Dr Archana Sharma, Assistant Professor, College of Architecture and Design, has an interdisciplinary academic background in architecture, landscape architecture and industrial ecology. Complimented with the funded grant projects and professional experience worldwide, she brings a unique firsthand insight and knowledge on some of the premier livable communities such as Singapore city, Singapore, Melbourne, Australia and Boston, USA.
Archana has a PhD from National University of Singapore, undergraduate and post graduate degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from India. She was a Lecturer at RMIT University, Australia prior to joining the graduate program in Landscape Architecture at University of Tennessee. AT University of Tennessee, she teaches design studios and seminars on green networks and urban landscapes, altered ecologies. Through these projects she advocates for synergistic design approach towards the aim of sustainable development.
Most prominent projects focus on transformation of the economically underprivileged Lonsdale neighbourhood in Knoxville into a safe, sustainable and vibrant community. The landscape design responses collaboratively explored with students include: urban farms, kitchen gardens, herb gardens on vacant parcels of land serve the food needs; a bio-fuel resource based greenways system; native vegetation seed bank and other energy generation or education strategies. The project has been critically acclaimed by academics, professionals as well as the Lonsdale community. Redesigning a car parking lot of West town mall in Knoxville city as a park or a greenway that improved the walk-ability, aesthetics and environmental appeal of the neighbourhood community is another critically acclaimed project.
Other studio and research projects on designing sustainable communities include assessment and critique of Knox county greenways plan in America, recycling, storage and production based landscape design to close or illustrate the material or socio-cultural navigational loops in a Melbourne, Australia and vertical landscape design for enhancing socio-recreational interaction in high rise residential apartments in Singapore. The scale of the projects ranges from few acres to few hundreds, so as to test the applicability of synergistic landscape design strategies under investigation at local and regional level. Consideration of local socio-cultural sensibilities, economic and political state of the place, infrastructural and environmental conditions and policies is integral to Dr. Sharma’s approach.
Professor Sharma continues to offer a number of seminars, talks and design charrettes on strategies contributing to sustainable development for local and international organizations such as Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, East Tennessee Design Center, Legacy Park Foundation, Wessex Institute of Technology, UK, Modern Asian Architecture Network, Singapore and U.N. Habitat.
Sharma has numerous peer reviewed publications on synergistic landscape design for sustainable development of neighbourhoods and cities. These are often requested by emerging researchers and curricula developers.