Professor Ashraf Salama

Head Of Department


Personal statement

I am Professor of Architecture and Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde since 2014.  My experience spans across six countries in four continents. It involves lecture-based teaching in the area of human-environment interaction, studio teaching at various levels, research, professional practice, research-based consulting, and PhD Supervision. For over twenty years I have been involved in both academic and professional life in Egypt, United States, United Kingdom, the Middle East. My work and research have been focusing on curriculum development and design studio teaching practices, transformative and critical pedagogy, sustainable architectural and urban design, with a strong emphasis on the impact of socio-cultural factors in shaping the built environment.

See list of publications on Strath Database and Strathprints. Also see research clusters CRAUCGS, BEEAPRU, or profile, and research projects.

Selected Recent Publications, Presentations, and Research Projects

Latest Research Projects

Latest Books

Latest Refereed Journal Papers (abbreviated titles)

Latest Book Chapters

Latest Keynotes / Public Lectures / Conferences

Prizes and awards

Appointed Member: the Steering Committee of the Education Commission and Validation Council, International Union of Architects
Gold Medal, Society of Egyptian Architects, Cairo, Egypt
2017 UIA Jean Tschumi Prize for Excellence in Architectural Education and Criticism
Invited Visiting Professor - Distinguished Visitor Program at the University of Central Lancashire
Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Strathclyde
FRSA: Fellow, Royal Society of the Arts

more prizes and awards


Professor of Architecture and Head of Department of Architecture

Fellow Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) since 2009; Fellow Higher Education Academy (FHEA-Recognition Scheme) since 2009; Affiliate Member RIBA since 2008; Licensed Architect (Egypt/Middle East) since 1987; PhD in Architecture 1995 (Channel Exchange Fellowship: Al-Azhar University and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. USA).


Reflections on architectural education of the Muslim world within a global world
Salama Ashraf M
International Journal of Islamic Architecture Vol 8, pp. 33-41 (2019)
Fragile republic : defragmenting the public space in Sarajevo's museums quadrant
Harrington Selma, Dimitrijevic Branka, Salama Ashraf M
Field Conditions (2019)
Using auto-photography to explore young people's belonging and exclusion in urban spaces in Accra, Ghana
van Riel Kristijn, Salama Ashraf M
Open House International Vol 44 (2019)
Methodological research in architecture and allied disciplines : philosophical positions, frames of reference, and spheres of inquiry
Salama Ashraf M
International Journal of Architectural Research: Archnet-IJAR (2019)
Towards a context specific multidimensional quality of urban life model
MacLean Laura , Salama Ashraf M
Open House International Vol 44 (2019)
Recent discourse and the promise for global networks on architecture and urbanism
Salama Ashraf M
Archnet-IJAR Vol 12, pp. 2-10 (2018)

more publications


My academic experience includes teaching courses on architectural programming/briefing, design methods and theories, applications of socio-behavioral studies in design, sustainable urban conservation, and architectural, urban, and community design studios. My teaching places emphasis on evidence-based design, critical inquiry, and active and experiential learning.  My position in teaching is that architectural education is not simply the imparting of knowledge and skills necessary for practice, but it involves the development of values, ideologies, and cultural and philosophical positions. My teaching emphasizes that future professionals need to be able to comprehend the environment as having multiple realities by understanding values, preferences, and lifestyles of people, as individuals and in groupings—people who will perceive, live, learn, work, and entertain in those environments.

Current Teaching Activities:

  • PG: Criticism, Assessment and Research Methods in Architecture and Urbanism (CARMAU)
  • PG: Cultural and Behavioural Factors in Architecture and Urbanism
  • UG Dissertation Supervision
  • Contribute lectures in Urban Design and Cultural Studies
  • Master Thesis Supervision
  • PhD Supervision



Latest Publications / Presentations on Architectural and Design Pedagogy



Research interests

My research interests and experience cross the boundaries of disciplines and involve theories and methodologies of design studio teaching in architecture and urban design; typological transformations in traditional architecture/urban spaces; sustainable design processes; environmentally sustainable tourism development; sustainable schools; workplace environmental quality; assessing designed environments from socio-cultural and users' perspectives; adaptive urbanism and the spatial practice of cultural groups within cities; livability and diversity in urban environments; and investigating architecture and urbanism in emerging cities in the global south. Within these topics I have sustained a substantial record of funded research. See Strath Database and Strathprints. Also see list and outlines of research projects, publications, activities, and research clusters CRAUCGS -- BEEAPRU.

  • PhD Examination Experience: I have examined doctorates at: 
  • Ain Shams University, Egypt (2009);
  • Cardiff University, UK (2016 & 2018);
  • Curtin University, Australia (2011);
  • Deakin University, Australia (2013 and 2015);
  • German University in Cairo, Egypt (2018)
  • Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan (2016);
  • Queensland University of Technology, Australia (2013 and 2018);
  • Robert Gordon University, UK (2016);
  • Technical University of Munich, Germany (2009);
  • University of Malaya, Malaysia (2011, 2014, 2017);
  • University of Strathclyde, UK (2014 - present);
  • University of Wolverhampton, UK (2015);
  • University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia (2009, 2012, 2016);
  • University of Toronto, Canada (2012);
  • University of Western Australia (2018).

Professional activities

ECOCITY World Summit 2019 (Event)
Peer reviewer
KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium (External organisation)
Sustainability (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Journal of Architecture and Urbanism (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research (Journal)

more professional activities


Re-Enterprising the 'Forgotten Villages of Greater Cairo'
Nicolopoulou, Katerina (Principal Investigator) Christine Samy Aziz Habib, C (Co-investigator) Drakopoulou Dodd, Sarah (Co-investigator) Salama, Ashraf (Co-investigator) Rogerson, Robert (Co-investigator)
Re-enterprising the ‘Forgotten Villages of Greater Cairo’. The project explores women's micro and social entrepreneurship within challenged and marginalised informal settlements in Greater Cairo, as a potential solution to tackle challenges of sustainable water resources for these communities using a holistic framework of entrepreneurship, architecture, urban planning and social innovation.
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
KA107 staff and PhD students mobility with the University of Belgrade, Serbia
Dimitrijevic, Branka (Principal Investigator) Salama, Ashraf (Co-investigator) Grierson, David (Co-investigator)
3 academics and 2 PhD students involved in mobility activities
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2020
Sustainable Development for Ecotourism.
Grierson, David (Principal Investigator) Salama, Ashraf (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2021
The Quality of Urban Life in Sub-Sharan African Cities
Salama, Ashraf (Academic) MacLean, Laura Anne (Post Grad Student)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2019
Studentship for Characterisation of Architecture and Urbanism of Cities in the Global South
Salama, Ashraf (Academic) van Riel, Kristijn (Post Grad Student)
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2018
Investigating Housing Typologies in Multicultural Societies of the Gulf Region
Salama, Ashraf (Principal Investigator)
During the first period of modern urbanization in the middle of the 20th century housing developments in Gulf cities were rather limited to detached villas for the local population, compounds for high-income expatriate families and multistory apartment blocks for labor. In recent years however the usual patterns of housing developments in the Gulf have witnessed a rapid transformation due to an extensive construction boom coupled with exponential immigration, which led to increasingly complex multicultural societies in Gulf cities. This project aims to investigate housing typologies in the context of multicultural societies by applying two major perspectives. While the architectural perspective will focus on design-related characteristics on the scale of single buildings as well as surrounding urban spaces, a human-behavioral study will focus on how new residential typologies relate to multicultural realities. The first research objective is therefore to clarify what housing typologies can be found in Gulf cities in order to classify typical housing designs and patterns. On this basis the second research objective aims to provide insights how certain housing typologies, such as high rises, affect human behavior and perception and, in turn, which cultural group is attracted to which type of housing. This will be investigated utilizing a trans-disciplinary framework relevant to lifestyle theories. The empirical research methodologies include photographic surveys and observation studies as well as face-to-face interviews with volunteering residents. Previous research projects have shown clear evidence that the supply of sufficient and attractive housing is one of the most important factors for sustainable urban growth in the Gulf. This project therefore attempts to investigate this comprehensive topic in two layers of case studies. The initial regional survey will include Kuwait City, Manama, Doha, Dammam, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in order to clarify which kind of typologies and socio-spatial realities can be found in the main metropolitan areas of the Gulf region. Subsequently, key case study areas will be identified in Qatar's capital Doha in order to apply human behavioral studies.
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2018

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