Department Heads

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hussam Salama

Vice Director of the Program & Head of "Architecture & Urban Design" Department
Room No.: D1.115

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
Room No.: D1.137

Ruairi O’Brien is an associate professor and head of the Visual Design and Presentation department at the German Univeristy in Cairo where he teaches design studios and lighting design. read more


Born in Dublin / Ireland, O’Brien Studied architecture at universities in London, Edinburgh and New York. Following his studies O’Brien worked for design practices in London, New York, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. In 1995 O’Brien set up his own architectural practice: Ruairí O’Brien. Architecture. Light. Spatial Design. This was followed in 2010 by the founding of the lighting design studio: Ruairí O’Brien Lighting Design.
As a practicing architect and lighting designer: O’Brien has executed a large and diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary work in the fields of architecture and urban design. Urban design projects include the renovation and development of heritage protected market squares, design guideline brochures for district and street development, moderating participatory design and development projects, city orientation systems, lighting masterplans, streetscape and building illumination projects. In architecture, projects include heritage building renovations, hospital and school renovations, residential buildings, museums, memorials and exhibitions. In the field of lighting design O’Brien has also designed and built innovative street lighting fixtures and developed a series of lighting sculptures for public space.
As an educator: O’Brien has gained 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 the USA.
As an artist: O’Brien has exhibited his drawings, light sculptures and paintings in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Dresden and Cairo.
Research interests: Future architecture. Lighting and the built environment. The development of old and new towns. Microarchitecture. The architecture of museums, memory and heritage. Drawing as architectural communication. The role of the architect in public space. The role of art and architecture in public space.
Membership of Professional associations:
RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects
AKS - Saxony Chamber of Architects 
FILD - Federation of International Lighting Designers-Founding member
LiTG - Deutsche Lichttechnische Gesellschaft – German Society for Lighting Technology

Selected Publications:

  • O´Brien, R. (2020). Lichtplanung: aktuelle Trends. DAB- Deutsches Architektenblatt 2020, 03/2020, 23–41.
  • O´Brien, R. (2009). Holistische“ Botschaft: Die Hologramfassade des Stadtspeichers Jena. neuesmuseum die österreiche museumzeitschrift, 08/4, 64–69. 
  • O'Brien, Ruairí. (2008): Intercultural Interpretations: Not Wasting Wasteland, in: Edmondson, R., Rau, H. (Ed.): Environmental Argument and Cultural Difference. Locations, Fractures and Deliberations (pp. 261–287). Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-03911-062-9    
  • O`Brien, R. (Hrsg.),  (2007). „Das Museum im 21st. Jahrhundert“ - Form follows Content – Communication Architecture. (S. 124–178). TUDpress. ISBN 978-3-938863-96-1
  • O`Brien, R. (2006). Microglobal times – Erich Kästner Museum Dresden,  neuesmuseum die österreiche museumzeitschrift, 06/2, 68–78.