Trained as an architect and architectural historian, Michele Lamprakos specializes in the early modern/modern Arab-Islamic world and critical heritage studies. Her research focuses on two main themes: the lives and layers of buildings and sites; and contacts between faith-cultures in the Mediterranean.
She is author of Building a World Heritage City: Sanaa Yemen, the first book on urban heritage to be recognized by the Society of Architectural Historians’ Spiro Kostof Award (Honorable Mention, 2018). She has been named a Fellow at the National Humanities Center for 2019-2020 to advance her second book, Memento Mauri: the Afterlife of the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Lamprakos lectures widely and has organized scholarly symposia, including “Heritage and the Arab Spring” (Freer Gallery of Art, 2014, with Nancy Um) which explored the role of cultural heritage in a new and shifting Middle East.
Her career has combined teaching, research, and practice in architecture and historic preservation. Her seminars and lecture courses are thematic and cross-cultural, exploring parallels in, and contacts between, the Islamic world and Europe. She has also taught studios in architectural design, adaptive reuse, and preservation that address a wide range of urban conditions in the US and abroad. Lamprakos' professional work has included design and preservation for buildings that range in scale from tobacco warehouses to prewar single-family homes. She has served as Technical Reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and as Desk Reviewer for UNESCO.