Demetra is an interdisciplinary researcher in Architecture and Urban Studies, and a qualified Architect (ETEK) with professional experience in the UK, the US, and Cyprus. Her teaching focuses on creating cross-disciplinary dialogues between architecture and its adjacent disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. She completed her PhD at the University of Manchester under the guidance of Prof. Albena Yaneva and Prof. Graham Haughton, with a thesis titled “A Tunnel of Many Worlds: Unfolding the Blanka Controversy”. Her research explores the relationship between infrastructures of mobility and the urban environment and addresses the need to rethink these structures as integral social and material constituents of the urban.

She holds an MA in Urban Theory from Parsons, The New School, and has worked as a research assistant at the Tishman Environment and Design Centre in New York City. In addition to four years of teaching experience as an Associate Lecturer in the MA A+U program at MSA, she has 7+ years of experience as a Teaching Assistant in a large breadth of topics, including Sustainable Systems, Architecture and Media, and Planning Theory.

Some of her past research focuses on public participation practices in transit planning in NYC, dissecting the relationships of local community boards and transit authorities, and pinpointing their disconnections at both local and state levels.

Academic and professional qualifications

PhD | Architecture | 2017 – 2022 | University of Manchester

MA Theories of Urban Practice | 2014 - 2016 | The New School

Professional Diploma in Architecture | 2010 - 2012 | University of Nicosia

BA (Hons) Architecture | 2006 - 2009 | Birmingham City University

Previous Employment

MA Architecture + Urbanism | Manchester School of Architecture | 2017 – 2022 – Associate Lecturer

University of Manchester | School of Environment, Education & Development | 2017 – 2022 – Teaching Assistant

Northmill Associates | 2017 | Manchester – Project Architect

Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School | 2015-2016 – Research Assistant

Inson Dubois Wood | 2015-2016 | New York - Lead Interior Architect

KBR Design & Build | 2014-2015 | New York - Lead Interior Architect & Project Manager

Thekous Dema Architectural Studio | 2011-2014 | Cyprus – Architect

Sierepeklis Architects | 2011-2013 | Cyprus – Architectural Assistant

Akos Avraam Architects | 2009-2010 | Cyprus – Architectural Assistant

Eleutheria Dramali Hiratou M.Sc. Architect | 2007-2009 | Cyprus – Architectural Assistant

Petr Urbanek, M.Sc. Civil Engineer | 2005-2011 | Cyprus – Architectural Assistant

Projects and initiatives

For Limassol | Sustainability Plan 2031 for the City of Limassol, Cyprus | 2020 – 2021 – Consultant

Studios at 219: Feasibility Study & Business Plan | Community Development Finance Lab Team in Partnership with the Trenton Downtown Association | 2016 – Consultant

Economic Development Plan in Borough Park, Brooklyn | Consultant for Urban Policy Lab | 2016 – Consultant

Honourable Mention | L Train Shutdown Competition | Van Alen Institute, New York | 2016

Team Leader | Urban Land Institute Hines Student Competition | 2016 | The New School

Winner | Civic Engagement & Sustainable Practice | John L. Tishman Scholarship | 2015

Winner | “Linea 7” Project | William Randolph Hearst Scholarship | 2014

Prizes and awards

President’s Doctoral Scholarship | 2017 - 2020 | University of Manchester

John L. Tishman Scholarship | 2015 | Parsons School of Design

Makarios Scholarship | 2015 | Cyprus Children’s Fund

Dean’s Merit Scholarship | 2014-2016 | Parsons School of Design

William Randolph Hearst Scholarship | 2014 | Parsons School of Design

Membership of professional associations

ETEK – Cyprus Technical Chamber | Member – Registered Architect 2016

Cyprus Transport Association | Founding Member 2021

Friends of the Earth Cyprus | Board Member 2021-23


Invited Papers

  • 4-6 September 2017 - Presented PhD proposal at Masterclass with Prof. Bruno Latour at the University of Manchester, a collaboration between UoM PhD programs in Architecture, Anthropology, and Business + Manchester Ethnography Network.
  • 10-12 March 2019 – Poster Presentation submitted for the Bauhaus Centennial Celebration.
  • 9 September 2019 presented PhD research at the ASSIST Conference in Manchester, as part of the “STS and the Ethnographic Turn in Architecture and Urban Studies” panel, organized by Prof. Albena Yaneva and Dr. Thomas Yarrow.
  • 26 September 2019 presented PhD research at the Cities After Transition Conference, in Belgrade, as part of the “Mobility and Post-socialist Urban Governance” panel, organized by Prof. Tauri Tuvikene, Tallinn University.
  • 18-20 August 2020, 4S/EASST 2020 in Prague, research presented for panel “Social Practices Perspectives on (Un)sustainable Urban Transformations” (online presentation).
  • RC-21 Antwerp, 6-8 July 2020, paper titled “The Networked City: How Blanka Extended Beyond its Boundaries” as part of the “The Paradox of Mega Urban Projects: Imaginaries, Practices and Experiences”
  • AAG Annual Meeting 2021, 7-11 April Seattle, paper titled “A city of Many Worlds: Tunnelling Between Nature and Technology” as part of the “Materializing Urban Infrastructures” panel, led by Prof. Andrew Karvonen and Prof. Alan Wiig.

Conference organisation

  • 24 + 25 April 2018 – Chaired + Co-organized Annual AHRA PhD Student Symposium at the University of Manchester, titled; “Temporalities, Processes and Relations in Architectural Research”.
  • MARG Seminar – Book launch of “Latour for Architects” by Albena Yaneva, co-organised event with invited speakers
  • Cities After Transition Conference, 2022 Budapest, panel organizer: “post-socialist infrastructures in the making” with Dr Karol Kurnicki, senior researcher at CREDS, Lancaster University.
  • November 2022, World Congress for Architects, Copenhagen, paper peer review for the Scientific Committee of the UIA World Congress 2023 CPH Science Track.

Journal Articles

Kourri, D., 2023. 'The Hybrid City: How the Blanka tunnel controversy revealed a multiple nature', Urban Matters, Rethin.