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Dr Francesca Lanz

Assistant Professor

Department: Architecture and Built Environment

Francesca Lanz is an Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment.

Dr Lanz held lectureship and research positions as a visiting scholar at various prestigious European universities, including Politecnico di Milano (2010-2020), University of Amsterdam (2018), Newcastle University (2019-2021), and Lincoln University (2021-2022). She holds an MSc in Architecture and a PhD in Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design, both awarded magna cum laude by Politecnico di Milano; she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and obtained the Italian National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor of Architecture with a subject specialization in Interior Architecture in 2018.

With over 15 years of experience in teaching and researching architecture, Dr. Lanz is a leading international researcher with an interdisciplinary profile lying at the intersection of architecture, museography, exhibition design, and memory, museum, and heritage studies. Her research innovatively combines these diverse disciplinary approaches, theories, and practices to explore the role of the built environment and museums in contemporary societies, with a particular interest in neglected heritages and memories. This is evident in her work on cities, museums, migration, and the adaptive reuse of sites of difficult history, including prisons and asylums.

On these topics, she has a wide track record of publications, international research funding success, impact, and collaborative working. She recently completed a Marie Sklodoswska Curie Individual Fellowship, focussing on the reuse of former mental asylums into mind museums. She is leading the research group ARCH [Adaptive Reuse and Cultural Heritage] within the international Scientific Research Network READ.ADAPT.REUSE. Reading and transforming the As Found (2024-2029) involving 15 European Universities coordinated by Hasselt University (BE) and funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO).

Francesca Lanz

With a background in architecture, primarily focused on interior architecture, Dr Lanz expertise expands to intersect different disciplines, including museography, exhibition design, and memory, museum, and heritage studies. Combining these diverse disciplinary approaches, theories, and practices, Dr Lanz has delivered pioneering research in architecture and heritage studies, specifically focusing on adaptive reuse, neglected heritages and contemporary museums.

This has resulted in numerous high-quality outputs, including 27 book chapters, 9 peer-reviewed journal articles, 4 edited volumes, and 3 books including a Routledge-published research monograph. She has over a decade of experience in developing and working on cutting-edge funded research projects in the field of architecture and heritage. Among these shr contributed as Co-Investigator and Dissemination Leader for the the collaborative research projects MeLa (EU-FP7, 2011–2015) on museums and migration, and TRACES (EU-H2020, 2016-2019) on contentious heritage and creative co-productions; she have been Co-Principal Investigator for the collaborative research project en/counter/points (HERA, 2019–22) on public spaces in a time of migrations, and Principal Investigator for the research project ReMIND (MSCA-IF, 2019–22) an interdisciplinary study on the adaptive reuse of former asylums into "mind museums".

Alongside these and other funded research programmes, Dr Lanz has been involved in several design-based research projects, and I has been appointed for scientific consultancies developing research-informed solutions to real-world problems, engaging with external stakeholders and contributing to stakeholder-focused knowledge exchange. These include a consultancy for the adaptive reuse and musealisation of the former prison at Fornelli for the Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara (2018-2019); a scientific consultancy on the "City museums global mapping and definition" special project by CAMOC, the International Council of Museums committee for city museums (2020-2023); the participation as a designer in a pilot study supported by the Milan Municipality and UNICEF for the refurbishing of a primary school in Milan (2017-2018); and the design contribution in the project for the musealisation and adaptive reuse of the Marchiondi Institute in Milan, funded by the bank foundation CARIPLO (2009-2010). 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Mind Museums: Former Asylums and the Heritage of Mental Health, Lanz, F. 5 Mar 2024
  • The building as a palimpsest: heritage, memory and adaptive reuse beyond intervention, Lanz, F. 15 Feb 2024, In: Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
  • Adaptive reuse, Plevoets, B., Lanz, F. 1 Dec 2023, Elgar Encyclopedia in Urban and Regional Planning and Design, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar
  • Exhibitions and Design: A Perspective on the Project of Museum Display, Lanz, F., Leveratto, J. 24 Apr 2023, Visiting the Art Museum, Cham, Switzerland, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Musei della Mente: Luoghi e ellestimenti per la valorizzazione del patrimonio manicomiale, Lanz, F. Dec 2023, In: Rivista Sperimentale di Freniatria
  • Adaptive reuse: a critical review, Lanz, F., Pendlebury, J. Sep 2022, In: Journal of Architecture
  • Designing Interactions:: On the Use of Digital Technologies in the Musealisation of Difficult Built Heritage, Lanz, F., Montanari, E. 1 Jan 2022, Emerging Technologies and Museums, Berghahn Books
  • Research Encounters: Thinking Through Adaptive Reuse, Lanz, F., Eckersley, S. Jan 2022, The Design of Tactics, Barcelona, Spain, dpr-barcelona
  • The iceberg, the stage, and the kitchen: Neglected public places and the role of design-led interventions, Leveratto, J., Gotti, F., Lanz, F. 27 Dec 2022, Diversity of Belonging in Europe, London, Routledge
  • Reusing Atmospheres: The case of the adaptive reuse of the Lombroso pavilion, Lanz, F. 2020, Ambiances, Alloaesthesia: Senses, Inventions, Worlds, Ambiance Network

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: Conference paper: “Mind Museums: stories, places, museums and the heritage of mental heath” 2024
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: On Drawing 2024
  • Invited talk: Keynote presentation 2023
  • Invited talk: Invited panellist for the Special session “Remembering imprisonment: memory at sites of incarceration” 2023
  • Oral presentation: Conference Paper: “Memory Anchors. Remembering Mind Museums” 2023
  • Oral presentation: Keynote presentation 2023
  • Consultancy: Scientific Adviser / Coordinator for the “City Museum Global Mapping Project” 2019

Vincenza Tafaro Community involvement in design processes for the adaptive reuse of contemporary difficult heritage sites: the case of former 19th Century prisons in the United Kingdom. Start Date: 01/10/2023

  • Education July 04 2023
  • Architecture Other Qualification October 08 2018
  • Architecture PhD April 30 2009
  • Architecture MSc July 14 2005


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