Katharine Bartsch

Dr Katharine Bartsch

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture and Built Environment

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


My research examines how human mobility shapes the built environment, specifically Islamic architecture. The emergence and diffusion of Islam can be traced along routes of migration, pilgrimage, trade, or travel in pursuit of knowledge. Given this context of mobility and the cultural encounters that it engenders, the goal of my research is to interpret the complexity and diversity of Muslim communities that is materialised in the built environment, with increasing emphasis on the Australian context. Thus, my research is interdisciplinary, reaching beyond conventional discourses of architecture, to obtain rich insights from cultural geography, world systems theories, postcolonial theory, and the history of travel. This approach enables a critical understanding of the production and transformation of the predominantly hybrid architecture of Muslim communities.

My PhD examined the Aga Khan Award for Architecture which required critical scrutiny of hundreds of projects that have been nominated or awarded. Of these, two key project themes continue to resonate in my research: Contemporary projects informed by the history of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in the Islamic world; and, Humanitarian projects focusing on underprivileged communities. These two themes continue to influence my research and the HDR topics that I supervise:

1. Human mobility (migration, displacement, pilgrimage, diaspora) and the ways that this shapes architecture, landscapes and settlements, historically and today.

2. A humanitarian focus on migration (rural>urban, displacement, resettlement [forced and voluntary]) and settlement in the context of large scale infrastructure projects or urbanisation.

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. The Architecture of Australia's Muslim Pioneers, 2014-2017.

Chief Investigators Dr Peter Scriver and Dr Katharine Bartsch with Research Associate Dr Mizanur Rashid, University of Adelaide

With Partner Investigator Dr Philip Jones, South Australian Museum, and Partner Investigator Dr Abdul Razak Sapian, International Islamic University of Malaysia.

I teach courses in Design and the Environment, History and Theory of Architecture and Landscapes, and Design Studio.

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Towards A Socially Sustainable Educational Space Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Farjana Rahaman
    2019 Principal Supervisor An Other Regionalism: A Design Investigation into an Adelaide Architecture Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time APrf Francesco Bonato
    2018 Principal Supervisor Managing Flood Risks: Exploring Dynamics Between Green and Grey Infrastructure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alhassan Ibrahim
    2018 Principal Supervisor Managing Flood Risks: Exploring Dynamics Between Green and Grey Infrastructure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alhassan Ibrahim
    2017 Principal Supervisor Building Modern Sri Lanka: New Town and Mahaweli Architectural Unit Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Nirodha Kumari Meegahakumbura Dissanayake
    2017 Co-Supervisor Relearning the Limits of Growth: An Inter-disciplinary Coherence of Urban Planning and Water Cycles in Dhaka City Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mehbuba Tune Uzra
    2017 Principal Supervisor Building Modern Sri Lanka: New Town and Mahaweli Architectural Unit Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Nirodha Kumari Meegahakumbura Dissanayake
    2017 Co-Supervisor Relearning the Limits of Growth: An Inter-disciplinary Coherence of Urban Planning and Water Cycles in Dhaka City Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mehbuba Tune Uzra
    2016 Co-Supervisor Urban Bioregionalism in Policy and Practice at Willunga Basin Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Pragathi .
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2013 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Evaluating New Towns in the Context of Mega Projects: A Case Study of the Mahaweli Architectural Unit, Sri Lanka (1983-1989) Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Nirodha Kumari Meegahakumbura Dissanayake
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor The Rise of Modern Urbanity (tamaddun) in the Arab World Education, Journalism, and Enlightenment Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Kinda Alsamara
    2013 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Botanic and Poetic Landscapes: A Reading of Two Persian Texts on Early Safavid Gardens Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Zahra Ranjbari
    2012 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Gardens of Damascus: Landscape and the Culture of Recreation in the Early Modern Period Master of Landscape Architecture Master Full Time Miss Georgina Hafteh
    2012 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Multi-step Transition in Housing Provision and Progressive Development of Urban Settlements: Case of Davao City, Philippines Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Isidoro III Malaque
    2010 - 2013 Principal Supervisor The Rationale of Architectural Discourses in Post-Independence Egypt: A Contrapuntal Reading of `Alam Al-Bena'a (1980-2000) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Marwa Moustafa El-Ashmouni
    2008 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Sustainable Water Management in Semi-Arid India: Learning from the Gond and Kohli Indigenous Communities Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Namrata Vishwasrao
    2008 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Architectural Exchange in the Eighteenth Century A Study of Three Gateway Cities: Istanbul, Aleppo and Lucknow Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Elise Kamleh
    2008 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Conservation of Heritage Curtilages in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Nadiyanti Mat Nayan
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83132305
  • Email: katharine.bartsch@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4377
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Barr Smith South, floor 4
  • Org Unit: School of Architecture & Built Environment

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