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.

Areas of research

  • 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

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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.

Areas of research

  • Contemporary Japanese architecture
  • Contemporary practice and design
  • The use of non-standard structural systems in architecture
  • Design as research
  • Architectural representation

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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.

Areas of research

  • Maori and Pacific art and architectural history
  • Indigenous design
  • Indigenousness homelessness and houselessness
  • Cultural property rights
  • Indigenous digital humanities

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Julia Gatley

Julia is an Associate Professor of Architecture, specialising in architectural history and heritage conservation. She has written widely on New Zealand architecture.

Areas of research

  • Modern and postmodern architecture
  • New Zealand architecture
  • Conservation of significant 20th century buildings

Recent projects/research

  • Group Architects
  • Athfield Architects
  • New Zealand’s modern heritage buildings
  • The history of architectural education in New Zealand
  • The history of medium- and high-density housing in New Zealand
  • New Zealand architecture since 1984

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Farzaneh Haghighi

Dr. Farzaneh Haghighi is a senior lecturer in Architecture (history, theory and criticism). Her research explores the nexus between political philosophy, architecture and urbanism to enrich our creative analysis of complex built environments. In particular she is interested in understanding the political role of architecture.

Areas of reseach

  • Architecture, politics and economy
  • Urban space and social movements
  • Political philosophy of Michel Foucault
  • Historiography of Iranian modern architecture and urbanism

Recent projects/research

  • Co-editor of two volumes of Routledge Handbook of Architecture, Urban Space and Politics (forthcoming, to be published in 2021 and 2022). In total there are 60 international contributors from across the world contributing to this peer-reviewed collection of essays
  • The architectural and urban manifestation of the modern police, and the role of urban streets and public squares in social movements
  • Co-editor of the open-access journal Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts (2020:20), under the theme of 'Political Matters'
  • A particular interest in exploring a contemporary spatial-political event by using a philosophical concept mainly from the works of Michel Foucault

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Marian Macken

Dr Marian Macken teaches in design and architectural media in the School of Architecture and Planning. She trained in architecture, landscape architecture and visual art, receiving a PhD, by thesis and creative work.

Areas of research

  • Histories and theories of spatial representation
  • Architectural drawing and media
  • Time and architecture
  • Architecture and the book
  • Inter-disciplinarity and the design process

Recent projects/research

  • Aaron Paterson, Sarosh Mulla, Marian Macken, Drawing Room Toi Moroki ǀ Centre of Contemporary Art Christchurch (CoCA), 27 November 2020 – 21 February 2021
  • Aaron Paterson, Sarosh Mulla and Marian Macken, 'Drawing the Room | Drawing within the Room', Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice 5.2 (2020): 261–275
  • Marian Macken and Fiona Harrisson, In-Place and In-Time, International Journal of Design Education  39: 3 (2020): 635-647
  • Marian Macken, ‘Passage’, in The Artful Plan, edited by Martin Søberg and Anna Hougaard (Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 2020), 38–45
  • Marian Macken, Sarosh Mulla and Aaron Paterson, ‘Inhabiting drawing – 1:1 in time and space’, Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), Volume 1. Edited by Matthias Hank Haeusler, Marc Aurel Schnabel and Tomohiro Fukuda. Hong Kong: CAADRIA, 2019: 505–514

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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.

Areas of research

  • 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

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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, Urban Design, Academic Practice, and Civil Engineering.

Areas of research

  • Critical Urban Theory
  • Decolonisation of Planning
  • Planning and urban conflicts
  • Smart City and the Ethics of emerging technologies
  • Disruptive Mobility and its impacts on future cities   

Recent projects/research

  • Disruptive Mobility and its impact on travel behaviour
  • Micro-mobility as a support to attain SDGs
  • Decolonising Planning
  • The role of AI, machine learning and digital twinning in reshaping planning in late capitalism

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