Dr Elahe Karimnia

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  • Qualifications:PhD MSc M.Arch FHEA
  • Position:Senior Lecturer in Critical Urban Practice
  • Department:College of Arts, Technology and Environment School of Architecture and Environment
  • Telephone:+4411732 81752
  • Email:Elahe.Karimnia@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo Twitter logo

About me

I am an interdisciplinary scholar with architecture and urban design background whose research is at the intersection of design and critical urban theory. My primary research interest is in designing publicness and collective cultures of cities through critical urban practices. These practices are feminist in their imaginations, collaborative in their processes, equitable in their material spaces, and creative in their approaches.

I am intrigued by the framing and implementation of concepts such as sustainability in place-making and urban design practice, particularly concerning the politics of design processes and its impact on inclusivity of places and their publicness as outcome. In my doctoral research at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, I explored the gaps between design intentions, implementations, and subsequent (re)appropriations of public spaces in the Swedish cities. My thesis, "Producing Publicness" (Karimnia, 2018) articulates a productive dialogue between architects, spatial planners and users of public spaces.

Prior to joining UWE, I served as an Associate in Urban Research and Spatial Practice at Theatrum Mundi, a pioneering non-profit research centre based in London and Paris which aims to expand the crafts of city-making through collaboration between artists, architects and urbanists. I was responsible for research and writings on 'Urban Backstages' exploring spaces and infrastructures for cultural production in cities. I was also involved in 'Choreographing the City' project which offers innovative set of interdisciplinary methods towards the spatial design of (im)mobility in cities.

I have been teaching both design studios and seminar classes at different programmes such as the MA Cities programme at Central Saint Martins in London, the MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design programme and MSc in Urbanism Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The teaching included urban theory seminars and studios in collaboration with Urban Think Tank (U-TT Design Group) and TU Berlin.

I am currently supervising two PhD students: 

Jenna Dutton: Gender-based inequalities in the city - the role and potentials of urban planning.

Joy Pedro: Co-designing Green Spaces to Improve Mental Health of Young People.

Area of expertise

- Designing publicness: creative and experimental urban practices in designing public and cultural life of cities;
- Practice-led research methodologies; 
- Dialectical thinking and Dialogic learning as critical tools for urban design; 


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