Prof 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

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
FHEA: Fellow, Higher Education Academy (Recognition Scheme)
FRSA: Fellow, Royal Society of the Arts
Appreciation Award: CEFPI, Council of Educational Facilities Planners International, Arizona, USA
Achievement Award: Institute of International Education, Sustainable Tourism Program

more prizes and awards


Integrating Appreciative Inquiry (AI) into architectural pedagogy : an assessment experiment of three retrofitted buildings in the city of Glasgow
Salama Ashraf M., MacLean Laura
Frontiers of Architectural Research, (2017)
A decade of architectural and urban research published in 'Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research'
Salama Ashraf M., Remali Adel Mohammad, Pour Rahimian Farzad
International Journal of Architectural Research Vol 11, pp. 6-28, (2017)
The everyday urban environment of migrant labourers in Gulf Cities : the case of the old centre of Doha, Qatar
Salama Ashraf M., Azzali Simona, Wiedmann Florian
City, Territory and Architecture Vol 4, (2017)
Evolutionary interventions in search of national architectural identity
Salama Ashraf M.
AEB 1966-2016AEB 1966-2016, (2016)
Journal special issue : Forging advances in sustainable architecture and urbanism
Grierson David, Salama Ashraf M.
Open House International Vol 41, pp. 1-110, (2016)
Forging advances in sustainable architecture and urbanism
Grierson David, Salama Ashraf M.
Open House International Vol 41, pp. 4 - 6, (2016)

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.

  • Recent and Current Research Projects
  • Current PhD Supervision
  • PhD Examination Experience: I have examined doctorates at Ain Shams University, Egypt; Cardiff University, UK; Curtin University, Australia; Deakin University, Australia; Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan; Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Robert Gordon University, UK; Technical University of Munich, Germany; University of Malaya, Malaysia; University of Strathclyde, UK; University of Wolverhampton, UK; University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; University of Toronto, Canada.

Professional activities

Member, Scientific Committee: Silk Cities
Member of programme committee
Invited International Assessor: Canada's SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
PhD External Examiner, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan
External Examiner
Forum Chair: PLEA 2017
Member of programme committee
Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE 2016)
Member of programme committee
The First International Conference on Mosque Architecture
Keynote/plenary speaker

more professional activities


The Quality of Urban Life in Sub-Sharan African Cities
Salama, Ashraf (Academic) MacLean, Laura Anne (Post Grad Student)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Oct-2019
Studentship for Characterisation of Architecture and Urbanism of Cities in the Global South
Salama, Ashraf (Academic) van Riel, Kristijn (Post Grad Student)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 30-Sep-2018
Contextual Characteristics of Housing Transformation in North African Cities: The Case of Tripoli-Libya (Global South Project)
Salama, Ashraf (Academic) Abudib, Huyam Hadi (Post Grad Student)
Period 01-Apr-2015 - 31-Mar-2017
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.
Period 01-May-2015 - 01-May-2018
Fundamentalists and Other Modernisms: Contribution to the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Venice Architecture Biennale-2014
Salama, Ashraf (Principal Investigator)
Commissioned to develop a chapter and visual material for the Catalog of the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Venice Architecture Biennale --2014. Chapter title: A century of architecture in the Arabian Peninsula: evolving Isms and multiple architectural identities in a growing region Citation: Salama, A. M. (2014). A century of architecture in the Arabian Peninsula: evolving Isms and multiple architectural identities in a growing region. In G. George Arbid (Ed.), Architecture from the Arab world (1914-2014): A Selection. (pp. 137-143). Manama, Bahrain.
Period 01-Feb-2014 - 01-Jun-2014
Investigating the Qualities of the Urban Environment in Emerging Regional Metropolises
Salama, Ashraf (Principal Investigator)
Cities on the Arabian Peninsula have recently acquired a geo-strategic importance. Through the shift of global economic forces, cities in the region, and Doha is no exception, have developed to central hubs between old economies of Western Europe and the rising economies of Asia. In the context of international competition between cities new challenges are emerging. Cities need to find ways to sustain their position in the context of a global knowledge economy. Knowledge-intensive economies have been identified as the key driver for spatial-urban development that include services, high tech, higher education and are characterized by international presence. Yet, how exactly can cities survive in the global competition of geographic locations? How can they influence their significance in knowledge economy context? In answering, the research aims at identifying emerging patterns of spatial development and the driving forces behind the associated processes. It investigates the qualities of the urban environment of Doha as an important regional metropolis utilizing mixed research methods, including interviews, observations, mapping, and spatial analysis. The impetus of this research is that it would pave the way to informed policies, establishing guidance parameters on the role of Doha in knowledge economy context, and contributing to the urban policy making with respect to the city’s urban qualities including land use, public space, and spatial development.
Period 01-Jan-2011 - 01-Jun-2014

more projects