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Principal Investigators:


Koen Steemers

Prof Koen Steemers

Koen's current research addresses the architectural and urban implications of sustainable development issues ranging from energy use to human well-being. He has been Head of Department (2008-14) and Head of Research as Director of the Martin Centre (2003-08). He is an architect and environmental design specialist and is listed as one of the "top 50 most influential people in UK sustainability" by Building Design. Koen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2017 "in recognition of his distinguished career and his international standing as one of the world's experts on sustainable building design".

Ingrid Schroeder

Ingrid Schröder 

Ingrid Schröder is the founding Director of Cambridge Design Research Studio and a practicing architect. She has taught at Cambridge since 2001 and served as a Design Tutor and Lecturer on Urban Theory here and at the Architectural Association and ETH Zurich. She has been directing the MPhil / RIBA Part II programme since 2011. Her current projects in teaching, research and practice focus on the relationship between political thought, civic space and urbanism.



Research Assistants:



Reham Elwakil

Reham recently completed her MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at Cambridge University. Her research continues to focus on the Nubian diasporic identity in contemporary Egypt and the socio-political consequences of the community’s forced displacement in the 1960’s. Her research uses an anthropological approach to convey the intergenerational experiences of forced displacement and the socio-spatial articulation of the contested notion of return.





Rachel Burgess

Rachel Burgess

Rachel has responsibility for planning, finances, and day-to-day project management for the Cambridge Pop-Machina team.  Prior to this she was the administrator for ‘CineMuseSpace’, an AHRC funded research project involving Architecture, Film and Museum studies, and ‘Domestic Devotions’, a major interdisciplinary project on the Italian Renaissance.  Alongside her work on Pop-Machina, she is REF Impact Administrator at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics.

Former members:



Nicoletta Michalatos

Before joining Pop-Machina, Nicoletta completed an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Cambridge. She has worked with architects and research groups, both in South Africa and the UK. Her MPhil research focused on the significance of a particular street in Cape Town and the future of learning in cities. She has also written on the work of mostly Africa-based artists and architects.




Ioana Gherghel

Ioana has worked with several architecture practices focusing on public projects before completing her MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Cambridge where she started writing and developing her interest in the politics of edges in public space.




Joseph Marchbank

Joseph is currently completing his MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design, which speculates on the impact IKEA’s recent entry into the Indian consumer market will have on the production of homes. He was recently involved in a research project in Tanzania, in which he investigated the effect plans for a Chinese-funded container port have had on local development.




Dustin May

Dustin is currently an MPhil student in the Architecture and Urban Design course at Cambridge University. His research focuses on the socio-political and environmental consequence of stone quarrying within the West Bank. By looking into repurposing disused quarries, his interests lie in the connection between landscape, material and architecture.




Jennifer Smith

Jennifer is an MPhil Architecture and Urban Design student at Cambridge University. She is currently investigating sustainable regeneration strategies for regional High Streets, through an exploration of maker spaces, 'slow' architecture, and community asset management principles.




Charlotte Burrows


Ellen Pierson


Carolyn Smith



Other circular economy projects at the Department of Architecture:


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