The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Azadeh Mashayekhi

Dr. Azadeh Mashayekhi

Teaching Fellow

Development Planning Unit

Joined UCL

April 2017

Research Summary

My research focuses on the political economy of urban change, and explores the mechanisms by which urban change takes place in cities of the global south. My research interests focus on postcolonial critique of urban studies and specially on political and institutional dynamics of city making practices in the context of the Global South, in particular Middle Eastern cities. My current research project examines the link between urban development and planning practices and broader structures of political economy in Middle Eastern cities, in particular Tehran.


Teaching Summary

Much of my teaching arises from my research interests and professional work. I contribute regularly to various components of the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development and I teach the following modules:

- “Building and Urban Design in Practice” –including fieldtrips to Myanmar and Italy

- Coordinator and facilitator of DPU SummerLab workshops in Amman, London, Jerusalem and Athens.



Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture

     PhD, Urban Planning | 2019

Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture

    MSc, European Master in Urbanism (EMU) | 2009

Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Faculty of Art and Architecture

    MArch Architecture | 2004



I originally trained as an architect in Iran, and later as an urban planner in the Netherlands at the Technical University of Delft (TUDelft), I have specialized over the years in the fields of architecture, urban design and planning.

I have over 10 years’ international experience in research and practice in different countries in the Middle East and Europe. As an academic my work focuses on political and institutional dynamics of urban development and planning practices in the context of the global south. Over the years I worked for several international organizations, offices, and universities including UNESCO in Iran, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and University of Westminster in London. I have been working on several urban design and master plan projects at (OMA) in Rotterdam – I have been involved in various teaching courses at the department of Urbanism (TUDelft), and also took part in number of research projects at TUDelft and University of Westminster. Currently I am part of the editorial team at the International journal of Planning Practice and Research.

My PhD research structured around development theory, and focused on documenting the ways in which local and geopolitical politics affect urban policy and the urbanisation processes of Tehran and more generally cities of the global south in the 20th century. The research traced the role of local planning institutions and bilateral development agencies in reshaping Tehran and asked how are planning practices and visions are linked to broader structures of political economy.


The 1968 Tehran Master Plan and the Politics of Planning Development in Iran (1945-1979)’, Journal of Planning Perspective (2018), DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2018.1468805


‘Politics of Building Tehran after the Islamic Revolution’, in H. Yacobi and M. Nasasra (eds.) Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities, London: Routledge. 2018. 


 ‘Middle East and Brutalist Architecture’, (2017) in O. Elser and P. Kurz (eds) Global Survey of Brutalist Architecture from the 1950s to 1970s, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany: 245-248


The Inefficiencies of Energy Efficiency: Reviewing the Strategic Role of Energy Efficiency and its Effectiveness in Alleviating Climate Change, (2016) (with Stephen Read and Erik Lindhult), Journal of Settlements and Spatial Planning, no.5, 2016: 77-87 


 ‘Tehran the Scene of Modernity in the Pahlavi Dynasty: Modernization and Urbanization Process of Tehran 1925-1979’. in F. Arefian and Moeini (Eds) (2016), Urban Change in Iran, Urban book series, 2016, Springer: 103-121


Making Something out of Nothing. (with Brendan Cormier) (2015), Special issue for Venice Architecture Biennale, Volume magazine, issue 41


The Persistence of Aging Tehran’s Bazaar (market place) (2012). Volume magazine, issue 27