Kapila D. Silva
- Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
- Architecture, Architecture & Design Administration
1465 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045
Kapila D. Silva is a Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the School of Architecture and Design of the University of Kansas, USA. He has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from where he received his doctorate and at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka from where he received professional architectural education. His research focuses on the social, cultural and psychological aspects of architecture, urbanism, and historic preservation. His research has thus far been on global heritage conservation, addressing theoretical and pragmatic issues related to UNESCO’s World Heritage Program, which attempts to preserve and manage historic monuments and sites with outstanding universal value around the world. The underlined interest in his research has been in the construction and stewardship of meaning in the built environment in the forms of sites, monuments and memorials of personal and communal legacies and in the ways of balancing conservation concerns with development needs within historic urban areas. In geo-cultural scope, his work focuses specifically on non-Western traditions within the Asian context. In addition, he studies vernacular environments in the region, developing a theoretical framework to study those environments and deriving lessons for contemporary architectural situations, such as community design and post-disaster resettlement housing. In addition to these scholarly activities, he continues to be engaged in architectural design, practicing exclusively in Sri Lanka where he is a licensed architect. Dr. Silva is the lead editor of Asian Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns and Prospects (with Neel Kamal Chapagain; Routledge, 2013), Cultural Landscapes of South Asia: Studies in Heritage Conservation and Management (with Amita Sinha; Routledge, 2017), The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in the Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2020), and The Routledge Handbook on Cultural Landscape Heritage in the Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2022) and co-author of The Tampitaviharas of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-houses in Buddhist Architecture (Anthem Press, in press). He has received 2006 Building Block Award (Faculty of the Year) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students, 2010 and 2022 Jack and Nancy Bradley Student Recognition Award for Teaching Excellence from the School of Architecture and Design, and 2 018 K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, 2020 The Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator (HOPE) Award, and 2022 Woodyard International Educator Award from the University of Kansas. He is also the recipient of 2013 New Researcher Award from the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) and 2018 Achievement Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).
(a) Social, Cultural, and Psychological Aspects of Architectural Design and Urban Design
(b) Urban Design and Development Policy in Developing Countries
(c) Issues related to Revitalization, Preservation, and Management of Historic Buildings and Urban Settings
(d) Community Participation in Urban Design, Settlement Planning, and Preservation
(e) Visual Culture in Buddhist and Asian societies
Studios + Courses Taught (Selected):
ARCH 508 - Architectural Design Studio III/ Materials and Tectonics
ARCH 600 – Theorizing Vernacular Architecture
ARCH 609 – Integrated Design Studio
ARCH 630 - Theory & Context in Architecture
ARCH 647 – Historic Preservation Theory
ARCH 690 - Study Abroad in Asia
ARCH 701 - Research Methods in Architecture
ARCH 999 – Doctoral Dissertation
Selected Publications —
Olusanya, Ifeloju and Silva K. D. (2023) ‘Heritage and development: An exploration of community perspectives on the potential of heritage-led community development in Badagry historic area, Lagos State, Nigeria’, Esempi di Architettura , 10(1): 71 – 91.
Silva, K. D. and Ballinger, B. T. (2021) ‘Sustainable re-housing after disasters: Learning from post-tsunami resettlements in Sri Lanka’, International Journal on Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 39(1): 120-172.
Silva, K. D., Taylor, K., and Jones, D. S. (eds.) (2022) The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Landscape Heritage in the Asia-Pacific, London: Routledge.
Silva, K. D. (2022) ‘Mapping intangible cultural heritage in Asian historic cities’; in Kapila D. Silva, Ken Taylor, and David S. Jones (eds.) The RoutledgeHandbook of Cultural Landscape Heritage in Asia-Pacific, London: Routledge. pp. 356-370.
Taylor, K., Silva, K. D., and Jones, D. S. (2022) ‘Introduction: Managing cultural landscape heritage in the Asia-Pacific’; in Kapila D. Silva, Ken Taylor, and David S. Jones (eds.) The RoutledgeHandbook of Cultural Landscape Heritage in Asia-Pacific, London: Routledge. pp. 1-28.
Ballinger, B., and K. D. Silva. 2021. “The Need for Knowledge Management in the Scholarship of Social Engagement in Architecture.” Book Chapters. In All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture: Towards a Future of Social Change, edited by Farhana Ferdous and Bryan Bell, 85–95. London: Routledge.
Silva, K. D. 2020. “Introduction: Reimagining the Conservation of Historic Urban Landscapes in Asia-Pacific.” Book Chapters. In The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in Asia-Pacific, edited by K. D. Silva, 1–26. London: Routledge.
Ferdous, F., J. W. Lawless, and K. D. Silva. 2020. “Sustainable Urbanism and Urban Heritage Conservation.” Book Chapters. In The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in Asia-Pacific, edited by K. D. Silva, 363–76. London: Routledge.
Silva, K. D., ed. 2020. The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in Asia-Pacific. Books. London: Routledge.
Rajapakse, A., and K. D. Silva. 2020. “Transient Heritage Values, Conflicting Aspirations, and Endangered Urban Heritage in the Historic Galle Fort, Sri Lanka.” Book Chapters. In The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in Asia-Pacific, edited by K. D. Silva, 462–75. London: Routledge.
Selected Presentations —
Silva, K. D., ‘Constructing a theoretical framework for heritage studies’, The 54th Annual Conference of Environmental Design Research Association, Mexico City, Mexico. (June 18 – 24, 2023).
Silva, K. D., ‘Managing Cultural Landscapes Heritage in the Asia-Pacific for thirty years: Retrospect and Prospects’, The 71st Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA. (September 16-18, 2022).
Silva, K. D., ‘Wellness as a heritage value in historic places’, The 53rd Annual Conference of Environmental Design Research Association, Greenville, SC, USA. (June 01 – 04, 2022).
Silva, K. D., ‘Conserving Historic Urban Landscapes in the Asia-Pacific: Present Challenges and Future Trends’; New Approaches 2021 June Debate of Our World Heritage: A Global Initiative – Our Heritage in the 21st Century, organized by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and University of Bologna, Italy (June 9, 2021)
Silva, K. D., ‘A Framework for studying intangible cultural heritage in historic Asian cities’, The 52nd Annual Conference of Environmental Design Research Association, Detroit, MI, USA. (May 19 – 23, 2021).
Silva, K. D., and Balling, B. ‘A comparative examination of design intentions and lived experiences in post-tsunami resettlements in Sri Lanka’; The 11th International Conference of the Constructed Environments; The University of Calgary, Canada (May 12 – 14, 2021).
Silva, K. D., ‘The Mandala of Bhaktapur, Nepal’, Visual and Material Culture of the Silk Roads Symposium, organized by the Center for East Asian Studies and Department of Art History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA. (fall, 2020).
Awards & Honors —
Jack and Nancy Bradley Award for Excellence in Teaching in Architecture, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas (2022).
The George and Eleanor Woodyard International Educator Award, University of Kansas (2021).
The Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award, awarded by the 2020 Senior Class of the University of Kansas (2020).
EDRA Achievement Award, for the book ‘Cultural Landscapes of South Asia’
Environmental Design Research Association
K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
University of Kansas
New Researcher Award
Architectural Research Centers Consortium, USA