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Wesley Aelbrecht  PhD

Dr Wesley Aelbrecht PhD

Lecturer in the History and Theory of Architecture

Welsh School of Architecture

+44 29208 75962
Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Available for postgraduate supervision


Wes Aelbrecht is an architect, and an architectural and urban historian. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture, K.U.Leuven; a B.A. in History of Art from K.U.Leuven; and a M.A. in Architectural History from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He completed his Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory at The Bartlett School of Architecture funded by the AHRC and a Fulbright Fellowship. Before he turned to the history of cities and its architecture, he worked seven years in architectural and urban practices in Rotterdam (KCAP), Madrid (Soriano y Palacios Arquitectos) and Brussels (Xaveer De Geyter Architects, XDGA). He previously taught as a Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture.









Book sections



Wes his research investigates visual representations of urban and architectural transformations, with a particular focus on urban photography in the twentieth century urbanized landscapes of North America. Detroit and Chicago form the core of his current research that ranges from early twentieth century slum clearances, to public and private building programs that followed WW II inside and outside of the city, to the large-scale downtown renaissance campaigns of the 1980s. In his research, he adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on his research experience in architecture, and studies in art and architectural history, and focusing on architectural, literary, photographic and cinematic representations.

His research expertise includes

  • Representation of cities and architecture (in film, photography, comics, and others)
  • The role of architecture in large scale urban redevelopment projects and utopic or dystopic visions of the city or society at large
  • Discourses of ruins, dirt, decay, and other rejected subjects and objects in architecture
  • And cultural and architectural histories of the suburbs and new towns.

Current research projects

I am currently working on the following projects:

Constructing the Urban Imaginary: book project

Photobooks in Detroit and Chicago

My/your Cardiff Public Space Campaign (2019 - present): This campaign is one of our Public Space Observatory’s first projects, a research centre located in the School of Geography and Planning. Its primary aims is to raise public awareness on the social, cultural, economic and environmental values and benefits of well-designed, used and managed public spaces. By doing so, it aims to promote community engagement and empowerment  through education, training and capacity to improve public spaces and respond to a significant reduction of public sector expenditure in local authorities’ provision and maintenance of public infrastructure and services.


  • Module leader Building Through Time, Year One BSc Architecture
  • Module leader Design Principle and Methods 1, Year One BSc Architecture
  • Controibutor to H&T modules Undergraduate in Architecture
  • Dissertation Supervisor for MArch Dissertations
  • PhD Supervisor


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Representation of cities and architecture (in film, photography, comics, and others)
  • Histories of the city and large scale urban redevelopment projects (gentrification, regeneration, redevelopment, renaissance...)
  • Discourses of ruins, dirt, decay, and other rejected subjects and objects in architecture
  • Politics and architecture (participation and architecure, and urban governance)
  • Cultural and architectural histories of postwar modernism, social housing, the suburbs and new towns.