The Politics of Dissidence in Middle Eastern Urban Space

September 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dr Gehan Selim, Spaces of Liberation’s Lead Researcher, organised and chaired a special panel at the World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.  The panel was fully sponsored by the International Association of Middle Eastern Studies (IAMES) based in Calgary, Canada.



“The Means and Ends of the Grounds for Rebellion”, Prof Aysegul Baykan – Yildiz Technical University, Turkey

“Displacement of Power: The reproduction of public space in post-2011 Arab City”, Dr Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem (Project Leader) – Queen’s University Belfast, UK

 “Visualizing Spatial (In) Justice in Middle Eastern Cities”, Dr Ipek Türeli, Assistant Professor, McGill University, Canada

“Participants and conscripts in Egypt’s urban spaces”, Mr Mohamed Elshahed – New York University, USA

For further information visit:

James Grieve (QUB MArch) third place in 3D Reid competition

August 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Congratulations to James Grieve on his success in the 3D Reid competition with ‘(Re)form- a prison for the city, Belfast’. For more information on the competition and  winning entries, click here.

James Grieve Queens University Belfast





First year at Queen’s Architecture: Sam Mathers

June 13th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Each year Queen’s awards first year students with scholarships for academic achievement and contributing to society and the community. Sam Mathers talks about his experiences of his first year in Architecture in Queen’s. Click on the image below to watch the video.


Architecture at Queen’s ranked 5th in UK

June 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Architecture at Queen’s university ranked 5th in Guardian university guide 2015- out of 43 UK universities

Queen's 5th

“Lines Drawn” To Wales and Back: ASN Conference 2014

May 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

By: Eve Russell (Stage 3 Architecture Student, QUB)

Students who attended lines drawn conference

Students who attended the Lines Drawn conference, during a walk through the CAT site. Photo by: Matthew Murnin (2014) 

The recent ASN (Architecture Students Network) conference took place in Wales, at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology) in Machynlleth, Wales. The title for the discussion led by students was “Lines Drawn” a conference to debate the future of architectural education. The conference was attended by students from throughout the UK and Ireland ranging from undergraduate level right through to Part 3. The event was attended by Pamela Cole, Head of Portsmouth School of Architecture and former chair of Professional Studies Advisors in Architecture (APSAA); Oliver Wainwright, Architecture Correspondent, The Guardian; and Will Hunter, Executive Editor of the Architectural Review and Director of London School of Architecture. ​

The venue hosting the conference was unusual for many of us coming from larger UK cities; however, it opened our eyes to sustainability and the methods that can be used to utilize passive energy. It was a fitting location for a conference exploring and questioning the mainstream routes of education.

Students, deep in discussion at the reservoir.

Students, deep in discussion at the reservoir. Photo by: Matthew Murnin (2014)

Three stage 3 students from QUB received funding to represent Queen’s University and attend the conference in March, Aaron Farrell, Matthew Murnin and myself, Eve Russell. The debates were heated, passionate and lengthy and were a great opportunity for students from throughout the UK and Ireland to discuss their experiences of architectural education. We discussed the role of an architect, both in the past and the future; the importance of practice within architectural training and the structure of architectural education.

A timber construction project by students of CAT.

A timber construction project by students of CAT. Photo by: Matthew Murnin (2014)

This event was liberating for us as students, being able to freely discuss our education and its relevance to an architect’s role in society. From listening to students from other UK and Irish schools, we soon realized how well rounded an education we have been receiving at Queen’s. There are always improvements to be made, of course, but we came away in the knowledge that on the whole, architects have the ability to find a role within a changing society.

WISE (Wales Institute for Sustainable Education) building.WISE (Wales Institute for Sustainable Education) building. Photo by: Matthew Murnin (2014)

Wind Turbine at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology).

Wind Turbine at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology). Photo by: Eve Russell (2014)

New children’s book shines a light on challenges of autism

April 11th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Architects involved with Queen’s make an impact on raising awareness and understanding of how to design to improve the built environment for those with autism.

autism book











Pictured are Dominic Morris (McNally Morris Architects), Peter Lloyd (Illustrator / Designer of the book); David McConnell (Arts Council) and Keith McAllister, ( QUB Architect Lecturer)

McNally Morris Architects, in association with Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast, have used a Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to investigate the relationship between autism and the built environment. The joint research project, building upon ongoing research at QUB, has resulted in the publication of ‘Aldo goes to Primary School’, a book that highlights some of the challenges that a child with autism may encounter in primary school. Launched to coincide with the start of Autism Awareness Month in April, the book illustrates some of the ways in which the built environment is relevant to the everyday experience of the primary school pupil with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and aims to promote a better understanding of an issue that is increasingly important in our society.

The book has been printed and will be distributed free of charge to schools across Northern Ireland.  A PDF copy of the book is also available to download from

To find out more information, please click here.

Seminar with Dr Gehan Selim on Spatial Practices of Revolt: Square-state relations during the Arab Spring protests

March 20th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia

The University of Tokyo, Japan

Mar 6, 2014

CAIRO ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONDr Gehan Selim was the guest speaker at the Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia at the university of Tokyo. She delivered a seminar on ‘Spatial Practices of Revolt: Square-state relations during the Arab Spring protests’. Dr Selim shared her insights on how people gathering in public squares conceptualized their spatial actions of revolt, the manner and tactics that allowed them to occupy the space. She drew on the ways that spatial practices of protests constituted not only rational attempts and practices to bring about societal changes, such as the realization of democracy, but also processes constructing specific social spaces for political contentions, through which actors’ worldviews were both formed, expressed and spatialised during the first 18 days of the Egyptian uprising in 2011. The debate raised several discussions by the audience about the future formation of public spaces and private public relations, gender interaction and the current situation and management of public squares by the state.

To view the Seminar web page in Japanese, click here

For more information on the ‘Spaces of Liberation’ project, click here

Queen’s architecture students turn abandoned mill into flourishing urban farm

March 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Queen’s architecture students have been working alongside the Biospheric Foundation in Salford over the last 12 months to design and implement a multilevel aquaponic system within an old disused mill.


The aim of the project was to determine whether the system could be implemented and successfully operated into an ex-industrial building. The design consists of twelve fish tanks in the upper floor of the mill, adjacent to window growing systems and experimental filtration systems. Additional growing systems are housed within a large polytunnel, located on the rooftop. The system is capable of producing 500 crops and 10kg fish per week, resulting in a very short return on investment.

To find out more,  click here.


Architects Journal- Three Reasons to Visit Belfast

March 12th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Architects' Journal RICE_Page_1

Architects' Journal RICE_Page_2Architects' Journal RICE_Page_3

Exhibition: Traces of Peter Rice

March 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s
28 February – 28 March 2014
Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, Belfast, BT7 1NN
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–4pm


The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, The Naughton Gallery and Arup have joined forces to celebrate the life and work of Queen’s graduate Peter Rice. Rice is widely regarded as Ireland’s most distinguished structural engineer of the late 20th century.

Admission is free.

Further information on the ‘Traces of Peter Rice’ is available online at