Assoc. Arch (Curtin); M.Arch (Melbourne); PhD (Berkeley)

Built Environment and Design

Professor Kim Dovey is an interdisciplinary scholar whose impact is evident across the research fields of urban studies, human geography, social theory, architecture, urban design and urban planning. This work can be broadly described as the development of new forms of social critique of the built environment at scales from the room to the metropolis. 

With a background in architecture, his early reputation was based in the phenomenology of place. A seminal essay entitled 'home and homelessness', written as a PhD student, has had significant impact across the fields of geography, sociology and psychology. The book ‘Framing Places: Mediating Power in Built Form’ (1999, 2nd ed 2008; GS: 1410 citations) has also become a seminal text in joining new forms of discourse analysis and morphological analysis to the social critique of built form. The innovation in this work lies in the application of social theories to the critique of particular projects, such as corporate towers, shopping malls, centres of power and housing enclaves, and their impacts on everyday urban life. Becoming Places (2010; GS: 801 citations) is a further critique of the nexus between place identity and power; it has become a major contribution to the application of social theories of assemblage to built form. It incorporates critiques of monuments, courthouses, informal settlements and street vending. 

Over the past decade Professor Dovey has developed the application of 'assemblage' thinking to understanding how cities work as dynamic socio-spatial assemblages. The 2016 book Urban Design Thinking is a bridge between research and practice, a conceptual toolkit for assemblage thinking in relation to urban form. He has developed innovative modes of mapping cities at urban design scales that reveal the interrelations between density, functional-mix and access networks at multiple scales. This work is most evident in the book Mapping Urbanities (2018) which incorporates social critiques of creative clusters, street art, public/private interfaces and transit-oriented development. He is a global expert in understanding issues of walkability and transit-oriented development. 

Professor Dovey's recent work has increasingly focused on the study of informal settlement - self-organized urban design and planning that houses around 20% of the global population. This involves an investigation of the morphologies, design practices and politics of place identity involved with the production and upgrading of informal settlements in the Global South. 

This body of work has been published with major book publishers and in major international journals including Urban Studies; International Development Planning Review; Environment & Planning B; Environment & Planning D; Tourism Geographies; Planning Theory & Practice; Habitat International; Space and Polity; J. of Urbanism; City; Housing Studies.

Chair of Architecture & Urban Design - Melbourne School of Design

1. Dovey, K. et al. (forthcoming) Atlas of Informal Settlement: Understanding Self-Organized Urban Design, London: Bloomsbury.

2. Dovey, K., et al. (2020) ' Towards A Morphogenesis of Informal Settlement', Habitat International. 104, 1-14.

3. Dovey, K. & Pafka, E. (2020) ‘What is Walkability?: The Urban DMA’, Urban Studies, 57(1), 93–108.

4. Dovey, K. (2012) ‘Informal Settlement and Complex Adaptive Assemblage’, International Development Planning Review, 34(3) 37190.

5. Dovey, K. et al. (eds) (2018) Mapping Urbanities: Morphologies, Flows, Possibilities. New York: Routledge.