“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”
My scholarship places central importance on understanding the synergistic relationship between the built environment and socio-cultural milieu, and its role in improving the human condition. I investigate interactions between human behavior, design, and health with a goal to create healthy and equitable environments for people to live, work, and play in. I intend to study the complex pathways that link human health and well-being to physical and socio-cultural environmental factors. I am particularly interested in employing evidenced-based design principles to environments of crisis.
I am motivated by the desire to use design as a transformational force to address health and social vulnerabilities. My recent work focuses on understanding how redevelopment of informal settlements (slums) impact women’s physical health, mental health, and social networks by examining the contribution of built environment in creating thriving communities.
PhD, Human Behavior and Design, Cornell University
MS, Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University
BA, Interior Design, Arvindbhai Patel Institute of Environmental Design (India)
Vaid, U. (2020). Is the Promise of ‘Better Homes’ Delivered? : Assessing Impacts of Slum Redevelopment Policy in India. In Cheng, C., Vallerand, O., Nubani, L., Ruggeri, D., & Bernasconi, C. (Eds.). Proceedings from EDRA 51: Socially embedded collaboration. Tempe, AZ: Environmental Design Research Association (Virtual format).
Vaid, U. (2019). Is ‘moving up’ Really ‘moving up’?: Using Lived Experiences to Evaluate Slum Redevelopment Policy in India. In Beth, A., Wener, R., Yoon, B., Rae, R. A., & Morris, J. (Eds.). Proceedings from EDRA 50: Sustainable urban environments. Brooklyn, NY: Environmental Design Research Association. https://cuny.manifoldapp.org/projects/edra-50-proceedings
Bilotta, E., Vaid, U. & Evans, G.W. (2018). Environmental stress. In L. Steg, A.E. van den Berg, & J.L.M. de Groot (Eds.), Environmental psychology, 2nd ed. London: Wiley.
Vaid, U., & Evans, G. W. (2016). Housing Quality and Health: An Evaluation of Slum Rehabilitation in India. Environment and Behavior, 49(7), 771–790.
Vaid, U., & Evans, G. W. (2016). Crowding. In: Howard S. Friedman (Editor in Chief), Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2nd edition, Waltham, MA: Academic Press, pp. 388–392.