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Dr Yael Padan
Dr Yael Padan profile picture
  • Research Associate
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Yael Padan is a researcher working in the interface of architecture, planning, cultural studies and sociology. She holds a PhD in sociology, an MSc in architectural history, and a professional qualification as an architect. Her book Modelscapes of Nationalism: Collective Memories and Future Visions (2017) was published with Amsterdam University Press. Yael is currently a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, working as part of the team of KNOW – Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality, an international research programme which aims to deliver transformative research for innovation in policy and planning to promote urban equality in thirteen cities in the global south (https://www.urban-know.com). Know is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) RCUK, and led by Prof. Caren levy of the Development Planning Unit UCL. Yael is part of Work Package 3: The Ethics of Research Practice, led by Prof. Jane Rendell of the Bartlett School of Architecture. 

Research Summary

My research interests focus on three fields:

1. Visual and sociocultural aspects of architecture - I have explored the format of the architectural model as a representation of collective identity and memory in my book Modelscapes of Nationalism: Collective Memories and Future Visions (2017), in the article “Seeing is Believing: Miniature and Gigantic Architectural Models of Second Temple” (2019). 

2. Spatial planning and development as aspects of democracy and human rights -  I was head of the Department of Urbanism and Social Justice at BIMKOM – Planners for Planning Rights (http://bimkom.org/eng/), an Israeli human rights organisation working to strengthen democracy and human rights in the field of spatial planning and development policies, in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. At Bimkom, I have conducted research, community planning assistance, advocacy work among decision makers, publication of position papers, policy briefs and research reports.

3. The ethics of research practice – In the KNOW programme, I work in Work Package 3: The Ethics of Research Practice, led by Prof. Jane Rendell. We focus on the ethics of research relations at the global north-south intersection. We explore the gap between institutional ethics principles, grounded in western frameworks, and the lived experiences encountered by researchers. We question shared values, and the possibilities of arriving at them. Using relational rather than institutional terms, we argue that building relationships of care is a more effective and desirable way to tackle research ethics. My publication “Researching Architecture and Urban Inequality: Toward Engaged Ethics” (2020) discusses these issues. 

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