Mirjana Ristic, Ph.D.

Age: 35

Area of research:

Architectural and Urban Studies

Name of my University / Research Institute: University of Melbourne, Australia, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Research period at the TU Darmstadt:

1 November 2016 – 30 June 2018

Mirjana Ristic, Ph.D. Photo: Claus Völker Mirjana Ristic, Ph.D.

Questionnaire to the Research Fellow

My field of research is fascinating. To laymen I would explain it in the following comprehensible manner:

My research is focused on socio-political issues in architecture and urban design and, in particular, on the role that buildings and public spaces play in constructing collective identity and mediating socio-political conflict. In my projects I investigate urban warfare, violence and terror; urban reconstruction, heritage and memory of the war. I also work on developing new methods for socio-spatial analysis of cities such as new forms of morphological mapping. My Humboldt postdoctoral project is focused on architectural and urban dimensions of the post-Wall reunification of Berlin.

My most important success in research to date is…

the award of the John Grice Price for the Best Research Thesis in Architecture at the University of Melbourne in 2012 and the receipt of the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, 2016-2018.

I’ve chosen the TU Darmstadt because…

it is a highly ranked and renowned university. It is also the only university in Germany which has urban sociology and sociology of space in one chair. Professor Frank has a significant expertize in the field and has made an extensive academic impact, both nationally and internationally. Collaboration with her and working within her research group has enabled me to enhance my knowledge and gain new ways of thinking about social aspects of cities, as well as to strengthen my interdisciplinary research skills.

Mirjana Ristic (right) with her host Professor Sybille Frank.
Mirjana Ristic (right) with her host Professor Sybille Frank.

Questionnaire for the host

Guest of: Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank, Urban Sociology and the Sociology of Space

Department: Department of History and Social Sciences, Institute of Sociology

Your guest favourably impressed you by…

I first met Mirjana at a conference in Australia in 2014. She really impressed me by her fresh ideas, her passion for scientific reasoning, and her determinedness to pursue an academic career. From her CV I learned that she had been highly mobile to facilitate this.

Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank.
Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank.

After she had finished her MA in Architecture at the University of Belgrade in 2005, she had moved to Australia to do her Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne. After more than eight years in Melbourne, she has now returned to Europe to do her Post Doc project at TU Darmstadt. I feel very privileged to have such an outstanding scholar in my team and to exchange ideas with Mirjana in the coming months.

How do you, your team and the TU Darmstadt benefit from your guest?

Mirjana works at the intersection of urban design, architecture and sociology. These disciplines span two departments of TU Darmstadt (Architecture and History and Social Sciences) so that diverse scholars may profit from Mirjana’s research. For my team that has expertise in urban sociology and the sociology of space, it is promising to discuss with Mirjana fuzzy concepts such as urban space, place identities, materiality, and conflict. We are also keen to profit from Mirjana’s expertise in innovative research methods such as multi-layered spatial mapping, spatial practice approaches and methods derived from assemblage theory. Moreover, Mirjana’s work on urban transformation processes in Sarajevo adds to our work on cities that have undergone painful processes of urban restructuring since the end of the Cold War.