Uchita VaidAssistant Professor of Design Studiesshe/her/hers

My scholarship seeks to understand the role of built environments and design in improving the human condition. I investigate interactions between design, human behavior, and health, with a goal to create healthy, supportive, and equitable environments for living, working, and playing. Human health and well-being are inextricably linked with our physical as well as socio-cultural environmental factors. I am interested in understanding these complex connections to enable the use of evidenced-based design principles within our built environments, especially in environments of crisis.

My work underscores how design can be used as a transformational force to address health and social vulnerabilities, particularly in global low-to-middle income contexts. This work can be highly relevant for policies addressing social issues related to housing and neighborhoods.

Selected Publications

Vaid, U. (2023). Physical and mental health impacts of housing improvement: A quasi-experimental evaluation of in-situ slum redevelopment in India. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 86, 101968.

Vaid, U. (2021). Delivering the promise of ‘better homes’?: Assessing housing quality impacts of slum redevelopment in India. Cities, 116, 103253.

Vaid, U., & Evans, G. W. (2016). Housing Quality and Health: An Evaluation of Slum Rehabilitation in India. Environment and Behavior, 49(7), 771–790.

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.

For a full list of publications, see Vaid’s CV.

A brown woman with black hair, smiling, wearing a gray jacket and black earrings.


  • Design Studies

Degree Program

  • MFA Human Ecology: Design Studies
  • PhD Human Ecology: Design Studies



  • PhD, Human Behavior and Design, Cornell University
  • MS, Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University
  • BA, Interior Design, Arvindbhai Patel Institute of Environmental Design (India)


Office: 3140 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-265-5209