Asma Mehan

Job title
Postdoc Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Leiden University

Asma Mehan is the current Postdoc fellow at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus program for Port City Futures and the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University.  

Trained as an architect and urban historian, Asma Mehan has studied, taught, and practiced architecture in Iran (Tehran and Isfahan), Italy, and Portugal. In 2017, she completed her PhD in ‘Architecture, History, and Design’ program at the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD), Politecnico di Torino (Italy) with the thesis “The empty locus of power: production of political urbanism in modern Tehran.” Asma completed research stays in Australia (Deakin University, Melbourne, 2016-2017) and at the EPFL University, Lausanne, Switzerland (2017), and was a researcher in resident at the ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin, 2019. Between 2017 and 2018, she led a project on Oil Heritage in Iran working closely with the ICOMOS and TICCIH. In 2018-2019, Asma completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Politecnico di Torino in collaboration with Torino-based Future Urban Legacy Lab (FULL). In 2019-2020, Asma was a Postdoc Fellow at the CITTA (Research Center for Territory, Transports, and Environment), University of Porto (Portugal).

Asma’s main interests include planning history and theory and transnational politics of architecture. In terms of geographic location, she conducted research in the Middle East (Tehran, Istanbul), South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur) as well as Europe (Torino, Berlin) and the US (Detroit). Asma has authored multiple papers in international journals such as The Cultural Geographies, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, International Journal of Heritage Architecture, Archnet-IJAR, and Contour on themes around Urban studies, planning politics and architecture. She is the author of “Kuala Lumpur: Community, Infrastructure, and Urban Inclusivity” (London and New York: Routledge, 2020). This book argues that elements of urban infrastructure could work as an essential mediator ‘beyond community’, allowing inclusive social structures to be built, despite cultural and religious tensions existing within the city.