Katharine Bartsch

Associate Professor Katharine Bartsch

Interim Head

School of Architecture and Built Environment

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

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.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Interim Head of School University of Adelaide
    2022 - ongoing Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2018 - 2021 Associate Head, School of Architecture and Built Environment University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2021 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2005 - 2013 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    1997 - 1997 Graduate Architect Philips and Pilkington Architects
    1995 - 1998 Graduate Architect Cielens and Partners
    1994 - 1995 Architect Intern Abhikram
    1994 - 1994 Architect, Intern Lapsys and Keam Architects
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2014 Research Award ARC Linkage Grant Australian Research Council Australia
    2013 Fellowship Faculty Women’s Fellowship University of Adelaide Australia $15,000
    2007 Teaching Award Executive Dean of the Professions’ Prize for Excellence in UG Teaching University of Adelaide Australia $2000
    2006 Award Innovation Funding Bid University of Adelaide Australia
    2005 Research Award Small Faculty Research Grant University of Adelaide Australia $6500
    2003 Research Award Brenda Nettle Grant: Australian Federation of University Women Australian Federation of University Women Australia $1000
    2003 Research Award Samuel H. Kress Foundation Society of Architectural Historians United States $1000
    2002 Research Award Clive E. Boyce Fellowship University of Adelaide Australia $2500
    2001 Research Award Adelaide University Research Abroad Scholarship University of Adelaide
    1999 Award The Kenneth and Hazel Milne Travelling Scholarship University of Adelaide Australia $8000
    1998 Research Award Australian Postgraduate Award University of Adelaide Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    Italian Can read, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Architecture (Hons I)
    University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Architectural Studies
  • Research Interests

Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2021 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant, Future Builders: Collaborative Design in the Yangtze Delta. $66,000.

Australian Research Council, Special Research Initiative. The Australian Mosque Today: Architectural Collaborations, 2020-2023. $280,000 Chief Investigators Dr Katharine Bartsch, Dr Md Mizanur Rashid (Deakin), A/Prof Maryam Gusheh (Monash) and Dr Dijana Alic (UNSW) and Dr Majdi Faleh [Aga Khan Fellow (Alumnus) MIT], Senior Research Officer.

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. The Architecture of Australia's Muslim Pioneers, 2014-2017. $180,000 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.

I am the Academic Coordinator of our Joint Program between the University of Adelaide (School of Architecture and Built Environment) and Nantong University, Jiangsu, China, approved by the Ministry of Education, China.

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 Co-Supervisor Beyond ‘Sydney School’: NSW Architects and Asian Transnational Networks, 1950s-80s Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Anna Louise Corkhill
    2020 Principal Supervisor Aiming to establish an innovative and sympathetic way to undertake issues of abandonment in neglected heritage buildings. The objective is to overcome the barriers which have instigated these buildings to become dormant un-utilised and undeveloped. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Madeline Louise Nolan
    2020 Principal Supervisor The houses of the architectural practice of F. W. Dancker & Son (1880-1944): An international perspective and the search for a South Australian style. Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Kenan Reece Henderson
    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
    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 Part 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 Part Time Ms Mehbuba Tune Uzra
    2007 Principal Supervisor Landscape Architecture; Perceptions of Public Spaces Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Janelle Arbon
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Governance of Waterways and Flood Adaptation: Implementing Sustainable Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Ghana Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alhassan Ibrahim
    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 Dr 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: Interim Head
  • Phone: 83132305
  • Email: katharine.bartsch@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134377
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Barr Smith South, floor 4
  • Org Unit: School of Architecture and Built Environment

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