Before his appointment in 2018 as a University Lecturer in Urbanism and Architecture at the University of Cambridge, Dr Nicholas Simcik Arese coordinated comparative aspects across Urban Transformations’ international portfolio, and worked as a Research Associate at the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities.
A legal geographer, his ethnography has explored conceptions of property and rights by aspirational middle class homebuyers and a group of urban poor squatters in an affordable gated community in Cairo’s satellite suburbs during the 2011-13 revolutionary period. The project sought to delineate how people invent or simulate law in cities built from scratch amidst profound political ambiguity, towards recalibrating dominant moral framings of urban legitimacy.
Other interests include affordable mortgages as development aid, governance in public-private partnerships, speculative forms of plural ownership, and history of conspiracy in urban Egypt.
Nicholas also practices as an architect (AADipl. RIBA II), briefly worked for UN-HABITAT in Kenya, and consults for non-governmental organisations in Nepal, Italy, Vietnam, and the United States. He speaks Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Italian and French.