Dr Marco Spada

Senior Lecturer in Architecture

+44(0)1473 338058
School of Technology, Business and Arts
Marco Spada staff profile photo

Marco studied architecture in Italy and the UK (BSc, MSc, PhD, SFHEA). He earned his PhD in 2016 from Sapienza University of Rome with a thesis on the relationship between memory and design in the rehabilitation of industrial plants. Marco specialises in urban narrative and complex sustainability, having studied at Roma Tre University, the University of Liverpool, and the Gdańsk University of Technology.

He carried out research activities in Rome, Tuscany, Poland, Kenya and the United Kingdom. Specialised in urban narrativity, sustainability and circular economy, he worked in Milan as Project Manager and Design Consultant. Last year, Marco has also obtained a Horizon Grant [https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101095119] to study the impact of steel mills on local communities. Thanks to this funding, he was able to conduct field research, exploring how the steel industry has influenced the urban development of some cities in the UK and analysing the relationship between industrial plants and the local communities.

His research focuses on the interaction between the built environment and culture, seeking to explore how urban narratives can contribute to creating more sustainable and inclusive cities. In particular, Marco is interested in the role of architecture in the recovery and redevelopment of degraded urban fabrics, studying the impact of industrial activities on the built environment and the lives of local communities. In 2018, Marco won the award for best young architecture critic, confirming the value of his research and publications. His work has been presented at numerous international conferences and published in important scientific journals.


Among his most recent research projects, Marco is writing a book on Gordon Cullen, the English urbanist and author of the famous Townscape, published in 1961. In this text, Cullen proposed a new vision of the city based on the idea of the “urban landscape”, emphasizing the importance of considering the built environment as a set of visual and sensory elements that contribute to defining the identity and quality of life of the city. Marco is working on a critical reinterpretation of Cullen’s text, seeking to identify the implications of his vision for contemporary architecture and urban planning practices. Additionally, he has published articles on the dome of the Church of Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Rome and the Olivetti offices in the UK designed by Ted Cullinan in 1972/73.

Spada, M. 2018, Industryscape. Memoria e progetto nel recupero dei mega impianti industriali , Aracne, Rome.

Istituto Superiore di Sanita 2023, a toolkit for dynaMic health Impact analysiS to predicT disability-Related costs in the Aging population based on three case studies of steeL-industry exposed areas in europe, HORIZON-HLTH-2022-ENVHLTH-04 edn, European Commission, EU.

Spada, M. 2022a, “Between Stirling and Olivetti: Ted Cullinan’s Workplaces Design in the UK”, Architecture, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 196-213.

Spada, M. 2022b, “A Tale of Three Domes: The Un-Realized cupola of St Ignatius of Loyola in Roma”, Arts, vol. 11, no. 2.

Spada, M. 2014, “Shaping Ideal Cities: From Palmanova and Grammichele towards a Flow-based Model of Urban Utopia”, SPACES AND FLOWS: International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban StudiesCentre for Urban Studies - CREA, Amsterdam, 23rd November 2014.

Spada, M. & Bigiotti, S. 2018, “Peri-urban agriculture and cultural heritage. The public potential of the in-between areas”, The Journal of Public Space, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 51-62.