Dr Alexandra Stara


I teach history and theory in the Department of Architecture & Landscape, and supervise several PhD students. I have previously led the MArch history and dissertation modules, directed the MA Architecture: Thinking Building and the Graduate Diploma in Architecture (RIBA/ARB Part 2).

I am a trained architect with Masters degrees in Advanced Architectural Studies from The Bartlett UCL, and in the History & Philosophy of Architecture from the University of Cambridge. I also hold a doctorate in the History of Art from the University of Oxford and a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

I have lectured, examined and published internationally on the hermeneutics of art, architecture and the modern museum for the past thirty years. I have been judge and chair of the RIBA President's Medals 2009-2014, a member of the editorial board of The Architectural Review, and I am currently on the panel of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes, as well as a referee for a number of international publications on art and architecture.

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor and Reader in the History and Theory of Architecture


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2015
  • DPhil (PhD), Department of the History of Art and Worcester College, University of Oxford, 1999
  • MPhil, Department of Architecture and Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, 1993
  • MSc, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 1991
  • Registered Architect-Engineer at the Technical Chamber of Greece (RIBA/ARB Part 3 equivalent), 1990
  • Diploma of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, 1989

Teaching and learning

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My research explores encounters between architecture and the arts, and the relationship of past and present in contemporary practice. I investigate these relationships across historical and contemporary manifestations, focusing on questions of continuity, the invention of heritage and the changing role of curating. My most recent book, a collection of the late Dalibor Vesely's essays, co-edited with Peter Carl, brings to light new and hard-to-access material for those familiar with the seminal architectural philosopher's thought, while also presenting a compelling introduction to his writing and its profound relevance for architecture and culture today. My earlier books include a discussion of the eighteenth-century Museum of Monuments in Pairs, exploring the ideas of historic monument and national heritage through the quest for collective identity in emerging modernity; and two edited volumes, on curating architecture and the city, and on trauma in art and literature, which map different aspects of the idea of place and its representations across media. Photography as a means of interpreting our environment is an ongoing concern, and the focus of several papers and events, including an Arts Council funded exhibition. I am currently working on a project investigating ways in which architectural practice in recent years has returned to a critical engagement with historical precedent.

Research student supervision


Number of items: 47.


Stara, Alexandra (2013) 'Making Strange': The Photography of Steffi Klenz and Thomas Weinberger. History of Photography, 37(3), pp. 353-359. ISSN (print) 0308-7298

Stara, Alexandra (2012) Women are now on average more highly educated than men. The Architects' Journal, 235(1), pp. 30-31. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Planung fur Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve in Ost-London, Grossbritannien: architekt Peter Beard, London. Bauwelt, 43(10), p. 34. ISSN (print) 0005-6855

Stara, Alexandra (2009) The new Acropolis Museum. The Architectural Review, CCXXV(1348), pp. 24-26. ISSN (print) 0003-861X

Stara, Alexandra (2009) A journey elsewhere: in search of Steffi Klenz's Dagenham Heathway. London Independent Photography, Spring(12), pp. 24-25. ISSN (print) 1746-4153

Stara, Alexandra [Reviewer] (2008) Book Review of: Exit-architecture: design between war and peace by Stephan Truby, with forward by Heiner Muhlmann, translated by Robert Payne. The Architects' Journal, p. 53. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Stara, Alexandra [Reviewer] (2008) Joseph and the amazing van Eyck. The Architects' Journal, 227(18), pp. 49-50. ISSN (print) 0003-8466

Daskalaki, Maria, Stara, Alexandra and Imas, Miguel (2008) The 'Parkour Organisation': inhabitation of corporate spaces. Culture and Organization, 14(1), pp. 49-64. ISSN (print) 1475-9551

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Architecture is no picture. KIOSK(2), pp. 56-59. ISSN (print) 1755-9626

Stara, Alexandra (2007) Madder Rose: Lynch Architects' east London gallery draws on the history of the type and the life of the street. Architecture Today, 175, pp. 40-49. ISSN (print) 0958-6407

Stara, Alexandra (2005) Re-membering. Scroope: Cambridge Architecture Journal, pp. 136-143. ISSN (print) 0966-1026

Stara, Alexandra (2003) London. AA Files, 49, pp. 14-19. ISSN (print) 0261-6823

Stara, Alexandra (2000) On the problem of history in the museum. Annals For Aesthetics, 39, pp. 163-174. ISSN (print) 1105-0462

Stara, Alexandra (1993) The museum as dialectics of distance. Scroope: Cambridge Architecture Journal(5), pp. 17-19. ISSN (print) 0966-1026


Vesely, Dalibor, Stara, Alexandra [Editor] and Carl, Peter [Editor] (2023) The latent world of architecture : selected essays. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. 330p. ISBN 9781032223254

Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, eds. (2014) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 224p. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2013) The Museum of French Monuments 1795-1816: killing art to make history. Farnham, U.K. : Ashgate. 198p. (The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950) ISBN 9781409437994

Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, eds. (2002) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. 258p. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Book Section

Stara, Alexandra (2023) 'The play's the thing' : on theatricality and modern public space. In: Landrum, Lisa and Ridgway, Sam, (eds.) Theatres of architectural imagination. Routledge. pp. 131-143. ISBN 9781032286112

Stara, Alexandra (2020) The depth between frames : architectural representation in two films by Elizabeth Price and Rut Blees Luxemburg. In: Troiani, Igea and Campbell, Hugh, (eds.) Architecture Filmmaking. Bristol, UK : Intellect Books. pp. 39-56. ISBN 9781783209941

Stara, Alexandra (2019) Architecture's ethical function: in defence of the architect's profession. In: Jones, Alan and Hyde, Rob, (eds.) Defining contemporary professionalism: for architects in practice and education. London, U.K. : RIBA Publishing. pp. 222-225. ISBN 9781859468470

Stara, Alexandra (2019) Nature and artifice : Nadav Kander's Yangtze, The Long River. In: Adler, Gerald and Guerci, Manolo, (eds.) Riverine : architecture and rivers. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. ISBN 9781138681750

Stara, Alexandra (2015) The Louvre Effect. In: Kristoffer, Arvidsson, (ed.) Skiascope 7: Art, Museum, Architecture. Gothenburg, Sweden : Gothenburg Museum of Art. pp. 50-87. (Skiascope: Annual Publication of the Gothenburg Museum of Art) ISBN 9789187968921

Stara, Alexandra (2015) Ghosts of place : displacement and identity in the work of Ori Gersht. In: Pultz Moslund, Sten , Ring Petersen, Anne and Schramm, Moritz, (eds.) The culture of migration: politics, aesthetics and histories. London, U.K. : I. B. Tauris. pp. 257-269. ISBN 9781784533106

Stara, Alexandra (2015) On mimesis and type in the work of Lynch Architects. In: Lynch Architects, (ed.) Mimesis: Lynch Architects. London, U.K. : Artifice Books on Architecture. pp. 23-70. ISBN 9781908967664

Stara, Alexandra (2015) Rehearsals. In: Stewart, Christopher and Teichmann, Esther, (eds.) Staging Disorder. London : Black Dog Publishing. pp. 14-16. ISBN 9781910433157

Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra (2014) Introduction: the arts of trauma. In: Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 1-17. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2014) Traces of trauma: the photography of Ori Gersht. In: Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 181-190. ISBN 9781443853422

Stara, Alexandra (2012) Architectural poetics in Alvaro Siza's Church of Santa Maria. In: Emmons, Paul , Lomholt, Jane and Hendrix, John, (eds.) The cultural role of architecture. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 123-131. ISBN 9780415783408

Stara, Alexandra (2012) National history as biography: Alexandre Lenoir's Museum of French Monuments. In: Hill, Kate, (ed.) Museums and biographies: stories, objects, identities. Woodbridge, U.K. : Boydell & Brewer. pp. 265-276. (Heritage Matters) ISBN 9781843837275

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education. In: Bandyopadhyay, Soumyen , Lomholt, Jane , Temple, Nicholas and Tobe, Renée, (eds.) The Humanities in Architectural Design: A contemporary and Historical Perspective. Oxford, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 28-35. ISBN 9780415551144

Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra (2009) Introduction. In: Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 1-5. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Stara, Alexandra (2009) Urban fictions with the office for subversive architecture. In: Chaplin, Sarah and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) Curating architecture and the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 233-245. (AHRA Critiques: Critical studies in architectural humanities) ISBN 9780415489836

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Office for subversive architecture (OSA). In: Smith, Deborah, (ed.) In the space of elsewhere. Kingston-upon-Thames, UK : Stanley Picker Gallery. pp. 35-38. ISBN 9780955474484

Conference or Workshop Item

Stara, Alexandra (2021) ‘The Play’s the Thing’: On theatricality and modern public space. In: Frascari Symposium V: Theatres of architectural imagination; 27-29 May 2021, Montréal and Manitoba [ONLINE]. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2017) The radicality of mimesis : towards a proposition for contemporary architecture. In: Copycat. Dealing with Dangerous Mimesis; 23-25 Feb 2017, Weimar, Germany. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2014) City and river in contemporary landscape photography. In: Riverine Conference 2014; 26-28 Jun 2014, Canterbury, U.K. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2013) Beyond form: the relevance of the tectonic. In: Form Finding, Form Shaping, Designing Architecture; 10-11 Oct 2013, Mendrisio, Switzerland. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra [Organizer of meeting], Luxemburg, Rut Blees [Speaker], Collins, Hannah [Speaker], McCarthy, Tom [Speaker] and Lynch, Patrick [Speaker] (2010) Photography as alternative urbanism. In: Photography as alternative urbanism; 10 Nov 2010, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Making strange in urban landscape photography: the work of Steffi Klenz and Thomas Weinberger. In: Emerging Landscapes; 25 - 27 Jun 2010, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Architectural poetics in Alvaro Siza's Parochial Centre of Marco de Canaveses. In: The Cultural Role of Architecture; 23 - 25 Jun 2010, Lincoln, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Traces of trauma: the work of Ori Gersht. In: Exploring the Edge of Trauma; 13 - 16 May 2010, Chichester, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2009) Phenomenology as architectural praxis: two houses in East Anglia. In: Architecture + phenomenology; 26-29 Jun 2009, Kyoto, Japan. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2008) Displacement as enchantment: the poetic potential of the museum. In: Location: the museum, the academy and the studio. 34th AAH Annual Conference; 2-4 Apr 2008, London, UK. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2007) The revelatory frame: curating the city through art photography. In: Architecture, urbanism & curatorship: 4th annual AHRA international conference; 17 - 18 Nov 2007, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Stara, Alexandra (2007) Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education. In: The Role of the Humanities in Design Creativity; 15-16 Nov 2007, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Stara, Alexandra [Curator] (2009) Strange places: urban landscape photography. Strange places: urban landscape photography. , 30 Sep - 21 Nov 2009 , Kingston-upon-Thames, U.K..

This list was generated on Fri Feb 23 06:42:48 2024 GMT.

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