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About Sara Khorshidifard, PhD, LEED AP ND, SEED, AAIA

Architectural designer, design researcher, and urbanist, I am Associate Professor and Director of Center for Community Studies at Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture. My principal research examines synergistic interplays and symbiotic interconnections between intentionally designed and socially constructed spaces. Striving for better means to spread ideas widely and nurture places and environments, my scholarship entails a triad trajectory in Urban-Rural Interface Studies, Architectural Education, and Tehran Studies. My studies engage in new ways of thinking about cities beyond architectural objects, contemplating other critical terrains such as the habitations, flows, and vestigial spaces. My academic works are linked with commitments to public outcomes. My public scholarship agenda emphasizes the co-productions of knowledge, and different modes of creation and dissemination for/with publics and communities. Considering my current role as director and recurrent capacities as Public Scholar, I oversee, interpret, and annotate the processes and outcomes that are jointly planned and carried out by university and community partners. Such curated and inscribed public commentaries are in many ways also relevant to the discourses on the social and ethical roles of architectural and urban design.
▪ Influential and transformative community design leader with 15+ years of experience in community-based practices and partnership building. Robust expertise in participatory tools and methods of people engagement. Built effective and dynamic processes for inclusion of all stakeholders in collaboration and co-creation. Skilled in planning and facilitating goal-setting sessions and design charrettes for projects at multitude of scales.
▪ Skilled design researcher and agile knowledge synthesizer comfortable with complexity and diversity of ideas. Adept at intelligibly distilling varied thoughts into succinct actionable insights. Able at pitching, identifying, and sourcing compelling and relevant content for best communication with multiple audiences. Attentively process-oriented. Savvy in ideating and articulating designs rooted in research rigor.
▪ Superior rapport building and people focused leadership with excellent community and client interface relations. Strong motivator. People person with robust interpersonal communication contributing to collaborative and innovative work cultures. Committed to highest standards of planning and design advocacy for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Passionate about purposeful work that can have social impacts. Created works empowering underrepresented communities.
▪ Present a skill set that combines cross-disciplinary approach and philosophy on urban issues in design process. Fusing advanced knowledge in architecture and landscape architecture, and training in master planning and charrette strategies. Committed to the triple bottom line of sustainability and ecological practices. Passionate about meshing transferable talents as educator, urbanist, scholar, and writer in large-scale planning and design projects addressing biggest questions cities face today, climate change and social divisions.


Present PhD, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Drury University ‐ Higher Education

Research Interests

Public Space Design Theory, Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism, Cultural Landscapes, Public Interest Design, Cinema and Architecture, and Architectural Education and Design Pedagogy

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Honors and Awards

  • Leadership and Service Award, Community Design Solutions, UWM, Spring 2012
  • Bob Greenstreet Honorary Award, SARUP, UWM, Fall 2011
  • ARCC Kings Medal for Outstanding Research, Spring 2011
  • Scott Greer Award for Outstanding Research in Urban Studies, UWM, 2010
  • Graduate School Chancellor’s Awards, UWM, three times in: Fall 2007, Fall 2009 & Fall 2010

Research Works (1)

Design Scholarship (12)

Scholarship of Engagement (6)

Scholarship of Pedagogy (3)

Poster (3)