “mood map” of London.

For the entire City Now City Future season, Pulse picked up every post on Twitter with “London” tagged as its location. These were analysed for their language, mood, and emojis, creating a minute-by-minute display of what Londoners were talking about. It displayed an average of 65,000 messages a day.

Find out more >

Museum of London



The London Salons

June 2017 – April 2018


Memory. Emotion. Play. Protest. Edgelands. Aftershocks. Cultural infrastructure. Queer nights. Wearable resistance. Counterculture.

For our salon series, we opened the museum after dark to let Londoners’ voices be heard. Our monthly informal evening events brought together writers, artists, academics and thinkers to discuss the urgent issues facing the city with visitors. We wanted to open up a conversation on what Londoners care about.

  • 10 salons
  • 52 speakers & performers
  • 530 guests
  • 9490 livestream viewers

All salons & speakers >

Playing Out Salon, 8 August 2017

Playing Out Salon, 8 August 2017


Young People’s Research Labs

September – December 2017

Challenging young Londoners to think about their city in depth, the research labs project tackled London’s most important and problematic issues for future generations.

Working with two groups of young people – an inner city supplementary school from Hackney and an outer London secondary school from Loughton – we investigated hate crime in London and how migration impacts employment, using the format of a parliamentary enquiry. Students of the African Community School and Roding Valley High interviewed experts from artists to criminologists to better understand their city.

What did the research labs uncover? >

More than 12% of people aged over 75 in the UK feel lonely most or all of the time; in deprived urban neighbourhoods it can be twice the national average.



May – December 2017


Screenshot from London View


This social media project invited the public to share their photos with us, capturing different views of the issues facing London.

Every week, we used the museum’s social media channels to highlight an issue related to our City Now City Future season, from voting to food waste to cycling. We asked Londoners to share a single picture related to that issue, which we displayed on screens in the museum and our website. Together, we collected thousands of images, showing a crowdsourced portrait of the problems London cares about.

What’s your #LondonView? >