Holding a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Leiden University (the Netherlands), Marcel has extensive research and teaching experience in the fields of cultural anthropology and international vernacular architecture studies. Over the years he has taught and published on a variety of topics including vernacular architecture, the anthropology of architecture, rural architectural regeneration, Minangkabau architecture, tradition and sustainable development.
Marcel is author of Constituting Unity and Difference: Vernacular Architecture in a Minangkabau Village (KITLV Press 2004); co-author, with Paul Oliver and Alexander Bridge, of the Atlas of Vernacular Architecture of the World (Routledge 2007); and co-editor, with Lindsay Asquith, of Vernacular Architecture in the 21st Century: Theory, Education and Practice (Taylor & Francis 2006) and, with Daniel Maudlin, of Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings (Routledge 2014). Marcel is the editor of The Bazaar of Isfahan, which was originally conceived by Ali Bakhtiar, John Donat and Paul Oliver (Argumentum, 2016).
Marcel is the Editor-in-Chief of the second revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, to be published in 2018 (in print and online) by Bloomsbury Publishing. His current research project (supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust) focuses on the life and works of the German architect, planner and urban historian Erwin Anton Gutkind. In 2015 he curated the ‘Architecture for All: The Photography of Paul Oliver’ exhibition in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.
Marcel is a Director of the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library, one of the world's largest collections of books, journals, theses and images focused on the vernacular architecture of the world, which is housed in the Main Library of Oxford Brookes University. He is a member of the editorial boards of Vernacular Architecture and Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. He is a member the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU) and the International Vernacular Architecture Committee (CIAV) of ICOMOS.
Marcel is a member of REF 2021 sub-panel 32 Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; the AHRC Peer Review College; and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College.
Marcel has supervised 12 PhD students to completion and is currently the supervisor of 6 PhD students.
Research group membership
Place, Culture and Identity, School of Architecture
Research grants and awards
2016: Oxford Brookes University: Research Excellence Fellowship
2016: Wenner-Gren Foundation: Historical Archives program Grant: Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library Archive
2015: The Barakat Trust, Publication Grant: The Bazaar of Isfahan.
2014: British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant: Erwin Anton Gutkind (1886-1968): Architect and Scholar
Erwin Anton Gutkind (1886-1968): Architect and Scholar. Funded by British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust.
Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
Digitisation of the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library (POVAL) image collection.
For more information on the MA in International Architectural Regeneration and Development please visit: /courses/postgraduate/international-architectural-regeneration/
For more information on the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World please visit:
For more information on the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library (POVAL) please visit: