Portsmouth School of Architecture

PhD Research

Our Research Degree Students

Nicholas Ardill

Nicholas Ardill

Places of Social Innovation (POSI)

Abstract

This PhD study focuses on investigating the impact of Places of Social Innovation(POSI) on the urban milieu. By looking at emerging landscapes of urban food production, the aim is to explore what social innovation centred on urban food production is actually doing to cities, and understanding how this spatial transformation of the built environment may pose societal benefits and drawbacks.

Supervisors

Marianna Gardener

Marianna Gardener

Urban environment and health are connected

Abstract

Pathways to poor health have multifaceted contributors that include environmental factors, lifestyle choices, inherent sensitivities, social capital and economic status. Compared to third world countries where communicable diseases, poverty and slum dwelling go hand in hand; in the UK there is a direct correlation between socioeconomic status, place of residence and non-communicable disease levels despite living in a home with the luxury of modern amenities such as heating, water and sewage plumbing. 

Social inequities in health are defined by the uneven distribution of social conditions and determinants and these clearly play their part at individual city local levels. This is evidenced by people who live in the same city in higher socioeconomic wards, living longer, presenting with lower levels of non-communicable disease when compared to people living in lower socioeconomic wards. However, what if there is an additional, undiagnosed, missing link? 

My research will evaluate and compare, the as yet, undefined unrecognized perceived neighbourhood environmental influences that are contributing to the health and wellbeing status of residents living in two or more contrasting socioeconomic wards within Portsmouth, Hampshire. A clearer recognition of environmental factors that are contributing to health inequalities will help guide local government agencies take responsibility for regeneration of areas. Health can then be improved through creating opportunities for high levels of community participation that will lead to high social cohesion, reduced fear of crime, improved security and services, provision of green spaces, walkability, active transport and availability of good food (Marmot, 2015)1

1 Marmot, M. (2015). The Health Gap. The Challenge of an Unequal World. London: Bloomsbury.

Supervisors

Antonio Lara-Hernandez

Antonio Lara-Hernandez

Streetscape design and temporary appropriation of public space in the world heritage of Mexico City Centre

Abstract

A vast literature discusses the physical attributes of built environment for the purposes of creating lively and inclusive public spaces through temporary appropriation by citizens. Here, the term “temporary appropriation” is defined as the act in which people use and appropriate public spaces to carry out individual or collective activities other than the purpose that the space was originally designed for. Public spaces that allow and facilitate temporary appropriation as usually perceived as a desirably, because it means that the citizens feel identified with their built environment. So far, very little attention has been paid to the role of streetscape design facilitating a temporary appropriation.

This investigation analyses the relationship between the streetscape design and temporary appropriation in Mexico City Centre. Firstly, it identifies the urban design elements of the streetscape that are related to temporary appropriation, and secondly, it determines and classifies the activities in which citizens appropriate the streets through specific activities. Moreover, it analyses the existing legal framework regarding the use of the street as public space and its management within the specific area of study.

Therefore, this PhD study aims to unriddle the relationship between the streetscape and temporary appropriation in order to clarify design patterns aimed to improve and maintain the world cultural heritage site of Mexico City Centre.

1st Supervisor: Dr Alessandro Melis

Yazid Khemri

Yazid Khemri

The social and environmental implications of the emerging sustainability trends on the built environment of the city of Algiers

Abstract

This PhD project aims at contributing to the development of the concept of sustainable design in Algeria, with an emphasis on the city of Algiers. The proposed research will assess and evaluate the Algerian strategic plan which was adopted to transform Algiers into a mega city by 2030. The analysis will identify the environmental and social impacts of the strategic plan on the built environment of Algiers in order to provide a better understanding, among planning, design and architecture professionals, of the implications of the emerging sustainability trends in the country.

Supervisors

Najla Mansour

Najla Mansour

How studying the performance of traditional houses of the historical city of Homs can inform the design process and performance of future regeneration of the residential urban fabric of the old part of Homs

Studying the building performance of traditional houses of Homs, Syria

Abstract

Different researches on courtyard houses in Syria claim that the traditional courtyard houses offer excellent solutions for natural ventilation. These researches recommend rebuilding these houses in modern cities in Syria. The use of black basalt, courtyard’s square shape, and the absence of the wind catchers makes the traditional courtyard houses in Homs, a central region city in Syria, stand out from other counterparts in other cities in Syria. Architects are claiming that natural ventilation systems in these houses helps in creating thermal comfort for occupants and save a significant amount of energy from mechanical air-conditioning systems.  However, there is no absolute proof or study that these courtyard houses in Homs can provide acceptable natural ventilation or thermal comfort rates in today’s urban context.

Nowadays, as a result of the Syrian crisis, those traditional courtyard houses within the city centre of Homs   have been largely damaged and few were demolished. Consequently, they are threatened of being replaced by new modern blocks since most of these houses are not listed as historic buildings. Therefore, my research aims to spot the light on the embodied traditional knowledge of neglected traditional houses of the historical urban fabric of Homs. In addition to investigate possibilities to reconnect the future architecture of the City of Homs to its traditional architecture while maintaining higher building performance and being culturally accepted by the current generation As a result of the study, I am hoping to produce design suggestions and solutions of the implementations of the traditional architectural features/elements within new buildings in Homs. Different sets of virtual environmental analysis will be used to prop these aspects in current state of the houses as well as after the proposed regeneration strategies.   

Supervisors

Monika Szopinska-Mularz

Monika Szopinska-Mularz

Regenerating the compact city through urban farming: nature-based solutions for social, economic and environmental sustainability

Abstract

Currently, climate change and the depletion of natural resources are the main concerns worldwide. It is increasingly understood that cities are engines of economic powerand for that reason, they have a crucial role in shaping the ecological future. However, there is a growing gap between urbanisation trends and what is really important to shift to a more sustainable urban form. The crucial element for creating more liveable cities is the improvement of contemporary patterns in food growing, processing, transporting and retailing. Therefore urban farming has become a prominent topic of public discourse as an important element of urban regeneration, which can bring a number of social, environmental and economic benefits.

Urban farming is considered as one of the solutions for high- density cities to improve urban climate and increase the number of green areas while providing the productive reuse of urban organic waste and reducing the urban energy footprint. Urban gardens can build a sense of community, encourage a healthy lifestyle and provide new employment. Additionally, farms in urban areas can be implemented in a way that mimics natural cycles, the flow of nutrients and cooperation between plants and animals, which contributes to the production of healthy food for urbanites.

My research aim is to identify urban farms, which are based on solutions created by nature and investigate their influence on urban regeneration, which leads to social, economic and environmental sustainability. Another important aspect of the study is to analyse barriers and challenges for urban agriculture in high- density cities. This will lead to the development of guiding principles for the implementation of urban farming as an important solution for the regeneration of compact cities.

Supervisors
  • 1st Supervisor: Prof. Steffen Lehmann

Our Research Areas

We invite PhD applications in the following research areas:

Matter of the Manor

Matter of the Manor', material conversations at Wymering Manor, Cosham, Hants

Interior Design Practice

  • Representation theory and practice
  • Mapping the environment
  • Interior design theory and practice
  • Materials and application
  • Emodied methodologies and practice
  • The retail environment
  • Adaptive reuse of historic and existing building
Heliopolis 21

Heliopolis 21 Architects (Alessandro Melis, Gian Luigi Melis, Nico Panizzi), Stella Maris Research Institute and Hospital, Pisa (Italy), Architectural Competition 1st Prize, 2016

Sustainable Architecture

  • Environmental design systems
  • Sustainable environments and design
Interior Architecture and Design students using 'card games' to analyse and assess design projects

Interior Architecture and Design students using 'card games' to analyse and assess design projects

Architecture Design Pedagogy and Theory

  • Design pedagogy (studio culture)
Vauban, Freiburg, Germany

Vauban, Freiburg, Germany

Architecture and Urban Design, Regeneration and Related Issues

  • Urban planning
  • Urban histories and cultures
  • Architectural history and theory
  • Urban conservation and regeneration
  • Green Infrastructures
  • Sustainable urban design
  • Urban design history, theory and analysis
  • Coastal settlements
  • Landscape design