Personal profile


Shameel Muhammed is an architect and an educator with a research focus on Computation Architecture,  Digital Fabrication and Robotic Construction. He holds an M.Arch degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Design Research Laboratory (DRL) of Architectural Association School of Architecture, London -U.K. His collaborative master thesis at the DRL - ‘W.A.V.E’, addresses the regeneration of the disappearing coastline along the Thames estuary using algorithmic symbiotic systems.

Following his postgraduate studies, he has worked with world-renowned architecture practice - Zaha Hadid Architects, London. He has worked on several winning architecture projects, including the ‘Morpheus’ hotel in Macau – China. Shameel’s practice ‘Studio 7’ is a progressive studio with a key focus on residential and retail design. In the recent past, he has collaborated on several projects with a Dubai-based design collective – ‘Caravan’ where his expertise on digital platforms and fabrication methodologies actively contributed to design outcomes.

Shameel has extensive experience in academia. He has been associated with various design workshops at regional and international platforms such as AAVS DXB ‘Expo City’ - Dubai and ‘Future Earthen Shells’ at Boisbuchet – France. His works have been exhibited at various forums in the Middle East and the U.K.

Currently, Shameel is an Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, leading the second-year B. A (Hons) architecture programme. Shameel is a member of the Council of Architects - India and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – U.K.

Research interests

Live City - The PhD research will look into the definitions of smart cities and their embedded emphasis on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With the recent shift towards smart city discourse inclusion of citizen participation in smart cities, the research is interested in exploring the limitations and opportunities of smart citizen participation in neo-patrimonial government forms. The thesis objective is to benchmark and rank Dubai as a Smart City that is backed up empirically and with transparent data, as well as to develop means either in the form of a policy or an interactive app that can enable or improve citizen participation in Dubai, thereby improving the city’s prospects and its smart city ranking.

Karama 2040 - will explore the possibilities of improving community facilities and green spaces within the dense and diverse residential neighbourhood of Karama - Dubai. The research aligns with the recently launched Dubai 2040 Master plan, which sets improving educational spaces, incorporating inclusive communities and doubling green
corridors as some of its key outcomes.

Softscapes - The primary aim of Softscapes is to investigate how independent functional spaces can be overlapped, blurring their boundaries and edge conditions, leading to new opportunities and definitions. The building envelope that conventionally defines the perimeter is approached as a permeable facade/edge, resembling the Middle East’s traditional souks. The permeable facade can offer functional and environmental sustainability by encouraging interaction and improving comfort conditions passively.

Karama 2040 and Softscapes are research projects explored in the second-year Architectural Design Studio courses at Heriot-Watt University - Dubai.

Intelligent Building Facade - The project will explore the design and build of intelligent, responsive façade systems that could be deployed in hot arid conditions like the Middle East. The first exploratory iteration takes the form of an interactive visual art wall installation. The project has a multidisciplinary team of undergraduate students and faculty on board to assist with its development. The research project will have various
research sub-themes including morphology, computation, engineering and energy efficiency.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Architecture, Net Zero Systems, Digital Fabrication, Computational Architecture and Design, Urban Design, Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities, Intelligent Facades, Material systems, Vernacular and Earth Architecture,

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Second Year Architecture Design Studio Lead
  • Year 2 programme coordinator - B.A(Hons) Architecture 
  • Architecture Dissertation Supervisor
  • Member of the Senate - Heriot-Watt University

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Ajman University

1 Sept 20121 Aug 2016

Zaha Hadid Architects


Centre for Environment Architecture and Human Settlements


ONA Studio



  • NA Architecture
  • NC Drawing Design Illustration


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