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Dr. Irene Appeaning Addo

Dr. Irene Appeaning Addo
Research Fellow
Media and Visual Arts

Irene Appeaning Addo holds a PhD in Geography and Resource Development (2012) from the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon. She also holds a joint Master of Science degree in Housing and Inner City Revitalisation (2002) from the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam, Netherlands and the University of Delaware in Delaware, USA. Trained professionally as an architect, she is a member of the Ghana Institute of Architects since 2001. Irene worked as a local consultant for the UN HABITAT from 2010 to 2011 collecting information on the operations of the construction industry and building materials sector in Ghana with special focus on slums and low-income housing. This research culminated into a 40-page report included in the GHANA HOUSING SECTOR PROFILE (2011) publication by UN HABITAT under a chapter entitled ‘Construction and Building Materials Industry’. As a Consultant Architect, she worked with Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) for 14 years in various leadership roles including Greater Accra Regional Architect. She is also an External Juror & Examiner for the Central University College. Her research interest includes climate change, indigenous knowledge systems, gender, urban studies, housing, urbanism and architecture. Irene, is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana.

  • Ph.D Geography and Resource Development. University of Ghana, Legon (2012).
  • M.Sc. Housing and Inner City Revitalisation. Institute of Housing and Urban Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, Netherlands (2002)
  • P.G. Dip. Architecture. University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana (1999).
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Design. University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana (1994).
Research Interests
  • African traditional architecture and the changing architectural heritage and cultures in Africa
  • Transnational and post-colonial architecture
  • Culture, Arts and architecture in Contemporary African Urbanism
  • Urban and housing policy
  • Climate change and Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Research Projects
  • Keeping Your Cool: Modern Architectural Heritage and Climatic Comfort in Ghana (2019 – 2020). Overseas Development (ODA) and University of Liverpool Research Seed Fund.
  • Understanding Statehood through Architecture: a comparative study of Africa’s state buildings (2019). Contributing a book chapter. European Research Council (ERC – UK)
  • Entanglement, Mobility and Improvisation: Culture and Arts in Contemporary African Urbanism and its Hinterlands (2018 – 2023). Andrew Mellon Funding. Reference No.: 1808-06063
  • Housing and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Urban Africa (2018 – 2019). Funding from University of Lagos
  • Architecture and Planning in the Tropics: From Imperial Gold Coast to Tropical Ghana (2016 – 2018). British Academy funding
  • Energy consumption in public and private residential buildings (2016 – 2017). Institutional Funding
  • A Study of Traditional Architecture in Tamale (2016 – to date). Institutional Funding
  • Climate Change Adaptation Research and Training Capacity for Development (CCARTCD). (2011 – 2014). IDRC Funding
  • Urban housing development in developing countries in the 21st Century under the scenario of changing family systems and nuclearisation of families. (2008 – 2012). Individual funding
Research Activities
  • Historical cities and architecture

  • Infrastructure and urbanisation

  • Writing workshops on built environment and African Architecture

  • Colonial housing policies and its impact on contemporary housing policies

  • African Traditional architecture and Indigenous knowledge systems.

  • Quality of Life

  1. Appeaning Addo, I. (2012). Multihabitation and Urban Low-Income Housing: The Case of Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. PhD thesis in the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon.
  2. Appeaning Addo, I. (2002). Integrating housing management into inner city revitalization: The case of Elmina. MSc Thesis in the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam.
  3. Christian, A., Appeaning Addo, I., Codjoe, SNA. (2019). Selecting Climate Change Adaptation Options: A Case Study of an Urban Coastal Community in Accra, Ghana. (Chapter 6) in Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe and Delali Benjamin Dovie (Eds) “Climate Change in Ghana: The Human Dimension”. Pp. 95–119, Afram Publications.
  4. Appeaning Addo, I., (2014). Urban Low-Income Housing Development in Ghana: Politics, Policy and Challenges (Chapter 6) in Miguel P. Amado (Ed) “Urban Planning: Practices, Challenges and Benefits”. Pp. 89-118. Nova Science Publishers.
  5. Iain Jackson, Ola Uduku, Irene Appeaning Addo & Rexford Assasie Opong (2019) The Volta River Project: planning, housing and resettlement in Ghana, 1950–1965, The Journal of Architecture, 24:4, 512-548, DOI: 10.1080/13602365.2019.1643389
  6. Addo, I. A. (2016). Assessing residential satisfaction among low income households in multi-habited dwellings in selected low income communities in Accra. Urban Studies53(4), 631-650. DOI: 10.1177/0042098015571055 Sage Publication
  7. Appeaning Addo, K. & Appeaning Addo, I., (2016). Coastal Erosion Management in Ghana: Combining Local Knowledge with Empirical Research. Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. 8(1), 1-10. doi: 10.4102/jamba. v8, i1.274
  8. Appeaning Addo, I., (2016). Traditional Earth Houses in Vittin, Tamale: Identity and perception of the tradition-modernity conflict. Contemporary Journal of African Studies, 4 (1), 97-128
  9. Addo, I.A. (2016). Housing maintenance in multi-habited low-income houses in Accra. Journal of International Real Estate and Construction Studies, 4(1). Nova Science Publishers
  10. Appeaning Addo, I., & Codjoe, S. N. A. (2016). Exploring the link between fisher folks' experimental knowledge and climate variability in an urban coastal community In Accra. Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, 15(2): 71-87.
  11. Biney, I. K., Appeaning Addo, I. & Abu, M., (2015). The Effect of the 1987 Education Reforms on Youth Unemployment in Ghana: An Exploratory Study. Current Politics and Economics of Africa, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 513-535. Nova Science Publishers.
  12. Appeaning Addo, I. A. (2013). Perceptions and Acceptability of Multihabitation as an Urban Low-Income Housing Strategy in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana. Urban Forum Volume 24, Issue 4, Pp 543-571. DOI: 10.1007/S12132-013-9192-2 Springer Netherlands.
  13. Appeaning Addo, I., (2017). Modernist architecture and its implication on energy consumption in public and private residential apartments in Accra, Ghana. In: M. Young (ed.), AMPS Proceedings Series 9. Living and Sustainability: An Environmental Critique of Design and Building Practices, Locally and Globally. London South Bank University, London, 8-9 February 2017. pp.370-388.  ISSN 2398-9467
  14. Irene Appeaning Addo (2013). Sharing, Cooperation and Conflicts: Multihabitation as an Urban Low-Income Housing Strategy in Accra. In: Laryea, S. and Agyepong, S. (Eds) Proceedings of 5th West Africa Built Environment Research (WABER) Conference, 12-14 August 2013, British Council, Accra, Ghana, pp. 977-992.
  15. O. Pabi, S.N.A. Codjoe, N.A. Sah and I. Appeaning Addo (2015). Climate change linked to failing fisheries in coastal Ghana. A brief report on research supported by the International Development Research Centre’s Climate Change and Water program. Produced by WRENmedia in January 2015. IDRC Digital Library
  16. Appeaning Addo, I., Codjoe, S.N.A. et al., (2014). Knowledge Management Systems and Education for Building Smallholder Resilience to Climate Change (Chapter IV). In: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Africa Agriculture Status Report 2014: Climate Change on Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  17. UN HABITAT (2011). Construction and Building Materials (Chapter 9) in Ghana Housing Profile. United Nations Human Settlement Programme, UN-Habitat, Kenya
  18. Assessment report of physical facilities in various tertiary institutions for National Accreditation Board.
Conferences and Conference Proceedings
  1. Vernacular Architecture in Translation: The Tongo Hills Chief Palace in Ghana. A paper to be presented at the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) 3rd Biennial Conference with theme African and Africana Knowledges: Past Representations, Current Discourses, Future Communities, October 24-26, 2019, United States International University-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  2. Glocalisation of Architecture as reflected in the real estate industry. A paper presented at the Ghana Studies Association conference with theme “Ghana as Center”, 10-13 July 2019, University of Ghana, Legon.
  3. The traditional architectural practice of the people of Gbabshe. Institute of African Studies Seminar Series, 02 May 2019.
  4. Interrogating the African-centredness and Gender Responsiveness of Higher Education Curricula in Ghana Today. A paper presented at the Ghana Studies Association conference, “Ghana as Center”, 10-13 July 2019, University of Ghana, Legon.
  5. Traditional Earth-Constructed Houses in Tamale, Ghana: Tradition, Identity and Modernity, A paper presented at the conference “Philadelphia 2019: Landscapes of Succession” by Vernacular Architecture Forum, University of Pennsylvania, 28 May – 2 June 2019, Philadelphia, USA
  6. Participated in the 58th Biennale art exhibition, 11-13 May 2019, Venice, Italy
  7. Chaired a session on “Youth Service in Africa” (Session 3), All African People’s Conference: Revisiting the 1958 All-African Peoples Conference: The Unfinished Business of Liberation and Transformation, 5-8 December 2018, University of Ghana, Legon.
  8. Participated in the 4th International Research Conference of the College of Humanities, 1-2 November 2018, University of Ghana. Legon.
  9. Modernist architecture, building regulations, residents’ preferences and its implication on Ghana's energy use. A paper presented at the conference ‘Living and Sustainability: An Environmental Critique of Design and Building Practices, Locally and Globally’ Conference held on 9-10th February 2017 at London South Bank University
  10. Climate change impact in an urban coastal community – Ga Mashie, (IDRC funded Climate Change Project). Presented at the Development and Climate days of the Conference of Parties (COP 23), 12-13 November 2017, Bonn, Germany.
  11. Waste Management Challenges in Urban Ghana: Some Field Observations from the Techiman Township, Institute of African Studies Seminar Series, 13 October 2016.
  12. Tradition-Modernity Conundrum as reflected in African Traditional Mud Houses in the Northern Region, Ghana. Institute of African Studies Seminar Series. 8 October 2015
  13. Informal Social Networks as a Coping Strategy among Urban Low income Multihabited Households in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). Faculty of Science Conference, 17-18 November 2011. Great Hall, University of Ghana, Legon (part of my PhD studies).
  14. Presentation on Accra in ‘African Cities’, a graduate course in the University of Edinburgh. 3 February 2017
  1. Book project workshop on “Understanding Statehood through Architecture: a comparative study of Africa’s state buildings (ASA)” led by Professor Julia Gallagher, School of Oriental and African Studies, 1-7 December 2019, South Africa
  2. Inaugural workshop for Andrew Mellon Urbanities project, University of Pretoria. 29 – 31 July 2019. South Africa.
  3. Participation in ‘World Monuments Day’, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, 21 May 2019, Accra
  4. LIRA 2030 Training Workshop on Transdisciplinary Research, 1-8th September 2018, Hotel Etoile du Sud, Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. Organised Centre Suisse de Recherchés Scientifiques.
  5. Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) Preparatory Bid Meeting Accra 22nd – 24th March 2016, British Council, Accra
  6. Knowledge Management Systems and Education for Building Smallholder Resilience to Climate Change, Presentation of a working group at a workshop organised by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Nairobi, Kenya, April 2014.
  7. Impact evaluation of energy efficient projects, International workshop held on 11-12 November 2013, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel


Teaching and Supervison
  • African Art, Its Philosophy and Criticism
  • Survey of African Art
  • Methodologies and constructing of Art history in selected African societies
  • Historiography of African Art History
  • Gender and Development in Africa
  • Culture and Gender in African Societies

Student Supervision

Six graduate students (2016 – 2019)