Blog Archive


Freedom to design, that is, freedom of people to design, built and use buildings, cities and landscapes better for them.

  • Mario Botta (Italy) - "Il progetto Come Ricerca " / (Research with Design)
  • Silvia De Bianchi (Spain) - "Interactive generation of knowledge: a philosophical perspective on space"
  • Ashraf M. Salama (UK) - “Transformative Design Pedagogy: From Priori and Posteriori Knowledge to Trans-disciplinary Production of Architecture”
  • Andres Garces (Chile) - “Poetic and pedagogical process of "the Ronda" in Open City of Amereida”
  • Francisco Mangado  (Spain) - Title in process
  • Marcelo Zarate (Argentina) - “Towards an Urbanism based upon a deep design interpretation of the way some cultural schemes organize each place"
  • Miquel Fernandez (Spain) - “Nonnegotiable inertia. The role of urban planning in social normalization and the reproduction of capital”

    Related websites

    Call for Papers 

    A R Q U I T E C T O N I C S

    Previous Conferences

    Supported by:
    UPC Research Group (GIRAS)
    UNICEF; Children friendly cities
    Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
    Ministry of economic and education
    Barcelona school of architecture (ETSAB)
    COAC. Catalan Association of Architects
    Mind, Land & Society Arquitectonics Network

    Conference Organization:
    Magda Saura; Professor, Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) and
    Josep Muntañola; architect and city planner, senior professor, founder of GIRAS Research Group.
    Conference Management: Rasoul Ameli, GIRAS, Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB)

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

    Volume 44, Issue 1, March 2019
    Ashraf M. Salama and David Grierson

    In our call for papers, the premise was that contributions to this issue of Open House International (OHI) would address the way in which decision-making processes, led by policy makers and discipline experts, contribute to successful urban environments; how the social and spatial practices of key actors (investors, developers, and users) manifest diverse urban activities; and how users attach to places and identify with their surroundings as a basis for social and spatial justice. Contributions were expected to address one of the three pillars while offering implications on the other two. In response we have received more than 40 abstracts, and subsequently identified 19 for further development into full papers towards submission for review. The outcome of a rigorous review process concluded with the identification of 11 papers published in this issue. Addressing various contexts in Europe and the Middle East, the papers represent diverse efforts undertaken by committed scholars in universities and academic institutions in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Qatar, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
    Salama, A. M. and Grierson, D. (2019). Urban Performance Between the Imagined, the Measured, and the Experienced. Open House International, Volume 44, Issue 1, PP. 04-07. ISSN # 0160-2601.

    Methodological Research in Architecture and Allied Disciplines

    Ashraf M. Salama, 
    "Methodological Research in Architecture and Allied Disciplines: Philosophical Positions, Frames of Reference, and Spheres of Inquiry
    Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, Vol. 13 Issue: 1, pp.8-24,

    The purpose of this paper 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. This is a response to a glaring dearth of cognisance and a reaction to a growing but confusing body of knowledge that does not offer a clear picture of what research in architecture is. By identifying key characteristics, philosophical positions and frames of reference that pertain to the research in architecture and associated disciplines, the findings represent a scholastic endeavour in its field. 

    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.

    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.

    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.