Dr Aylin Orbasli

Reader in Architectural Regeneration
Research Associate - OISD: PCI

For over 15 years Aylin has combined teaching, international consultancy practice and research in ways that enable each to inform the others. Her research-led practice experience in the field of conservation, regeneration and heritage management informs masters and MArchD level teaching, as does her research which frequently draws on data collected and tested through consultancy assignments.

Following a book on Architectural Conservation (2008) Aylin continues to research conservation theories, including authenticity in the context of reconstruction and rapid urban development and the broadening remit of cultural heritage and regeneration. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on Architectural Regeneration, to which she will also be contributing chapters on urban conservation and temporariness in regeneration.

Other current research focuses on the role heritage plays in the identity, branding and promotion of cities under the working title The 21st Century City: heritage, tourism and identity. The research specifically investigates the commodification of historic quarters as tourism destinations as a new urban construct; the commercial and political re-invention of heritage as a tourism commodity to define local identity and distinctiveness (e.g. China and UAE). The output for this research is planned as a book, alongside interim journal papers.

An AHRC Newton funded research project in 2016 on community-led heritage regeneration in India was developed on the basis of this research. This collaborative grant provided an opportunity to fully integrate research with design teaching by empowering a small group of students to become co-researchers, undertaking field work and translating findings into design projects that became integrated into the research process. Aylin has a specific interest in the Middle East and Islamic towns, and is currently writing a book chapter on urban tourism in the Middle East. This builds on over 20 years of researching and working in the region.

She has supervised seven PhDs to successful conclusion, is currently supervising five.

Academic interests
  • Building conservation: theory and practice
  • Architectural regeneration and urban conservation
  • Historic towns in the Islamic World: urban conservation, tourism and identity
  • Cultural heritage management, including World Heritage Sites
Selected publications
  • Orbaslı, A. (2016) ‘The Historic Towns of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Coast: tourism development and conservation’ in Red Sea VI (ed. D. Agius), McGill.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2015) ‘Nara+20: a Theory and Practice Perspective’, Heritage & Society, 8(2), pp. 178-188.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2013) ‘Archaeological Site Management and Local Development’ Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 15 (3-4), pp. 237-253.
  • Hodder, I. et al including Orbaslı, A. (2010) ‘Protecting and Exhibiting Çatalhöyük’ TUBA KED, The Cultural Inventory Journal of the Turkish Academy of Sciences, 8
  • Orbaslı, A. & Woodward, S. (2009) ‘Tourism and Heritage Conservation’ in Handbook of Tourism Studies, (eds Jamal, T. and Robinson, M.), Sage, London, pp. 314-32.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2009) ‘The conservation of coral buildings on Saudi Arabia’s northern Red Sea coast’ Journal of Architectural Conservation, 15(1), pp. 49-64.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2008) Architectural Conservation: Principles and Practice, Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Orbaslı, A. & Woodward, S. (2008) ‘A Railway ‘Route’ as a Linear Heritage Attraction: the Hijaz Railway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ Journal of Heritage Tourism, 3(3), pp. 159-175.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2007) ‘Training Conservation Professionals in the Middle East’ Built Environment, 33(3), pp. 307-322.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2007) ‘Guidelines for Preparing Management Plans for Prehistoric Sites’ in Management, Education & Prehistory: the Temper Project (eds. I. Hodder & L. Doughty) Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph, pp. 69-75. (peer reviewed publication)
  • Doughty, L. & Orbaslı, A. (2007) ‘Visitor Management at Prehistoric Sites’ in Management, Education & Prehistory: the Temper Project (eds. I. Hodder & L. Doughty) Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph, pp. 43-56. (peer reviewed publication)
  • Orbaslı, A. (2006) ‘Tourism and the 'Islamic' Town: social change, conservation and tourism in traditional neighbourhoods’ in Tourism in the Middle East: Continuity, Change and Transformation (ed. R. Daher) Channel View, pp. 161-187.
  • Orbaslı, A. & Shaw, S. (2004) ‘Transport and Visitors in Historic Cities’ in Tourism and Transport: Issues and Agendas for the New Millennium, (ed. L.M. Lumsdon & S.J. Page) Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 93-104.
  • Orbaslı, A. & Whitbourn, P. (2002) ‘Professional Training and Specialisation in Conservation’, Journal of Architectural Conservation, 8(3), pp. 61-72.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2000) ‘Is Tourism Governing Conservation in Historic Towns?’, Journal of Architectural Conservation, 6(3), pp. 7-19.
  • Orbaslı, A. (2000) Tourists in Historic Towns: Urban Conservation and Heritage Management, Spon Press, London & New York; Korean language edition published in 2012.
Aylin Orbasli


School of Architecture

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP