Architecture and urbanism

Stone ruins

Our research in Architecture and Urbanism pursues interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approaches in relation to the built environment, and from a socio-spatial perspective. We understand architecture as a human and societal construct that covers a broad spectrum of social, cultural and technical outcomes. Our key interest is in creative explorations of the relationship between the processes and products of architectural practice.

We interrogate Architecture through the intertwining of two connected, but distinct, definitions: on one level it is shaping the future development of the city. On a second level, it is the science of the city: an accumulation of knowledge that is necessary to evaluate, monitor and design policies, programs and plans for urban redevelopment and prosperity.

Our research

Our projects engage with multiple theoretical discourses to create knowledge on cities, landscapes and marginalised communities in the global south and post conflict cities. We are particularly interested in using methodologies drawn from both the humanities and design to unfold complex topics on urban politics in post-conflict cities, cultural heritage, social studies of architecture, displacement and memory using a variety of interdisciplinary tools, methods and innovative practices.

Methodologies include co-design and co-production processes, archival research, ethnographic, new digital mapping techniques, living labs, and action research. We work through multiple geographical and time-scales, and across a broad diversity of political and societal perspectives. Our research covers a wide range of empirical work, with a common focus on global case studies to examine and understand human interaction in multiple complex conditions and contexts. It sits within the following strands, including PhD supervision:

  • Memory, identity and place
  • Digital heritage technologies, cultural heritage protection and preservation
  • Post-conflict cities and urbanism
  • Museums and public engagement

Global development

Our projects strongly respond to and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals which represent the aspiration for a more sustainable future.

Our research ranges from political urban design interpretations, policies and guidelines up to interventions and engagement on a grass-root level. This research shares a commitment to sustainable development and is motivated by a desire to achieve significant impact in the respective local contexts in which we work. Therefore, the majority of our research themes and topics address more than one goal, hence there is a strong connection with architecture.

The research group regularly hosts public engagement events, conferences, seminars, workshops, training and policy toolkits. This provides opportunities for networking scholarly exchange, development, doctoral and early career research opportunities in these fields.

Recent projects

The Research Group is active in securing UKRI research funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy, Newton Fund and more. 

View examples of our recent research projects.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Further information

View our Digital Heritage, Community Engagement and Humanitarian Heritage research for more details about the work we conduct in the Global South.

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Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, please contact Dr Gehan Selim.