The Bartlett School of Architecture

Miss Ava Fatah gen. Schieck

Miss Ava Fatah gen. Schieck

Reader in Media Architecture and Urban Digital Interaction

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
15th Oct 2001

Research summary

My research interests lie primarily in Architecture and Interaction Design; exploring adaptive and generative design approaches, and Ubiquitous Computing and Urban Design; how spatial experience is increasingly mediated through pervasive digital media technologies and how this triggers a significant shift in the way we think about public space and its social importance, as it is mediated by these technologies. In my work I focus on the emergent ways of designing sapce, and in particular, how the museum and work environments are impacted through the interplay between the digital media space and the physical space, how this overall triggers an important shift in the way we live and work. The core of my inquiry explores the body as design material combining architectural space, body movement, choreography, and dance, how this relates to our affective experience, and how the design of mediated interactions relates to situated,  embodied, and performative interactions. I have explored this through my studio teaching activities, and scholarly work resulting in creative installations, design projects and publications.

My research work is pratice-based and explores the design, implementation and evaluation of location-based experiences mediated through mobile and situated digital technologies. I'm in particular  interested in exploring the embodied (full body interaction) and performative aspects of mediated interactions within the urban context demonstrated through my work as a Senior Research Fellow on the research project 'Cityware: Urban Design and Pervasive Systems' (www.cityware.org.uk).

Current research focuses on exploring critical design issues related to implementation of public screens in urban space (www.screensinthewild.org). Another line of enquiry on a city scale (Whose Right to the Smart City) critically addresses the Smart City agenda, and investigates the role of ICT's in marginalised communities at a range of global contexts (UK, India, and Brazil).

 I have lectured and presented my work internationally (Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Finland, Holland, Italy, Japan, USA, Chile, France). My work on architectural space and its transformation and acquisition through new media and pervasive technologies, was published extensively in peer reviewed Journals and Conferences.

Teaching summary

At the Bartlett School of Architecure I teach on the MSc Architectural Computation (formerly  Adaptive Architecture and Computation AAC) since its inception (2005). The Embodied and Embedded Interactions unit I teach on this course introduces the concepts and processes of embedding and embodiment within the architectural space. These are used to conduct creative and detailed explorations relating to understanding the space of potential interactionsThe unit consists of two studios 1) The Body as Interface: exploring space perception, body movement, choreography, dance and performative interactions and the relation to our affective experience. 2) The City as Interface: everyday interactions are increasingly mediated through digital media technologies, from RFID and GPS systems to social media, smartphones, Internet of Things and networked urban screens. This module focuses on public space and the embodied and performative aspects of the spatial experience mediated through digital and increasingly location based digital technologies


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2008
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Certificate in Learning and Teaching | 2007
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2001
University of Cologne
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 1999


Ava Fatah is an Architect, Educator and Researcher. She is Reader (Associate Professor) in Media Architecture and Urban Digital Interaction on the MSc Architectural Computation (formerly Adaptive Architecture and Computation) programme at the Bartlett, UCL. Her  research work has developed since 2001 through her post-graduate studies and the teaching and research positions she held at UCL.  Ava joined the Bartlett in Oct 2001, as a member of the Space Research Group, and affiliated with the VR centre for the built environment, which has held a number of EPSRC funded awards.

Ava was the UCL recognised researcher on the research project 'Urban Design and Pervasive Systems funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's WINES programme and the lead academic of the ‘SCREAM’ project funded by 'UrbanBuzz: Building sustainable Communities' programme. She is the Principle Investigator of the Research in the  Wild funded project 'Screens in the Wild’, which aims to explore the potential of networked urban screens for communities and culture. One of her main contributions to the field was published in the Urban Screens Reader; the first book to offer an anthology of extracts from key texts that provides a rich resource and focuses entirely on the topic of urban screens and media facades. Ava is a programme chair on the Media Architecture Biennale series 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 and serves regularly on the programme committees of conferences/symposia that bring together interaction design, media, HCI and architecture and she is a member Placemaking Leadership Council (US). 

Ava has published over 100 publications in peer review journals and academic venues. She acts as a peer-reviewer for various Human Computer Interaction related Journals. She is a reviewer for grant and fellowship application national (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK EPSRC, UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, MRC), and international (Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), FWF Austrian Science Fund, and The Industrial Research Fund (IOF), University of Leuven, Belgium).