Associate Professor Dijana Alic

Associate Dean - Education
School Leadership, Architectural Studies, Architecture, Urban Typologies

PhD (UNSW), MArch (UNSW), BArch (Sarajevo)

Dijana Alic is a teacher and researcher in the architecture program with a keen interest in exploring the connections between the built environment and its social, political and cultural contexts.  

City-making is about the lived experiences of people. By understanding that our built environments are shaped and determined by cultural, political and social forces, Dijana’s research contributes to the wider dialogue and debate on the role of design, and of design professionals, in city-making. A particular interest is the negotiation of modernity and war in architecture and design. Through teaching, the supervision of PhD students and her collaborations with other academics and design professionals, Dijana also explores the relationship between multiculturalism and city-making, and how migrants are influenced by, and bring influence on, the fabric of the city.  

9385 4817
+61 2 9385 4507

Dijana Alić holds a Senior Lecturer position in design, history and theory in the faculty of Built Environment at UNSW. Dijana holds a degree in Architecture (Honours) from the University of Sarajevo, and a Master of Architecture by research and PhD from the University of New South Wales.

Research Activities: 

Dijana is internationally recognized for her scholarship on the relationship between architecture and society, in its multiple representations. This ranges from discussions on war and national identity to social and affordable housing. In broad terms, Dijana’s research is concerned with the relationship between architecture and the political and social contexts within which it is constructed. Her early research was prompted by her personal experience of war and the destruction of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Hercegovina, the former Yugoslavia. Her doctoral thesis explored the correlations between architectural identity and political ideology.

Dijana’s research on war and architecture is ongoing and has generated more than 20 publications, including the recent book chapter Alic, D. (2019). Mapping the War: Everyday Survival during the Siege of Sarajevo. In A. Pieris (Ed.), Architecture on the Borderline Boundary Politics and Built Space (pp. 139-156). Routledge.

Dijana’s ongoing interest in social aspects of architecture has included a collaborative research and teaching project that explores social housing in Vienna.  The outcomes are published as Alic, D., & Jadric, M. (2019). At Home in Vienna - Zuhause in Wien: Studies of exemplary affordable housing. Wien: TU Academic Press.

Teaching & Supervision: 

Currently Dijana's main teaching responsibilities include design studios and lectures based on critical investigations of modernity, architecture and landscape, regionalism and national identity. She aims to develop the links between cultural studies and architectural design. 


Dijana regularly contributes to the scholarly community through journal peer reviews and conference paper peer reviews. She participated in judging the City of Canterbury 2010 Awards for Design Quality in categories: residential, non residential, mixed use/multi unit development, heritage, and environmental sustainability.

In 2006 and 2008, Dijana was a member of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects panel during the annual visit to the University of Newcastle.

Dijana has also been an active member of the FBE History and Theory Research Group (2000–2006), occasionally responsible for inviting, organising and promoting research presentations by guest speakers. She was a Guest Juror at the University of Sydney, has participated at UNSW open days and industry days (1995–2008) and has contributed to FBE research seminars for postgraduate students.


Supervision Area: 

During the course of her career, Dijana has influenced and guided many generations of UNSW students and has contributed significantly to the shaping of the architecture discipline at UNSW. Dijana’s outstanding commitment to evidence-based teaching practices has been internationally recognised by the Higher Education Academy which awarded her a highly prestigious Senior Fellowship (SFHEA) in 2019. Her more than twenty-year commitment and contribution to architectural education at UNSW has also been recognised by her appointment as a UNSW Scientia Education Academy Fellow in 2018.

Dijana’s respect for diverse learning communities and equal opportunity on the one hand, and her interest in the intersection of architecture, politics and society on the other, are distinctive areas of strength. Her research supervision includes critical investigations of modernity, architecture and landscape, regionalism and national identity as well as the topics concerning the social context of architecture (social housing), issues of multi- culturalism and the impact of immigration on built environments.