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Mackey 134

Faculty Details

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in Architecture: The University of Sydney, Australia
Master of Architecture: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology


• Behavior and Psychology in Urban Environments with a focus on Elderly Care
• Environmental Gerontology, Dementia and Spatial Layout in LTCF
• Sustainable Communities and Healthy Urbanism
• Urban Morphology and Spatial Morphological Analysis
• Participatory Urbanism and Evidence-based Design


In line with my educational and academic research background, my research incorporates a number of areas related to health, and well-being, healthy urbanism, environmental design within the built and urban environment. My research has focused predominantly on architecture and morphology of space especially in the urban environment and Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) to pursue evidence-based design for dementia residents. I have developed a protocol for analyzing core syntactical variables, such as integration and connectivity, and relating those variables mainly to design the layout of care facilities to achieve therapeutic benefits for dementia residents, and to design urban-physical environment to improve the walkability and overall public health.

RESEARCH GRANTS (Principle Investigator)

2017: Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation Grant (AAHF)
2016: Toyota Foundation Individual Research Grant


1. Positive Health Outcomes by Environmental Design: The role of spatial configuration in designing physical environment for people experiencing dementia
Principle Investigator: Dr. Farhana Ferdous
FUNDING BODY: Toyota Foundation Individual Research Grant and Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation (AAHF)

2. The Impact of Spatial Configuration on Social Interaction in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF)
Team Members: Dr. Keith Diaz Moore (PI) and Dr. Farhana Ferdous
FUNDING BODY: Strategic Initiative Grant (SIG), The University of Kansas

3. Neighborhood Characteristics, Walking, and Sedentary Behavior in Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
Team Members: Dr. Amber Watts, Dr. Keith Diaz Moore, and Dr. Farhana Ferdous
FUNDING BODY: KU- Alzheimer’s Disease Center Pilot Award

Subjects Taught: 

Arch 203: Architectural Design V
Arch 204: Architectural Design VI
Arch 891: Thesis Preparation

Detailed Information

About Me: 

Dr. Farhana Ferdous is an assistant professor at Department of Architecture, Howard University. She finished her Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2012 and postdoc research in healthcare architecture from the University of Kansas in 2014. She was a Lecturer and Global Urbanism faculty fellow at the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning, the University of Kansas from 2012 to 2017. She is an educator, designer, and scholar whose teaching and research career spans in the continent of Asia, Australia, and North America. Her teaching focuses on urbanism, healthcare architecture and designing healthy communities by developing interactive and action-based learning. She is well known across the globe for her scholarly contribution to dementia care facility design, healthy urbanism specializing in the area of environmental design for the elderly, health and wellbeing in the built and urban settings. She has published widely focusing on urban and environmental design, environmental psychology and neighborhood walkability for aging population. Her research has been supported by many prestigious grants and awards such as American Association of University Women Fellowship (AAUW), Grantmakers in Aging Fellowship (GIA), Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation Grant (AAHF), Toyota Foundation Grant, Endeavour Postgraduate Award.

Personal Website Address: http://ferdousf.wix.com/ferdous


2017-Present: Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture
Howard University

2013- 2017: Lecturer
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
The University of Kansas, USA

2011- 2014: Post Doc Researcher
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
The University of Kansas, USA

2007- 2011: Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)

2004- 2007: Design Architect
ARC Architectural Consultant, Bangladesh


2016 Service Learning Mini-Grant Award
Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (The University of Kansas)

2016 Global Urbanism Faculty Fellow (The University of Kansas)

2013 GIA (Grantmakers in Aging) Fellowship

2013 The American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship

2009-11 PRSS (Post Graduate Research Support Scheme), University of Sydney

2008 Endeavour Post Graduate Award (EPA), Australian Government Scholarship (for 4 years)

2004 Shamsun Nahar Khanam Memorial Gold Medal
For securing highest marks in BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2003 Sharfuddin Khan Merit Scholarship
One year merit scholarship for excellent result in level 5, term 1, BUET, Bangladesh

1997- 2003 Fulbright Bangladesh Government Scholarship
For 5th place in HSC during the period of undergraduate studies, BUET, Bangladesh

1997- 2003 University Merit Scholarship
Eight times during undergraduate study, BUET, Bangladesh

1997- 2003 Ahsanur Rahman Merit Scholarship
For excellent results in BUET, Bangladesh


• Ferdous, F. and Bell, B. (Ed) (Forthcoming) All Inclusive Engagement in Architecture, Routledge (expected publication date 2019).

• Ferdous, F. (Forthcoming) The Paradox of Sustainable Urban Heritage: A Critical Analysis through Sustainable Urbanism Lens. In Kapila Silva (ed.) Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes of the Asia-Pacific, Routledge.

• Ferdous, F. (2017) The Cultural Landscape of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. In Amita Sinha and Kapila Silva (ed.) Cultural Landscapes of South Asia: Studies in Heritage Conservation and Management, Routledge, page 76-91.

• Ferdous, F. & Rahman. M. (2015) Chawk Bazaar and Shankhari Bazaar: Morphology of two organically developed cultural spaces of Old Dhaka. In M. Rahman (ed.) Dhaka: an Urban Reader, The University Press Limited (UPL) Dhaka.

• Watts, A., Ferdous, F., Moore, K. D., Burns, J. (2015) Neighborhood Integration and Connectivity Predict Cognitive Performance and Decline, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, January-December 2015 vol. 1, page 1-9, doi: 10.1177/2333721415599141.

• Ferdous, F. & Moore, K. D. (2015) Field observations into the environmental soul: Spatial configuration and social life for people experiencing dementia, American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, March 2015 vol. 30 no. 2, page 209-218.

• Ferdous, F. (2014). If You Could Know, What Users Think: Urban Design and the Preference of the Physical Attributes of Urban Open Space, Journal of Advances in Humanities, (JAH), ISSN 2349-4379 Vol. 3 (1), page 143-151.

• Ferdous, F. (2013) Examining the Relationship Between Key Visual Characteristics of Urban Plazas and Aesthetic Response SAGE Open April-June 2013 Vol. 3 (2), doi: 10.1177/2158244013485581, page 1-10.

• Ferdous, F. (2012) The spatial analysis and morphological evolution of the ‘Bazaar Streets’ and urban structure of Dhaka city, URBAN DESIGN International (UDI), Vol. 17 (3), pp. 206-220.

• Ferdous, F., & Nilufar, F. (2008). Cultural Space - A Conceptual Deliberation and Characterization as Urban Space. Protibesh, Journal of the Department of Architecture, BUET, ISSN: 1812-8068, January 2008, Volume 12, No. 1. (29-36).

• Ferdous, F. (2008). Organic Morphology and Cultural Spaces: The Case of Old Dhaka. Journal of the Asiatic Society (Humanities), Harun-or-Rashid (ed) Volume 53, No. 1, June 2008, (27-50).

• Ferdous, F., & Nilufar, F. (2007). Morphological Transformation and Evolution of Panthapath as a Commercial Belt of Dhaka City. Protibesh, Journal of the Department of Architecture, BUET, ISSN: 1812-8068, July 2007, Volume 11, No. 2. (55-66).


• Watts, A., Ferdous, F., E. Grandfield, & Diaz-Moore, K. (2016). Perceived neighborhood characteristics differentially impact sedentary behavior in older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease. Paper presented at the 68th Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, LA, November 2016.

• Sanguinetti, P., Cai, H., Colistra, J., Sheward, H., Ferdous, F. (2016). Connected healthy living for smart cities. Paper presented at Building for Health and Well-Being: Structures. Cities. Systems 2016 ACSA-ASPPH Fall Conference, Honolulu, HI, September 2016.

• Watts, A., Ferdous, F., & Diaz-Moore, K. (2016). Effect of Neighborhood Characteristics on Sedentary Behavior in Alzheimer’s Disease. Paper to be presented at the 24th Meeting for the International Association of People-Environment Studies, Lund, Sweden, June 2016.

• Ferdous, F., Watts, A., Diaz-Moore, K. (2016). Neighborhood Characteristics Influence Active Living and Cognitive Performance among Older Adults. In Global Impact through Design Research Symposium, the University of Kansas, USA, April 2016.

• Liebmann, E., Breda, A., Watts, A., Ferdous, F., Diaz-Moore, K., & Burns, J. (2015). Neighborhood Characteristics and Dementia Status Predict Physical Functioning in Older Adults. Paper presented at the 67th Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America, Orlando, FL. November 2015.

• Watts, A., Ferdous, F., Diaz-Moore, K., & Burns, J. (2014). Neighborhood characteristics predict health and cognitive function in older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease. Paper presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Washington, DC. November 2014.

• Ferdous, F. (2013). Sedentary behavior and older adults: The role of neighborhood walkability Oral presentation, Grantmaking in Aging (GIA) Annual Conference. Kansas City, USA, October 16-18, 2013.

• Moore, K. D. & Ferdous, F. (2013). The Impact of Spatial Configuration on Social Interaction in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Brief Overview of Pilot Studies symposium presentation in Placemaking in the Third and Fourth Ages. In Jeremy Wells and Elefterios Pavlides (eds.) EDRA 44 Proceedings: Healthy + Healing Places (pp. 251-252), Providence, May 2013.

• Moore, K. D. & Ferdous, F. (2013). Spatial Configuration and Social Life for People Experiencing Dementia (Referred Full Paper). In Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) Spring Proceedings: The Visibility of Research (pp. 685-691), University of North Carolina, Charlotte, March 2013.

• Ferdous, F. (2012). Aesthetic Response and Urban Plazas: The appreciation of physical characteristics for designed urban open spaces In Rula Awwad-Rafferty and Lynne C. Manzo (eds.) EDRA 43 Proceedings: Emergent Placemaking (pp. 234), Seattle, June 2012.


Meet HU Commencement 2019 Student Speaker Renee Whiteley

Thu, May 16, 2019

Class of 2019 Architecture Magna Cum Laude Graduate Renee Whiteley addressed her class and the university community at Howard University’s 151st Commencement Convocation on May 12, 2019. Read More >>

Department of Architecture Welcomes 2019 AIA President

Tue, April 9, 2019

The Department of Architecture welcomed William J. Bates, FAIA, NOMA, the 2019 president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) yesterday. Bates shared with our students and faculty his valuable perspective on being an accomplished architect. Bates is only the second African American to head the AIA since it was established in 1857. Read More >>


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