Max Colson is an artist using photography, animation and design to explore hidden and unfamiliar architectures of control in urban space. He was artist-in-residence at the UCL Urban Laboratory between (2014-2015), a position funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination, his first solo exhibition, was hosted at the Royal Institute of British Architects (2015). His work has been featured in a broad range of publications across architecture, design and photography, including Icon (2015), Architecture Today (2015) and Hotshoe International (2013). He has exhibited widely in group shows in London (2015), Berlin (2014), and Holland (2015). He was selected as one of the UK winners of the Flash Forward Emerging Photographer competition (2013) and recently won Best Fiction Short at the Architecture Film Festival London (2017). He teaches at Central Saint Martins.


2013 MA Documentary Photography & Photojournalism, London College of Communication (Grade: Distinction)
2007 BA English Literature, University College London

Selected Exhibitions and Film Screenings


Tenderflix 2017 (Royal College of Art, November 2017)
Aesthetica Short Film Festival (York, November 2017)
Kassel Dokfest, November 2017
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR), October 2017
Milano Film Festival, September - October 2017
Compilation Angst, KOE-05 gallery (group show, part of '48 Stunden Neukölln' Art Festival in Berlin)
Architectural Film Festival London, screening of Construction Lines (one of 12 films shortlisted to be screened at the festival), ICA and Oxo Bargehouse, London (June 2017)
Arebyte residency and exhibition, London (November 2017)
A Place for you to Dream, Republic Gallery, London (February 2017), curated by ANGL

Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (November 2016)

2015 Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination, Royal Institute of British Architects, London (first UK solo exhibition)
2015 Induction Loop, PAMELA, London
2015 The Deleted World (curated by After), 5th Base Gallery, London
2015 Data Rush, Noorderlicht Gallery, Holland
2015 Always Visible, Arebyte Gallery, London
2014 Cities Methodologies, Slade Research Centre, London
2014 Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN14 shortlist, Victoria Gardens & Regency Townhouse, Brighton
2013 My Secret Life, C/O Berlin, Berlin
2013 Never Seeing Nothing, London College of Communication, London
2013 Cities Methodologies, Slade Research Centre, London
2010 A Luta Continua, Side Gallery, Newcastle

Publications, Reviews, Features

2016 Engaged Urbanism, book published by I.B. Tauris and edited by Prof. Ger Duijzings and Dr. Ben Campkin
2016 Space (Korea), featured in issue on ‘Art and Its Permutation into Urban Space’ **(snippets here)
2016 Vice, part of The Creator's Project
2015 POSTmatter
2015 Guardian
2015 It's Nice That ('Photographer Max Colson Captures Plant Life in the UK's Most Secure Places')
2015 Architecture Today (Review of Virtual Control exhibition by Anna Minton)
2015 Icon magazine
2015 Fast Company Design ('An Artists’ Series Exposes the Sneaky Classism of Architectural Renderings')
2015 It’s Nice That ('On the Digital Composite Images Used to Market Luxury Builds')
2015 Because Magazine (Review of Virtual Control exhibition)
2015 Failed Architecture (Review of Virtual Control exhibition)
2015 Noorderlicht Photofestival Catalogue
2015 Brain Food (Featured on front cover of UCL’s public events magazine)
2015 LOBBY Magazine
2014 Urban Pamphleteer: Design and Trust
2014 Accident & Emergency, Super Massive BlackHole magazine
2013 Magenta Flash Forward 2013: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States
2013 Wild Culture (Front page feature)
2013 Darwin Photography Magazine
2013 aCurator (Front page feature)
2013 Splash and Grab Magazine


2015 World Photography Organisation by Matthew Oxley
2014 Darwin Photography Magazine by Ryan Grimley
2013 Hotshoe International by Matthew Oxley

Awards, Competitions, Prizes

2017 Shortlisted, Tenderflix
2017 Official Selection, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York 2017
2017 Winner of Fiction Short category, Architecture Film Festival London 2017
2017 Longlisted (final 17), Jerwood/FVU Awards 2018
2016 Longlisted (final 20), Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017
2015 Longlisted, Plat(t)form 2016, Fotomuseum Winterthur
2015 Selected, Jerwood Photoworks Portfolio Walk, Jerwood Space London
2015 Selected, Artquest Peer Forum Award Recipient
2015 Selected, Noorderlicht Photofestival 2015 Open Call
2015 Selected, After projects’ Open Call
2014 Winner, Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Fellowship
2014 Selected, Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN14
2013 Selected, C/O Berlin’s My Secret Life international open competition
2013 Selected, Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers competition


Space 'HereNow' Art and Technology residency programme at Space Studios, London (January - March 2018)
Arebyte gallery 'Control' residency programme , London (March - May 2017)
Leverhume artist in residence at UCL Urban Laboratory , London (September 2014 - September 2015)

Public Talks

2017 Interfaces Monthly (keynote presentation on the theme 'Societies of Control'), the Trampery/ Barbican, London
2015 Perspectives on the Neoliberal City (panel discussion chaired by Anna Minton), Canary Wharf Executive Development Centre
2015 Photography for Prosperity, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity
2015 Photography and Manipulation: Documenting Virtual Control (discussion with Lewis Bush), Royal Institute of British Architects
2015 Defining Forms of Control in the Contemporary City (Max chaired panel discussion featuring James Bridle, Dr. Nathan Moore and Dr. Clare Melhuish), Royal Institute of British Architects
2014 Cities Methodologies, UCL Slade Research Centre, London
2014 UCL Geography Department, London
2013 Design Out Crime Association conference, Central St Martins, London
2013 Cities Methodologies, Slade Research Centre, London


2015 – 2016 Associate Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, MA Communication Design
2015 Visiting Practitioner, Central Saint Martins, MA Communication Design

Content copyright © Max Colson 2017.