Shenuka Desylva

Shenuka de Sylva profile picture

Lecturer School of Architecture

Research interests

Resilient living environments, Rebuilding communities after disaster, Post disaster governance, Vernacular and informal settlements, Culture and context appropriate housing, Traditional knowledge and sustainable practices, Women in architecture, Conservation of coastal fortifications.


BA (ARCH) Münster, MA (ARCH) Münster

Stream supervisor

ARCI 591/592 - Architecture Research Thesis

Resilience: Living Environments in Flux

Research interests

My research is centred on post-disaster reconstruction where I am investigating socio-culturally suited and contextually appropriate sustainable low cost housing solutions for disaster prone rural and coastal environments.

My current research interests include:

  • socio-cultural and environmental sustainability of Post-disaster housing and reconstruction in the Asia-pacific region
  • traditional and vernacular development of coastal architecture in the Asia-pacific region
  • translation and adaptation of indigenous culture in contemporary public architecture and place
  • progressive conservation of living colonial fortifications
  • exemplar modernist and regionalist women architects of Asia.

Current research projects

I am currently working on research project that investigates the revival and repositioning of traditionally used bio construction materials and crafting techniques within the contemporary context, by utilising cutting edge technological advancements and recent developments in construction techniques to add value to these ancient building traditions.


Conference paper in published proceedings

de Sylva, S. (2007). House Step Garden Shore Sea: Contested Thresholds of Fisher Dwelling. Society, architects, and emerging issues: conference book. Ins by Rahman, M. (Eds). London, Bangladesh, Commonwealth Association of Architects: Institute of Architects. (pp. 1-10).

Full Abstract in published conference proceedings

de Sylva, S. (2008). Displaced in Transition: Reconstruction and Crisis in Rebuilding the Edge of a Nation. 4th International Seminar on Vernacular Settlement.

Conference unpublished paper contribution

de Sylva, S. (2008, December). Contested thresholds and displaced traditions of fisher dwelling: A study on traditional Sri Lankan Coastal Architecture. Twentieth Anniversary Conference of The International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments. Oxford, United Kingdom.