Karen Arzate

Karen Arzate


Karen is a first year PhD student at the Architecture & Urbanism Research Group, at the University of Leeds. Her supervisory team is composed of Dr Gehan Selim, as the main supervisor and Dr Pam Birtill, as co-supervisor. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and Education: a constructionist approach, at the University of Barcelona. During her Master´s programme, she undertook ethnographic research at Escola Drassanes. In addition, back in Mexico City, she coursed a specialization programme in sustainability, focused on the regeneration of educational buildings by implementing bioclimatic strategies. 

She has over 4 years of experience as a lecturer in Mexico City and has always been involved in educational matters. Karen is a scholar of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) and of the National Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA).

Research interests

Karen´s multidisciplinary research involving architecture and education started back in 2017, with her undergrad dissertation titled “ The building as a mean in architectural education: The secret life of the design studio”. While studying Architecture, she became involved as a Member in the Student Council of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which made her more interested in how architecture is taught and learnt. While studying for her master’s degree, she developed her second dissertation “Re-think, Re-consider, and Re-imagine educational spaces within the complexity of human and non human intra-actions”. This research allowed her to discover the new materialism theories to visualize a different approach towards design. During her specialization programme in sustainability, she became more aware of climate change, discovering the main thread of her research: architecture, education and environment. 


  • BA Architecture
  • MA Arts and Education: a constructionist approach
  • Specialization on Bioclimatic Architecture