Michele Lamprakos

Assistant Professor
(301) 405-8677
ARC 1218

Trained as an architect and architectural/urban historian, Dr. Lamprakos is interested in the layers of buildings and cities.  Her research focuses on the modern/early modern Middle East and Mediterranean world.  She began her career as a development worker in Egypt, where she managed a project to revive the cottage silk industry in the Nile Delta. Through this work she developed a deep interest in material culture and the role it can play in transforming people's lives.  This led her to the study of architecture and later, urban history and critical heritage studies.


Dr. Lamprakos’ career has combined teaching, research, and practice in architecture and preservation.  She is author of the book Building a World Heritage City (Ashgate, 2015) – a study of urban history, heritage, and building practice in Sanaa, Yemen  –  and other scholarly publications (see her academia.edu web page, linked below).  Dr. Lamprakos has co-organized two international symposia:  “Heritage and the Arab Spring” (Freer Gallery of Art, February 2014); and "Conserving the City: Critical History and Urban Conservation” (University of Pennsylvania, April 2012).  The proceedings of the latter were published in a special issue of Change over Time (University of Pennsylvania Press, April 2014), with Dr. Lamprakos as guest editor.   Her current research on the Great Mosque of Cordoba looks at the changing fabric and meaning of the building through the centuries: as Catholic cathedral, historic monument, and symbol of the Islamic past in Spain.  


Dr. Lamprakos has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, and the Maryland Institute College of Art.  Her seminars in architectural and urban history are often comparative in nature, looking at parallels in, and contact between, the Islamic world and Europe. She has also taught studios and seminars in architectural design, adaptive reuse, and preservation.  Her professional work has included design and preservation for buildings that range in scale from federal properties and tobacco warehouses to prewar single-family homes.  Dr. Lamprakos served as Technical Reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2010 and 2013 Award cycles), evaluating urban rehabilitation projects in Albania, Morocco, and Palestine, and a new museum at Madinat al-Zahra archeological site near Cordoba, Spain.


PhD Architecture: Theory and Criticism/Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture - Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2006
M Arch - University of California, Berkeley 1992
BA Near Eastern Studies - Princeton University 1983