Dr Carla Molinari

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Research Supervision:Yes

Carla is an architect, and she teaches architectural history and theory, and DesignStudio. Her research focuses on intersections between architecture and media, innovative interpretations of montage and cinematic design methods, and urban narrative strategies.

[email protected]

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Carla is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and BA/BSc (Hons) Course Leader. Before joining ARU in 2022, she 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 (University Sapienza of Rome, 2016) and has published on cinema and architecture, on the conception of architectural space, and on cultural regeneration.

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 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


  • Architectural Design Studies 1
  • Architectural Design Studies 2
  • Site Studies and Design
  • Cultural Context A: Histories and Theories of Architecture
  • History and Theory of Architecture (Introduction)


  • 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), Fellow
  • Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), Fellow
  • Italian Association Researchers Abroad (AIRIcerca), Member
  • Architecture, MDPI Journal, editorial board member
  • Città in controluce, ANVUR Journal, editorial board member

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

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

Buck, D., Molinari, C., (accepted Feb 2022). A Picturesque Vertical Montage: Auditory and Visual Sequences at Rousham Garden. Landscape Research.

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

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.

A Colourful Montage of Space: Learning from Wes Anderson. Colour, Culture and Modern Art, GARI International Conference in Paris, Keynote Speaker, November 2021.

Final Design Studio Review, Year 3. Guest Reviewer, University of Suffolk, June 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.

Final Design Studio Review, Year 1. Guest Reviewer, University of Reggio Calabria, May 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.