Dr Mazin Al-Saffar is a Lecturer in Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture. Previously, he worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Architectural Engineering/the University of Technology in Iraq. He also worked as a Senior Architect in Baghdad and Dubai for 14 years. In 2016, he was listed as an Associate Editor for the current volume of Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies in the USA.

Academic and professional qualifications

  • 2019    PGCert, Learning & Teaching in HE, MMU
  • 2018    PhD, Architecture and Urban Design, Manchester School of Architecture 
  • 2015    MPhil Architecture and Urban Design, Manchester School of Architecture 
  • 2007    M.Sc. Urban Design, Higher Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Baghdad
  • 1998    B.Sc. Architecture, Architectural Engineering Department, University of Baghdad

Previous Employment

  • 2018 - 2021    Associate Lecturer, Manchester School of Architecture, MMU, Manchester, UK
  • 2009 - 2013    Lecturer, Architectural Engineering Department, University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq
  • 2007 - 2009    Senior Architect, Adnan Saffarini Engineering Consultants, Dubai, UAE
  • 2001 - 2007    Senior Architect, Founder, Director of KAN Company, Baghdad, Iraq
  • 1998 - 2001    Architect, Qutrage Company, Baghdad, Iraq

Academic service (administration and management)

  • 2021 - present    Co-Lead, BA1 (Hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture
  • 2020 - 2021         Co-Lead, MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture

Languages

  • English
  • Arabic

Undergraduate courses

  • 2021 - present    Year 1, BA (Hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture 
  • 2021 - present    Year 2, BA (Hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture
  • 2009 - 2013         Year 3, BA (Hons) Architecture, Architectural Engineering Department, University of Technology
  • 2009 - 2013         Year 4, BA (Hons) Architecture, Architectural Engineering Department, University of Technology

Postgraduate teaching

  • 2018 - 2021    MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture (Studio A, B, C - Dissertation - Research Methodologies and Events - Cities and Urbanism: Ideologies and Futures)      

Projects and initiatives

  • 2021 - 2022    Regenerating Cities during Crisis: Culturally-Routed and sustainable strategies for Middle Eastern Cities (research and interactive workshops)

Prizes and awards

  • 2014 - 2018    PhD Scholarship, The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Baghdad, Iraq
  • 2007                M.Sc. Distinction Award, Higher Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Baghdad
  • 1998                B.Sc. Distinction Award, Architectural Engineering Department, University of Baghdad

Editiorial Board membership

  • 2015 - 2016    Associate Editor - An International Journal of Urban and Extra Urban Studies in the USA.

Membership of professional associations

  • 2019 - present    Member, Best Architecture Masters Ranking
  • 2019 - present    Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • 2018 - 2019         Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • 1998 - present    Member, Iraqi Engineers Union, Baghdad, Iraq

Research

Research Interests

My knowledge and research are interdisciplinary and overlap with Architecture, Conservation, Future Cities, Urban Futures, Sustainability, Sustainable Urbanism and planning, Wellbeing and the Built Environment, Smart Urban Heritage, Smart Cities. It addresses diverse, complex urban issues such as improving sustainable urbanism and development, solving problems of unsustainable geographical expansion patterns and ineffective urban design and planning methods that have increased the number of slum areas, the unsuitable delivery of essential services and inefficient resource use and poverty. Regarding research techniques, I have experience in employing various multi-methods of gathering and analysing data within a single study paradigm. I have extensive experience in qualitative, quantitative and multi-strategy research, where each method integrates and builds on the strength of the other.

I have examined the subjects of architecture, smart complex city, urban conservation, urban heritage, sustainability, urban sustainability, smart sustainable urban form, smart sustainable cities and sustainable design of public spaces and traditional buildings within historic cities. Furthermore, I have discussed how future cities might create efficient urban systems and active urban life that can deal with contemporary challenges and complex urban problems in real-time. I have investigated how smart urbanism (SU) is produced by associating various concepts of the future vision of urban areas, advanced technology and modern city infrastructures. Also, I have researched how SU might be improved by the role of high-tech urban growth, e-citizens and the digital economy. Therefore, a big challenge to be explored in my future research is firstly, how to integrate different advanced technologies and various infrastructures to minimise the environmental impacts in heritage cities. This challenge will require innovative research methods to examine and explore the intersection between ‘Heritage’ and ‘Smart’ within the context of conservation architecture, heritage and smart urban futures. It also will need the participation of diverse disciplines using ICT, smart sensors, new methods of urban design and conservation, VR, advanced devices, to achieve a sustainable city environment and to provide our communities with a better quality of life in their future cities. Secondly, it will explore how advanced technology might create a new active platform and dialogue to engage cities’ stakeholders, policymakers and different communities around the world in processes of conservation architecture heritage, smart urbanism, sustainable city development and sustainable design.

Academic collaborations

  • 2016    Large Data Architectural Research: Mapping Baghdad 1956-2016, Manchester School of Architecture, Unit leader: Ɓukasz Stanek, Collaboration: Mazin Al Saffar

Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

  • 2019 - present    Expert of the Expert Committee of the 2020 & 2021 Editions of the Best Architecture Masters Ranking

Exhibitions

Canniffe, E., Al-Saffar, M., Sagar, D., 2018. Reimagining the Northern Quarter, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 2018.

Book Chapters

Al-Saffar, M., 2020. 'Assessment of the process of urban transformation in Baghdad city form and function'. In Assessment of the process of urban transformation in Baghdad city form and function, pp. 709-718, Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València.

Al-Saffar, M., 2020. 'Urban Heritage and Conservation in The Historic Centre of Baghdad'. In Heritage Architecture Studies, pp. 23-37, WIT Press.

Journal Articles

Al-Saffar, M., 2020. 'Baghdad; City of Cultural Heritage and Monumental Islamic Architecture', DISEGNARECON, 13 (25), pp. 14.1-14.15.

Al-Saffar, M., Bathsha, A., Chang, C-H., Ge, H., Huang, X., Shi, K., Lu, Y., Peng, Z., Sun, W., Wang, H., Wang, R., Zhou, W., Ye, Z., Yu, M., Zha, Z., Bao, X., Zhou, KZ., 2017. 'How to Enhance the Future of Urban Environments Through Smart Sustainable Urban Infrastructures?', DISEGNARECON, 12 (23), pp. 14.1-14.14.

Al-Saffar, M., 2017. 'Urban heritage and conservation in the historic centre of baghdad', International Journal of Heritage Architecture: Studies, Repairs and Maintence, 2 (1), pp. 23-36.

Al-Saffar, M., 2016. 'Toward an Integrated Sustainable Urban Design Framework in the Historic Center of Baghdad', The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, 13 (1), pp. 31-52.

Al-Saffar, M., 2011. 'Simulation in City Planning', Association of Arab Universities Journal of Engineering Sciences, 18 (2), pp. 1-18.

Al-Saffar, M., 2010. 'Globalization and its Impact on the Urban System', The Iraqi Journal for Architectural Engineering, 21, pp. 277-292.

Conference Papers

Al-Saffar, M., Blanco Pastor, A., Tezer, J., Fang, J., Livanur Sen, H., Su, Z., Hussein, M., 2021. 'Towards A Sustainable Urban Form: A Comparative Analysis on Urban Regeneration between Crewe (UK) and Barahona de Fresno (Spain)', Urban Form and the Sustainable Prosperous City, Glasgow, Scotland, 29/6/2021 - 3/7/2021, in https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/80509/, pp. 391-398.

Al-Saffar, M., 2017. 'Assessment of the process of urban transformation in Baghdad city form and function.', 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age, Valencia, SPAIN, 27/9/2017 - 29/9/2017, in Proceedings 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age, pp. 709-718.

Al-Saffar, M., 2009. 'Methods to Employ Information Technology in Urban Regeneration of Contemporary Iraqi Cities', Fifth Scientific Conference on Higher Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq, pp. 235-269.

Presentations

Al-Saffar, M., 2022. 'Cities, Urban form and Transformation', BA1 (Hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture..

Al-Saffar, M., 2022. 'Future Cities', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2022. 'Making Connections - The Site and City Image', BA1 (Hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2021. 'Future Cities and Our Space Infrastructure', BA (hons) Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2021. 'Future Cities and Urban Heritage', Oline Workshop.

Al-Saffar, M., 2020. 'Research Methods', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2020. 'Smart Sustainable Cities', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2019. 'Research Methodology', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2019. 'Smart Cities', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2018. 'Urban Heritage and Conservation in Baghdad', MA Architecture & Urbanism, Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2017. 'Toward an Integrated Smart and Sustainable Urbanism Framework in the Historic Centre of Baghdad: Old Rusafa as a Case Study', Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2016. 'Cities as Complex Systems', Manchester.

Al-Saffar, M., 2016. 'Urban Development and Transformation in Baghdad City from The First AD to 2016', Manchester School of Architecture.

Al-Saffar, M., 2015. 'Urban Transformation in Baghdad City Form', Manchester School of Architecture.

Theses and Dissertations

Al-Saffar, M., 2018. 'Toward an Integrated Smart Sustainable Urbanism Framework in the Historic Centre of Baghdad. (Old Rusafa as a case study)'.

Al-Saffar, M., 2007. 'A Futuristic Vision for the Effect of Information Technology on Al-Karrada District in Baghdad City (Case Study: Al-Karrada District in Baghdad)'.