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About me

I am an architect and landscape architect and my professional experience includes over ten entries in architectural and design competitions, four of them award-winning. I hold a PhD in Architecture from the University of Westminster, a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture (distinction) from Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot-Watt University and a first degree in Architecture-Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens.

In my academic career, I have been Lecturer in Landscape Design at the University of Kent; AHRC Principal Research Fellow at UCL; Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster; and visiting critic/speaker at The Bartlett, UCL, at University College Dublin, and at Oxford Brookes University.

I was appointed as Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Westminster from 2007-10. Between February 2011 and September 2012, I was Project Research and Development Officer for Build Up, the Professional Development and Consultancy Centre at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment. 

Between 2012-14 I was employed as Research Fellow funded by the Leverhulme Trust (RF-2012-518) to do research on 'Interim spaces and creative use' including an international best practice and policy review as well as an empirical study focusing on London's temporary land use initiatives since 2008.

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Planning, Urban Design and Architecture.

External Activities

  • Jury member for Transforming the Urban Landscape, an international ideas competition organized by the Landscape Institute in 2020
  • Knowledge exchange coordinator between MA Urban Design and LB Hounslow in 2020-21
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since June 2012
  • External examiner, Master of Landscape Architecture, Tromsø Academy of Landscape and Territorial Studies, Norway (2014-15)
  • External examiner (Landscape Architecture), School of Architecture, University College Dublin (2011-2014)
  • Reviewer for Routledge (Planning, Architecture and Landscape Research series)
  • Reviewer for Journal of Landscape Architecture (Taylor & Francis)
  • Reviewer for Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer (Thomas Telford)
  • Reviewer for Landscape Research (Taylor & Francis)
  • Reviewer for Architecture and Culture (Bloomsbury)
  • Reviewer for Urban Planning (Cogitatio Press)
  • Reviewer for Urban Studies (Sage Publishing)
  • Guest Editor for The Journal of Architecture (Taylor and Francis)
  • Guest Editor for Landscape Research (Taylor and Francis)
  • Member of the Technical Chamber of Greece (since 1994)
  • Associate Member (design) of the Landscape Institute (1999-2011)
  • Academic Member of the Landscape Institute (2011-)

Teaching

I have an ongoing involvement in teaching across postgraduate and undergraduate courses in the School of Architecture and Cities. In September 2011 I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education at the University of Westminster (with examiners' commendation).

My teaching often engages with contemporary landscape design theory and practice, as well as broader architecture, urban design and regeneration issues, while students are encouraged to explore innovative methods of documentation, observation, notation and design.

I have taught across several postgraduate modules and supervised numerous dissertations and design theses for the MA Urban Design and the MA International Planning and Sustainable Development with topics ranging from the reuse of derelict vacant land and urban void-spaces, to the integration of play in urban space and sustainable neighbourhood design. I am currently Module Leader for Place and Experience (MAUD) and Dissertation/Major Project (MAIPSD). 

In Architecture, I have taught on the undergraduate architecture studio 3 with Constance Lau (2008-10). I have taught Design Practice and Thesis Development on the MA Architecture (2013-14), and have supervised Major Thesis Projects ranging from the re-use of abandoned underground tunnels and decommissioned buildings to utopian squatting habitats. I currently teach on the MA Architecture where I am Pathway leader for the History and Theory Pathway and Module Leader for Reading London. I contribute to Research and Thesis Positioning and Major Thesis Project.

I teach on the BA Designing Cities and am Module Leader for Project: Townscape and Conservation.

I have experience of supervising seven PhD students and welcome PhD applicants with an interest in health, wellbeing and cities; temporary and adaptive urbanism; and the reuse of abandoned urban infrastructure and transitional spaces.

PhD students (Director of studies):

Ameera Akl: Alternative Urbanism between the Formal and Informal: Investigating the Transformative Potential of Small Urban Interventions in Neoliberal Cairo

Prajakta Kalamkar: Digital placemaking in neighbourhood public places post covid19: Sense of place, community support and Hyper-localism

Kon Kim: Community Development through Intermediary-led Participation in Urban Regeneration: the Case of South Korea

Simona Palmieri: Refugee Accommodations: The Impact of ‘Space of Transition’ on the Existing Urban Settlement in Berlin

Mai Sairafi: Providing unity where there is division: a study of public spaces as spaces of transition in the twin cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh in Palestine.

Mehrdad Borna (2nd supervisor): The impact of urban form on microclimate and concentration of air pollution at pedestrian level

Didem Ertem (2nd supervisor): Re-imagining Leisure: Small-Scale Local Events and ‘Curated Sociability’ in the Early Post-Lockdown Realities of London’s Public Spaces

PhD completions: Sanaz Shobeiri (3rd supervisor, 2015) and Tim Waterman (second supervisor/Director of studies, PhD by Published Work, 2020)

Research

I am a member of the Sustainable Cities and the Urban Environment research community (SCUE). I am currently Principal Investigator for two seed projects: 'Green space use for people's wellbeing during COVID19' funded by SCUE and 'Adaptation of the public realm to COVID19 and the impact on future planning and design of sustainable and healthy cities' funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust, both projects in collaboration with Prof. Rachel Aldred and Dr Nina Smyth.

My research has been recognised by national and international bodies. My PhD (title of thesis: "Transitional Landscapes - An investigation into motion perception and its implications for landscape design") was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now AHRC), the P&E Michelis Foundation, and IKY (Greek State Scholarships Foundation). My research on 'interim spaces and creative use' was funded by a £45,000 Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2012-14).

My research focuses on urban landscapes as an interdisciplinary field of study and practice. The following areas are of particular interest:

-Green space and health and wellbeing

-Temporary urbanism 

-Abandoned landscapes and adaptive reuse 

-Film/video as a means of research and as a tool for design

-Transitional landscapes, motion perception and design, an interest that stems from my PhD research

My research has been presented in more than 20 conferences, workshops or seminars and published in several edited books, such as Deterritorialisations... Revisioning Landscapes and Politics (Black Dog, 2003), Architecture and field/work (Routledge, 2011), Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale (Routledge, 2013) as well as scholarly journals such as the Journal of Landscape Architecture, Architectural Research Quarterly, The Journal of Architecture and Municipal Engineer. My article on "Vague Parks" (2006) has been reprinted and distributed as part of the exhibition ABC : MTL (13 November 2012 - 31 March 2013) by the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

I was co-organiser of a major international conference on Emerging Landscapes, a collaborative project between Architecture and Media, Arts and Design, held at the University of Westminster in June 2010. I contributed as a co-editor to the follow-up publications: Critical Perspectives on Landscape, a special issue of the Journal of Architecture published in February 2012, and the edited book Emerging Landscapes: Between Production and Representation (Ashgate 2014). Click here for more information on Emerging Landscapes.

In 2015, I co-organised a conference on Re-Imagining Rurality (Feb 2015). I have contributed as a lead editor to a special issue of Landscape Research.

Interim spaces and creative use: Leverhulme project summary (RF-2012-518)

The research project investigated whether vacant spaces can be beneficial for local communities and for urban resilience if officially brought into interim uses. It built upon a historical review of interim spaces (UK and international) to focus on London in the recent downturn (2008). London initiatives were examined through an empirical study of local creative use in 5 representative sites. The research design comprised on-site filming and interviews with users, site surveys, a web blog, and a public workshop open to all participants, while research outputs included academic publications and a short film.

The project made an original contribution to key debates including: how to plan for efficiency and resilience in a world without funding; worries over the standardisation of space; and the need to acknowledge everyday practices and the social and ecological value of places. It added a critical dimension to our understanding of temporary urbanism and urban resilience.

See interimspacescreativeuse.wordpress.com