Sonit Bafna

Associate Professor; Director, Ph.D. Program


Ph.D., January 2002, Georgia Institute of Technology
SMArchS, June 1993, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Dip. Arch (professional degree), March 1990, Center for Environment Planning and Technology 


architectural morphology, space syntax, behavior and perception, architectural theory, aesthetics, interpretation, design studies


Sonit Bafna studies the principles that shape the built environment and govern its relationship with social, cultural, and imaginative life. He has published empirical studies on the impact of space on human behavior, cognition, social organization, and health, as well as critical studies of architectural works that explore broader topics like representation, aesthetics, and interpretation. His research has been supported by the General Services Administration, Steelcase, Ascension Health, and Kaiser Permanente.

Besides design studios, he teaches courses in architectural theory, analysis and interpretation, and research methods. He supervises doctoral studies on topics in morphology, behavior and perception, analytical theory of architecture, and cognitive studies of design. Current projects include a book titled Imaginative Reasoning in the Shaping of Buildings, studies of the relationship between home layouts and mental health and everyday occupational activity or residents, and studies in empirical aesthetics.

Hyun, M S, and Bafna S. “The Photographic Expression of Architectural Character: Lessons from Ezra Stoller’s Architectural Photography.” The Journal of Architecture 24, no. 6 (August 18, 2019): 778–802.

Zook, J., and Bafna S. 2016. “The Feel of Space: Social and phenomenal staging in the Seattle Public Library,” in Take One Building: Interdisciplinary Research Perspectives of the Seattle Public Library, 95-112. Edited by Ruth Dalton and Christoph Hölscher. New York: Routledge.

Kim, H. and Bafna, S. 2018. “Beyond Instrumental Use: A study of writing on architectural drawings in the late 20th century.” Architectural Research Quarterly. 22(1): 41–54.

Chambers, E. C., Bafna, S., & Machry, H. 2018. The Association between Apartment Layout and Depressive Symptomology among Hispanic/Latino Residents in Low-Income Housing: the AHOME Study. Journal of Urban Health. 95:51-60;

Peponis, J., Bafna, S., Dahabreh, S., and Dogan, F. 2015. “Configurational Meaning and Conceptual Shifts in Design.” The Journal of Architecture 20 (2): 20: 215-243.

Bafna, S. 2013. “Attention and Imaginative Engagement in Marcel Breuer’s Public Library,” in Rethinking Aesthetics: The role of body in design, pp. 51-84, edited by Ritu Bhatt. New York: Routledge.

Arch 6350 Theory of Architecture 1: Foundations
Arch 8101: Introduction to Architectural Research: Interpretation
Arch 7471: Cognitive Function of Visual Design
Arch 6351 Theory of Architecture 2: Practical Interpretation
Arch 6070: Portman Prize Studio
Arch 3855/4855: Junior-Senior Vertical Studio