Dr Donia Zhang
PhD, MEd, MA (Urban Design), PGDip (Urban Design), PGDip (Arch), BA (Arch, Hons)
Dr Donia Zhang grew up in Beijing, China, and embarked on a 6-year architectural education at Oxford Brookes University in the UK (1988). After graduation with a BA honors degree in Architecture (1992), a Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture (1994), a concurrent Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design (1994), and a Master of Arts in Urban Design (1995), she moved to Canada in 1995 and has worked for a number of architectural, urban design, and interior design companies in Toronto and Chicago. In 2005, she obtained her Master of Education degree from Brock University in Canada, majoring Organizational and Administrative Studies in Education, and then taught Art History, Interior Design, and AutoCAD, at community colleges in Toronto.
Donia’s two Master’s theses have been published by invitation from VDM Verlag. One is entitled Courtyard Houses of Beijing: Past, Present, and Future (2009/2010/2011). Another is called Schoolyard Gardening as Multinaturalism: Theory, Practice, and Product (2009). She enrolled in the PhD program at Oxford Brookes University in 2006, and was awarded a doctorate degree in 2012 based on her thesis entitled Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability: A Study of Housing Renewal and Redevelopment in Beijing and Suzhou. The research was to investigate the architectural, environmental, spatial, constructional, social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of the renewed and new courtyard housing projects constructed in Beijing and Suzhou since the 1990s, to see whether they are culturally sustainable, and whether they facilitate residents’ traditional cultural expressions. The thesis has been published as a book Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability: Theory, Practice, and Product (Ashgate/Routledge, 2013). She has also completed her postdoctoral thesis published as a book Courtyard Housing for Health and Happiness: Architectural Multiculturalism in North America (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015).
Donia is a Contributor to the second revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (Bloomsbury, 2018).
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