Dr Elahe Karimnia

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  • Qualifications:MArch MSc PhD AFHEA
  • Position:Senior Lecturer in Critical Urban Practice
  • Department:FET - Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Telephone:+4411732 81752
  • Email:Elahe.Karimnia@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo Twitter logo

About me

I joined UWE in February 2022 as an interdisciplinary scholar whose reasearch and teaching are at the intersection of urban design and critical theory. I am a Senior Lecturer in Critical Urban Practice with architecture and urban planning background and have worked with both public and private sectors in different cities of both the global North and the global South.

My ongoing research: 'Designing Publicness' is about enhancing the public and cultural life of cities by embracing emerging/alternative forms of publicness in everyday life and exploring the relationships between urban space, power, bodies and exclusions. This requires a critical and creative approach to urban design, alternative forms of urban and civic practices that are countering inequalities, radical, and ultimately transformative. While sustainability is discussed at the core of planning and design of the built environment, I am interested in framing its narrative and implementation, specially in relation to spatial politics and its impact on urban design process.

Prior to joining UWE, I was the 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.

Since 2016, 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. The teaching included urban theory seminars and studios in collaboration with Urban Think Tank (U-TT Design Group) and TU Berlin.

I was awarded a Ph.D. from the School of Architecture and Built Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. In my doctoral research, I explored the gaps between design intentions, implementations, and subsequent appropriations of public spaces in the Swedish cities. My thesis, "Producing Publicness," articulates a productive dialogue between architects, spatial planners and users of public spaces as a dialectical approach. I have a MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design and a MA in Architecture.

I am available to supervise PhD students on topics relating to urban design and city-making in connection with spatial justice.

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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