Prof. Dipl. -Ing. Dunja Karcher

Architecture & Urban Design Department

Her work centers resilient design and applied research. As an architect and educator she emphasizes the holistic view, which may range from urban planning scale to building detail; from genius loci to social and economic boundary conditions. read more


She lays importance on mediation of judgmental capacity in the aesthetic perception. She endeavors to provide students with a sense of appropriateness in their actions, and to consider human scale as the main focus of their work.
Prof Dunja Karcher, in 1993, graduated in Architectural studies from the Technical University Munich (TUM). Since 1997 she acted as leading architect for the planning team Karcher I Jammernegg I Kohman Architects GbR. in Munich, in the Office for Architecture and Interior Design, Landscape and Urban Planning: Housing, Schools, Healthcare and Industry Projects.
She holds a Ph.D equivalent in Green Building Design from the Technical University Munich (TUM), under the supervision of Professor Hermann Schroeder.
From 2011 to 2016 Prof Dunja Karcher held both a professorship in Architectural Design and Mentoring, as well as a professorship in Architectural Design and Building Construction (from 2009 to 2010) - these at the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) in Germany. From 2004 to 2008 she performed in numerous lecturing, visiting professorship and cooperative positions, these in several German and international universities; among others MUAS, Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg (Nuremberg, Germany), Helwan University (Cairo, Egypt), An-Najah National University (Nablus, Palestine), Al Ain University of Science and Technology (Al Ain, UAE), Damascus University (Damascus, Syria), . etc.
Her main interest lies in promoting academic education amongst young Arabic students, whilst also fostering cooperation with universities, institutions and companies; on national, European and international level. She is the founder of Make-Contact, an institute for the promotion of academic collaboration between Germany and the Arab world. Her research interests and fields of specialization comprises:
• School Transformation: investigation, planning and consultation for the Montessori association 
• The First Women Cancer Center in Palestine: promotion of health care development for underserved regions                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
• Schools for Myanmar: investigation, planning and consultation for schools in underserved regions
• Quality Pact for Teaching: leading a 3-year research program to improve design education programs and didactic methods for German Universities under the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Germany
• Participatory Design - Building with Earth - Vernacular Typologies: teaching and researching for Dachverband Lehm e.V. in Germany, the German Association for Building with Earth, etc.
• ADOBE the Mud Brick - Traditional Materials and Construction Technologies: teaching and applied research for among others the CEPT University (Ahmedabad, India), Chandigarh College of Architecture (Chandigarh, India), and the German University in Cairo (GUC) (Cairo, Egypt)
• The Spontaneous - Learning from Informal Settlements: teaching and applied research for Chandigarh College of Architecture (Chandigarh, India), Munich University of Applied Sciences MUAS (Munich, Germany) and Helwan University (Cairo, Egypt)


Selected Publications:

  • Karcher, D. 2017.“Motivation und Erfolg im Studium sichern, Bessere Studienbedingungen gestalten” Fachbezug von Anfang an – Mentoring-Programm in Studiengang Architektur, wbv,Munich University of Applied Sciences, (BMBF) Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 63-75.
  • Karcher, D. 2016. Eine Buehne fuer Parec: space, stage and architecture. Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Munich, Germany
  • Karcher, D. 2015.Objekte zum Verweilen: object, space and architecture. Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Munich, Germany.
  • Karcher, D. and Edler-Golla, M. 2014. Notfall – Kreativitaet als Ueberlebensstrategie. Wordpress. Munich University of Applied Sciences and SEBSON. Dortmund, Germany.
  • Karcher, D. and Edler-Golla, M. 2014. Notfall – Kreativitaet als Ueberlebensstrategie. Exhibition. Munich University of Applied Sciences and SEBSON. Dortmund, Germany.
  • Karcher, D. 2011. Rehab: Rehabilitation Center for Ramallah, Design and Feasibility Studies - Project REHAB. LBB Landesverband Bayerischer Bauinnungen, Germany / Medipalestine. Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Karcher, D. 2008. Al Shams Oasis: Sustainable Construction and Social Housing in the UAE.
    Part II: Implementation Planning. Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) GmbH, Munich, Germany and SCHOTT AG, Mainz and SCHOTT Solar AG. Alzenau, Germany.
  • Karcher, D. 2007. Solar Oasis: Sustainable Construction in the UAE, Part I: Implementation Planning. Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) GmbH. Munich, Germany and SCHOTT AG, Mainz and SCHOTT Solar AG. Alzenau, Germany.

Prof. Dr. Hisham Gabr

Building Technology Department

Hisham Gabr is a professor of architecture at GUC, who is on secondment from Cairo University. His broad expertise is in studying the interrelationships between people factors and their natural, cultural, and built environment to build better environments that are responsive to human needs and requirements. read more


A graduate of Cairo U, he earned his PhD in Architecture from the USA. A recipient of a distinguished teaching award, his research & publications are in areas of human behavior & architecture. He has almost four decades of teaching experience especially graduation projects & postgraduate research methods. He has been stationed in Cairo U with part-time & fulltime teaching experience in Kansas State U, United Arab Emirates U, MSA U (previous department chair) & most recently at the American University in Cairo.

With the extensive teaching experience in graduation projects & in the integrated nature & comprehensiveness of design, he joined the Bachelor Projects at GUC. With his extensive experience supervising dozens of MSc’s and PhD’s, he will continue to be involved in supervision of theses at GUC. His research covers issues of human behavior and architecture, including topics related to culture and heritage, to waterfront and tourism design, to architectural and urban aesthetics, and to current trends in design. Prof. Gabr, who is also a practitioner, has been active in academic and professional committees serving the university, & the community, and plans to continue along similar lines.

Selected Publications:

  • Gabr, H. and D. M. Al-Khateeb (2019), Eco-Urbanity as a Theoretical Approach and Formative Scenario Analysis as an Assessment Tool for Urban Open Spaces. Oklahoma, USA, EDRA: EDRA - Environmental Design Research Association Annual International Conference, Sustainable Urban Environments.
  • Ahmed, M. M., I. M. Shawket, H. Gabr, and M. M. Dorra (2019), Published, Responsive Open Spaces for Children in Residential Communities in Cairo: A Child Participatory Approach, International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology, 12, 2169-2178.
  • Gabr, Hisham S., Ibraheem, Mostafa A-Y., Negmeldin, Noha (2016). Representing Tourism Heritage Abroad: New Life or No Life? Inheriting the City: Advancing Understandings of Urban Heritage. Digital Proceedings of the International Conference for Cultural Heritage. Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Gabr, H. S., Sherif, N., & Shehata, L. (2014). Reconstructing Tradition in Contemporary Courtyard Houses in Egypt. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series, Vol. 265, 1-20, Traditions of Dwellings. Publication of the Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), Whose Tradition? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Gabr, H. (2004). Perception of urban waterfront aesthetics along the Nile in Cairo, Egypt. Coastal Management, 32 (2), 155-171.

Prof. Dr. José Manuel Pagés Madrigal

Architecture & Urban Design Department "Director of the Program"

Professor of Architecture and Urban design with special attention to transversal and territorial studies. His academic activities in the fields of urban and regional planning have gained steadily over the past three decades in various universities in Europe, South America and Middle East. This activity was developed in parallel with invitations to coordinate MSc programs (Public Urban Policies – 2009-20012) and the co-coordinate International PhD programs (QuoD- IUAV Venice). read more


The concept of territory as a research laboratory has prevailed in areas such as border areas, conflict territories, and shrinking spaces in the different territorial and urban scales, with special attention to Mediterranean port cities. By the creation and management of the Observatory of Public Policies and Territory, have reinforced transversal and applied research, aspects that the candidate is developing and deepening since 2009.
During these years the pedagogic activity was shared with management positions into several Portuguese Universities. The chair of the Department of Architecture of the Universidade Moderna – Lisbon (1999-2007) and the presidency of Institutions as Dinensino (2007-2008) are the most remarkable in the past. His previous activity in Eastern Mediterranean countries run in Lebanon , as visiting professor at Beirut Arab University (2011-2013) and Chairman of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design of the Lebanese American University (2013-2015).The coordination of Master and PhD programs at Girne American University and the tasks as founder dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts in American University of Cyprus were his most remarkable activities in North Cyprus in 2015.
In a parallel way he has shared the academic activity with his functions as Associate Professor in Urban and Territorial planning at the University of Genoa, since 2013 and full professor at  German University in Cairo since 2016 . As dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design in this last University (2019-…) José Manuel Pagés renews his compromise with the Heritage and Contemporaneity in the Mediterranean region. His previous duties as member of the National Board of ICOMOS-UNESCO in Spain and counselling missions for Institutions  like Union for Mediterranean, 100 RC – Rockefeller Foundation and OSCE mission in Kosovo must continue in the Egyptian country for the next years.


Selected Publications:

  • PAGÉS MADRIGAL, José Manuel (2018): Port-city relations. A gaze from Eastern Mediterranean.Las relaciones puerto-ciudad. Una Mirada desde el Mediterráneo oriental in PORTUS n. 35/2018,Edited in English and Spanish ISSN: 2282-5789
  • PAGÉS MADRIGAL, José Manuel: (2018). Some Notes about Architecture, Urbanism and Economy.Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 2(2), 1-11. ISSN 2475-6156 (print)ISSN 2475-6164 (online)
  • PAGÉS MADRIGAL, José Manuel (2017)  Grief layers in eastern Mediterranean cities, in Places,forms and memories of grief in contemporary cities luoghi, forme e memorie del lutto nelle cittàcontemporanee
  • PAGÉS MADRIGAL, José Manuel. (2013) Architectures on territories- Methodologies for graphicalrepresentation, (chapter) in Advances in Landscape Architecture by Murat OzyavuzChapter 3 pages 53-86Ed IntechopenEdited in English. ISBN: 978-953-51-1167-2
  • PAGÉS MADRIGAL, José Manuel,MALAFAYA, Filipa. (2011) “Territórios como laboratórios.Territories asLaboratories” Ed List.Barcelona2011Edited in English and Portuguese I.S.B.N. 9788895623429

Prof. Michael Eichner

Building Technology Department
Michael Eichner is the Vice Director of the Architecture & Urban Design Department at the German University in Cairo. His research looks at theoretical, practical and methodical knowledge at the intersection of architecture, innovation, environment and sustainable studies. He has 16 years teaching experience as professor in European, Russian and Asian universities and more than 19 years of international experience as architect and planning more


He is an expert for housing, sustainable certification and urban transformation and worked in the position as team leader and project architect on medium and large scale architectural and urban projects. In 2015 he founded the Center for Sustainable Building and Urban Design (CEP) at the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU). He launched his independent practice in 1998 after working in offices in Munich, London and Moscow and worked as leading architect of various realized and awarded buildings and urban districts. His design projects and teaching courses in the department for architecture and building technology are focusing on social-cultural and environmental quality.

Prior to joining the faculty at the GUC, Michael Eichner held teaching and research positions at the Technical University of Munich, the Moscow Architectural Institute, and the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering. In addition to architectural design, he has taught classes on live cycle assessment in architecture and renewable energy in building design.

Professor Michael Eichner is researching on the complexity of sustainable design strategies, social and ecologic requirements for buildings and urban districts, technology innovation and energy efficiency for environmental and climate friendly living environments. As certified “DGNB consultant” of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) is he regularly organizing qualification courses of the DGNB system for graduate students and specialists at the German University in Cairo, to establish sustainable certification for planners and other stakeholders in construction, urban development and urban policy making.

Selected Publications:

  • Eichner M., Ivanova Z. (2021): Adaptation of Cities to Climate Change (Best Practices Review). E3S Web of Conferences 244(5):06011. DOI 10.1051/e3sconf/202124406011.
  • Eichner M., Elsharawy H. (2020): Life cycle assessment (LCA) based concept design method for potential zero emission residential building. IOP Conference Series Earth and Environmental Science. January 2020. DOI 10.1088/1755-1315/410/1/012031.
  • Eichner M., Ivanova Z. (2018): Socioecological Aspects of High-rise Construction, E3S Web of Conferences 33, 03065. DOI 10.1051/e3sconf/20183303065.
  • Eichner M., Ivanova Z. (2017): Economical accommodation for migrants and refugees: eco-sustainable architectural design. Journal of Economy and entrepreneurship, number 9 (Volume 3) 2017 pp 783-787.
  • Eichner, M. (2017): Sustainable optimization of laboratory and housing buildings during architectural concept design. Almaty, “International conference new construction trends in the 21st century".
  • Eichner M. (2016): Sustainable Architecture and Reconstruction Technology of Housing Buildings of the 60-70-ies of 20th Century in Russia. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 11, Number 3 (2016) pp 1653-1659.

Prof. Dr. Rita Pinto de Freitas

Architecture & Urban Design Department

Dr. Rita Pinto de Freitas is a graduated architect, Master in “Large Scale Architecture” and PhD from the School of Architecture of Barcelona. Her activity integrates research, teaching activity and professional practice. Taught since 1999 in the School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB) where has been Vice-dean, Chair in Architectural Design and PhD more


Has been guest professor and has hold lectures in several international universities: Lebanese American University, École d'Architecture de l'Université de Montreal, School of Architecture of Washington University in St. Louis, Faculdade de Arquitectura do Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie in Sao Paulo, Southeast University, Nanjing, China; National University of Singapore, Tongji University …

Rita Pinto de Freitas developed her own practice in Barcelona, with a wide experience in the scale of design that links architecture with the configuration of the city and the territory and integrated multidisciplinary teams for public projects of territorial scale.

Her main research activity focuses on the role of public space and nature in the configuration of contemporary cities and new urban settlements, and realised research stays in the School of Architecture of Princeton University, in the Fakultät für Architektur der Technische Universität München and in Tongji University, Shanghai.

Selected Publications:

  • Pinto de Freitas, R., 2019. Barcelona - Transitions in the three hills. Barcelona, Cairo: Edicions UPC, German University in Cairo
  • Pinto de Freitas, R., 2018. Porous and hibrid: Conditions for the complex city. In: Wolfrum, S., ed. Porous City - From Metaphor to Urban Agenda. Basel: Birkhäuser
  • Bru, E. and Pinto de Freitas, R. ed., 2003. Coming from the south. Barcelona: Actar Publishers
  • Pinto de Freitas, Rita, 2013. Asian contemporary city_Hybrid public-ness: Public Space and Identity. En: IFoU (International Forum on Urbanism), 7th conference of IFoU: Creative Rennaissance. Tainan: IFoUSingapore
  • Pinto de Freitas, R. e tal., 2012. Hybrid High Density in Shanghai. Shanghai: Tongji University Publications.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hussam Salama

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. Dr. Silvia Covarino

Architecture & Urban Design Department

Silvia Covarino, an architect, urbanist, educator, specialized with a Master in Urban Planning and has a PhD in Rehabilitation and Recovery of settlements from Sapienza University of Rome. She has held numerous research and teaching positions within the key theme of urban contemporary socio-anthropological urban living, with experience of participatory planning, on issues of the upgrading of settlements in a different context between Europe, Center America and Mediterranean area. read more


She has actively participated in the seminars and workshops, as a speaker in conferences and elaborates documents for Seminar, some works are published. She has collaborated above all with professional architecture. Also works well for some research in urban areas. Between 2015-2019, she is was Assistant Professor at Girne American University in Northern Cyprus and teaching Architectural and Urban Design Studios and theoretical courses in undergraduate and graduate courses (including MArch and PhD in Architecture programmes). Actually is an associate Professor at German University in Cairo, at the Architecture and Urban Design Department.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wafaa Nadim

Building Technology Department
Dr. Nadim is Associate Professor in Architecture and Building Technology at The German University in Cairo (GUC), Egypt. She received her PhD (2009) and MSc (2004) degrees from the University of Salford, Manchester UK, and her BSc. Degree in Architecture from Cairo University in Egypt. Her MSc. was a Chevening scholarship funded by BP Egypt. read more


Currently, Dr. Nadim’s focus is architecture in nature sensitive areas in Egypt, with particular focus on the Red Sea. She is collaborating with UNDP Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Egypt Tourism Project, leading a group of GUC Pre-Master students, to provide environmentally friendly solution for ElGhargana village, in ElNabq Protectorate, Sharm ElSheikh. This is intended to preserve the culture of Bedouins, respect biodiversity, and attract responsible tourism. Furthermore, Dr. Nadim has been recently awarded a DAAD Fund around Euro 100,000 (year1 - 2021) together with Technical University in Munich, Germany, to engage both Egyptian and German Students to design and eventually build together with the Bedouins, local NGOs, and Tourism experts in the Red Sea an exemplar for Bedouin architecture; and thus, help improve the quality of their living and attract nature sensitive tourism.
In 2015-2018, as the principal investigator (PI), Dr. Nadim successfully completed a project funded by Egypt Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF) with the Title: Affordable and Adjustable living and Mobility for an Integrated Urban System in Egypt (AL2MOBILIUS) investigating the potentials of Open Building for social housing in Egypt. The research concluded a live-work housing model for Egypt social housing. In 2004-2009, she joined the €10 Mill EU funded Integrated Research Project on Open Building Manufacturing/Manubuild, where she was leading six EU partners from both academia and industry to develop training and education packages including a VR training demonstrator to help disseminate flexible design and construction in Europe. She authored/co-authored several refereed journal papers/book chapters on the innovative uptake of offsite construction and modern methods of construction in the UK and Europe.
Dr. Nadim is teaching Bachelor Design Studios, Building Construction, and Project Management. In her courses she focuses on bridging between academia and industry and implements experiential learning approaches, promoting learning by doing. She is also supervising MSc and PhD Theses concerned with improving architecture and construction practices in Egypt with particular emphasis on housing covering topics including Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), Public Private Partnership (PPP), daylighting, natural ventilation, housing flexibility, housing aesthetics etc.
Dr. Nadim was the coordinator of SB13 Cairo Conference and SBE16 Cairo conference in 2013 and 2016, respectively, as part of the international conference series: Sustainable Built Environment organized by the CIB, FIDIC, iiSBE, UNEP. She is also a Hubert Humphrey Alumna in Technology Policy and Management at Rutgers University in the USA (2002-2003) and has further experience in construction project management in multinational construction projects (£100Mill - £170Mill).

Assoc. Prof. Christian Schmitt

Building Technology Department

Christian Schmitt is an associate professor and architect with a focus on a material sustainably and simplicity, (particularly earthen materials), in design and construction. He is teaching architecture and urban design in lectures and design studios. He is a member of the faculty’s curriculum committee. read more


Further to assisting Anna Heringer and Martin Rauch, in the teaching of earthen architecture at ETH Zurich, he is also an experienced architect who has practiced in Germany and Switzerland and co. founder of the architecture studio  Before studying he completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter and as a furniture designer. He worked on various award winning and widely published projects such as; Lecture hall centers, office buildings, residential and cultural buildings for Herzog de Meuron, BBK architects and Ferdinand Heide and gained valuable experience in all fields of architectural practice and research.

Personal statement: Material is the omnipresent surface between the construction space and the inscribed space. 

Choosing the right material, guides the design process from the beginning and enriches architecture with an authentical sustainability. 

The aspect of "simplicity" in material and tectonics helps to explore an "architecture unplugged". At the same time, the latest material processing and research - also in fabricational design – promise’s to develop and transform simplicity in architectural design.

The combination of materials in design and construction should reduce the need for technology in favor of a built architecture. Technology can solve some problems but cannot shape space. Today’s challenge is not only to teach and apply know-how in design, tectonics and construction, but rather understanding the why.   

Selected Publications:

  • Schmitt, C (2018), Schweizerische Botschaft in Singapur, Architecture Competition
  • various publications for projects with Herzog & de Meuron and other offices
  • Schmitt, C, Faust, D (2006): Panta Rhei, International Conference, SFT Congress Münster, Germany
  • Fischer J. (2006), 1000 x European architecture, Verlagshaus Braun
  • Liu, Yu-Tung (2003), Developing Digital Architecture: Feidad Award, Birkhäuser

Assoc. Prof. Frank Eittorf

Building Technology Deaprtment

Frank Eittorf is co-founder of AĞIRBAŞ EITTORF FRIENDS, Architecture & Urban Planning. He worked + taught in different, global thinking + acting offices + universities in Germany, France, Netherlands, Turkey, Morocco + Oman. He is interested in Sustainability as new + old design-approach, depending on the context, independent of the more


In 1996, he completed his apprenticeship as a mason with the ‘Association Ouvrière des Compagnons du Devoir‘ in Marseille, France. Afterward, he started his studies in Architecture at Hochschule Bochum - University of Applied Sciences, to continue at Ecole d‘Architecture de Nantes, obtaining his architectural diploma in 2006 at Hochschule Bochum. He deepens his studies in the ‘Baukunstklasse’ at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, obtaining in 2010 his second degree, the Master of Art.
His academic career started in 2006 at Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf, followed by Hochschule Bochum, Leibniz University of Hannover, Technische Universtität Dortmund, École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Benguerir, Morocco + the German University of Technology in Oman. Most times he worked as a researcher or lecturer. At GUC he started to teach design-courses in almost every semester-level.
Frank is resuming that Sustainability is still separated from concept + design, never had to follow design qualities, that is why sustainable architecture has no branding. 
He is arguing, without branding it is hard to sell a product, even if it is a very good and reasonable product. In his understanding Sustainability should be the starting point for the design process. In hot climates like Egypt, his education is based on building-mass, shading, and airflow, depending on semester and student, energy and water topics should follow. 
He is asking : 
How SUSTAINABILITY – based on a specific context – should be in concept + design ?! 

Assoc. Prof. Holger Gladys

Architecture & Urban Design Department

Holger Gladys is an architect and urbanist, and has been teaching since 2016 urban design and theory at the German University in Cairo.His activities are mainly dedicated to the 5th year Major Urban Design Studies, a pre-master program composed of intense design instruction and extensive applied research on the urban environment. Gladys is also a member of the faculty’s curriculum committee. read more


He graduated from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and from the research-based Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. In addition to having been a practicing architect in the Netherlands, between 2003 and 2016 he has been Associate Lecturer at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, and parallel between 2010 and 2016 Research Associate at the Weimar Bauhaus University. He has been a member of the Weimar Institute for European Urban Studies and in 2013 Guest Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Washington Alexandria Architecture Center. During the course of 15 years, he has been a Master Thesis Committee Member in Amsterdam, Weimar and Leuven; Guest Critic at design studios in Delft, Stuttgart, Innsbruck, Washington DC; and Visiting Teacher during international summer schools in Amsterdam, Istanbul and Porto.

The research cluster values Ananya Roy’s call for ‘New Geographies of Theory’ that attempts to recalibrate the discourse on the formation of metropolitan urban-regional-rural-agglomerations away from an EuroAmerican dominated narrative toward the need of moving the cities of the global South in the center of theory-making. The program is an invitation to break open black and white thinking, to consider and re-consider an outdated hegemony, and to carefully position and re-position the global South at eyelevel on the agenda of critical reflection and space-making. The ambition is to create fresh and unbiased insights on the repertoire of metropolitan conditions, particularly reflecting the vocabulary of the Greater Cairo Region as source and inspiration.

Selected Publications:

  • Holger Gladys; Don't Trust the Idyll, Meritorious Objectives and Arguable Substance in Dutch Suburbia – in Barbara Schönig (ed.) Variations of Suburbanism, Approaching a Global Phenomenon. ibidem Verlag, Stuttgart (2015) and Columbia University Press, New York (2017).

Assoc. Prof. Ruairí O'Brien

Visual Design & Presentation Department

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.

Assoc. Prof. Thomas Loeffler

Building Technology Department

Associate Professor for Building Technology and Architectural Design, he focuses on Design studios, electives, bachelor and master thesis supervision. Development and establishing of the “Integrated Design Project”, a new design studio format with a strong focus on linking architectural design and building construction and technology. Initiating DGNB/GUC cooperation. read more


Architecture and Urban Design at University of Stuttgart and Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, Studio David Chipperfield. Graduated in 1998 with Prof. F. Ullmann, Vienna. 1998-2002 Leading Project Architect in G. Domenig/H. Eisenköck/H. Peyker, Graz, Austria. 2003. With my own architecture firm (thomas loeffler architekt) design and consultancy projects in Cairo and Austria and Germany including competition awards and realized projects (published). 2002-2011 Asst. Professor at IBBTE, University of Stuttgart. Since 2011 Assoc. Prof. for Building Technology at the GUC. 2014-2019 Head of Department Building Technology, 2016-2019 Vice Director GUC Architecture and Urban Design Program.
The influence of the climate is an essential design criterion that needs to be considered early in the design phase and often determines the architectural and the technical concept. Complicated hi-tech solutions are often unsuitable due to a lacking expertise, maintenance problems and high investment costs. Based in the Middle East, we are conducting research on climate adapted architecture, focusing on renewables and passive and semi-passive measures in buildings. In an interdisciplinary team we are developing new strategies and systems to improve thermal comfort in buildings in hyper-arid and arid climates by integrating technologies such as PV-T and CCA.  
  • GERF project BMBF/STDF “Night Cool”, 2013-2016. GUC/HFT Stuttgart, Grant: 200.000 EUR.
  • GAIIA 2017 Award, DLR/BMBF, “PVT-RESyst” 2018-2021. GUC/, Grant: 150.000 EUR.
  • Development of Cost-effective Sustainable Cooling and Heating Systems for Buildings in Egypt, in: Courtyard Houses in Tunisia–Transformation of a Building Tradition through Technology and Material, IEK Stuttgart, January 2018.
  • “Low-Cost Cooling in Egypt”, IAC Conference, Industry Academic Collaboration, International Conference on Industry Academia Collaboration (IAC2014), Cairo, Egypt, March 3-5, 2014. 
  • Night-Cool – Development of Low-Cost Renewable Heating- and Cooling Systems for Egyptian Buildings. In: Democratic Transition and Sustainable Communities: Overcoming Challenges Through Innovative Practical Solutions, Cairo 2013. ISBN-13: 978-3844023664.