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Centre for Urban Conflicts Research



Theodora Bowering is an architect, Gates Scholar and PhD Candidate in the Centre for Urban Conflict Research (UCR) at the Department of Architecture. Her doctoral research, ‘Ageing and the city: urban resilience and sociospatial marginalisation of older people in East London’, investigates everyday experiences of ageing within the civic spaces of cities, looking specifically at the London Borough of Newham.

In 2017–18 Theodora convened the CRASSH seminar series, ‘Ageing and the city: everyday experiences of older people in urban environments’, in collaboration with the Institute for Public Health and Department of Land Economy ( She was also a participant in the University of Cambridge ThinkLab project, in collaboration with the RSA, investigating the challenges of housing in the UK. Theodora was the recipient of the 2017 Future Cities PhD Fellowship from the Department of Land Economy and co-editor of the twenty-sixth issue of Scroope, The Cambridge Architecture Journal, on the theme of 'apologia'. She also supervises the BA Tripos (ARB/RIBA Part I) course The Architecture of Housing and BA dissertations, as well as acting as a critic for BA, MAUD and MAUS presentations. Theodora co-convened the UCR’s PhD and Early-Career Workshop ‘Doing Architectural Research: Socio-political Perspectives on Theories, Methodologies and Praxis’ in Cambridge in June 2017. Additionally, she has run Petite Pecha Kucha events for graduate students within the department.

Before beginning her PhD, Theodora completed the Masters in Architecture and Urban Studies in the Department of Architecture at Cambridge. Theodora’s professional architectural education was at the University of Sydney, where she gained a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons I) and Bachelor of Science (Architecture). She has also been a registered architect in NSW, Australia (RAIA) since 2013.

Theodora has worked for over six years in architectural practice, in Sydney (Richard Leplastrier Architect and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects) and London (Skene Catling de la Peña Architects), on residential, heritage and public buildings, from concept and detail design through to contract administration and office management. Additionally, she has four years’ design and communications studio tutoring and lecturing experience in the Department of Architecture at the University of Sydney. Theodora has also been a volunteer and continuing instructor for the Taoist Tai Chi Society ( for over fifteen years, and leads a weekly class at Newnham College.


Ageing, cities, architecture, urban studies, mobility, place attachment, health


Key publications: 

2019 – Ageing, Mobility and the City: Objects, Infrastructures and Practices in Everyday Assemblages of Civic Spaces in East London. Population Ageing. doi: 10.1007/s12062-019-9240-3

2018 – ‘That’s just the way it is’: ageing and assemblages of civic space in East London’, in Regeneration Songs: Sounds of Investment and Loss from East London, Duman, A., Hancox, D., James, M. and Minton, A. (eds.), Repeater Books.

2015 – ‘The Future of Civic Spaces: Ageing and the City: Urban resilience and sociospatial marginalisation of the elderly in East London’, International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) Blog.


Invited talks
2018 – Health & Wellbeing PRA Seminar Series, Open University, Milton Keynes
2018 – Presentation (and panel w Tim Waterman and Nikolay Mintchev), (Un)Urban Diversities in East London, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, London
2018 – Ageing and Theology Symposium, Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge
2017 – Respondent to Prof. Chris Phillipson, Ageing and the city: everyday experiences of older people in urban environments, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
2016 – Aged Care Architecture Seminar, Moscow Architecture Biennale, Moscow
2016 – ‘Ageing in the London Borough of Newham’, Oxford University Geography Undergraduates, London


Selected conference papers and presentations
2018 – Urban Communities (session), Cambridge AHRC DTP International Conference, Space and Surface, University of Cambridge
2018 – Changing Landscapes for Inclusive Mobility: new research insights and future directions (2): Perspectives from the Global North (session), Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, Cardiff
2018 – Understanding and Creating Age Friendly Regions, Cities, Neighbourhoods and Homes: Explorations from Manchester, London, Wallonia and Brussels (session),
British Society of Gerontology Conference: Ageing in an Unequal World, Shaping Environments for the 21st Century, Manchester
2017 – The Wellcome Labryinth, Wellcome Collection 1:1 architecture commission, competition entry with Jack Sardeson, David Howett and Christian Georcelin
2017 – ThinkLab on Housing, Royal Society of Arts, manufactures and Commerce (RSA), London
2017 – Demography, Ageing and Health, Emerging Researchers Conference, Oxford Institute for Ageing
2017 – (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities, European Sociological Association Conference, Athens
2016 – PhD Symposium, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
2016 – Mobility, Mood and Place: Habitats for Happy and Healthy Ageing Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
2016 – Petite Pecha Kucha, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge – ‘The Flint House by Skene Catling de la Peña Architects’
2016 – PhD Symposium, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
2015 – Mature Graduates Conference, University of Cambridge
2015 – ArcXchange: Cross-disciplinary Architecture Conference, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
2015 – UCL Cities Stadkolloquium, UCL, London
2014 – Newnham Graduate Conference, Newnham College, University of Cambridge

Awards and scholarships
2017 – Future Cities PhD Prize Fellowship, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
2015 – Gates Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge
2015 – Faculty Funding Award, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
2014 – Newnham College and Newton Trust Award, University of Cambridge
2014 – Kettle’s Yard Travel Award, University of Cambridge

PhD Student in Architecture
Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Supervisor: Dr Max Sternberg
 Theodora  Bowering

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