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Dr Carla Molinari

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Engineering and the Built Environment
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Carla is the BA/BSc (Hons) Architecture Course Leader and teaches architectural history and theory, and Design Studio. Her research focuses on intersections between architecture and media, innovative interpretations of montage and cinematic design methods, and urban narrative strategies.

[email protected]

Connect with Carla on LinkedIn


Before joining ARU in 2022, Carla taught at Leeds Beckett University, University of Gloucestershire, University of Liverpool, and University Sapienza of Rome.

Carla has a PhD in Theory and Criticism of Architecture from the University Sapienza of Rome. She has published on cinema and architecture, on the conception of architectural space, and on cultural regeneration, and she writes for Il Giornale Dell’Architettura.

In 2020 she has been awarded a Paul Mellon Research Grant for her archival research on Gordon Cullen and in 2016, she was awarded a British Academy Fellowship by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Research interests

Carla’s current research engages with architecture and media, innovative interpretations of sequence and montage, picturesque theories, cinematic design methods, theory and history of space, intersections between architecture and visual arts, and narrative strategies for urban interventions.

Recently, she has been awarded an ARU research engagement fund to support her project “This is our Space: Basildon”, a participatory community project, realised in collaboration with Studio Forty, and supported by the Basildon City Council.

In the last years, she has been working on Gordon Cullen's Serial Visions: A Cinematic Urban Theory, an ongoing project in collaboration with the University of Suffolk and partially funded by the Paul Mellon Centre.

Areas of research supervision
  • Architectural humanities
  • Architecture and cinema
  • Architecture and media
  • History and theory of design methods
  • Spatial theories
  • Architecture and visual arts
  • Contemporary architectural history and theory
  • Picturesque studies
  • Pedagogy of architecture and design practice
  • Architectural photography
  • Major Integrated Project Phase 1
  • Major Integrated Project Phase 2
  • Cultural Context A: Histories and Theories of Architecture
  • Cultural Context C: Dissertation
  • PGCAP in Higher Education (January 2018 – September 2019), Leeds Beckett University, University of Gloucestershire
  • PhD in Architecture (October 2012 - December 2015, viva July 14, 2016), Sapienza Università di Roma, Department of Architecture and Design (DIAP)
  • Visiting PhD Student (September 2014 – December 2014), Institute of History Art and Architecture, University of Zürich
  • Single-Cycle Degree (five years) in Architecture (September 2005 - April 2011), Università degli Studi di Pavia
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA), Senior Fellow
  • Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB), Member
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Affiliate Member
  • Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), Fellow
  • Architecture, MDPI Journal, editorial board member
  • Città in controluce, ANVUR Journal, editorial board member
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Safe and Inclusive Communities Engagement Activity Grant funded by Anglia Ruskin University, 2023/2024. Principal Investigator: This is our Space: Basildon. Value: £2,200.

Paul Mellon Research Support Grant funded by Paul Mellon Centre, 2020/2022. Principal Investigator: Gordon Cullen's Serial Visions: A Cinematic Urban Theory. Value: £800.

University Research Grant funded by University of Gloucestershire, 2018. Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator: Urban Futures 3 Conference: What about Landscape? Value: £3,600.

British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship funded by Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 2016. Peter Greenaway and the montage. The influence of Sergei M. Eisenstein in Greenaway’s work. Value: 6,000€.

University Research Grant funded by Sapienza Università di Roma, 2014. Co-Investigator: New life cycle for disused quarries: from productive to social and cultural resources. Value: 8,000€.

Selected recent publications

Molinari, C. and Spada, M. (2023) “Ritratti di città. Le contraddizioni di Cambridge” [Cities portraits. Cambridge’s contradictions], Il Giornale dell’Architettura, ISSN: 2284-136

Molinari, C. and Spada, M. (2023) “Lost in the East, due piccolo musei dell’Inghilterra rurale” [Lost in the East, two small museums of rural England], Il Giornale dell’Architettura, ISSN: 2284-136

Molinari, C. and Spada, M. (2023) “Young V&A a Londra: Constable e Piranesi accanto alle Barbie Spice Girls” [Young V&A in London: Constable and Piranesi next to the Spice Girls’ Barbie], Il Giornale dell’Architettura, ISSN: 2284-136

Molinari, C. and Spada, M. (2023) “À Table, l’archeologia architettonica di Lina Ghotmeh a Londra” [À Table, Lina Ghotmeh’s architectural archeology in London], Il Giornale dell’Architettura, ISSN: 2284-136

Buck, D. and Molinari, C. (2022) A Picturesque Vertical Montage: Auditory and Visual Sequences at Rousham Garden. Landscape Research. Vol. 47, Issue 5, pp. 523-538, ISSN: 0142-6397, DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2022.2045263

Molinari, C., 2021. Sequences in architecture. Sergei Ejzenštejn and Luigi Moretti, from Images to Spaces. The Journal of Architecture, 26(2), pp. 893-911. doi: 10.1080/13602365.2021.1958897

Molinari, C., 2021. The urban dimension as film character. Rome in The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino. In: Mariani, A. (Ed.), 2021. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cinema and Television, (Bristol: Intellect Books), pp. 121-136.

Molinari, C., 2019. Graphic assembly: montage, media and experimental architecture in the 1960s. Visual Studies, 35(5), pp. 495-496, [book review]. doi: 10.1080/1472586X.2019.1672975

Molinari, C., 2019. Sequences in the Landscape. Sacri Monti as Early Picturesque devices. In: Proceedings - SPACE International Conference 2019 on Architectural History and Theory (London: SPACE Studies Publications).

Molinari, C., 2018. Townscapes. In: Iuliano, M. (Ed.), 2018. Rome. Eternal City: in the Photograph Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Milano: Electa), pp. 148-181.

Buck, D., Molinari, C. (Eds.), 2018. Urban Futures - Special Issue Editorship of Urban Science International Journal.

Molinari, C., 2018. Architettura in Sequenza. Progettare lo spazio dell’esperienza [Architecture in Sequence. Designing the spatial experience] (Macerata: Quodlibet).

Molinari, C., 2018. In Between the Arts: Peter Greenaway and Sergei Eisenstein. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 35(4), pp. 333-348. doi: 10.1080/10509208.2018.1434753

Recent presentations and conferences

“Past and Future of Townscape: For a Humane Urbanism”, CriticIall –Conference on Architectural Design and Criticism, TU Delft and ETSA Madrid (2023)

“Beyond Townscape: Cinematic Narrative for Urban and Rural Communities”, Representing Pasts – Visioning Futures AMPS Conference (2022)

“Rethinking ‘Context’: Architecture Between Theory and Practice in UK Higher Education”; with Dr Yasmina El Chami, Didactics of Architectural Theory EAHN Symposium, Jade University Oldenburg (2022)

“Future of Architectural Education and Studio” [Invited Speaker], SPACE & Architects’ Coach, London (2023)

“Gordon Cullen: A Case Study” [Invited Speaker], RIBA Suffolk Annual Lecture, Ipswich (2022)

“A Picturesque Vertical Montage: Auditory and Visual Sequences at Rousham Garden” [Invited Speaker], Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield (2022)

“Sequences in Architecture” [Keynote], SPACE International Conference on Cities, Architecture and Cinema (2022)

“Colorful architecture: Learning from Wes Anderson's films” [Keynote], GARI International Conference on Colour, Culture and Modern Art (2021)

Greater Peterborough City Centre Plan. Gordon Cullen and the cinematics of British Townscape. History of Urban Design: Global Trajectories, Local Realities, ETH Zürich and TU Delft University conference, November 2021.

An Extended Digital Field of Vision. Assembling urban space in sequence. Urban Assemblage: The City as Architecture, Media, AI and Big Data, AMPS and University of Hertfordshire conference, June 2021.

Gordon Cullen Archive: A Multimedia Case Study. Architectures/Archives, The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, symposium in partnership with the RIBA and the AA, August 2020.

The Urban Dimension as Film Character. University of Liverpool in London, Invited Speaker, October 2019.