Erna Zharani

Erna Zharani


Erna Zharani is a PhD student in the Architecture and Urbanism Research Group at the University of Leeds. In 2019, she received her Master’s Degree in Architecture from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for her research on “ Facade Design of Public Buildings Towards the Development of National Architectural Identity”. 

Erna has over 6 years of working experience in Malaysian property and hotel development companies. Her previous experience includes as a part-time lecturer for Diploma Architecture at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia before beginning her full-time PhD studies in Leeds. She has served as a guest panellist several times for student architectural design review and project assessment at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, the University Malaya and UCSI University.

Research interests

Erna’s research is about a multi-cultural nation facing humanity conflicts in the built environment of housing design. Her research examines the quality level of cultural and religious values in the built form of Malaysian terraced housing, focusing on the three major groups, the Malay community, the Chinese community, and the Indian community. This research employs qualitative method, using data analysis techniques gather from literature reviews, case studies, fieldwork and observation, historical archived data, surveys, and interviews; to critically analyse the typology of terrace housing, and to understand how forced architecture affects society and how society reacts to the built form design towards expressing their cultural needs and identity. This research aims to establish a new prototype of terrace housing that is well-resonant and responsive to the cultural needs of the Malaysian communities and a set of guidelines outlining the ideal design factors of Malaysian terraced housing.


  • Bachelor Degree in Architecture - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Master Degree in Architecture - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia