Dr Lakshmi Priya Rajendran

Senior Research Fellow, Future Cities

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Built environment

Lakshmi's background is in architecture and urban design and she completed her doctoral studies in Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) at University of Sheffield, UK.

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Lakshmi is an architect and urbanist. Her doctoral research was aimed towards understanding identity construction and negotiation of migrant communities in their everyday urban encounters in multicultural cities and examined the significance of socio-spatial practices for an integrated and inclusive urban development. Her research interests’ deal with urban and cultural studies and an interdisciplinary understanding of social, spatial, temporal and material practices in cities and a comparative study of these practices in Global North and South.

Lakshmi has more than six years of teaching experience in various reputed universities in UK, Malaysia and India. She has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students of architecture and planning. Both in her teaching and research, she consistently strives for opportunities that allow her to explore approaches within the social sciences, humanities and arts, which offer new ways of understanding and studying urban cities, spatiality and people interaction.

Lakshmi is a member of our Future Cities Research Network. She specialises in the research areas of Smart Cities, Urban Resilience, Sustainable Communities and Quality of Life.

Spoken Languages

Tamil, Hindi, English

Research interests

  • Architecture, spatial representation and practice
  • Critical Social and Digital media
  • Identity and Conflict in cities
  • Sustainable and Resilient Urban Futures
  • Everyday Urbanism
  • Architectural Phenomenology
  • Architecture and Culture
  • Planning and Society


  • 2011-2014, PhD In Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2005-2007, Masters in Architecture (M.Arch), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, India
  • 1997-2002, Bachelors in Architecture (B.Arch), Madras University, India

Memberships, editorial boards

Editorial boards
  • Correspondent, The Journal of Public Space, City Space Architecture , Queensland University of Technology, Italy
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Studies Journal. Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
  • Associate Editor, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and Extra Urban, Studies Volume 4, Common Ground Publishing, 2013
  • Member, Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)
  • Member, Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP)
  • Member, European Urban Research Association (EURA)
  • Member, International Visual Sociological Association (IVSA)
  • Member, Vernacular Architecture Group, London (VAG)
  • Registered Architect, Council of Architecture, India (COA)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • NERC Funded RV-DSS: An industry-friendly resilience-based interdependency assessment tool - case study North Argyll, (£78,323), Co-Investigator, (Ongoing)
  • ARU Quality Research Fund Project on Community Resilience £10,000  (Co-PI)
  • ARU Quality Research Fund Project on Green Infrastructure and Resilience £10,000 ( PI)
  • EPSRC Funded project 6M GBP, Senior Research Associate in Urban Design, , Liveable Cities Project, at Lancaster University. 2015-2016
  • British Council-Newton Fund Researchers Link workshop participation and travel grant, 1,400 GBP, July 2016
  • Taylor’s University Small Grant for Young Researchers, 9,000 GBP, April 2015
  • University of Sheffield’s Learned Society Fund, 250 GBP,  for Conference paper presentation in Amsterdam, Oct 2013
  • Vernacular architecture Group(VAG) UK, Research grant award, 1,500 GBP, May 2013
  • University of Dublin’s Travel Grant , 200 Euros, for paper presentation in Ireland, June 2012

Selected recent publications

Book reviews

(Forthcoming) Spaces of Conflict in Everyday Life. Perspectives Across Asia, Edited by Martin Sökefeld, 2016, Columbia University Press, Cultural Sociology, Sage Publications. ISSN: 17499755

(2015) ‘Cities and Crisis: New Critical Urban Theory’ Edited by Kuniko Fujita Sage 2013, Urban Studies, Sage Publications .ISSN 0042-0980

(Dec 2013) ‘Locating Urban Conflicts: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Everyday’,Edited byWendy Pullan and Britt Baillie, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing, 2013, in the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG) Book Review Series.

Conference proceedings/Book chapter/Journal papers

Rajendran, L.P. (Forthcoming ,2017) Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services (CUES) and Green Infrastructure (GI) development for enabling health and well-being in urban environment, Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society 13 – 14 September 2017, Leeds Beckett University.

Rajendran, L.P. (Forthcoming ,2017) An interdisciplinary socio-spatial approach towards studying identity constructions in multicultural urban spaces, Xingjian Liu and Xinyue, Eds 'Human Dynamics in Social and Physical Spaces’ Springer Publishing (peer-reviewed)

Mahdizadeh, S. and Rajendran, L.P ( 2017, in press) A renewed approach to conservation policy of Historical Gardens in Iran, Landscape Research, Landscape Research Group Taylor and Francis(Routledge).

Rajendran, L.P and Fazel, M. (Forthcoming ,2017)  Rethinking lived experiences in the emergent socio-techno geographies: A renewed design approach for architects, Tasmeen Doha 2017: Analogue Living in a Digital World. Edited Volume

Rajendran, L.P. Walker, S. and Parnell, R. (2014) ‘Four Themes to (Phenomenologically) Understand Contemporary Urban Spaces’, Benz, Peter, Ed Designing Experience: Positions & Approaches. London: Bloomsbury Academic, Ed. Bloomsbury Publishing, pp.149- 170, 9781472569394 (peer-reviewed)

Rajendran, L.P. (Jan 2016). ‘Incidental spaces as a potential for creating a sense of place and identity in urban environment’, Proceedings of the ICE – Urban Design and Planning , ICE Publishing, London. ISSN 1755-0793 | E-ISSN 1755-0807 DOI: 10.1680/jurdp.15.00028

Fazel, M. a n d Rajendran, L.P. (2015). ‘ Image of place as a byproduct of medium; Understanding media and place through case study of Foursquare’ ,City, Culture and Society, Elsevier, Vol 6, Issue 1, pp.19-33, ISSN: 1877-9166

Rajendran, L.P. Walker, S. and Parnell, R. (2014). ‘An interdisciplinary framework of analysis of identity constructions in urban environment’, Review of Social Studies, London Centre for Social Studies, UK. Vol 1 No 1, pp. 75-92, ISSN NO: 205-448X

Rajendran, L.P. Walker, S. and Parnell, R. (2013). ‘The dialectic of place and passage of time in urban living’, “Time”: Kaleidoscope, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, UK pp.132-145.ISSN 1757-8137

Rajendran, L.P. Walker, S. and Parnell, R. (2013). ‘Understanding identity construction in urban environment through a triadic interdisciplinary lens’, in Research in Social Change Journal(RSC), No 5, Issue 3, September 2013, pp. 213-236, Slovenia. ISSN 1855-4148

Recent presentations and conferences

  • ‘Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services (CUES) in Green Infrastructure (GI) development for enabling well-being in urban environment’ 3rd International SEEDS Conference, Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society, Leeds Beckett University, 13 – 14 Sep 2017.
  • ‘Enabling urban justice and inclusiveness: Towards a socio-spatial paradigm for urban design thinking and practice’ RC21 conference, Rethinking Urban Global Justice: An international academic conference for critical urban studies, Leeds, UK, on 11-13 Sep 2017.
  • ‘A phenomenological study of identity construction through narratives of place memories’ The Place of Memory and Memory of Place, International Conference organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Interdisciplinary Research Foundation, Cambridge 14 Oct 2017.
  • ’Examining the urban structure of neighbourhoods for enabling wellbeing: A case study of Birmingham city’. UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, Cardiff University, 6-7 Sep 2016.
  • ’A socio-spatial framework for effective urban planning and policymaking for inclusive and liveable  cities’ 52nd ISOCARP International Planning Congress “Cities we Have vs. Cities we Need”, Durban, South Africa, 12- 16 Sep 2016.
  • ‘Examining spatial practices in contemporary urban spaces through reception theory’ Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Urban Space International Conference, Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy, June 27th - 28th 2016.
  • ‘Urban spatial practices and Identity negotiations of multi-cultural youth communities’ Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and Extra Urban Studies Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22-23 Nov 2013.
  • ‘Symbolic manifestations of socio-cultural identity in vernacular architecture: A Case study of agraharam housing in Triplicane, South India’ CULTHIST '13 , Symbols in History of Culture, Istanbul Turkey, 23-25 Oct 2013.
  • ‘Everyday spatial practices in urban environments’ Ordinary/Everyday/Quotidian-  An International two-Day conference, Centre for Modern Studies, University of York, UK, 26-27, Sep 2013.
  • ‘Capturing the implicit - Creative technology for collecting complex data sets’ The International Visual Sociology Association, 2013 Annual Conference, Goldsmiths College, University of London 8 -10 July 2013.
  • ‘Developing an interdisciplinary framework of analysis for understanding Self-identity in Contemporary built environment’ New geographical frontiers, 2013 Annual International Conference of Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Imperial College London, 28-30 August 2013.
  • ‘An interdisciplinary approach towards understanding self-identity-place relationships’ LCSS PhD Conference 2013, Methodological Choices and Challenges,  King’s College London, 19 April 2013.
  • ‘Manifestations and negotiations of self-Identity in contemporary built environment’ Belonging: Cultural Topographies of Identity, University College Dublin, Ireland 9-10 June 2012.