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Personal profile

Research profile

In her research, Rachel explores histories of colonial and postcolonial architecture and urbanism. She investigates how constructed space intersects with migration and exile, transnational practice, heritage, mobility, and gender. Focusing mainly on South Asia and East Africa, she is committed to collaborative, interdisciplinary research that is often supported by digital methods and tools.

From 2015-2017 she directed the interdisciplinary research project Simulizi Mijini/Urban Narratives. Exploring urban heritage “from below”, the project brought together numerous academics, activists, educators, students, artists and writers in Berlin, Germany and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Since 2017 she has contributed to the ERC-funded research project Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile (METROMOD). Her research has focused on contact zones in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the mid-twentieth century.

Currently, she is a Mellon Fellow with the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s Centring Africa project. Picking up on her interest in “tropical architecture” she is investigating “Tropical Architecture Made in Bavaria? The Institut für Tropenbau and the Making of Social Infrastructure in Africa” together with Monika Motylinska.

With Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi she has developed and curated the ongoing Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration project with dossiers collected on three open access platforms: On Margins (ABE), On Diffractions (CCA) and On Collaborations (Aggregate).

Her work has been published on a diverse range of platforms, from high-ranking, peer-reviewed journals such as CSSAAME to online media outlets, including the widely-read Scroll.in. She is committed to open access and to working with local publishers as far as possible. Rachel has been invited to present her work around the world and embraces the opportunity to engage audiences beyond academia.

Academic background

Rachel studied Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, graduating with a BArch(hons). At the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee she attained a Diploma (Master’s equivalent) in Architecture before completing a Doctorate in Engineering at the Habitat Unit, Berlin University of Technology.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctorate, Negotiating Modernities: Otto Koenigsberger’s Works and Networks in Exile (1933-1951), Technical University of Berlin

Award Date: 8 Jan 2014

Master's degree, Architecture. Thesis: Spaces of Migration, Kunsthochschule Berlin

Award Date: 5 Nov 2003

Bachelor's degree, Architecture, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 28 Nov 2001

External positions

Mellon Fellow, Centring Africa, CCA-Canadian Centre for Architecture

2019 → …

Post-Doc Fellow: Institute of Art History, Ludwig Maximilians University


Member of the Editorial Board, ABE: Architecture Beyond Europe

2016 → …

Senior Researcher: Habitat Unit, Chair of International Urbanism and Design, Institute of Architecture, Technical University of Berlin


Research Associate, Department of Art History, Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg


Lecturer: Urban Management Masters Course, Urban Management Programme, Technical University of Berlin


German Management Committee Member, COST Action IS0904: European Architecture Beyond Europe


Lecturer, Space Strategies Masters Course, Kunsthochschule Berlin

2007 → …


  • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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