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Department of Architecture



Dr. Michal Gath Morad is an Assistant Professor at University of Cambridge’s Department of Architecture, where she directs her own research group - Cambridge Cognitive Architecture. She is an architect holding a PhD in cognitive science, conducting research around three key themes: understanding how architecture impacts spatial cognition, translating behavioral findings into evidence-based design tools, and analyzing how evidence influences architects' cognition, design communication, and design outcomes. She is an honorary research associate at UCL’s Space Syntax Lab, a fellow and Director of Studies in Architecture at Peterhouse College in Cambridge, as well as a visiting lecturer at the Chair of Cognitive Science at ETH Zurich



● Evidence-Based Design in Architecture

● Simulation-powered co-design in architecture and urban design

● Wayfinding by architecture

● Spatial cognition

● Active buildings and cities

● Behavioural experiments in virtual reality

● Cognitive agent modelling and simulation

● Choice Architecture

● Architectural design pedagogy

● Design cognition

Current Research Projects

● Simulation-Powered Co-Design for Resilient Built Environments (March 22-March 24), as part of a Post.Doc Mobility grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland. In collaboration with Prof. Koen Steemers and Prof. Kerstin Sailer (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL).

● cogARCH: Linking Cognition and Architecture (June 21-August 22), as part of an ETH innovedum grant, in collaboration with Prof. Christoph H lscher (Chair of Cognitive Science ETH Zürich)


Key publications: 

Journal articles

● Gath-Morad, M., Melgar, L. E. A., Conroy-Dalton, R., & H lscher, C. (2022). Beyond the Shortest-Path: Towards Cognitive Occupancy Modelling in BIM. Automation in Construction, 135, 104131.

● Mavros, P., Conroy Dalton, R., Kuliga, S., Gath-Morad, M., Robson, S., & H lscher, C. (2021). Architectural Cognition Cards: a Card-Based Method for Introducing Spatial Cognition Research and User-Centred Thinking into the Design Process. Architectural Science Review, 1-18.

● Gath-Morad, M., Thrash, T., Schicker, J., H lscher, C., Helbing, D., & Aguilar Melgar, L. E. (2021). Visibility Matters During Wayfinding in the Vertical. Nature Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-15.

● Dubey, R. K., Khoo, W. P., Gath-Morad, M., H lscher, C., & Kapadia, M. (2020). AUTOSIGN: A Multi-Criteria Optimization Approach to Computer-Aided Design of Signage Layouts in Complex Buildings. Computers & Graphics, 88, 13-23.

● Schaumann, D., Pilosof, N. P., Gath-Morad, M., & Kalay, Y. E. (2020). Simulating the Impact of Facility Design on Operations: a Study in An Internal Medicine Ward. Facilities. 


● Aguilar, L.*, Gath-Morad, M.*, Grübel, J.*, Ermatinger, J., Zhao, H., Wehrli, S., ... & H lscher, C. (2022). Experiments as Code: A Concept for Reproducible, Auditable, Debuggable, Reusable, & Scalable Experiments. arXiv preprint arXiv:2202.12050.

● Dubey, R. K., Gath-Morad, M., Sohn, S. S., Xue, D., Thrash, T., H lscher, C., & Kapadia, M. (2022). Cognitively Grounded Floorplan Optimization to Nudge Occupant Route Choices. Available at SSRN 4003119. 

Conference papers

● Gath-Morad, M., Baur, R., & H lscher, C. (2022). Towards an Evidence-Based Simulation Toolkit for Architectural Design Pedagogy. In EDRA53 Greenville HEALTH IN ALL DESIGN: PROMOTING HEALTH, EQUITY, SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN.

● Grübel, J.*, Gath-Morad, M.*, Aguilar, L.*, Thrash, T., Sumner, R. W., H lscher, C., & Schinazi, V. (2021). Fused Twins: A Cognitive Approach to Augmented Reality Media Architecture. In Media Architecture Biennale 20 (pp. 215-220).

● Gath-Morad, M., Aguilar, L., Dalton, R. C., & H lscher, C. (2020, May). COGARCH: Simulating Wayfinding by Architecture in Multilevel Buildings. In Proceedings of the 11th Annual Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (pp. 1-8).

● Gath-Morad12, M., Zinger, E., Schaumann, D., & Kalay, N. P. P. Y. E. (2018). A Dashboard Model to Support Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Simulated Human Behavior in Future Built Environments. in depth, 12, 13.

● Schaumann, D., Gath-Morad, M., Zinger, E., Pilosof, N. P., Sopher, H., Brodeschi, M., ... & Kalay, Y. E. (2016, May). A Computational Framework to Simulate Human Spatial Behavior in Built Environments. In SimAUD 2016 Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design.

Book Chapters

● Gath-Morad, M. (2022, April). Towards Cognitive Urbanism: Employing Choice Architecture to Design Active Cities. In FUTURE CITIES – CITY FUTURES. Emerging Voices for the [(Post-)Pandemic] City. Delft Press.

● Gath-Morad, M., Schaumann, D., Zinger, E., Plaut, P. O., & Kalay, Y. E. (2016, May). How Smart is the Smart City? Assessing the impact of ICT on cities. In International Workshop on Agent Based Modelling of Urban Systems (pp. 189-207). Springer, Cham. 


● Veddeler, C., Kuijper,J., Gath-Morad, M., Van Der Wal, I. (2022, April). FUTURE CITIES –CITY FUTURES. Emerging Voices for the Post-Pandemic City. TU Delft OPEN Publishing.

Assistant Professor (BArch, MSc, PhD)
Fellow and Incoming Director of Studies in Architecture and Design, Peterhouse

Contact Details

The James Dyson Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QA, UK
+44 (0) 1223332976