skip to primary navigation skip to content

Somaiyeh Falahat (Dr.–Ing.)

Somaiyeh Falahat (Dr.–Ing.)

Visiting Scholar



  • Since 2016: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2016: Postdoctoral Researcher, College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley
  • 2011-2015: Lecturer/Researcher, Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Architecture, Department of International Urbanism and Centre for Technology and Society


  • Doctorate of Engineering in Theory of Architecture and City, Faculty of Architecture, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus, Germany (supervisor: Prof Eduard Heinrich Führ) (suma cum laude)
  • BSc in Architecture and Urban Planning, Sahand University of Technology, Iran


Current research: Urban Modernity | Postcolonial Discourse | Tehran between 1850-1940

Somaiyeh Falahat is an architect and urban planner with an interest in urban theory, culture and history. She is currently an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow at Department of Geography collaborating with Professor Matthew Gandy. Her recent research engages with milieus of urban modernity exploring urban construction of the 'new civilisation' in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Tehran. As an academic member at Institute of Architecture, Berlin University of Technology, she was awarded the Presidential Excellent Scholars' Award and numerous research grants from the German Federal Foreign Office, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service and Presidential Office of Berlin University of Technology. Somaiyeh led the international programme of Participatory Urban Regeneration: Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran between 2013-2015 ( and sat on the scientific board of the fellowship project, Mahalle meets Stadtquartier: Berlin, Istanbul, Rabat and Tehran between 2014 and 2016. Both projects explored planning and design processes at the intersection of formal and informal urban dynamics at the neighbourhood scale. She was also a teaching and research assistant to the chair of Theory of Architecture and City at Brandenburgische Technische Universität, and co-organised numerous workshops and exhibitions in different cities including Istanbul (Arnavutköy neighbourhood centre) and Tehran (Frouzesh neighbourhood). She has also been a visiting scholar at University of Newcastle and Oxford Brookes University, and a guest lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and SOAS London.

Somaiyeh authored Re-imaging the City (Springer, 2014; translated to Persian, 2018) and published in international journals on urban design, culture and history. Her recent book Cities and Metaphors: Beyond Imaginaries of Islamic Urban Space (Routledge, 2018), introducing a new concept of urban space, encourages a theoretical realignment of how the city is experienced, thought and discussed.



Cities and Metaphors: Beyond Imaginaries of Islamic Urban Space Re-imaging the City - a Conceptualisation of Urban Logic of the 'Islamic City' New Town versus Old Town: Study on the Urban Form and Energy Efficiency

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Shirazi, R., Falahat, S. (2017): Facilitator Offices: a Participatory Tool for Regenerating Degraded Areas? In: Citizens' Participation in Urban Planning and Development in Iran, Eds. Dienel, H., Shirazi, R., Schröder, S. (Abington: Routledge).
  • Falahat, S. (2013): Energy Efficient Micro-urban Prototypes. In: Energy and Sun, Eds. Eltrop, L., Tesling, T. (Berlin: Jovis Verlag), 140-153.
  • Falahat, S. (2013): Simulation of Reference Halls in Iran. In: Architectural Progression, a Handbook, Eds. Bohm, A., Frank, U. (Berlin: Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin), 101-104.


  • Since 2016: Part II Global Urbanism (contributions and supervisions)
  • 2017: Part IA Cultural Geography (supervisions)