Place, Culture and Identity

About us


Space and architecture are shaped by the culture and the identities of communities as much as those communities are shaped by their perception and use of space and architecture. 

Members of the group investigate this dynamic dialectical relationship from different disciplinary perspectives, including (interior) architecture, anthropology, urban conservation and history. 

Focusing on different types of places in various parts of the world (including urban, rural, contemporary, historic and vernacular ones), the aim of the Place, Culture and Identity group is to gain a better theoretical understanding of both the nature of the process of place-making and the way it dialectically relates to aspects of culture, identity, aesthetics, memory, tradition, representation and architectural practice.

Front of a building

Research impact

Women looking at an exhibition

Our research had significant academic impact in a range of fields and disciplines, including vernacular architecture studies and urban conservation and regeneration. In terms of wider impact, research outcomes are disseminated to a wider audience via exhibitions, social media platforms and open access databases.  

Leadership

Marcel Vellinga

Professor Marcel Vellinga

Professor of Anthropology of Architecture

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Team

Research Staff

Name Role Email
Philip Baker Senior Lecturer in Architecture pbaker@brookes.ac.uk
Matt Gaskin Head of the School of Architecture mngasking@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Joanna Karmowska Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies and International Management jkarmowska@brookes.ac.uk
Professor Byron Mikellides Emeritus Professor bmikellides@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Aylin Orbasli Reader in Architectural Regeneration aorbasli@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Brigitte Piquard Reader in Humanitarianism and Conflict bpiquard@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Andrea Placidi Senior Lecturer - Subject Co-ordinator for Interior Architecture aplacidi@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Francesco Proto Senior Lecturer in Architecture fproto@brookes.ac.uk
Orit Sarfatti Senior Lecturer orit.sarfatti@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Julia Wedel Senior Lecturer in Architecture j.wedel@brookes.ac.uk

Our research themes

Anthropology of Architecture

Staff working on the theme of anthropology of architecture set out to provide an understanding of the social and cultural importance of architecture, as well as of the characteristics of an anthropological approach to its study.

Architecture and Conflict

Staff working on the theme of architecture and conflict investigate the impact that conflict has on the production and perception of architecture, space and place making, as well as the effects that architecture, space and place have on conflict.

Histories of People and Places

Researchers working under this theme are collectively investigating the relationship between people and places across several continents, spanning the period from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century.

Urban Conservation and Regeneration

The work of staff members working on the theme of urban conservation and regeneration focuses on the conservation, regeneration and management of the historic built environment.

Therapeutic Environments

Staff working on the theme of therapeutic environments evaluate the effects of the built environment on people and the contributions of architecture and interior design to well-being.