Dr. Dhara Patel

Research Fellow

Working area(s)

Urban and Spatial Sociology, DFG-Project: New Homes in New Lands


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  • Urban Studies
  • Housing
  • Socio-spatial studies
  • Architecture and Culture
  • Dwelling practices
  • Material culture
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Globalisation
  • Migration
  • Indian Diaspora
Professional Experiences
since 2021 Postdoctoral Researcher (Eigene Stelle -DFG Project) at Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt)
2019 – 2021 Ingenium Postdoctoral fellow at Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt)
2018 Early Career Research Fellow, Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia
2009 – 2017 Course Co-ordinator, Architectural Design tutor, Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia
2006 – 2011 Practicing Architect, Various firms, Melbourne, Australia
Awards & Fellowships
2020 – 2021 Re-entry Scholarship, Gleichstellungsbeauftragte, Technische Universität Darmstadt
2019 DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemainschaft) – Eigene Stelle (Individual Project) – 36 months research grant
2019 Career Bridging Grant, INGENIUM, Technische Universität Darmstadt
2016 Dean’s Prize for Best Published Postgraduate Research- 1st Prize for excellence in a peer-reviewed publication by a sole author, Melbourne School of Design Dean’s Honours Awards
2014 AUSMIP mobility fellowship, ENSA Paris La Villette, ERASMUS MUNDUS
2012 – 2016 MRS – Melbourne research scholarship, University of Melbourne
2006 First prize award by CEPT campus development authority, Ahmedabad India, Design competition to redevelop the main entry to the campus.
Academic Education
2018 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia
2006 B.Arch.(Hons), School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India
2004 ERASMUS Exchange Program, ETH Zurich, School of Architecture, Zurich, Switzerland
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Current Projects

Principle investigator in DFG funded project “New Homes in New Lands: Socio-Spatial negotiations of the the Highly skilled Indian migrants in Frankfurt am Main”, TU Darmstadt (since 2021)

Mehr erfahren

2024 “Beyond Borders and Biases: Unpacking Structural Violence Among Highly Skilled Indian Migrants in Frankfurt”, TraCe Research Colloquium: Progress and Perspectives, TU Darmstadt, May 2024.
2023 “Hidden Heritage, Segregated Spaces: Uncovering socio-spatial negotiations of Highly Skilled Indian Migrants in Frankfurt a.M.”, ‘The 7th annual conference “WITH/OUT IDENTITY” of the DFG graduate school “Identity and Heritage”, Weimar, Bauhaus University, November 2023.
„Social and Spatial Mobility of Indian Diaspora in Frankfurt: New entanglements of Class and migration”, Livable Cities Conference. New York City. June 2023.
“Housing practices of Indian diaspora in Frankfurt: Welfare-state equity or nationally-bounded inequalities?”, RC 31 Sociology of Migration, XX ISA World Congress of Sociology, Melbourne, Australia. June 2023.
„Socio-spatial Negotiations of the Highly Skilled Indian Migrants in Frankfurt am Main”, Guest lecture at Humboldt University Berlin. June 2023.
2022 „Indian diaspora, housing practices and identity negotiations: A case of Highly skilled Indian migrants in Frankfurt am Main”, Seventh Conference on Migration Research in Austria, Donau University Krems ,Austria. September 2022.
“Key global challenges and perspectives for urban spaces”, Keynote talk to a seminar – Inclusiveness and exclusiveness of urban social spaces, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Venue – Frankfurt am Main. June 2022.
2019 “Evolution of Elite high-rise condominiums in India: from global to neo-colonial?”, Werkstattgesprächen der AG Stadtforschung im Sommersemester 2019 am Fachbereich Architektur, TU Darmstadt. May 2019.
2018 “High-Rise Havens: a ladder for social mobility in Neo-liberal India”, Faculty of Architectural Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. January 2018.
2017 “Social and Spatial, the role of thresholds in elite identity production in neo-liberal India” – Seminar on Borders, Thresholds and Intersections, MSD, University of Melbourne, Australia. February 2017.
2015 “Negotiation of identities in the emergent cosmopolitan Indian landscape: analyses of the designs of new luxury high-rise apartments in neo-liberal India.” Living and Learning: Research for a Better Built Environment, 49th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, Melbourne, Australia. December 2015.
“Analysing Socio-Spatial boundaries in the designs of elite high-rise apartments in Neo-liberal India”, SAHANZ PhD Symposium on Architectural History, Brisbane, Australia. November 2015.
2014 “Identity issues in the context of globalisation- exploring the case of Indian elite housing models”, Guest speaker series- Globalisation and built environment, LAA, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris la Villette, Paris, France. June 2014.
“New cosmopolitans: Gated Communities in India”, 8th International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, Vancouver, Canada. January 2014.
2017 Im(positions) – Multimodal negotiations of place-identity – Melbourne, Australia.

A showcasing of design research by doctoral candidates at the Melbourne School of Design, under the theme of how communication occurs across multiple scapes and modalities, including and beyond language in the negotiations for place identity. April 2017.

Society of Architectural and Urban Historians Asia (SAUHA)

European Architectural History Network (EAHN)

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)

International Sociological Association (ISA)

European Urban Research Association: (EURA)