Prof. Dina Shehayeb

Prof. Dina Shehayeb is the founding Program Director; she is an architect/urban designer and researcher. She earned her M.Sc. in housing and neighbourhood design from Cairo University in 1989, and her Ph.D. from UWM in USA in 1995 focusing on Environment & Behaviour Studies in Architecture and Urban Design. She is specialized in research-based design, she works on bridging the gap between the physical environment and its socio-cultural and psychological dimensions. As an academic as well as the principal of her private practice Shehayeb CONSULT, Prof. Shehayeb has taught and supervised theses in multiple universities nationally and internationally since 2000, participated in multiple studies and projects with national and international institutions, and served on multiple scientific committees including the UN-Habitat Advisory Boards and has more than 30 publications in scientific journals, conference proceedings and books.

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Director Word

Egypt has one of the most rapidly transforming urban scenes. Egyptian cities and towns also include a wide range of diversity in urban form and patterns. It is a country characterized by its central location and multi-cultural heritage from Ancient Egyptian, through Greco-Roman, Christian, and Ottoman, to the European colonial influences of the 19th C. These layers of heritage are reflected in its cities and neighborhoods as well as in people’s lifestyles. Cairo is a megacity with a population of an estimated 20+ million offering a ripe example of fast-growing mega cities multiple with diverse urban experiences and a vibrant social life that becomes part of the learning experience of any student. For the spatial design and urban planning fields, from architecture to urban management, the city of Cairo alone offers a highly complex laboratory. The rate of urban development and transformation, the underlying socio-cultural and economic patterns, the tensions and linkages between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’, the social resilience and potential for adaptability, and the continuous experimentation with laws and regulations, make studying it a fascinating and challenging endeavor and requires heuristic frameworks that are at the same time integrative, multidisciplinary, socio-culturally sensitive, and technically agile. The vision was to develop an architectural undergraduate program that is “different” and innovative utilizing technology yet closely connected to the real everyday dynamics to address the challenges facing the building of human settlements that support and sustain the wellbeing, prosperity, and fulfillment of human values.