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History, Theory and Culture of Architecture and the Built Environment

Grounded in contemporary critical approaches to the history and theory of architecture and allied disciplines, including Landscape architecture, urban design and planning, SABE takes a distinctive cultural approach in its on-going research in this area.

Recent projects, grants and publications represent a spectrum of expertise and focus ranging from the construction of multi-cultural space and society in the settlement history of Australia, to the culture and poetics of construction, and cosmology in Islamic architecture. Incorporated under this research concentration is the School's distinctive and long-established expertise in the cross-cultural interpretation of architecture, urbanism, and cultural landscape undertaken within the Centre for Asian and Middle-Eastern Architecture (CAMEA).

  • Areas of ResearchLearn about our research focus areas and supervision expertise

    Led by founding director of CAMEA Associate Professor Samar Akkech, research in this cluster encompasses many areas which are all inter-related. Moreover, the supervisors are fluent in a number of languages including Arabic, Hindi, Italian and French. The research areas include, but are not limited to:

    Islamic Culture and the Arab World

    • History and Theory of Islamic Architecture and Landscapes
    • Intellectual and Socio-Urban History of Early Modernity in Arab-Islamic World
    • Cosmology, Mysticism and Architecture in the Islamic Tradition
    • Spatial Thinking and History of Science in the Islamic Tradition

    India and Asia

    • Modern Indian Architecture
    • Modernity and Asian architectural historiography
    • Colonial and contemporary issues in South and Southeast Asian architecture
    • Australian-Asian exchange in architecture and the building industries
    • Transnational networks of architectural production in Asia and Africa
    • Design production and agency within institutional frameworks
  • ResearchersMeet our academic research leaders
    Samer Akkach
    Associate Professor Samer AkkachResearch Group Head

    Samer Akkach is an established scholar in three inter-related fields of study: architectural history and theory, Islamic studies, and intellectual history. His earlier research focused on pre-modern Islamic cosmology, mysticism, and architectural symbolism, while his later works have focused on spatial thinking and history of science, Islamic and modernity, and socio-urban history of early modern Damascus.

    Peter Scriver
    Dr James Curry James has practiced as an architect internationally and developed an interest in understandings and interpretations of 'the corner window' in the context of the development of modern architecture and the consequences of construction and material innovation. His present work focuses on the period 1910-1923 and its influence, examining the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and Rudolf Schindler.

    Peter Scriver
    Dr Peter Scriver Peter Scriver is an architectural historian with a particular interest in design thinking in cross-cultural contexts. Scriver's pioneering individual and collaborative research on India and Southeast Asia focuses on colonial and contemporary architectural production and discourse, and the professional networks and institutional frameworks through which the design disciplines operate.

    Sam Ridgway
    Dr Sam Ridgway Sam Ridgway's research explores the history, theory and practice of architectural construction. He investigates architecture's material nature and its relationship to the intellectual, practical and professional substance of the discipline. He has published in the areas of the representation of construction, construction pedagogy, material imagination, the human body and its relationship to buildings (anthropomorphism), and architectural demonstration.

    Katharine Bartsch
    Dr Katharine Bartsch Katharine’s research focuses on cultural encounters, and more generally cultures of travel (migration, diaspora, displacement and resettlement), to gain a critical understanding of the production and transformation of different built environments (architecture, landscapes and cities).

    Amit Srivastava
    Amit Srivastava Amit is an architectural historian and theorist whose work focuses on 19th and 20th century architectural thought with special attention to intellectual networks concerning perception of architectural materials and phenomenology. His research focuses on the socio-political condition generated by the intersection of de-colonising and nationalist policies in the Cold War era.

    Julian Worral
    Dr Julian Worrall Julian's intellectual roots lie in post-structuralist critiques of universal knowledge and postcolonial critiques of Western modernity. This led to his scholarly interest in the architecture and urban spaces of modern Japan. His doctoral research focussed on the formation of new spaces of public appearance, civic representation, and urban intensity generated by the railway transportation infrastructure of Tokyo in the 20th century. Current critical writings relate contemporary architectural and urban thought in Japan to larger socio-cultural phenomena such as privatisation, revitalisation, historicism, and cosmopolitanism. Research proposals aligned with these interests are welcomed.
  • PhD Student ResearchersMeet our student researchers and enquire about joining the group
    Faris Akbar HajamaideenSupervisors: A/Prof. Samer Akkach and A/Prof.Chong Thai Bobby Wong
    Body, Soul, Architecture: A Comparative Study of Christian & Islamic Perspectives

    Faris Akbar Hajamaideen
    Jessica HuangSupervisors: Dr Peter Scriver and Prof. Antony Radford
    Form-Patterns and the Work of Troppo Architects

    Jessica Huang
    Athanasios LazarouSupervisors: Dr Peter Scriver and Amit Srivastava
    Spectacularised, Banalised, Objectified:The production of space in the event

    Athanasios Lazarou
    Isidoro MalaqueSupervisors: Dr Peter Scriver and Dr Katharine Bartsch
    Towards a Multi-Step Approach to Resettlement of Urban Poor

    Isidoro Malaque
    Zahra RanjbariSupervisors: A/Prof. Samer Akkach and Dr Katharine Bartsch
    Navidi's Gardens of Eden: A Study of Landscape History in the Early Safavid Period

    Zahra Ranjbari
    Stephen SchrapelSupervisors: Prof. Antony Radford and Dr Peter Scriver
    Romaldo Giurgola and the ‘Other’ Tradition of Modernism

    Stephen Schrapel
    Kinda TabbaaSupervisors: A/Prof. Samer Akkach and Dr Katharine Bartsch
    Landscape History in Ottoman Syria: Urbanity and Recreation

    Kinda Tabbaa
    Julie Nichols Completed 2013 Supervisors: A/Prof. Samer Akkach and Dr Peter Scriver
    Mapping Meanings: Urban Cartography and Urban Design

    Julie Nichols

  • External CollaboratorsExplore opportunities for industry and professional collaboration

    The University of Adelaide understands the importance of collaborative research and strong partnerships with industry and professionals in today's global market.

    We view these interactions as essential elements in advancing the University's research and teaching objectives as well as adding value to you as our partners.

    The Faculty of the Professions is renowned for its academic diversity and is home to some of the most respected and eminent researchers at the University of Adelaide. Within the School of Education and ETC, our commitment to innovation and a culture of forward thinking helps to influence the world we live in.

    Our collaborative research activities span across government, business and community groups. Our under-pinning philosophy of research partnerships is to match your community needs and business opportunities with the resources and expertise of our Faculty. The expertise and knowledge of our academic staff, who are specialists in their fields, present great opportunities for organisations to grow and to make decisive contributions that can influence strategic agendas and operational frameworks.

Architectural History, Theory and Culture

School of Architecture
& Built Environment

Faculty of the Professions


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