Sonit Bafna Headshot

Sonit Bafna

Associate Professor; Director, Ph.D. Program

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, work environments, 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 investigating topics in 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 the courses in architectural theory, in analysis and interpretation, on the social and psychological dimensions of architecture, and research methods. He supervises doctoral studies on topics in morphology, behavior and perception, analytical theory of architecture, and cognitive studies of design, and is currently the director of the PhD program in Architecture. Current projects include a book titled Imaginative Reasoning in the Shaping of Buildings, a study of the relationship between home layouts and mental health and everyday occupational activity or residents, and multi-methods studies on the role of the physical environment in work settings. 

ulie Zook and Sonit Bafna. 2022. “The Visitor and Hospital Corridor Design.” In Covert Life of Hospital Architecture, edited by Julie Zook and Kerstin Sailer, 93–116. London: UCL Press. 

Oh, Yeinn and Bafna, Sonit. 2022. “Patterning Behavior to Exploit Space.” In Proceedings of the 13th Space Syntax Symposium, Bergen Norway, np (forthcoming). 

Bafna, Sonit. 2021. "How Architectural Drawings Work - and What That Implies for the Role of Representation in Architecture.” In Architectural Notation: How Imagination, Drawing, and Building Refer to One Another, edited and translated by Myung Seok Hyun, 147–213. Seoul, Korea: Architwins. 

Bafna, S., Maitra, K. K., Lim, Y., Shah, M., & Chen, Y.-A. 2021. Association between home layout connectivity and cognitive ability in community dwelling older adults: Implication for occupational therapy. Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, 2 (special issue), 18–33.  

Hyun, Myung Seok, and Sonit Bafna. 2019. “The Photographic Expression of Architectural Character: Lessons from Ezra Stoller’s Architectural Photography.” The Journal of Architecture 24 (6): 778–802. 

Bafna, Sonit, Kinsuk Maitra, Yoonjeong Lim, Winifred E. Newman, and Manasi Shah. 2019 “The Home as a Therapeutic Environment.” In Proceedings of the 12th Space Syntax Symposium, 257.1--257–14. Beijing. 

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 7350 Foundations of Architectural Theory 

Arch 7650 Theories of Inquiry 

Arch 6352 / 8803 Mind and the Built Environment 

Arch 3855 Junior Studio 

Arch 6850 Portman Prize Graduate Studio