Visiting Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Salama, A. M. (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Visiting Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia -- as part of the ERASMUS+ funded project: KA107 staff and PhD students mobility with the University of Belgrade, Serbia.
The visit include three seminars:

Seminar 1Design Studio Teaching Practices5 November 2019
Design education in architecture and allied disciplines is the cornerstone of design professions that contribute to shaping the built environment of the future. In this seminar, design education is dealt with as a paradigm whose evolutionary processes, underpinning theories, contents, methods, tools, are questioned and critically examined. The seminar features a comprehensive discussion on design education with a focus on the design studio as the backbone of that education and the main forum for creative exploration and interaction, and for knowledge acquisition, assimilation, and reproduction. Through international and regional surveys, the striking qualities of design pedagogy, contemporary professional challenges and the associated sociocultural and environmental needs are identified. Building on twenty-five years of research and explorations into design pedagogy in architecture and urban design, this seminar authoritatively offers a critical analysis of a continuously evolving profession, its associated societal processes and the way in which design education reacts to their demands. Matters that pertain to traditional pedagogy, its characteristics and the reactions developed against it in the form of pioneering alternative studio teaching practices. Advances in design approaches and methods are debated including critical inquiry, empirical making, process-based learning, and Community Design, Design-Build, and Live Project Studios. Lessons learned from techniques and mechanisms for accommodation, adaptation, and implementation of a ‘trans-critical’ pedagogy in education are conceived to invigorate a new student-centered, evidence-based design culture sheltered in a wide variety of learning settings in architecture and beyond. This seminar is based on Professor Salama’s recent book: Spatial Design Education: New Directions for Pedagogy in Architecture and Beyond, by Routledge, London in 2015.

Seminar 2: Research Paradigms in Architecture and Urbanism7 November 2019
The purpose of this seminar is to contribute an inclusive insight into methodological research in architecture and allied disciplines and unravel aspects that include philosophical positions, frames of reference and spheres of inquiry. Following ontological and epistemological interpretations, the adopted methodology involves conceptual and critical analysis which is based on reviewing and categorising classical literature and more than hundred contributions in architectural and design research developed over the past five decades which were classified under the perspectives of inquiry and frames of reference. Postulated through three philosophical positions – positivism, anti-positivism and emancipationist – six frames of reference were identified: systematic, computational, managerial, psychological, person–environment type-A and person–environment type-B. Technically oriented research and conceptually driven research were categorised as the perspectives of inquiry and were scrutinised together with their developmental aspects. By mapping the philosophical positions to the frames of reference, various characteristics and spheres of inquiry within each frame of reference were revealed. Further detailed examples can be developed to offer discerning elucidations relevant to each frame of reference. The content of the presentation is viewed as an enabling mechanism for researchers to identify the unique particularities of their research and the way in which it is pursued. The seminar is based on the recent article Methodological research in architecture and allied disciplines: Philosophical positions, frames of reference, and spheres of inquiry, by Ashraf M. Salama, Archnet-IJAR 2019, International Journal of Architectural Research, Emerald.

Seminar 3: Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf: Paradoxes and Realities8 November 2019
Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf offers a comprehensive analysis carried out to reveal the various complex layers of contemporary urbanism in the world’s biggest urban growth scenario rooted in foreign migration. Within real estate markets housing has become the top commodity and thus a main factor of economic growth in all Gulf cities. The direct interdependency of economic growth and housing has led to the paradox of increasing land prices and the resulting lack of affordable housing and growing challenges for future growth built on continuously exchanging migrant societies. Today, Gulf cities are expressions of controversies: vacant mega projects and crowded high-density agglomerations; themed spectacles and monotonous built environments; continuous urban sprawl and intense high-rise conglomerates and rapid internationalization and traditional conservatism. All these internal factors and external influences represent tensions that have led to highly fragile entities. These identify housing development as the most crucial element keeping Gulf cities alive or eventually leading to exacerbating these tensions if not comprehensively considered from an integrated perspective of sustainable urbanism. The seminar is based on the recent book: Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf: Urban Transformations in the Middle East, by Florian Wiedmann & Ashraf M. Salama, published by I.B.Tauris/Bloomsbury 2019, London.
Period3 Nov 20198 Nov 2019
Held atUniversity of Belgrade, Serbia
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • studio pedagogy
  • research paradigms
  • migrant cities