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

Related courses

  • Architecture (MPhil / PhD / PhD by Practice / PhD by Published Work / Research Degree involving Creative Work)

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.  


Marcel Vellinga

Professor Marcel Vellinga

Professor of Anthropology of Architecture

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Name Role Email
Philip Baker Senior Lecturer in Architecture
Matt Gaskin Head of the School of Architecture
Dr Joanna Karmowska Reader in Strategy and Innovation
Professor Byron Mikellides Emeritus Professor
Professor Aylin Orbasli Professor of Architectural and Urban Heritage
Dr Brigitte Piquard Reader in Humanitarianism and Conflict
Dr Andrea Placidi Senior Lecturer and Subject Coordinator for Interior Architecture
Dr Francesco Proto Senior Lecturer in Architecture
Dr Emma Rowden Senior Lecturer
Dr Mina Samangooei Senior Lecturer in Architecture
Orit Sarfatti Senior Lecturer
Dr Julia Wedel Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Subject Coordinator International Architectural Regeneration and Development

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.