Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture

Salma Samar Damluji

Salma Samar Damluji
Curriculum Vitae

Primary Office
Office Dar Al Handasah-Shair-Architecture Bldg 303
Extension: 3678

Short Bio

British architect of Iraqi and Lebanese descent, Salma Samar Damluji graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture and The Royal College of Art in London, She worked with Egyptian Architect Hassan Fathy (1975-1976) and (1983 to1984). In 2008 she established with colleagues in Yemen The Daw‘an Mud Brick Architecture Foundation in Mukalla, Hadramut and has ben working there on earth construction and rehabilitation projects. See

Damluji has carried out extensive field work and research on architecture in the Arab region. She is author of over 12 titles including Zillij, The Art of Moroccan Ceramics (1993) with John Hedgecoe, The Architecture of Oman (1998), The Architecture of the UAE (2006) and The Architecture of Yemen (2007). Her latest The Other Architecture: Geometry, Earth and Vernacular (Leçon Inaugurale de l’École de Chaillot), was published in Paris in 2015 and short listed at the Académie d’Architecture for the Prix du Livre d’Architecture, in November 2015.

Since 2013 she is Professor, Binladin Chair for Architecture in the Islamic World at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, The American University of Beirut.

Research Interests

Arab, Islamic and Vernacular architecture. Fieldwork was conducted to support the design research covering a wide range of regional architecture (e.g. Oman, Yemen, UAE, Morocco and more recently Rajasthan). The initial interest was triggered by research in Islamic geometry and consolidated in practicing with Hassan Fathy in Cairo broadening the spectrum with the design of the Islamic and Arab city, the architecture, crafts, culture, function and prevalent meaning. Earth architecture and building technology led my design research to vernacular architecture in the urban and rural fabric as a practical source of inspiration, providing impetus for addressing the social, environmental and architectural balance. Current research investigates the Madinah hypothesis as a resource and creative reference: a focal point in the dialogue on the future of Arab cities.


1984 - 1987 Royal College of Art, London PhD (RCA)
1972 - 1977 The Architectural Assoc. School of Architecture AA Dipl.

Work Experience

2013 - Present Professor American University of Beirut.
2008 - Present Chief Architect & Founder DAW‘AN MUD BRICK ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION
2002 - 2004 Director The Technical Office of the Chairman of The Works Department in Abu Dhabi
1989 - 1997 Senior Tutor The Architectural Association School of Architecture, Housing & Urbanism, Graduate School
1994 - 1996 Coordinator RCA Morocco Asilah Studios
1989 - 1994 Tutor VITA (Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts)
1987 - 1989 Research Fellow Royal College of Art (RCA)
1983 - 1984 Assistant Architect Hassan Fathy
1977 - 1983 Lecturer Beirut University College and Lebanese University in Islamic Arts & Architecture
1981 - 1982 Human Settlement Officer UN Economic Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
1974 - 1975 Assistant Architect Hassan Fathy


English Professional Working
French Limited Working
Arabic Native or Bilingual

Honors and Awards

2015 The French Academy of Architecture Médaille de la Restauration The French Academy of Architecture (Paris)
2012 The Global Award For Sustainable Architecture The Locus Foundation (Paris)