Dr Hamid Khalili is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA). Hamid’s teaching and research lie in the common ground between the theory and practice of architecture and digital narrative media such as cinema, animation, video games, VR and immersive environments. Hamid has practised both design and filmmaking and has taught, developed and coordinated courses across three continents in both architecture and film schools. Prior to his current role MSA, he taught and researched at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Liverpool and the University of Melbourne. He has given guest lectures, directed workshops, and has been a visiting critic at several architecture and film schools in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Previous Employment

  • Lecturer in Architecture, Interior and Spatial Design, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, UK. 2022-2023
  • Post-doctorate Research Associate and M.Arch Design Studio Unit Master, Liverpool School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 2020-2022
  • Design Studio Leader, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. 2017-2020.


English, Italian and Farsi.

Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

Current PhD Students:

  • Rui Ma, "Cinematic-Architectural Comedy: Buster Keaton as an Architect," (in progress).
  • Gang Pan, "Cinematic Architecture of Videogames:Cinematic Narratives in Immersive Interactive Environments," (in progress).
  • Ziqiu Ren, "Filming Everyday Temporal-Spatial Patterns: Food Markets as Infrastructural Nodes in Chinese Urban Context," (in progress) [co-supervisor].

I am interested in supervising practice-based and theoretical PhD and MPhil theses in the fields of:

Architecture and Media

  • Cinema, architecture and cities
  • Architectural image-making and representation
  • Architecture and/of video game
  • Narrative XR, VR, AR practices
  • Architecture and content-sharing social platforms (Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok, etc)

Architectural Theory

  • Design thinking
  • Architecture and/of sport (football and horseracing in particular)
  • Design pedagogy
  • Humour, memes and comedy as a form of architectural critique

My other research interests include, but are not limited to material and visual culture, history of domesticity and interiors, architecture and literature, film theory, Serbian and Balkan architecture, equine and racecourse architecture and critical theory

Media appearances or involvement

  • 2A Magazine: Special Edition of Expo 2020 Dubai – ‘Expo 2020 Dubai and Screen-walls; Towards a Digital Future’ (2022): https://2aincorp.com/2a-magazine-special-edition-of-expo-2020-dubai-february-2022/
  • 2020
  • Pirate Radio – A conversation on Melbourne Design Week and Urban Screening with Rob Cameron and Tim Moore (2020)
  • Interview with Archdaily Editorial Team – ‘No Architectural Media Communicates Atmosphere and Ambiance as Compellingly as Film’ (2019): https://www.archdaily.com/920626/students-rethink-architecture-through-filmmaking-at-melbourne-school-of-design
  • Medium- ‘Film School Roundup’. https://medium.com/@miniflixTV/film-school-roundup-july-week-two-2019-aad4bd8bac84


Research Interests

Hamid’s research examines the nexus between architecture and time-based narrative media. He is interested in the ways in which:

  • filmmaking, animation and storytelling can be taught to architects and designers
  • digital narrative media can be integrated into the education of design and architecture
  • the moving image can be used as both a representational and analytical tool for architects and designers
  • and how the history and theory of architecture and cities can be read through the lens of cinema

In 2022, he convened ‘Spatio-temporal Tales: Design Pedagogies of Digital Narrative Practices’; a symposium concentrated on the ‘pedagogy’ of film, animation, video game, VR and AR as means of spatial storytelling: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/architecture/news/stories/title,1322651,en.html

As a cinephile, he is interested in the spatio-temporal features of the cinema of directors such as Bela Tarr, Michelangelo Antonioni, Theo Angelopoulos, Carlos Reygadas, Pedro Costa, Tsai Ming-Liang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Bi Gan and Hu Bo where the boundaries of reality, memory and spatial imagination are deterritorialized and blurred. Hamid is also fascinated by spatial storytelling in video games and how the notion of ‘videogame cinematics’ has changed the essence of gaming in recent years.

Hamid is a member of the research centres of [CPU]lab: Smart and Sustainable Future Cities, Manchester Game Center and Heritage and Humanities and works with the centre for Architecture and Visual Arts (CAVA) as a research collaborator. At the Centre for Architecture and Visual Arts (CAVA) on several funded projects, design competitions and consultancy grants and continues his collaboration with CAVA as a research collaborator.

Invited Discussions

Invited Lectures:

  • Invited Online Lecture, “Temporal Thinking VS Spatial Thinking”, German International University (GUC), Cairo, Egypt (2023)
  • Invited Lecture, “Cine-architecture Matrix: an Architectural Film Design Tool”, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK (2022).
  • Invited Lecture, “Digital Narrative Practices and the Discipline of Architecture: from Video-essays to Immersive Storytelling”, Kent University, Canterbury, UK (2022).
  • Invited Lecture, “Narrative Sections: Architectural Drawing as a Narrative Device”, Queens Belfast University, Belfast, UK (2022).
  • Introductory Symposium Lecture, “Spatio-temporal Tales: Design Pedagogies of Digital Narrative Practices”, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (2022)
  • Invited Online Lecture, “Contemplative Cinema, Spatial Thinking, and Architecture”, Budapest Film Institute, Budapest, Hungary (2021)
  • Invited Online Lecture, “Architectural Animations, Carving Space and Time”, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China (2021)
  • Invited Lecture, “Narrative Sections: Architectural Drawing as a Narrative Device”, UoL, Liverpool, UK (2021)
  • Invited Online Lecture, “The Architecture and the Cinema of Bela Tarr”, Sarajevo Film Academy, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2020)
  • Invited Online Lecture, “Long Takes, Continuity and the Experience of Urban Spaces”, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK (2020)
  • Invited Lecture, “Film, Architecture, Design Approaches and Methods”, Introductory Seminar Series, MSD, Melbourne, Australia (2019)
  • Invited Lecture, “Architecture and the Cinema of Bela Tarr”, Budapest Film School, Budapest, Hungary (2018)

Book Chapters

Amouzad Khalili, H., Gamini, H., Khalili, H., 2018. 'Resettlement Challenges for Children After Disasters (Case Study): Bam City'. In Resettlement Challenges for Displaced Populations and Refugees, Springer.

Journal Articles

Khalili, H., Brennan, A., 2024. 'A failure in resilience: The corrupting influence of postwar Milan in Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers', Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, 3 ((Special Issue)), pp. 97-112.

Khalili, H.A., Ma, R., 2024. 'The architecture of the video game Stray (2022): the feline quadruped cyberpunk player', Edinburgh Architecture Research (EAR), 38 (2), pp. 6-31.

Khalili, H., 2023. 'A Design Studio Experiment: Pedagogy, Digital Storytelling, and Atmosphere in Architectural Education', The International Journal of Design Education, 17 (1), pp. 213-232.

Khalili, H., Brennan, A., 2023. 'In praise of orthographic projections: cinematic plans, history and application', Journal of Design, Business and Society, 9 (1), pp. 9-39.

Khalili, H., 2018. 'Architectonics of time, movement and textures: the cinema of Béla Tarr', Architectural Theory Review.

Amouzad Khalili, H., Khodamizabihi, R., 2017. 'The Role of Banal Objects in Developing the Artistic Expression of an Idea', The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, 12 (4), pp. 12-19.