Dr Gizem Kahraman Aksoy



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Department: Arab and Islamic Studies
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Gulf Studies and Centre for Islamic Archaeology

Gizem Kahraman (Aksoy) is an affiliated post-doctoral researcher at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), Centre for Islamic Archaeology. She has also completed her doctoral studies at the IAIS in March 2022, holding a Gulf Studies PhD Studentship. Her doctoral research focuses on historical and contemporary social production of space in Qatar; drawing on architecture, urbanism, material culture and ethnography. Within this, she investigates vernacular architectural production in Qatar from the pre-oil period until today, a subject closely intertwined with Doha’s urban and socio-economic transformation, migration and home-making.


Gizem was previously a member of the Origins of Doha and Qatar project team at University College London-Qatar (UCL-Qatar) from 2015—2016 where she worked as a visiting researcher. In 2016, she won the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, an urban design competition organized by the British Council reflecting on the revitalisation of Doha’s older neighbourhoods.


Gizem is an architect, having gained an MSc in Architectural Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 2013—for which she was awarded a Univerlecco Scholarship—and a BArch in Architecture from Izmir University of Economics in 2009, where she was awarded an Education Scholarship and was the highest-ranked graduate in her class. She was employed as a lecturer and education assistant in 2013 and 2014 in the Izmir University of Economics, and has worked at several architectural practices in Turkey and Italy, conducting research, consultancy and architectural design.


More information on Gizem’s research and work experience can be found at:



Thesis Title: 

The Vernacular Production of Doha Courtyard Houses: From Qatari Families to Migrant Workers


Related Publications:


  • Freire-Lista, D.M.; Kahraman, G.; Carter, R. Multi-Analysis Characterisation of a Vernacular House in Doha (Qatar): Petrography and Petrophysics of its Construction Materials. Minerals 2019, 9(4), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040241