I am a design researcher and educator and a Lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture (MA Architectural Design), and work as a Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (MSc Building and Urban Design in Development), and as Studio Master at the Architectural Association (MA/MArch Housing and Urbanism).
My main research interests and publications focus on the significance of obsolescing processes in the dynamics of governance of the contemporary city, and on participatory design methodologies. I practised as an architect in Rome, where I later co-founded Laboratorio Arti Civiche — a trans-disciplinary research group whose work centred on participatory design research experiences and performances, most often with communities of squatters. I completed my PhD in Development Planning in 2019, with a thesis questioning the actual emergence of emancipatory design practices in informal settlements in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, I conducted a twelve-month fieldwork based on ethnographic research methods.
I have long term experience of participatory design research along with urban poor communities, in United Kingdom, Italy, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar, Brazil, Turkey, China, Somaliland. I have been a long term collaborator of the Community Architects Network, a programme funded by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights. My article “The depoliticisation of housing policies: the case of Borei Keila land-sharing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia” was awarded the 2017 Best Early Career Article Prize by the International Journal of Housing Policy, for being “by far the most ambitious of all the submitted articles in terms of engaging with ideas and the global context, yet at the same time painting a vivid and convincing picture of the housing/political realities in the locality.”