My background in architectural engineering and urban planning led to a Master’s thesis that included a design solution and reconstruction proposal for an existing deteriorated industrial port site in Varna, Bulgaria; a suggestion for a new city landmark and preliminary plan and conceptual design of an opera house.
In 2017 I completed my doctoral thesis, "Branding Post-Conflict Cities and Nations: Theory and Cases" and my focus is on image management and the question of national identity, how it shapes the built environment and is in turn shaped by a conflict and its residue. I am particularly interested in the power of image management, how fluctuations in national stories reflect on the built environment and the intersection of tourism and architecture in creating a destination brand.
Being interested in interdisciplinary approach to learning and skills allows me to teach across departments to undergraduate and postgraduate students – Architecture, Architectural Technology, Planning, Tourism and Property and Construction. Some of the modules I have been involved with the most during my time at Westminster are Cultural context: Architectural History and Urbanism, Contemporary Issues in Architecture, Introduction to Planning and Sustainability, Urban Regeneration and Development, Tourism in Society, City Tourism and Urban Change, Planning for Tourism and Events, Eventful Cities, and Contemporary Issues in Tourism. I have also supervised a number of final dissertations of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
My doctoral thesis, "Branding Post-Conflict Cities and Nations" developed an understanding of how the process of branding may be used to help recreate an image of a post-conflict city or nation. It evaluates the potential, context and rationale of models designed to aid the branding process in environments defined by war residue. I took an interdisciplinary approach to identify the relations between the effect of national image and nationalism to brands, power, the built environment and the image as a destination. The thesis draws on topics, experience and questions from four different fields: conflict, tourism, marketing and architecture.
In the last two years, I also worked as a research associate on several projects: ProBE's (Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment) Leverhulme Trust funded project, ‘Constructing Post-War Britain’; ‘Developing Tourism Industry and Host Community Resilience Through Crisis and Disaster Management Planning’ as a collaboration between University of Westminster and Pancasila University, Indonesia, and conducted research and produced content for the leading place branding and placemaking online platform, The Place Brand Observer.
My current research focus is on the the role of memorials and the built environment as tools of representation in a nation’s heritage discourse.