Human Factors Research Group

Image of Florian Wiedmann

Florian Wiedmann

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering



After his studies in architecture and urban design at TU Dresden and University of Stuttgart, Dr Wiedmann completed his PhD at the urban planning institute of the University of Stuttgart.

In the following years, he was engaged at Albert Speer + Partner (AS+P) in Frankfurt am Main, where he worked on projects in Munich, such as the urban design parameters for the new Siemens Headquarters in the historic center and high-density housing. He also participated in the development of a master plan for a satellite city center for 600,000 new inhabitants in metro Cairo.

In 2011, he joined an international research collaboration between the Technical University of Munich and Qatar University as a post-doc and project director. Over three years, during which he lived in Doha, Qatar, he coordinated an interdisciplinary and international team and explored new approaches to identify the various interdependencies between emerging knowledge economies and urban transformation in the Global South.

After successfully acquiring a new research project from the Qatar National Research Fund in 2015, he joined the University of Strathclyde (Department of Architecture) in Glasgow, where he studied the effects of rapid migration processes on housing and urbanism in the Middle East. This research effort resulted in his latest book publication: 'Building Migrant Cities in the Gulf - Urban Transformation in the Middle East'.

In parallel to his research projects, he has been engaged as external lecturer and examiner of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, German University in Cairo as well as Münster University of Applied Sciences and HFT Stuttgart since 2013.

In March 2019 he joined the University of Nottingham and its Department of Architecture and Built Environment as Assistant Professor. Dr Wiedmann is apart of the Human Factors Research Group where he is focusing on Human Factors and Spatial Design and at the Faculty of Engineering and the university-wide Energy Institute where he is contributing to the Communities and Built Environment-challenge by investigating districts and their role in reducing everyday commuting.

Expertise Summary

Florian Wiedmann is specialised in investigating urban transformations from an international and interdisciplinary perspective who has been working in research, consulting, and teaching since 2006. His research frameworks and methodologies follow an integrated approach and are rooted in space production theories set in juxtaposition to a contemporary understanding of sustainable urbanism. His involvement in interdisciplinary projects and courses in four different countries made it possible for him to gain in-depth experience in investigating the complex relationship between people and places on an international scale since 2006.

The main focus of his research can be found in exploring integrated ways to investigate current urban realities and transformations as the result of new spatial practices (e. g. emerging economies, new forms of governance, or changing lifestyles), via methods such as Space Syntax, (behavioural) mapping, and strategic observations or interviews. He has been conducting and supervising research in following areas:

- Sustainable urbanism: To transform cities toward more resource-efficient structures, recent urban transformations need to be assessed regarding the integration of uses, balanced densities, and transport oriented development (TOD). Urban sprawl and fragmentation have led to high levels of energy consumption. Our future forms of urbanism need to move towards more integrated and polycentric spatial patterns.

- Housing trends: Worldwide housing is often developed in various typologies forming neighbourhoods for distinctive communities. The spatial practices of these communities are important indicators of the success of certain design approaches to reduce everyday commuting. Designing spaces for high densities and integrating all social needs will remain a key challenge to reduce energy consumption and to increase the quality of urban life worldwide.

- Emerging cities: Worldwide new cities have been built with very small insights about the resulting spatial practices of their new migrant populations and emerging economies. Investigating these new behavioural patterns is crucial to scientifically discuss future opportunities and threats to inform design and planning practice.

- Creative industries in mega cities: The on-going digitalization has enabled a new scale of creative economies to emerge and compete. Mega cities heavily rely on integrating those new economies for urban renewal and to sustain their social and environmental resilience - but these economies are being challenged to find diverse and integrated places for their development.

- Learning spatial design: Worldwide, architectural, and urban design are often taught in a studio setting without learning research tools and approaches to reflect on how people interact with spaces. Thus, new critical approaches in learning spatial design need to be investigated in increasingly AI-supported digital environments.

Selected Publications


Past Research

Following three research grants I have acquired and/or coordinated since 2011:

1. Mobility, Displacement, and Forced Migration in the Middle East (2017)

Research collaboration with Georgetown University Qatar. Client: Georgetown University. Budget: $17,270. Duration: 12 months.

2. Investigating Housing Typologies in Multicultural Societies in the Gulf Region (2015 - 2018)

Research collaboration between Qatar University and University of Strathclyde. Client: Qatar National Research Fund. Grant ID: NPRP No.: 7 - 960 - 5 - 135. Total budget: $833,459. Duration: 3 years.

This research projects focuses on rapid migration processes and housing transformation in the Global South with a specific focus on the Gulf region. Housing design and strategies need to cope with increasing challenges to supply hundreds of thousands of new inhabitants with sufficient, attractive and affordable accommodation. This project follows a multi-layered and interdisciplinary approach to investigate the various recent mechanisms in the development of new settlements. The main case studies included Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama due to their extensive growth in recent years.

3. Urban Qualities in Emerging Knowledge Economies (2011 - 2014)

Research collaboration between Qatar University and TU Munich. Client: Qatar National Research Fund. Grant ID: NPRP No.: 9 - 1083 - 6 - 023. Total budget: $974,348. Duration: 3 years.

The main objective of this research project was to investigate new knowledge economies and their role in establishing urban qualities in fast-growing cities. Therefore, the project focused on a new methodological approach for investigating the interdependencies between economic diversification and urban transformation. The project combined interlocking network analyses with Space Syntax studies and behavioral mapping.

Human Factors Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham

Telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4040