The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Giovanna Astolfo

Dr Giovanna Astolfo

Senior Teaching Fellow

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
27th Oct 2014

Research summary

Giovanna's background is in architecture and urban design; she is teaching fellow and research associate at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, where she combines teaching, research, consultancy and project management on a variety of global projects in Latin America, West Africa and South East Asia, with a focus on informal urbanisms, continuous displacement and refuge, and housing rights. Further research interests are related to the ethics of design, especially the social role of architects and the legacy of the community architecture movement. Her teaching practice looks into challenging the boundaries of participatory design toward more socially just mode of housing and space production.


Giovanna hold a PhD at School of Urbanism in Venice. Her PhD research focused on land and housing practices in border cities, which triggered a three-year collective design investigation for the radical re-appropriation of abandoned military land with a multi-stakeholder participatory process in different small and medium cities in Italy. Giovanna has worked as an architect in between studies, in architectural offices in Venice and São Paulo, on international projects and competitions for the re-appropriation of vacant buildings and marginal areas.