Kapila Silva

Kapila Silva
  • Professor of Architecture
  • Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Contact Info


Kapila D. Silva is a Professor of Architecture and the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) 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‚Äôs 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 (with Ken Taylor and David S. Jones; Routledge, 2022), and Theorizing Built Form and Culture: The Legacy of Amos Rapoport (with Nisha Fernando; Routledge, 2024) and co-author of The Tampitaviharas of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-houses in Buddhist Architecture (with Dhammika Chandrasekara; Anthem Press, 2021). 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 Jack and Nancy Bradley Student Recognition Award for Teaching Excellence from the School of Architecture and Design, and 2018 K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award2020 The Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator (HOPE) Award, and 2021 George and Eleanor 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 2018Achievement Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).