Erna Zharani

Erna Zharani


Erna Zharani is a Ph.D. researcher 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 social-cultural conflicts in the built environment of row housing design. The phenomenon of mass row housing is a strategy imposed by ruling parties to accommodate the rapid growth in a multi-ethnic home environment. There is a lack of understanding about home dwellers’ spatial practices in modern row housing schemes, produced by developers and ruling governments leading to excessive home modification by dwellers. Her research argues that the creation of a ’home’ is a process of appropriation. It builds on the theory of practice by Certeau and the production of space by Lefebvre to better understand how a modern society of multi-ethnic backgrounds perceived space through their dynamic practices of home. 


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