Department Heads

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hussam Salama

Vice Director of the Program & Head of "Architecture & Urban Design" Department

Dr. Hussam Salama is the Vice Director of the program and the Head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Hussam Salama is also a member of the faculty’s curriculum committee read more


He holds a Master of architecture and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He then pursued his postdoctoral studies as a Dubai Initiative Research Fellow at Harvard University. He held several teaching and research positions at the University of Southern California, Harvard University, Qatar Foundation and Qatar University.

His research focuses on urban transformation in the Middle East during the era of Globalization with emphasis on new trends of development. He also investigates the nature of public spaces in cities across the region and their role in promoting socio-political discourse. Dr. Salama supervises doctoral and master theses that focus on the process of construction and development, the quality of urban life, the notion of public spaces, and contemporary trends of urban transformation.

Selected Publications:

  • Salama, Hussam and Shafik, Rania (2016). “Spectacles, Themed Architecture and Urban Replicas Places Shaped for Globalization.” International Journal of Applied Engineering Research. Volume 11, Number 9 (2016) pp 6264-6270.
  • Salama, Hussam (2015). “Dubai: An Urbanism Shaped for Global Tourism.” Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology. 4:154. doi:10.4172/2168-9717.1000154.
  • Salama, Hussam (2015). “Formation and Transformation of Tahrir Square.” In Saliba, Robert. Conceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World, Ashgate. 
  • Salama, Hussam (2014). Places of Flows in Globalizing Middle Eastern Cities. Architecture and Art. Issue 25 & 26, Autumn 2013 & Winter 2014.
  • Salama, Hussam. “Dubai in a World of Flows.” International Journal of Architectural Research. Volume 7, Issue 2, July 2013.
  • Salama, Hussam (2013). “Tahrir Square: A Narrative of Public Space.” International Journal of Architectural Research. Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2013.

Assoc. Prof. Ruairí O'Brien

Head of "Visual Design & Presentation" Department

Ruairi O’Brien is an associate professor and head of the Visual design and Presentation department. He currently teaches design studios, theory of architecture and lighting design. O’Brien is also a member of the faculty’s curriculum more


With his architectural practice, Ruairi O’Brien. Architektur. Licht. Raumkunst. and his lighting design studio, Ruairi O’Brien Lighting Design, O’Brien has executed a large and diverse portfolio of projects which includes urban design projects, market squares, innovative and custom-built street lighting, public and private buildings, hospitals, schools, residential buildings, museums, memorials, exhibitions and interiors. O’Brien recently completed an “architectural design guide” and lighting masterplan for the city area of Lichtenrade in Berlin. O’Brien’s teaching contracts gained him international teaching experience at universities in Germany, Czech Republic, Russia and Syria. During his time as a visiting professor at the University of Wismar in Germany (2001-2005) O’Brien helped initiate the international master’s course in Architectural Lighting Design and was responsible for the programs design studios. O’Brien has given lectures, supervised workshops and organized exhibitions on architecture and lighting design in Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, England, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Italy, Latvia and in the USA. He has also worked on theatre and dance projects, created a series of sculptures, installations and performances with light and exhibited his drawings, light sculptures and paintings in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Dresden. O’Brien studied architecture in London at the University of Greenwich and at the University of Edinburgh. During his time at Edinburgh he received a “Visiting Scholarship” to Columbia University in New York.

O’Brien’s research interests are an extension of the topics he has developed as a practicing architect with an interdisciplinary approach to art, design and building: Lighting and the built environment, the development of old and new towns, the architecture of museums, memory and heritage, drawing as architectural theory and communication, the art of making architecture, the effect of digitalization on architecture and society.

Selected Publications:

  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2018). Lichtkonzept Bahnhofstraße Lichtenrade Berlin, Berlin, Bezirksamt Tempelhof-Schöneberg von Berlin.
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2018). Sprechen wir über gute Straßenbeleuchtung! in: F. Bodenhaupt, F. Lindemuth (Ed.). Technisches Handbuch Straßen- und Außenbeleuchtung, Berlin, EW Medien und Kongresse GmbH
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2017). Gestaltfibel Bahnhofstraße Lichtenrade Berlin, Berlin, Bezirksamt Tempelhof-Schöneberg von Berlin
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2016). The building of schools, Conference publication – Saxony chamber of architects, Germany
  • O'Brien, Ruairí (2016). High Quality Lighting Designs with SSL- Practical examples and the new role of lighting designers, Conference publication LED Lighting Technologies – Smart Technologies for Lighting Innovations, 94-105, Dornbirn, Luger Research e.U. Institute for Innovation and Technology
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2014). Erzählen und Gestalten mit Licht, Hanselicht Konferenz und Fachausstellung, Tagungspublikation, Verlag BVSMI e.V. (Hrsg.) Hamburg 2014
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2016). The Good the Bad and the Ugly, LED-Professional Review, Issue 57, 5, Dornbirn, Luger Research e.U. Institute for Innovation and Technology
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2014). Japan's radiant architecture, in: The OECD Observer, 36, Paris, OECD
  • S. Eckersley, G. Corsane (2014). Memorialization in Eastern Germany: Displacement, (Re) placement and Integration of Macro- and Micro-Heritage, in: I. Convery, G. Corsane, P. Davis (Ed.) (2014). Displaced Heritage: Responses to Disaster, Trauma, and Loss, 47-59, Boydell and Brewer Ltd.
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2009). „Holistische“ Botschaft - Die Hologrammfassade des Stadtspeichers Jena, in: Neues Museum, 08/4-Feb2009, Museumsbund Österreich (Ed.)
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2008). Intercultural Interpretations: Not Wasting Wasteland, in: Ricca Edmondson, Henrike Rau, Peter Lang (2008), Environmental Argument and Cultural Difference, 261-286, Bern, Peter Lang AG Locations, Fractures and Deliberations
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2007). Das Museum im 21. Jahrhundert, in: Dresden, TUDpress – Verlag der Wissenschaften GmbH
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2007). Ein interdisziplinäres Fachkolloquium zur Rolle des Museums im 21. Jahrhundert-das Museum unter der Zeitlupe, in: O’Brien, R. (2007) (Ed.), Das Museum im 21. Jahrhundert, 2-6, Dresden, TUDpress – Verlag der Wissenschaften GmbH
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2007). Form follows Content – Communication Architecture, in: O’Brien, R. (2007) (Ed.), Das Museum im 21. Jahrhundert, 124-175, Dresden, TUDpress – Verlag der Wissenschaften GmbH
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2005), microarchitecture, in: Art and Architecture Journal, No.61, Feb 2005, 42-45, London, Art and Architecture Journal
  • O'Brien, Ruairí (2005). Erich Kästner Museum Dresden – The mobile interactive micromuseum, in: Detail, Architecture + Detail, 15-19, Dalian (PRC) / München (GER), Institut für internationale Architekur-Dokumentation GmbH
  • Mead, Andrew (2003). Memory matters, The Architects' Journal 218 (3), 26-37, London, the architects‘ journal
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2003). micromuseums, Dresden, Erich Kästner Museum
  • O'Brien, Ruairí (2003). Micro global times - Erich Kästner Museum Dresden
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2003). Neue Argumente für die Institution Museum, neues museum
  • O’Brien, Ruairí (2003). Interdisciplinary teaching concept for Lighting Design, Professional Lighting Design, PLD Gütersloh
  • Mazzoni, Ira (2002). Kleine Welten, in: Deutsche Bauzeitung, 11/2002, Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlagsanstalt