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Headshot photo of Farhana Ferdous

Farhana Ferdous (She/Her)

Assistant Professor

  • Department of Architecture, CEA
  • College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA)


Dr. Farhana Ferdous is an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at Howard University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2012 and conducted postdoctoral research in healthcare architecture at the University of Kansas (KU) until 2014. She was a Lecturer and Global Urbanism Faculty Fellow in the School of Architecture & Design at KU from 2012 to 2017. She is an educator, designer, and scholar whose teaching and research career spans the continents of Asia, Australia, and North America. She is known globally for her scholarly contributions on the topics of the design of ADRD care facilities, healthy urbanism and environmental design for the elderly, and health and wellbeing in the built and urban settings. She has published widely on urban and environmental design, environmental psychology and neighborhood walkability for the aging population. Her research has been supported by many prestigious grants and awards such as the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) Fellowship, Endeavour Postgraduate Award, Toyota Foundation Grant, Academy of Architecture Health Foundation (AAHF), KU-Alzheimer’s Disease Center Pilot Award and KU Strategic Initiative Grant.

Education & Expertise


Architecture and Environmental Design

University of Sydney, Australia

Architecture and Urbanism

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology


Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology


Healthcare Architecture and Healthy Urbanism

Behavior and Psychology in Built Environments with a focus on Elderly CareHealthcare Architecture, Memory Care and Assisted Living FacilitiesHealthy Communities and Healthy UrbanismEnvironment Behavior and Evidence-based DesignUrban Morphology and Spatial Morphological AnalysisACADEMIC AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS & GRANTS2018                         Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation (AAHF) (PI, Research Grant)2017                         Toyota Foundation Grant (PI, Research Grant)2016                         Global Urbanism Faculty Fellow (The University of Kansas)2013                         GIA (Grant makers in Aging) Fellowship2013                         The American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship2011, 2010 and 2009          PRSS (Post Graduate Research Scheme), University of Sydney Grant for presenting papers at international peer reviewed conferences and commencing research work2008                          Endeavour Post Graduate Award (EPA), Australian Government Scholarship                                           




Healthcare Architecture and Healthy Urbanism



2018                         Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation (AAHF) (PI, Research Grant)2017                         Toyota Foundation Grant (PI, Research Grant)2016                          Global Urbanism Faculty Fellow (The University of Kansas)2013                         GIA (Grant makers in Aging) Fellowship2013                         The American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship

Related Articles

Peer Reviewed Journal

SELECTED PAPERS & PUBLICATIONSEdited BookFerdous, F. & Bell, B. (Ed) (2021) All In: All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture. Routledge PublicationFerdous, F., Roberts, E. (in progress): Edited volume “A glimmer of home: Evolving frameworks in designing the continuum of long-term care environments for older adults”.Book ChaptersFerdous, F., Julie L., Kapila S. (2019) Sustainable Urbanism and Historic Urban Landscape Conservation. In Kapila Silva (Ed) The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in the Asia-Pacific, Routledge, page 363-376.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, page 29-50.Peer Reviewed JournalFerdous, F. (2021). Redesigning Memory Care in the COVID-19 Era: Interdisciplinary Spatial Design Interventions to Minimize Social Isolation in Older Adults. Journal of Aging & Social Policy.Ferdous, F. (under review). Social Distancing vs Social Interactions for Long Term Care Facilities in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Rapid Review and Synthesis of Action Plans. Journal of Aging & Mental HealthFerdous, F. (2019). Positive Social Interactions by Spatial Design: A Systematic Review of Empirical Literature in Memory Care Facilities for People Experiencing Dementia. Journal of Aging and Health, 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: 10.1177/2333721415599141Ferdous, 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. doi: 10.1177/1533317514545378Ferdous, 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. DOI:10.24297/jah.v3i1.5116. Corpus ID: 54509467Ferdous, 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 1-10Ferdous, 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., 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).Peer Reviewed Conference Publications and PresentationsNduom, D. & Ferdous, F. (2021): Challenges and Opportunities in Teaching Architecture Design Studio during the COVID-19 era: an HBCU Perspective. 109th ACSA Annual Meeting: Expanding the View.Ferdous, F. (2020): 2020 HiBR Conference: Health in Buildings for Today and Tomorrow: Making Connections-Research to Practice May 5-6, 2020 (NIH Campus) (Cancelled due to COVID-19)Ferdous, F. (2019). Well-being in Memory Care Facilities: Identifying the Role of Spatial Design for Social Interaction in Empirical Literature. Paper presented at ARCC Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, May 2019. ARCC Conference Repository, 1(1). Retrieved from…, F. (2018) [Re] connecting the creative community corridor: A community design intervention to foster diversity along Georgia Avenue, Washington D.C. Paper presented at the EDRA 49 Annual Meeting, Oklahoma, June, 2018.Ferdous, F. (2018) Positive Health Outcomes by Environmental Design: The role of spatial configuration in designing physical environment for people experiencing dementia. Paper presented at the EDRA 49 Annual Meeting, Oklahoma, June, 2018.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, Nov, 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 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. Nov, 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 for the Gerontological Society of America, Washington, DC. Nov, 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 Place making 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.Ferdous, F. (2011). The Morphological Evolution of the ‘Bazaar Streets’: A Configurational Analysis of the Urban Layout of Dhaka City (Refereed Full-Paper). In Mittleman D. and Middleton D. A.  (eds.) EDRA 42 Proceedings: Make no little plans (pp. 50-61), Chicago, May 2011.