Professor Gehan Selim

Professor Gehan Selim


Gehan Selim is the Hoffman Wood Professor of Architecture and Deputy Director at Leeds Social Sciences Institute at the University of Leeds. She was Fellow of the Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice (2016/17). She obtained a PhD in Architecture from the University of Sheffield and held permanent posts in several international schools of Architecture in the Middle East and the UK. Selim’s architectural practice experience includes designing a wide range of urban housing and educational projects, exhibitions and schools. She has over 25 years of experience in teaching, developing and delivering courses in architecture and urban design at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She serves on the editorial board and scientific committee of several international journals and conferences. Dr Selim is an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and an Associate Member of the Higher Education Academy (HE).

Prof Selim's teaching aims to develop sufficient integration between the design studios and architectural representation. She supervises a growing number of Postgraduate Dissertations (MArch, MSc & PhD) exploring themes of cultural heritage and digital applications, segeragation and contested spaces and new global trends that shape the architectural practice. Gehan is widely committed to providing balanced experiences in learning by promoting a variety of teaching approaches, such as peer learning and reflection. She is interested in encouraging students to be critical of their education, build confidence and self-motivation, which should enable Architecture students' full engagement in a healthy teaching and learning environment.


  • Deputy Director at Leeds Social Sciences Institute
  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Member of the Research and Innovation Committee

Research interests

Prof Selim has consolidated international and interdisciplinary research, scholarship and empirical methodologies in Architectural Humanities, Post-Conflict Urbanism and Digital Heritage to bridge people, buildings, and the city. She has received the Women of Achievement Awards 2021, highlighting the significant contributions and impact the women have made across the University and beyond. She is CoI on the Newton Prize 2020 Award winning project ‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan – OPOF’: An international project using local heritage and archaeology to support sustainable development. 

Her research also focuses on Architecture and Digital Heritage methodologies and research fields in liberation politics, resilient cities and geographies of conflict, particularly at how memory informs post-conflict societies in their everyday practices. She is the founder and lead of the Architecture and Urbanism group, Chaired the City (Re)shaped multi-disciplinary Conference and Guest Editor

Prof Selim received several GCRF awards on Preservation of Cultural Heritage funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Academy and Research England. She is the PI of The Living Museum of Umm Qais and Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan (CEARC) projects in Jordan. She is also PI of the ‘(Re)Contextualisng Contested Heritage  – ReConHeritage Project in partnership with academics and youth people from Kosovo, Lebanon and Iraq to mount interdisciplinary approaches in conflict regions. She is the CoI of Heritage Borders of Engagement Network [ENGAGE] that aims to mobilizing cultural heritage for building partnerships and institutions for sustainable and inclusive peace in three hubs: The Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

She is member of the AHRC Peer Review College, panel member of Newton Fund Prize, Member of the Advisory Editorial Board of several journals, and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo. She is also a reviewer for various UK and European research councils, and a referee for academic promotions since 2018. She has a substantial record of quality publications in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is the author of ‘Unfinished Places: The Politics of Urban Remaking (Routledge, 2017), and co-author of 'Architecture, Space and Memory of Resurrection in Northern Ireland Shareness in a Divided Nation (Routledge, 2019).   

Active Grants & Awards

Principal Investigator, Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan (CEARC), Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

Principal Investigator, ‘Documenting and Recording the Endangered Heritage of Shanasheel Wooden Houses in Iraq’, Endangered Wooden Architecture Programme (EWAP). 

Principal Investigator, ‘UK - Jordan International Partnership Hub for Digital Heritage futures and Sustainable Development Collaboration and Engagement’, Research England. 

Completed Projects:

Principal Investigator, Capacity building through the interdisciplinary Co-Production Network for enhanced best practice in participatory research, Research England. Check the Co-production Toolkit here.

Principal Investigator, The Living Museum of Umm Qais: Sustainable preservation, analysis and virtual reconstruction of Gadara's ancient site and village', Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

Principal Investigator, Integrating Intercultural Cities through Belonging in Green Spaces’, Research England. 

Principle Investigator, (Re)Contextualizing Contested Heritage: Building Capacity & Designing Participatory Approaches to Preserve Cultural Heritage by the Youth, Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Co-Investigator, ENGAGE Network: Building Humanitarian Heritage Partnership & Knowledge Exchange Framework for Displaced Communities in India and Iraq, Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Co-Investigator, Preserving the Disappearing Cultural Heritage of Post-War Mosul, Iraq: Valuing Diversity in the Urban Recovery of Mosul’s Old Districts, British Academy. 

Co-Investigator, 'LABYRINTH: Conservation, Analysis and Virtual Reconstruction of Archaeological Site of Hawara Pyramid and Labyrinth', Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Principle Investigator, ‘(Re)Contextualizing Contested Heritage [ReConHeritage]: Building Capacity & Designing Participatory Approaches to Preserve Cultural Heritage by the Youth – Phase one’, Research England.

Co-Investigator, 'Revolt in the 'Square': Spatial Modelling of Urban Stability: New insights and approaches for preventing conflict and violence', Arts & Humanities Research Council (PaCCS / GCRF). 
Website: RIS & GtR, PaCCS

Co-Investigator. ‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’ [OPOF], Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

Co-Investigator. 'Belle Epoque Cairo Museum Itineraries’, Arts & Humanities Research Council (GCRF). 

Co-Investigator, 'Low Carbon Footprint Precast Concrete Products for an Energy Efficient Built Environment', EPSRC/Newton Fund

Co-Investigator, ‘Big Data Analytics: A New Revolution in UK Facilities Management’, RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).

Principal Investigator, EPSRC Global Challenges Workshop, EPSRC. 

Principal Investigator,  'Spatial Narratives of Revolt: Public Performance During Anti-Nuclear Protests in Tokyo’, British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS).

Principal Investigator, Democracy spatial practices in public spaces’, Japan Foundation London. 

Completed AURG PhD Students 

Reem AlBarakatThe spatial-temporal production of public space within the context of demonstration: Mapping the unrest collective practices of Beirut Central District. Watch here about Reem’s  experience

Meng LiReshaping memory and identity of tomb keepers in China: A case study of tomb keepers’ descendants of the imperial tombs of Qing dynasty. Watch and Read more about Meng’s testimony & experience.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture (University of Sheffield)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PCHE) (University of Sheffield)
  • MSc in Architecture
  • BSc in Architectural Engineering

Professional memberships

  • Fellow: The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security & Justice
  • Member: The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Associate: HE Academy, Higher Education Academy
  • Chartered Architect: EES, Egyptian Engineers Syndicate
  • Chartered Architect: ESA, Egyptian Society of Architects
  • Member: The Memory Studies Association
  • Member: AHRA (Architectural Humanities Research Association)

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">Cultural Heritage Protection: Innovative tools and methods</a></li> <li><a href="//;-gender-spaces:-analyzing-spatial-systems-and-designs-of-public-buildings-and-spaces-with-reference-to-gender-equality">Modernity &amp; Gender Spaces: Analyzing spatial systems and designs of public buildings and spaces with reference to gender equality</a></li> <li><a href="//">Spatial and Temporal Practices as Means of Inter-community Engagement in Divided Cities</a></li> <li><a href="//,-power-and-performance-in-neoliberal-societies">The Architecture of Democracy, Power and Performance in Neoliberal Societies</a></li>