Next to architectural and urban design projects aurelVR produces books on specific topics of architecture and urban design, design education, design computation and urban geography.

The books, edited by aurelVR and designed by Johanna Siebein from Studio Laucke Siebein in Berlin,cover specific topics of architecture and urban design, design education, design computation and urban geography.

The book Urban Elements documents the course Advanced Studies in Urban Design held in 2017 at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in Singapore. It showcases a new urban design pedagogy for high-density tropical cities like Singapore. The book collects teaching methods to deliver communicable, teachable and applicable outcomes for urban designderived from research at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL).

von Richthofen, A., ed. (2018). Urban Elements - Advanced Studies in Urban Design. Singapore: Singapore ETH Centre.


Aurel’s dissertation on Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman examines the consequences of urbanisation triggered by rapid economic and demographic growth in Oman since 1970 on spatial diversity. The hypothesis of this dissertation postulates that a differentiated spatial, temporal and structural understanding of spatial diversity in the form of land use maps, spatial diversity indices and urbanisation models can lead to a more resilient and sustainable form of urbanisation in Oman.

von Richthofen, A. 2019. “Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman.” Dissertation, Braunschweig: Technische Universität Braunschweig.


The portfolio aurelVR covers the design work from 2009 to 2013 with international architectural, urban design competitions, research, teaching and consultancy.

von Richthofen, A. 2013. aurelVR Architecture - Research, Teaching, Projects 2009 to 2013. Berlin.


Aurel’s most important academic publications are:

Cummings, V., von Richthofen, A. & Babar, Z. (2019). Arab Gulf Cities in Transition: Space, Politics and Society. ETH research collection.

von Richthofen, A. “Transferring Research Knowledge into Urban Design Education.” In Future Cities Laboratory: Indicia 02, edited by Stephen Cairns and Devisari Tunas. Singapore ETH Centre: Lars Muller Publishers, 2018.

Cummings V., von Richthofen A. (2017). “Urban Sustainability as a Political Instrument in the Gulf Region Exemplified at Projects in Abu Dhabi.” Edited by Tim Freytag, Byron Miller, and Samuel Mössner. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, Cities and the politics of urban sustainability, 148 (4): 253–67.

Aurel's list of publications can be found on Zotero and the FCL webpage.

Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman 2019 - Books
Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman 2019 - Cover
Spatial Diversity and Sustainable Urbanisation in Oman 2019 - Calculations
Urban Elements - Cover 2018
Urban Elements - Poster 2018
aurelVR Project 2009 - 2013


Dr Aurel von Richthofen is a researcher, architect and urban designer. He leads the practice aurelVR that entered numerous international competitions and worked on several private commissions. As senior researcher Aurel leads the Education Research programme at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Singapore. His current research investigates cities as dynamic and complex systems with the project 'Semantic Urban Elements'.

aurelVR redesign

Johanna Siebein and Aurel von Richthofen developed the new corporate identity for aurelVR. The CI includes a new logo constructed from parallel lines reflecting the firm's analytic and constructive approach to design. A first product is a new publication of the research, teaching and design activities of aurelVR. The 92 page booklet features three sections of different width and is produced in a small series. The new CI was also applied to relaunch the website implemented in Drupal by Tino Urbiks.

Urban Oman Research

The research project “Towards Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization” founded by The Research Council Oman (TRC) has lead to various collaborations with other international academic institutions. As co-investigator on the project in Oman, I have been coordinating these exchanges and channeling them into significant contributions to the larger research project while providing the students with academic frame-work, access and exposure.