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Supervisor: Professor François Penz and Dr Maximilian Sternberg


Research overview:

The cinematic medium's capacity to elucidate the intricacies of urban phenomena has captured the attention of architects and urbanists, suggesting a form of urban modelling. However, a notable proportion of city and cinema studies predominantly focus on European and Western cities. Consequently, there exists an imperative to expand cinematic urbanism studies to encompass other cultures in the global south.  On the other hand, the issue of urban informality, recognised as one of the most significant urban challenges alongside climate change, has scarcely been examined in terms of its portrayal in mass media. This study seeks to offer valuable insights through film-based analysis into the broader issue of urban informality in developing countries. By utilising cinema's unique capabilities, this research aims to illuminate various aspects related to informality and delve into the lesser-known layers of this mode of urbanisation.



Hamideh, a Cambridge Trust scholar, pursues her PhD in Architecture and holds an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Studies from the University of Cambridge. An architect and urban researcher, her work encompasses cross-disciplinary exploration of architecture and urban studies, with a unique focus on the influence of cinema. With over a decade of professional experience in academia and practice, she has contributed to architectural offices and urban initiatives like the Tehran Research and Planning Centre and Tehran Municipality. Currently, she supervises undergraduates and previously lectured at the Islamic Azad University, blending her rich professional background with her academic journey.