Maja's PhD on Branding Post-Conflict cities and Nations (2017) was the first milestone of her interdisciplinary work in architecture and tourism, focusing on destinations’ responses to conflict and the role of residents in shaping new narratives. While mostly involved in teaching, Maja is still active in practice, consulting architectural and urban design studios, branding agencies, and destination branding platforms. She teaches on architecture, tourism and planning, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and supervises a number of postgraduate and doctoral dissertations. Maja presents her work on national and international conferences and guest lectures, acts as a guest critic for studios, curates exhibitions, organises workshops and conferences. Her current research projects are on the role of tourism in metropolis, social resilience after crisis, and heritage preservation of the displaced communities.
Maja's doctoral thesis, "Branding Post-Conflict Cities and Nations" developed an understanding of how the process of branding may be used to help recreate an image of a post-conflict city or nation. It evaluated the potential, context and rationale of models designed to aid the branding process in environments defined by war residue. Maja took an interdisciplinary approach to identify the relations between the effect of national image and nationalism to brands, power, the built environment and the image as a destination. The thesis drew on topics, experience and questions from four different fields: conflict, tourism, marketing and architecture.
Maja also worked as a research associate on several projects: ProBE's (Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment) Leverhulme Trust funded project, ‘Constructing Post-War Britain’; ‘Developing Tourism Industry and Host Community Resilience Through Crisis and Disaster Management Planning’ as a collaboration between University of Westminster and Pancasila University, Indonesia; conducted research and produced content for the leading place branding and placemaking online platforms; and acted as a consultant in developing both tourism and architecture syllabus internationally.
Her current focus are the activities and development of SMeT Network, a multidisciplinary network of scholars from the University of Westminster and Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, interested in tourism in metropolitan regions. She is a part of the “Urban Tourism in the Wake of Covid-19” research, a project funded by the Sustainable Cities and the Urban Environment Research Community. Separately, she is also developing a research on ephemeral spaces and the production and representation of intangible heritage of displaced groups. In her role as a curator, she recently focused on the way new architectural language and the new stakeholders in decision making have shifted the currents of creativity in metropolitan areas.