Black and White profile photo - Morshed


  • School of Architecture and Planning
  • Expertise

  • Architectural History
  • History of American Visionary Urbanism
  • Sustainable Urbanism in Developing Economies
  • Bio

    Adnan Z Morshed is an architect and architectural historian with academic focus on history and theory of modern architecture and urbanism; global history; urban poverty and spatiality; water and architectural historiography; and ecological urbanism in developing countries. He received his Ph.D. and Master’s in architecture from MIT. He completed his pre-doctoral studies at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art and postdoctoral under Verville Fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. 

    Adnan Z Morshed was a 2018 TEDxFoggyBottom speaker at George Washington University. His book, Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder (University Minnesota Press, 2015), examines the American fascination with the skyscraper and the airplane as part of a widely shared cultural phenomenon--the aesthetics of ascension--that characterized the interwar period. Other books include DAC, Dhaka through Twenty-Five Buildings (Altrim Publishers, Barcelona, 2017) Ongoing book projects include two edited volumes: the first examines the critical intersection of urban poverty and the politics of mitigation, spatiality, and urbanity; and the second presents a critical historiography of water management among early civilizations.

    Adnan Morshed has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians; Board of MIT’s US$4.5 million Global Architecture History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC); and the editorial board of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians; jury for the National Endowment for the Humanities grants; CEPT Essay Prize (2018-2020), and chaired the Society of Architectural Historians’ committee for 2015 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award. He has been awarded highly competitive fellowships, among others, the Wyeth Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the National Gallery of Art; Verville Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution; Wolfsonian-Florida International University; and the Society of Architectural Historians. His research has garnered prestigious research grants from, among others, the Graham Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and MIT. His articles appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of South Asian Studies, Thresholds (MIT), Center (National Gallery of Art), Constructs (Yale), New Geographies (Harvard), Architectural Design, and Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. He has served as a reviewer for various national and international refereed journals, architectural competitions, and has been cited widely in various professional and news networks, including The New York Times and Asia News Network. He is a columnist for The Daily Star, most circulated English-language daily in Bangladesh and founder-director of the Center for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism at BRAC University in Dhaka.

    Adnan Morshed is a practicing architect. His recent design work includes eight BRAC regional offices across Bangladesh (completed); a farmhouse in Greensboro, NC (in progress); interior design for Central Cafeteria, Library, and Canteen at the Residential Semester Campus of BRAC University at Savar, Dhaka (completed); and Official Residence of the Bangladesh Ambassador to the US in Bethesda, Maryland (unbuilt). He is an avid traveler, photographer, collector, and an op-ed contributor to various newspapers and online forums.


    • Designing Spaces for Global Citizens

      Designing Spaces for Global Citizens | Adnan Morshed | TEDxFoggyBottom

      Learn More
    • Impossible Heights

      Impossible Heights

      Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder. (University of Minnesota Press, 2015).

      Learn More
    • Oculus


      Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladesh Affairs. (Dhaka, Bangladesh: University Press Limited, 2012).

      Learn More
    • DAC, Dhaka: An Architectural Guidebook

      DAC, Dhaka: An Architectural Guidebook

      DAC, Dhaka: An Architectural Guidebook. (Altrim Publishers, Barcelona, Dec. 2017).

      Learn More