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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement



Irit Katz is an architect and scholar who focuses on the socio-political and cultural aspects of architecture and urbanism. Her work examines the dynamic relations between the built environment and the changing human condition, covering a range of historical and contemporary areas and geographical contexts. She is particularly interested in the processes through which human environments are formed and reshaped in extreme situations such as forced displacement and violent conflicts, as well as in the role of spaces of everyday life in mediating social, ethnic and cultural diversity. Her research examines these environments as ever-changing spatial constellations through which political negotiations and cultural transformations are staged and reworked. 

Irit’s research has won numerous academic awards including the SAH/Mellon Author Award and the RIBA President’s Award for Research and her work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Public Culture, City, Political Geography, Progress in Human Geography and The Journal of Architecture. Her forthcoming monograph, The Common Camp: Spatial Instruments of Power and Resistance on the Edge of Architecture (University of Minnesota Press), focuses on Israel-Palestine as an extensive laboratory of camps and examines how camps, whether employed by colonial, national and global powers as instruments of control or constructed ad hoc as makeshift spaces of resistance and refuge, are used as versatile mechanisms by which modern societies and territories are administered, negotiated and reorganised. In her forthcoming co-edited volume Camps Revisited (Rowman & Littlefield’s series Geopolitical Bodies, Material Worlds), the multifaceted spatial forms and meanings of the camp are examined in multiple geopolitical contexts.

Irit held academic position at the University of Pennsylvania, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the University of Sheffield. She holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of Cambridge, MA (Magna Cum Laude) in Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies and a B.Arch (Cum Laude) in Architecture. Her career as a practicing architect in Tel Aviv and in London includes work on large scale housing projects such as Peabody Avenue social housing in Pimlico, London (for Haworth Tompkins) and the design of the winning entry for the English Partnerships bid for the housing scheme of the Victorian Stonehouse Hospital in Dartford, Kent (for HTA Architects).


  • Spaces of displacement, migration and refuge
  • Urban spaces of ethnic and cultural diversity, exclusion and inequality
  • Camps (refugee camps, migrant camps, resettlement camps, protest camps, detention camps, etc.)
  • Transnational and urban borderscapes
  • Spaces of conflict and violence
  • Housing, including rights and evictions, emergency shelters and diaspora homes
  • The relations between politics, aesthetics, and poetics
  • Prticipatory architecture and urban design
  • Critical theories, including urban critical theories, feminist theories, post/decolonial theories and political philosophy
Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Studies
Dr Irit  Katz
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: