Theory and history

Find a doctoral supervisor to match your research theme.


Elham Bahmanteymouri 

Elham has qualifications in urban and regional planning and design as well as urban economics. She is an urban planner and urban economist with 16 years professional experience. Elham’s research is primarily focused on urban planning economics, economic of incomplete markets, planning theory, political economy of space and behavioural economy. She has particular expertise in the provision of urban growth management policies and the economic assessment of housing and urban development policies. Additionally, she investigates the causes and consequences of the failures of the planning policies. Through deployment of a Lacanian (post-)Marxist approach, her recent research is concerned with an understanding of urban phenomena, and suggesting better solutions to urban problems such as housing unaffordability and uneven urban development.

Research interests: Urban Land Economics, Urban Growth Management and Housing Policies, Planning Theory, Logic-Based Analysis of Planning Practices, Economics of Incomplete Markets, The Experience Economy, Smart and Sharing Economy, Pedagogy of Planning Discipline.

Visit Elham's profile


Andrew Barrie

Andrew's research focuses on architectural representation and on contemporary architecture in New Zealand and Japan, particularly structure-oriented design strategies. Current research considers the application of a traditional Japanese modelling technique, okoshi-ezu, to recent buildings by contemporary Japanese architects. Having worked for Toyo Ito in Tokyo and then Cheshire Architects in Auckland, Andrew is well placed to supervise PhDs with a creative practice component.

Research interests: Contemporary Japanese architecture; Contemporary practice and design; The use of non-standard structural systems in architecture; Design as research; Architectural representation.

Visit Andrew’s profile

Deidre Brown

Deidre Brown's (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu) specialist research interests are in the fields of Māori and Pacific architectural and art history, and the broader discipline of indigenous design. She has written several books, including the multi-authored Art in Oceania: A new history (2012) and Māori Architecture (2009) and is currently completing a new Maori art history book, Toi Te Mana, with Dr Ngarino Ellis.

Research interests: Maori and Pacific art and architectural history; Indigenous design; Indigenousness homelessness and houselessness; Cultural property rights; Indigenous digital humanities.

Visit Deidre’s profile

Julia Gatley

Julia Gatley is a well-known writer on New Zealand architecture, having published four books with Auckland University Press: Vertical Living: The Architectural Centre and the Remaking of Wellington (co-written with Paul Walker, 2014); Athfield Architects (2012); Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture (2010); and Long Live the Modern: New Zealand’s New Architecture, 1904-1984 (2008). Julia also co-edited, with Lucy Treep, The Auckland School: One Hundred Years of Architecture and Planning, published on the occasion of the School’s centenary in 2017. Current projects include, with Andrew Barrie, a survey of New Zealand architecture since 1984.

Research interests: Twentieth-century architecture; New Zealand architecture; The conservation of significant twentieth-century buildings.

Visit Julia’s profile

Farzaneh Haghighi

Farzaneh's work is concerned with the intersection of political philosophy, architecture and urbanism focusing on the work of Michel Foucault. She researches the ways that architecture transforms individuals through the act of exchange; exchange of words, things, bodies and thoughts. She uses writing practices in architecture to explore where history and theory intersect. Currently she is extending the notion of event through the works of Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze and Slavoj Žižek.

Research interests: Political philosophy of Michel Foucault; Architecture and politics; Intersection of urban space and event; Architecture of the act of trade; Historiography of Iranian modern architecture and urbanism.

Visit Farzaneh’s profile

Marian Macken

Marian's research examines histories and theories of spatial representation; temporal aspects of architecture; and alternative modes of representation and documentation within spatial practice, with particular interest in the implications and possibilities for architectural drawing and exhibition as design outcome. She trained in architecture, landscape architecture and visual art, receiving a PhD, by thesis and creative work from the University of Sydney. Hence, intersections of ideas and techniques between these disciplines, through practice-based research, is of particular interest.

Research interests: Histories and theories of spatial representation; Temporality and spatial practice; Architecture and the book; Inter-disciplinarity and the design process.

Visit Marian’s profile

Manfredo Manfredini

Consistent with his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the technical universities of Milan and Berlin, Manfredo’s research focuses on the intersections between the historical, critical and projective disciplines of architecture and urbanism. It concerns both theoretical and empirical design aspects of the modern and contemporary periods of continuous change within social, cultural and technological frameworks. His study areas, including both fundamental and applied research, are articulated along complementary axes, addressing transitions in public space, evolution of building typology and morphology, advances in sustainability and resilience in architecture and urbanism, and contemporary design education.

Research interests: Public space transitions: form and meaning, borders and armatures, enclaves and networks, illusion and displacements in the spatial transitions from the consumerist to the post-consumerist ages; Urban regeneration: recombinant urban processes and post-typological architecture in rapidly evolving historical cities; Architecture as social morphology: processes of differentiation, hybridisation and incrementalism of type, form and identity between modernity and post-modernity; Sustainability in architecture and urbanism: technological frameworks and environment, energy, resilience and preservation in architecture and urbanism.

Visit Manfredo's profile

Mohsen Mohammadzadeh

Mohsen is an urban planner and designer with 12 years professional experience. He worked in both public and private sectors in Iran and then New Zealand. He has qualifications in Urban and Regional Planning and Design, and Civil Engineering. He specialises in critical urban theory, planning in late capitalism, planning and urban conflicts, globalisation and the emerging global cities, smart city and ethics of big data, transportation and infrastructure planning.

Research interests: Critical Urban Theory; Globalisation and Planning in the Emerging Global Cities; Planning and Urban Conflicts; Smart City, Cybernetic Technology and Ethics of Big Data; Transportation and Infrastructure Planning.

Visit Mohsen’s profile