Blog Archive

Forthcoming 2019: Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf: Urban Transformation in the Middle East, Florian Wiedmann and Ashraf M. Salama

Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf:  Urban Transformation in the Middle East,
Florian Wiedmann and Ashraf M. Salama 

Hardcover: 304 pages 
Publisher: I.B.Tauris (15 July 2019) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1788310683 
ISBN-13: 978-1788310680

Visit Publisher's Website  


Unveiling the multiplicity of factors producing urbanism in the fast growing region of the Gulf, this book provides an in-depth overview of housing and migration dynamics in major Gulf cities. It explores the lessons learned from one of the prevalent urban experiments in human history where the scale and diversity of both skilled and labor migrants has never been witnessed in the context of engineered hub cities. The top-down approach devised to control urban development patterns is a crucial element in understanding both migration and housing dynamics in Gulf States.

“Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf: Urban Transformation in the Middle East” is a conscious endeavor towards understanding the role of governance from initiating a development vision, to reorganizing decision-making frameworks, and to implementing distinctive strategies. It embraces a considered approach to and an objective examination of how investor-driven patterns, emerging new economic sectors, and demographic transformations have impacted the demand and supply as well as the specific characteristics of the built environment. Conclusively, the direct interactions between inhabitants and their home environments is explored by demonstrating the divergent living standards, spatial practices, the new lifestyle tendencies, and their manifestations in the overall urban environment of these migrant cities.

The book is a timely effort that abstracts the essential characteristics of this unique urban phenomenon substantiated by concrete examples and empirical research. Both authors lived and worked in the Gulf including Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates during various periods between 2006 and 2014. Being able to witness the boom before and the downturn after the international financial crisis and being migrant expatriates instigated impulses to explore Gulf cities from macro and interconnected perspectives rather than to focus on singular aspects within the built environment. As academic architects specialised in urbanism and the complex dynamics between people and places the authors build new bridges for understanding demographic and social changes impacting urban transformations.

Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival, KLAF 2018

The Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival is the main event of the architectural calendar in Malaysia. Organised by the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) - Malaysian Institute of Architects, the festival began in 2011, building from the success of the annual Datum:KL conference started in 2003.

In 2017, the Festival was re-designed as a platform for architecture, both within and outside the industry and discipline as an extended programme of two months. The main objective is to construct a concentrated moment to gather and galvanise a constituency of influencers, projects, speculations and ideas, and to present them to the public at large in Kuala Lumpur and internationally. A key decision to further expand into the public space outside our traditional boundaries of architectural, building and design professionals. KLAF intends to relocate its agendas to focus on the public and the city at large, to invigorate and to launch discussions and initiatives towards BETTER ARCHITECTURE, BETTER CITIES!

The Datum:KL series of conferences, symposiums and forums will this year again be refreshed in content and configuration. For KLAF2018, Datum:KL will have as its central thematic plank, RE:POSITION, to accompany and reinforce the overall festival thematic, CHANGES. KLAF2018 will also see the addition of a new Datum event focusing on architecture and design education.

Urban Performance between the Imagined, the Measured, and the Experienced

Research Perspectives on Urban Performance:
Between the Imagined, the Measured, and the Experienced
Guest Editors: Ashraf Salama and David Grierson
Special Issue of Open House International
Volume 44, Issue 1, March 2019

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research - Vol 12, No 1 (March 2018)

From the Editorial:
Ashraf M. Salama 

Archnet-IJAR, volume 12, issue # 1, March 2018 reveals the multitude and multiplicity of architectural and urban research, which I have discussed in an earlier editorial. The journal remains committed to cover issues of interest and concern to the global academic and professional community.  This issue is intensive in terms of quality and quantity and encompasses a wide spectrum of topics that range from architectural theory and history, to urban studies, and from spatial analysis and application of technical systems in building design and components, to education for sustainable development, and architectural and planning education. The edition includes a section that is exclusively dedicated to selected papers from the Education and Training Forum of PLEA International Conference – Design to Thrive, Edinburgh – July 2017. By and large, the contributions presented here cover many parts of both the global north and the global south, raise questions, introduce proposals, and offer lessons important to their contexts as well as to the wider community of architectural and urban researchers.

Second International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment: Research in Practice

The Second International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment: Research in Practice (SDBE 2018) organised in London, UK on 12th-13th September 2018 (Venue: The Crystal, London, E16 1GB). SDBE 2018 conference will be a unique opportunity for researchers, academics, architects, urban designers, engineers, building consultants and professionals to meet and share the latest knowledge, research and innovations in sustainable building design, building performance, simulation tools and low carbon building related technologies.  The conference is part of the British Council Newton Institutional Links Fund: Building Capacity for Sustainable Development of the Built Environment BC-SDBE  and focuses on Research in Practice in sustainable design, building energy performance, sustainable urban design and planning with an emphasis on a balanced approach to environmental, socio-economic and technical aspects of sustainability in theory and practice. The conference will form a platform to demonstrate state-of-the-art strategies and best practice across the world for integrating sustainable design approaches in the built environment. The conference will include prominent keynote speakers from academia and practice to maximise opportunities for knowledge exchange. 

Keynote Speakers include:
Philip Jones, Professor, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
Ashraf Salama, Professor, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde
Patrik Schumacher, Director, Zaha Hadid Architects
Sean Smith, Professor, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction, Edinburgh Napier University. 

The Crystal, One Siemens Brothers Way, Royal Victoria Docks, London E16 1GB 

Conference registration
Free for all accepted papers  

This conference is organised by the University of East London, UK and Ain Shams University, Egypt and funded by The British Council Newton Institutional Links Fund.

Lifestyle Trends and Housing Typologies in Emerging Multicultural Cities

A New Contribution: 
Salama, A. M., Wiedmann, F., Ibrahim, H. G. (2017). Lifestyle Trends and Housing Typologies in Emerging Multicultural Cities. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, 41 (4), PP. 316-327. ISSN # 2029-7955. 

The introduction of new housing typologies in emerging cities is rooted in dynamics including infrastructural investments, urban growth rates and new development policies. In accommodating new lifestyles, demand-driven patterns by tenants and property owners are the main factors consolidating development trends in future. This paper explores the relationship between new lifestyle patterns and housing typologies in emerging cities. Within the context of Gulf cities, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama, this paper investigates demographic structures and housing trends where a rapid phase of urban growth has transformed local urbanism. Current social structures were analysed by following a new ‘lifestyle framework’ resulting in the characterization of four main lifestyle trends. This is coupled with the assessment of 240 cases of new residences from the Gulf cities under study. The juxtaposition of both studies offers an outlook relevant to the importance of a transition from supply-driven to demand-driven housing dynamics to accommodate emerging multicultural societies. The paper thus contributes to a better understanding and identification of the social groups that are currently lacking suitable housing.

Download author's accepted mansucript from academia here: 
Lifestyle Trends and Housing Typologies in Emerging Multicultural Cities

Prof. Ashraf Salama Receives Gold Medal and Appreication Awards in Cairo, Egypt

In Cairo on 6th January 2018 at an event recognising international achievements of architects from Egypt, Professor Ashraf M. Salama has received the Gold Medal of the Society of Egyptian Architects (The UIA National Section)  for career achievement and in recognition of receiving the 2017 UIA Jean Tschumi Prize for Architectural Education and Criticism. He has also received Appreciation and Recognition Awards from the Egyptian Engineering Syndicate - The Architectural Division for the important role and contributions to raising the profile of the profession of Architecture.

Urban Science || Special Issue: Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism: Transformations, Challenges, and Future Prospects

A Special Issue of urbanscience -- addressing transformations, challenges, and future prospects of contemporary architecture and urbanism.. The issue is guest edited by Dr Florian Wiedmann and Professor Ashraf Salama. Contributions are invited.  Visit 

This Special Issue Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism: Transformations, Challenges, and Future Prospects aims to offer a platform for integrating a wide spectrum of examples in contemporary design practice, theory and education in the context of recent urban transformation worldwide. ............ Within these transformation processes, both architects and urban designers have been challenged to respond to new urban conditions. Unlike certain eras in the past, recent globalization dynamics and the focus on attracting growth have led to more and more standardized and replaceable forms of urbanism. Thus, both professionals and academics have been engaged in identifying the future role of architecture.

See more here >>

Research on Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East

Research on Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East is an online resource that outlines efforts undertaken as part of key research projects. The site includes links to research publications, different types of information of interest to architects, urban designers, and planners who are seeking to expand their knowledge on architecture and urban environment of the Middle East. Click here for more information

Spatial Design Education: New Directions for Pedagogy in Architecture and Beyond

Spatial Design Education: New Directions for Pedagogy in Architecture and Beyond, Routledge 2015,  ISBN: 978-1-4724-2287-3

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 book, design education is dealt with as a paradigm whose evolutionary processes, underpinning theories, contents, methods, tools, are questioned and critically examined. It 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. 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. Innovative teaching practices in lecture-based and introductory design courses are identified and characterized including inquiry-based, active and experiential learning. 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.

Book Pages on Routledge Website
Order from Amazon


ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research

ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research
Ashraf is the Founder and the Chief Editor of Archnet-IJAR since 2007 . Visit Archives of Volumes and Issues on the Journal Website here or on Archnet @ MIT here -- As of 2016. Archnet-IJAR is ranked (in SCIMAGO) Architecture 2016: Ranking of IJAR is 18 out of 117 (Q1) Urban Studies 2016: Ranking of IJAR is 57 out of 138 (Q2). Archnet-IJAR is also ranked (in Scopus) Architecture 2016: Ranking of IJAR is 23 out of 87 (Q1) Urban Studies 2016: Ranking of IJAR is 60 out of 134 (Q2)

Open House International | Special Issue on the Global South

Open House International | Special Issue on the Global South
Ashraf is a Collaborating Editor of Open House International and has guest edited 6 special issues on various topics. In 2016, he has completed his latest work with OHI and co-guest editing two special issues on advances in sustainability and architecture and urbanism in the global south.

Roultedge Series on Architecture and Urbanism in the Global South

Roultedge Series on Architecture and Urbanism in the Global South
The Global South continues to experience a multitude of influences. Architecture and urbanism have experienced dramatic transformations that instigated critical questions about urban growth, sustainable development, regenerating and retrofitting cities, the quality of urban life, health, liveability, identity, multiculturalism, among others. In some regions within the Global South, architecture and urban environments are developed in tandem with environmental degradation, ethnic and regional conflicts and mass displacements of refugees, political and economic instability, among other undecorated realities. In essence, this conveys a sharp dichotomy that is emerging as a new field of investigation, discourse, and writing. Written by international experts and researchers, the volumes will cover a wide spectrum of topics that range from vernacular architecture, architectural heritage, urban traditions, explorations of the works of global south and international architects, to themes that include the architecture of squatter settlements, housing transformations, urban governance, the impact of globalization on cultural identity as manifested in architecture, and sustainable urbanism.

Commemorating a Decade of Architectural and Urban Research Published in Archnet-IJAR

Commemorating a Decade of Architectural and Urban Research Published in Archnet-IJAR
Salama, A. M., Remali, A. M. and Pour Rahimian, F. (2017). A Decade of Architectural and Urban Research Published in 'Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research'. Archnet-IJAR, International Journal of Architectural Research, 11(1), PP. 6-28. ISSN # 1938-7806. -- The article presents the current position of ArchNet-IJAR within the international provision of journals in architecture and urban studies in key databases and index-bases. This is substantiated by key statistics of submissions, published contributions, and acceptance rates during the past 10 years. Coupled with analytical discussion on the global reach of the ArchNet-IJAR, the article identifies 11 research fields, which were covered in 10 volumes since the journal’s inception. Analytical discussions of recent two theme issues as well as latest developments and contributions during the past few years are presented to reflect on the rigor and quality of the journal while depicting its thrust and interest. The article concludes by key aspects relevant to the future aspirations of ArchNet-IJAR while highlighting initiatives and prospective endeavours.

Research Expertise - Thematic Outlines

Research Expertise - Thematic Outlines
This short document presents research expertise and thematic outlines. It attempts to capture all research efforts undertaken over many years by Ashraf M. Salama. Expertise in Architectural and Urban Research: My research endeavours have been internationally recognized through an extensive record of publications and a substantial number of funded research projects including two more recent, large-scale research projects, awarded and funded by the National Priorities Research Program of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) with a total value of more than £1,250,000.00: • 2011-2014: The Qualities of the Urban Environment in Emerging Regional Metropolises • 2015-2018: Housing Typologies in Multicultural Societies of the Gulf Region Over the past twenty five years or so I have led the development of a series of studies that involved expert and scholarly contributions while attracting global attention. This includes books, journal articles, and critical essays, and the special issues of Open House International (OHI) on affordable housing, urban space diversity, evolving urbanism in the Arabian Peninsula, and urban transformations in the Global South. This is coupled with my role as Chief Editor of Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. --- Expertise in Research on Architectural Education and Design Pedagogy: My research and publication record in the field of architectural education and design pedagogy has been widely acknowledged and well recognized as evident in the recently awarded 2017 UIA Jean Tschumi Prize for excellence in Architectural Education and Criticism. My earlier work has focused on understanding various trends in architectural education as they relate to design studio teaching practices, and developing an edited collection on cross-cultural perspectives relevant to architectural education at the beginning of the millennium, and exploring horizons for the future of studio pedagogy, traditional, revolutionary, and virtual design studio teaching models, and collaborating with colleagues in establishing prospects for a better built environment through effective design pedagogy.