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 Menatalla Kasem

Menatalla Kasem

Research student,

1.40, Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB


I am an architect and a lecturer assistant at Zagazig University, Egypt. Currently I am a Ph.D. student at Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), and a Welsh School of Architecture Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee member.

I was awarded Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Zagazig University in 2016 (very good with honors). Then I started teaching as a demonstrator at Zagazig university in different undergraduate courses including: architectural design studio, architecture construction and building material, urban design, and sciagraphy & perspective, I also worked with students on their graduation projects. Meanwhile, I was working as a freelancer on different scale national and international projects ranging from residential, clinics, squares, compounds, to social & athletic clubs. In 2020 I was awarded Master of Science in Architectural Engineering from Zagazig University. and in the same year, I have also been awarded Interior Design Professional Diploma from The American University in Cairo.

After M.Sc. I worked as a lecturer assistant at Zagazig University, I engaged in studio tutoring and participated in teaching several courses including: architectural design studio, architecture construction and building material, and urban design. In 2021 I started my Ph.D. at Cardiff University, Welsh School of Architecture.


Research interests

I have always been interested in the relationship between the people and the buildings, and how they interact with them. Listening and engaging with people have always been my favourite part of the research.

This led me in my M.Sc. to study the effect of smart buildings on the employees' satisfaction, my thesis titled " Buildings Automation System Impact on Internal Environment: Office Buildings' User Satisfaction as Case Study".

Now in my Ph.D. research am looking into how can public buildings can be more friendly to people with learning disabilities depending on the perspective of people with learning disabilities, as the research's main aim is the prioritization of people with learning disabilities in shaping the built environment they use every day.


Interactive Architecture for People with Learning Disabilities: Utilizing Co-Design to Move Toward Equitable Public Buildings

The full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be protected to all people without any discrimination regarding their ability level. There are more than one billion disabled people around the world, with about 200 million people with a learning disability (World Health Organization 2011). One of the many difficulties encountered by people with a learning disability is the challenge of feeling at ease in the environment, as their interaction with the built environment can be confusing and difficult to negotiate and tolerate. Unfortunately, people with learning disabilities appear to be less advantaged in many settings than those who experience a visible impairment, including public architectural environments. This creates a need for a more inclusive public environment, which is more valuable to people with learning disabilities, as it encourages their independence. But, in order to reach a truly inclusive design the participation of people with learning disabilities through co-design processes is necessary. Interactive solutions for people with learning disabilities have proved to be an excellent way of providing technological support to facilitate their everyday life. This research aims to establish a framework of architectural design guidelines through co-design approach, using interactive architecture as a tool to increase the social interaction of people with learning disabilities outside controlled environments (e.g., special schools, and therapy centres). This will be attainable by adopting a mixed-methods approach through a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. Multi data collection phases will be used to recommend an architectural design guidelines to tackle the architectural barriers that hinder the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the public architectural environment.

Funding source

Egyptian Government


Sam Clark

Dr Sam Clark

Senior Lecturer


Dr Dikaios Sakellariou

Reader: Occupational Therapy