Dr. Asma Mehan is the current Postdoc fellow affiliated both at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) program for Port City Futures (PCF). Asma’s main research and teaching interests include cultural and political geography, urban governance, planning history and theory, architectural humanities and Heritage Studies. In terms of geographic location, she conducted research in the Middle East (Tehran, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Istanbul), South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur) as well as Europe (Torino, Berlin, Porto) and the US (Detroit).
Trained as an architect and urban historian, Asma Mehan has studied, taught, and practiced architecture in Iran (Tehran and Isfahan), Italy (Torino), and Portugal (Porto).
In 2017, she completed her Ph.D. in ‘Architecture, History, and Design’ program at the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD), Politecnico di Torino (Italy). Her doctoral thesis examined the relationship between spatial transformation, transnational transfers, planning politics and socio-political changes in Iran and the Middle East.
Between 2017 and 2018, she led a project on ‘Oil Heritage’ in Iran working closely with the ICOMOS and TICCIH in the area of ‘industrial Heritage.’ Between 2018-2019, Asma completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Politecnico di Torino in collaboration with Torino-based Future Urban Legacy Lab (FULL). As a postdoc, she was part of the research project “R-Urban Dynamics in the South East Asia” co-funded by Fondazione San Paolo. Between 2019-2020, Asma was a Postdoc at the CITTA (Research Center for Territory, Transports, and Environment), University of Porto (Portugal). In Port, she was part of the ‘Citizen Sensing’ project co-funded by the European Union working with research partners from Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.
Asma completed research stays in Australia (Deakin University, Melbourne, 2016-2017) and at the EPFL University, Lausanne, Switzerland (2017), and was a researcher in resident at the ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin, 2019.
Asma regularly publishes articles, book chapters, essays, and books. She is the co-author of “Kuala Lumpur: Community, Infrastructure, and Urban Inclusivity” (London and New York: Routledge, 2020). This book argues that elements of urban infrastructure could work as an essential mediator ‘beyond community’, allowing inclusive social structures to be built, despite cultural and religious tensions existing within the city.
She has also published a number of chapters in the edited books: Spaces for living, Spaces for sharing (LetteraVentidue Edizioni, 2020); VADEMECUM: 77 Minor Terms for Writing Urban Places (nai0I0publishers, 2020); Iranian Cities. An emerging urban agenda at a time of drastic alterations (Quodlibet, 2020); Philosophy and the City: Interdisciplinary and Transcultural Perspectives (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2019); Sustainable Real Estate (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019); Suspended Living in Temporary Spaces: Emergencies in the Mediterranean Region (LetteraVentidue Edizioni, 2018); Architectural Research Addressing Societal Challenges (Taylor and Francis, 2017).
Asma has authored multiple papers in international journals such as Cultural Geographies, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, International Journal of Heritage Architecture, Archnet-IJAR, Spaces and Flows, and Contour Journal, and ID: International Dialogue, A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs among others. In addition, for reaching the broader audience, she has published pieces for online outlets such as The Conversation (Africa), The Conversation (Global Pilot), IL GIORNALE DELL'ARCHITETTURA, Writing Urban Places, and The Port City Future blog among others.
Since 2011, Asma Mehan have developed extensive teaching experience at different universities in Iran and Italy. In Iran, Asma was a lecturer in Urban History, Islamic Architecture, and Contemporary History and Theory of Architecture at the different institutions. At the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD), Politecnico di Torino, Asma acted as the Co-tutor of master and bachelor courses in architectural History and Urban Design Studios.
Dr. Mehan has been a guest lecturer at different institutions, including Spatial Planning division at the University of Porto (Portugal, 2020), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, TU Munich (Germany, 2019), OPENHAUS PLUS (Global trifft Lokal) at the ZK/U Berlin Center for Art and Urbanistics (Germany, 2019), and Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI), Deakin University, Melbourne (Australia, 2016).
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