Professor Ashraf Salama


Personal statement

I am Professor of Architecture and Director of Reseach and former Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde (2014-2020).  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 (Pure) and Strathprints. Also see research cluster CRAUCGS, or Profile, and Research Projects.

Selected Recent Publications, Presentations, and Research Projects

Latest Research Projects

Latest Books

Latest Refereed Journal Papers (abbreviated titles - selected)

Latest Book Chapters

Latest Keynotes / Public Lectures / Conferences

Prizes and awards

Appointed International Advisor, Board of Architects Malaysia.
Appointed Director and Curator: UIA Award for Innovation in Architectural Education, Union Internationale Des Architectes - International Union of Architects, Paris, France
Honorary Visiting Professor, Faculty of Design and Architecture, University Putra Malaysia
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

More prizes and awards


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).


Assessing the quality of urban life in three neighbourhoods, Lilongwe, Malawi
MacLean Laura, Salama Ashraf M
Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning Vol 174, pp. 86-101 (2021)
The imagined and the experienced - contrasting realities in the Riverside museum of Glasgow
Salama Ashraf M, MacLean Laura
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review Vol 33, pp. 65-65 (2021)
Re-enterprising the unplanned urban areas of Greater Cairo – a social innovation perspective
Nicolopoulou Katerina, Salama Ashraf M, Attia Sahar, Samy Christine, Horgan Donagh, Khalil Heba Allah Essam E, Bakhaty Asser
Open House International Vol 46, pp. 189-212 (2021)
[Book Review] Egypt's housing crisis : the shaping of urban space
Salama Ashraf M
The Middle East Journal Vol 75, pp. 326-328 (2021)
Transdisciplinary thinking for conceptualising borders and boundaries
Salama Ashraf
The Dialectics of Urban and Architectural Boundaries in the Middle East and the Mediterranean (2021) (2021)
Foreword : rethinking the 'lived' within the 'urban' of the Middle Eastern city
Salama Ashraf
Urban Challenges in the Globalizing Middle-East Social Value of Public Spaces (2021) (2021)

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
  • UG: UN-SDGs: Architecture and Urbanism
  • Master Thesis Supervision
  • PhD Supervision


Books on Architectural Education and Design Pedagogy

Special Issues - Peer Reviewed Journals

Selected Publications on Architectural and Design Pedagogy

Visit IAPS Education Network

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 (Pure) and Strathprints. Also see list and outlines of research projects, publications, activities, research cluster CRAUCGS

Latest PhD Completions as First Supervisor (2019-2021)

  • Dr Huyam Abudib (2019), Investigating the Contextual Characteristics of Housing Transformation in the Medina of North Africa: Tripoli, Libya, as a Case Study (Chair of Supervision Committee)
  • Dr Amira Elsemellawy (2019), Assessing the Quality of Transformed Public Spaces in Mediterranean Waterfronts: The Case of Alexandria, Egypt (Chair of Supervision Committee)
  • Dr Laura MacLean (2021), An Examination of the Quality of Urban Life of Residential Neighbourhoods in Lilongwe, Malawi (Chair of Supervision Committee)
  • Dr Noor Almansor (2021), Social Sustainability in Residential Urban Environments: Single-Family House Neighbourhoods in Basra, Iraq (Chair of Supervision Committee)

PhD Completions as Second Supervisor (2019-2021)

  • Dr Aisha Abu Bakar (2019), Prosperity and Slums: A Dynamic Trajectory for Positive Development (Member of Supervision Committee)
  • Dr Selma Harrington (2020), Other Modernism: Underpinning the Case of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Member of Supervision Committee)

Scheduled PhD Completions as First Supervisor (2021-2022)

  • Kristijn van Riel (2021), Inclusive Public Space: Young People’s Use and Perception of the Public Realm in Accra, Ghana (Chair of Supervision Committee)
  • Mohammad Almahdi (2021), Urban Fragmentation and Continuity of Saudi Cities: The Case of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Chair of Supervision Committee) 

Latest External Supervision (2019-2021)

  • Dr Akash Angral (Completed 2019), Reshaping the Architect-Client Relationship through Digital Technologies (External Supervisor, with Professor Steve Love and Dr Stuart Jeffrey of the School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art).
  • Nermin Dessouky (Scheduled for Completion, 2021),Places of Anticipation: On Design Use Values and the Ecology of Actors in Sustainable Neighbourhoods (External Supervisor, with Professor Patsy Eubanks Owens and Professor Stephen Wheeler of the Department of Human Ecology, Geography Graduate Group, University of California, Davis)

Current PhD Supervision as First Supervisor

  • Asser Bakhaty, Krishnokoli Dutta, Monthian Nguitragool, Preeti Pansare, Saleh Almogrbe, Zhanar Omarova.

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 & 2015); German University in Cairo, Egypt (2018 & 2021); Glasgow School of Art, UK (2020); Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan (2016); Queensland University of Technology, Australia (2013, 2018, 2019); Robert Gordon University, UK (2016); Technical University of Munich, Germany (2009); University of Dundee, UK (2020); University of Malaya, Malaysia (2011, 2014, 2017, 2021); 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

Town Planning Review (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Appointed External Examiner, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
External Examiner
Canadian Centre for Architecture CCA and Rhode Island School of Design RISD - The end of the beginning of "The Student Visa Review"
Keynote/plenary speaker
External Assessor for Academic Promotion, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia
External Examiner
Proceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning (Journal)
Editorial board member
Sharjah Architecture Triennial, Podcast Series 2: Architecture+ City
Invited speaker

More professional activities


Navigating COVID-19 related transitions and transformations of economically marginalised women entrepreneurs within urban poor communities of the Greater Cairo Region in Egypt (GCR).
Nicolopoulou, Katerina (Principal Investigator) Salama, Ashraf (Co-investigator) Christine Samy Aziz Habib, C (Research Co-investigator) Mohamed, Sherine (Researcher) Horgan, Donagh (Researcher) Whitfield, Caroline (Researcher)
GCRF Scottish Funding Council COVID-19 Response Award
01-Jan-2020 - 26-Jan-2021
Global Engagement Fund Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Cultural Heritage in the area of Greater Aswan, Egypt
Nicolopoulou, Katerina (Principal Investigator) Salama, Ashraf (Co-investigator) Christine Samy Aziz Habib, C (Co-investigator) Horgan, Donagh (Co-investigator)
Global Engagement Fund
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
GCRF Pump Priming 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
BC-SDBE:Building Capacity: Sustainable Development of the Built Environment: British Council Newton Institutional Links Project
Salama, Ashraf (Principal Investigator) Grierson, David (Co-investigator) Pour Rahimian Leilabadi, Farzad (Co-investigator)
15-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2018

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