Irit Katz

Dr Irit Katz

Lecturer

BArch, MA, PhD

E: i.katz@sheffield.ac.uk

As an architect and an urbanist, I study spaces undergoing radical changes, particularly those reshaped by human mobility and displacement, conflicts, and extreme inequalities. These environments are examined through empirical research and critical theories as ever-changing constellations by which political negotiations, social changes, and cultural transformations are staged and reworked.

I hold a PhD in Architecture (Cantab), MA in Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies, and BArch; I held fellowships at UPenn and the Paul Mellon Centre and teaching positions at Cambridge and the Cities Programme at the LSE; and my work has received international recognition including the SAH/Mellon Author Award (2018), the AIS Ben Halpern Award (2017) and the RIBA President’s Award for Research (2016). I have practiced as an architect in Tel Aviv and in London, specialising in urban design projects and housing schemes.

Besides academia, I have published two poetry collections and enjoy long distance running.

Teaching Activities

My teaching includes theory, design, and supervision of dissertation projects. I teach for the Urban Design Thesis Project; MArch Dissertation; and for the courses Trajectories in Urban Design Practice and Contemporary Issues in Architecture.

Administrative Roles

Co-leading SSoA Research Ethics.

Research Interests
  • 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
  • Critical spatial practice
  • Critical theories, including urban critical theories, feminist theories, post/decolonial theories and political philosophy

I would be interested in supervising PhD students in any of the topics listed above.

Grants, Awards and Consultancy

The SAH/Mellon Author Award 2018 for The Common Camp: Instruments of Power and Resistance on the Edge of Architecture, University of Minnesota Press.

The Annual Ben Halpern Award 2017 for Best Dissertation in Israel Studies, the international Association for Israel Studies (AIS).

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Award for Research, the ‘Cities and Community’ category 2016, for ‘The Common Camp’: Temporary Settlements as a Spatio-Political Instrument in Israel-Palestine’.

The James Morris Prize, The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) 2013, for 'Camps in Mandatory Palestine: The Emergence of Temporary Architecture as a Regional Political Instrument'.

2018 Bartlett Synergy Grant, UCL (together with Dr Huda Tayob and Dr Giovanna Astolfo).

2017 The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Opler Grant for Emerging Professionals.

2012-2017 Travel Grants by The Cambridge Philosophical Society, International Association for Israel Studies, and Kettle’s Yard.

2012-2015 Graduate Scholarship Awards, Girton College, University of Cambridge.

2011-2016 Kenneth-Lindsay Scholarship Award, The Anglo – Israel Association, London.

Professional Standing and Distinctions

Fellowships

2018 The Paul Mellon Centre, Yale University in London, Postdoctoral Fellowship.

2017 University of Pennsylvania, Perry World House, Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Selected invited talks

Invited guest speaker at the Max Planck Institute workshop ‘Inside Out - Outside In: Shifting Architectures of Refugee Inhabitation’, Göttingen, January 2019.

Invited guest speaker at the RIBA event ‘Refugee Shelter: Design, Building and Engagement’, London, April 2018.

Invited guest speaker at ‘Researching Spaces of Displacement’, Architecture Talks, PennDesign colloquium, March 2018.

Invited guest speaker at SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies seminar series, London, January 2018.

Invited guest speaker at a panel of The Cambridge Migration Society, January 2018.

Invited guest speaker at a Refugee Week panel discussion, Jesus College, Cambridge, June 2017.

Invited guest speaker at RIBA President’s Awards for Research Winners Presentations, Royal Institute of British Architects, London, May 2017.

Invited guest speaker at the Human Geography Seminar Series, University of Birmingham, February 2017.

Invited guest speaker at a seminar on ‘Emergency Shelter’, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, November 2016.

Invited guest speaker at an event on refugees of the Global Health Education Programme, UCL Medsin, London, November 2016.

Invited guest speaker at ‘Humanitarian Objects’, an international workshop at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, July 2016.

Invited guest speaker at the 1st Annual Conference of the ERC project EU Border Care, European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence, June 2016.

Invited speaker for the inaugural lecture of the JNL Baker Society for Geography, Jesus College, University of Oxford, March 2016.

Invited guest speaker at The Woolf Institute, Cambridge, June 2015.

Invited guest speaker at a workshop of the Space and Society group in the Faculty of Architecture of La Sapienza, Rome, May 2014.

Invited guest speaker for a presentation with Dr Silvia Pasquetti at 'Civic Matter' seminar series, CRASSH, Cambridge, November 2013.

Invited guest speaker at the Goldsmiths Symposium ‘Thinking Memory Through Space: Materiality, Representation and Imagination', London, July 2013.

Exhibitions

‘Infrastructures of Care: Spaces of Refuge and Displacement’, co-curated and co-organised with Dr Huda Tayob, Dr Giovanna Astolfo, and Ela Gok, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, 2019.

‘Ephemeral Architecture’, collaborating on an exhibition at the V&A+RIBA Gallery, the V&A Museum, London, 2016-2017.

‘The Negev Bedouin’, curator of a photography exhibition of work created by the residents of the Bedouin unrecognised villages, Spiro Ark gallery, London, 2010.

Member of jury, advisory boards, and reviewer

Invited guest reviewer for Harvard Graduate School of Design’s final research projects presented by the Master of Design Studies degree candidates in the Risk and Resilience course.

Member of Jury in the Architecture Competition ‘Place and Displacement: Integrating Refugee Populations within Cities’ of IDeA (International Development in Action), The Macmillan Center Yale University, GSAPP Columbia University, and Wagner NYU, 2018.

Academic advisor for the Arup research project (Invest in Arup): ‘Urban Resilience in Homs During and After the Conflict’ by Ammar Azzouz (shortlisted for the 2018 RIBA President’s Award for Research), 2017-2018.

Assessor for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), for a research project on the Israeli space and society, 2018.

Member of Advisory Board for the ESRC project ‘Architectures of Displacement: forms, experiences and implications of emergency shelter’, Refugee Study Centre, University of Oxford, 2017-2018.

Discussant and participant in the John Harvard Colloquium ‘Topographies of Citizenship’, looking at current urban issues in the Middle East, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge, 2015-2018.

Discussant for the ‘Political Geography’ key lecture by Prof. Claudio Minca ‘The Political Geographies of Camps’, the IGU Regional Conference, Krakow, 2014.

Assessor for the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), German Academic Exchange Service Grants programme, 2017.

Member of Jury in the Architecture Competition ‘Place and Displacement: A Marketplace in Refugee Settlements’ of IDeA and Yale University, 2017.

Peer reviewer for International Research Journals: Cities, Planning Theory, Political Geography, Journal of Urban Affairs, arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, Journal of Arid Environments.

Camps Revisited book cover 2018 Infrastructure of Care exhibition, The Bartlett 2019 Ephemeral Architecture exhibition, V&A Museum 2017


Publications

A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of recent publications please click here.

Books

  • Katz I, Martin D & Minca C (2018) Camps Revisited Multifaceted Spatialities of a Modern Political Technology. Geopolitical Bodies, Material. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Katz I, Martin D & Minca C (2018) The Camp Reconsidered In Katz I, Martin D & Minca C (Ed.), Camps Revisited: Multifaceted Spatialities of a Modern Political Technology Rowman & Littlefield RIS download Bibtex download
  • Katz I, Poll Z, Parsloe T & Scafe-Smith A (2018) The Bubble, the Airport, the Jungle: Europe’s Urban Migrant Camps In Katz I, Martin D & Minca C (Ed.), Camps Revisited: Multifaceted Spatialities of a Modern Political Technology Rowman & Littlefield RIS download Bibtex download
  • Katz I & Gueguen-Teil C (2018) On the Meaning of Shelter: Living in Calais’ Camps de la Lande In Katz I, Martin D & Minca C (Ed.), Camps Revisited: Multifaceted Spatialities of a Modern Political Technology Rowman & Littlefield RIS download Bibtex download
  • Katz I (2012) Tents In Handel A (Ed.), The Political Lexicon of the Social Protest, Israel, Summer 2011 Hakibbutz Hameuchad RIS download Bibtex download