Current phd Students
In addition to their studies, doctoral candidates are involved in many aspects of the school. Among other activities, they hold Research or Teaching Fellowships and organize speaker series, conferences, and journals.
Students generally take courses their first two years, and are engaged in research and teaching for at least two more years. After their fourth year, students may or may not remain in residency; many travel to pursue their research, either in the US or abroad.
Amin Alsaden is a third year PhD student. His research interests include the role of politics in determining forms of architectural modernism in non-western contexts; civic and cultural developments, institutions, and their historiography; and museology and the social, cultural and cognitive role of architecture in relation to artistic and curatorial practices. Amin's dissertation will focus on salient cultural buildings in Baghdad around and following the mid-twentieth century, a period that witnessed unprecedented intellectual and artistic growth and multifaceted novel cultural production.
Amin holds a Masters in Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor in Architecture, and a Minor in Interior Design, from the American University of Sharjah. He has worked at various architectural practices, most recently at OMA and MVRDV in the Netherlands, where his experience involved large scale urban proposals and high-rise buildings, as well as cultural projects including art districts, museums, and exhibition design.
Lara Belkind is a PhD candidate and holds joint Master’s degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning from the GSD. Her dissertation examines emerging urban constellations facilitated by high speed networks – focusing on infrastructure as a site of conflict and negotiation in the Paris region.
Her publications (in Political Power & Social Theory, TDSR, Urbanism & Urbanization, and Writing Cities) have included a study of bloggers and urban transformation on New York's Lower East Side and a history of urban camouflage in that neighborhood since the 1970s. As a Fulbright Scholar, she documented Paris's Hôtels Industriels, architecture for light industry in the city center.
Lara has taught as a Visiting Critic at the Yale School of Architecture and as a Lecturer at the Architectural Association in London and with Columbia University’s Shape of Two Cities program. She was Head Instructor in Urban Design & Planning for Harvard’s Career Discovery program. She has worked professionally creating large-scale design and redevelopment plans for downtown Washington DC under Mayor Anthony Williams and Planning Director Andrew Altman. Previously, she worked on urban initiatives in the Manhattan Office of the New York Department of City Planning, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone in Harlem, and the 42nd Street Development Project in Times Square.
Álex Bueno holds a BA in Art History from Princeton and an MA from Harvard, and is generally interested in the development of the modern urban landscape and its relation to perceptions of history and place.
His current research focuses on the development of Tokyo since the late 1970s, and aims to understand the processes involved in the creation of urban space and place. That is, following theories of space developed by Henri Lefebvre, it begins from the assumption that the city itself first emerges through the relationship between the “physical” city and “representations” of it in various media. The dissertation traces a handful of themes in the development of conceptualizations of the conglomeration of places known collectively as Tokyo through to the present. Of particular interest are the links between certain districts of Tokyo and particular patterns of consumption, and the politics of space that emerge with the intersection of different interests.
Bueno has served as a teaching fellow both in the GSD and the College. He has experience in critiques in the visual arts. He is also currently engaged in documenting the changing landscape of Tokyo using large-format photography. Aside from English, he speaks Spanish and Japanese, along with some German.
This academic year, he hopes to finish the dissertation, as a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo in the fall and in residence in Cambridge in the spring.
Jana Cephas is a PhD candidate studying the relationships between urban landscapes, new technologies, and emergent subjectivities. She is particularly interested in the role of the body as the figurative joint between architectural construction and the construal of social identities. Her doctoral research examines the agonism structuring Fordism and urbanization in early twentieth-century Detroit by examining metaphors associating working (class) bodies, modern buildings, and efficient machines. Her earlier work examined the geographies of informal economies. Jana received her M.Arch. degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, served as the managing editor for Positions: On Modern Architecture + Urbanism / Histories + Theories, and was the 2011 Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Prior to attending Harvard, Jana was a Design Fellow at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center where she designed and managed building projects for low-income communities.
Peter H. Christensen is a Ph.D. Candidate, affiliate of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and currently Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the Techinische Universität Munich. His research centers on the intellectual origins and manifestations of geopolitical theory from the nineteenth century onwards with a particular focus on its implications for cultural practices within and between Islamic and Judeo-Christian civilizations. He also researches the museology of architecture and the critical practices of connoisseurship. He is currently preparing his dissertation which will examine the cultural and architectural aspects of the German construction of the Ottoman rail network, spanning 1869 to 1919. Peter trained as an architect at Cornell University and served as Curatorial Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art from 2005-2008. Peter holds a Master in Design Studies and Master of Arts from Harvard and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Fulbright Fellowship and the 2010 Philip Johnson book award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Peter’s research languages include German, French and Turkish.
Christina Crawford is a PhD student, architect and urban designer whose work focuses on design strategies particular to periods of intensive transition. Her dissertation will explore early Soviet planning, specifically the theoretical foundations of socialist urban theory in 1920s Moscow, and three sites where theory "hit the ground" in the First Five-Year Plan: Baku, Kharkiv and Magnitogorsk. Christina received her B.A. in Architecture and East European Studies from Yale University, and her M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design; all degrees were conferred with Distinction. She served as Vice Consul in the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia, and received a Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine, where she researched post-Soviet Ukrainian architecture and urbanism. Articles on her Ukrainian work were published in Metropolis (U.S.), Archis (Netherlands), and A.C.C. (Ukraine). Christina has presented her work at conferences in the US, the UK, and Ukraine, and is working on a book with adviser, Eve Blau, entitled Baku: Oil and Urbanism.
Prior to returning to the GSD, Christina worked for several years as an architect and urban designer in Boston and taught architectural history and theory at Northeastern University. Her professional work included designs for discrete architectural projects, master plans for local municipalities and open space design for a waterfront city in Dubai, UAE. She is a Registered Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional and an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
In 2005, Brett Culbert received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with concentrations in both Theory and Visual Studies. In the time between this degree and his Masters degree at Harvard, MDesS: History and Theory (2009-2011), Brett worked in a variety of architecture practices in New Zealand and San Francisco, in book publishing and distribution for William Stout, and as both a Teaching Assistant and Studio Instructor at Cornell University.
In his research, Brett is particularly drawn to picturesque tourism and the framework provided by visual and literary travel itineraries for movement through foreign landscapes. His Masters thesis: "The Nascent Picturesque: Visualizing Wilderness and Industry in the New World" was based on a close reading of Thomas Pownall's Topographical Description, a document that describes the inland edge of British North America in the mid-eighteenth century. Brett was particularly interested in the sites that Pownall encountered and sketched and their contribution to the character of -- an emergent -- American civilization; especially the native industrial pursuits that bound settlers to the land, forming a social contract between industry, nature and society. The preconceived vision that Pownall had of what he expected to find in the Colonies -- distilled from earlier political writings -- created an interesting binary between the construct of vision and the projection of Pownall’s view onto the unfamiliar landscape.
John Davis is a third year PhD student who studies the North American built environment and landscape, particularly the effects of technology and engineering systems on landscapes and ecological regions. His past research has included early modern surveying and cartography, the design and installation of the first electricity delivery system in the Rocky Mountains, the deepwater port infrastructure of Los Angeles, and the effects of the militarization of North America during the Cold War.
His current research includes historical coastal reclamation practices, nature and aesthetics in the American colonial and early Republic eras, law, land-use and urbanization, and more generally, the relationship between design, construction, and environment in modern North America. He is currently working on an article about dismantling infrastructure in the Hudson Valley in the 19th century, and a documentary film about marshlands in Massachusetts. He was born in New York City and holds a BS from the University of Virginia and a Master in Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University.
Aliki Economides is a Ph.D. candidate whose research interests center on issues of representation, theories and practices of ornament, scientific epistemology and design pedagogy from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries in Europe and North America. Dissertation: “Translations between subject and object: Ernest Cormier ‘Architecte et Ingénieur-Constructeur’ and the problem of representation.” Committee: Antoine Picon (Primary Advisor), Eve Blau, Alina Payne, Martin Bressani.
With Jean-Pierre Chupin, Aliki co-organized the IDEA@UdeM 2013 conference “Ornament, Algorithms and Analogies: between cognitive and technological operations in architecture” and is the co-editor of the ensuing publication. In the past year she has presented papers at the “House and Home from a Theoretical Perspective” conference in Istanbul and at the “Beyond the Culture of Nature: Rethinking Canadian and Environmental Studies” conference in Vancouver. Her English translation of Jean-Pierre Chupin’s book Analogie et théorie en architecture is forthcoming.
Trained first as an architect, Aliki holds a professional B.Arch (U of Toronto), an M.Arch in history & theory (McGill), and an M.A. in the history of science (Harvard). She has worked in practice; taught studio and history & theory courses in architecture and landscape architecture; served often as a guest critic; and coordinated the Visiting Scholars Program at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) and l’Institut de recherche en histoire de l’architecture (IRHA). Aliki is currently based in Montreal.
Igor Ekštajn is a PhD student whose research will explore issues concerning territory—how the built environment, from architecture to infrastructure, straddles natural spaces and political environments and performs as a material manifestation of territoriality.
Before returning to the GSD, Igor taught at the University of Zagreb architectural history and theory courses, and design studios focused on architectural preservation.
Igor received his Master in Design Studies degree in History and Philosophy of Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2011. He participated in the preparation of Dispatches from the GSD: 075 Years of Design exhibition, conducting archival research, assisting in curating, and working on content production and exhibition installation. He also collaborated on “A Peripheral Moment: Experiments in Architectural Agency”, a book published by Actar.
Igor also received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Zagreb in 2005. In the same year he was awarded an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. He spent several years working as an architect in Croatian architectural firms such as njiric+ arhitekti, and Randić-Turato.
Natalia Escobar is a PhD student interested in Urban and Architectural Conservation. She examines the concept of place resulting from the intersection of memory and space in modern western countries. She aims to understand the social attachment to the fabric of cities that has led to present preservation practices and its repercussions. Her ongoing research uses the Mediterranean regions as case-study, and more specifically the Mediterranean Medina, and advocates for a more dynamic and contemporary theory and practice based on the management of change (editing) rather than its denial (restoration). Her master thesis has been published under the title ‘’The Preservation Fallacy in the Mediterranean medina.’’
Natalia has been a Teaching Fellow in Modern History of Latin America at the Harvard GSAS. She is also a Fellow at the Real Colegio Complutense and has recently organized and lectured in the symposium Spain from far Away: design visions in crisis periods at the Harvard GSAS. In 2011, Natalia collaborated as a Studio Critic in the Mackintosh School of Arts in Glasgow, and as a Research Assistant at the University of Seville documenting a building for the DOCOMOMO foundation.
Trained as an Architect, she received her B.Arch and M.Arch from the Universidad de Sevilla and L’Ecole Nationale d’Architecture de Strasbourg, and her M.DesS in Critical Conservation from the Harvard GSD. Natalia practiced as an Architect at Alan Dunlop and Gordon Murray Architects and more recently as an Urban Designer at ARUP Shanghai.
Matthew Gin is a second year PhD student. Currently, his research focuses on architecture in France in the 17th and 18th centuries, the pedagogical uses of landscapes, early modern information aesthetics, national allegories, architectural ephemera, and the intersection between architecture and bureaucratic politics. Matt is also interested in 20th-century graphic design and the visual culture of the Olympic Games– topics he explored in his master’s thesis on the design regime developed by Otl Aicher and Günter Behnisch for the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Prior to Harvard, Matt attended the Yale School of Architecture where he earned a Master of Environmental Design in Architectural History and Theory. At Yale, he served as a teaching fellow where he led discussion sections for Keller Easterling and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen. Matt also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Bachelor of Music in Baroque Flute Performance from Oberlin College.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Matt has experience in historic preservation and curatorial practice. Most notably, he was part of the team at the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust in Chicago responsible for the restoration of the Robie House. Matt also interned at MoMA in the Department of Architecture and Design where he assisted Barry Bergdoll on the exhibition 194X-9/11: American Architects and the City.
Matt is the 2013 winner of Houghton Library’s Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art.
Lisa Haber-Thomson is a third year PhD student, whose research is located at the intersections of territory, law, and architecture. Specifically, she is interested in the extra-territorial site: both in its transformation over time from a temporal exception to a permanent place, as well as its context within the contemporary built environment as a spatial exception to political boundaries. Past research has ranged from a spatial analysis of the legal writ of Habeas Corpus in early modern England, to a study of the current usages of Maginot Line casemates in eastern France.
Lisa has a Masters in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University. She has worked in architecture for Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Peter Rose + Partners; as a video and sound editor for the Science Media Group; and as a freelance animator and sound designer.
Ateya Khorakiwala is a third year student in the Ph.D. program at the GSD. She graduated from Masters Program in Architectural Studies at HTC, MIT where she wrote her master’s thesis on road construction research in India, c. 1960. She also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA in Mumbai.
She is currently in New Delhi, India, researching her dissertation entitled “The Well Fed Subject, Modern Architecture in the Quantitative State,” which attempts to understand the systems through which agriculture, architecture, and infrastructure came to be interconnected in the early decades of the independent Indian state. Located between the Bengal Famine of 1942 and the Bhopal gas of leak of 1984, the research will interrogate how “nature” precipitated crisis and failure, which in turn reshaped the character of commodities and the landscapes of expertise. The project understands architecture as an embodiment of the contested ideologies of risk, techno-scientific expertise, and state patronage, as they emerged in India.
Diana Lempel’s research and writing asks: What do places (cities, landscapes, neighborhoods) mean to people and communities? How do they learn about those places? When do they feel they are rich, and resilient? Her past research has investigated questions of work, class, and identity, and the processes of learning and social capital building in Boston area neighborhoods. Her master’s thesis studied the debates about informality, authenticity and redevelopment at Boston’s Haymarket.
Diana is committed to public engagement and informal learning about place. She co-directed the Play in the City workshop at the GSD, developed public dining events focused on the terroir of New England, and worked with GOOD and Imperative to develop and evaluate Neighborday, a festival celebrating neighborliness around the world. She is a member of the Hudson NY Oral History Collective, and works with the New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival, which tells the story of the commercial fishing industry. Projects on environmental learning (and urban birding!) are in the works. She writes and podcasts at Senses of Place, and has been featured on GOOD, Planetizen, Polis Blog, MIT CoLab Radio, and the Planning Commissioner’s Journal.
Manuel López Segura is an architect and a Masters in architectural history. His research at the GSD MDesS program has focused on the involvement of architecture in the construction of Spain’s democracy, welfare state and regional identities during the 1980s. As a PhD student he intends to deepen into the possibilities open to architecture under democratic leftist politics, as they hatched in Europe during the second half of the XXth century, particularly in 1960s and 1970s Italy. Previously, he explored the conflictual postwar debates on historicism in Italy and England through their media construction. An offspring of that research is about to appear in the peer-reviewed journal Cuadernos de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, published by the Madrid School of Architecture.
Manuel holds a professional degree in architecture from the Valencia School of Architecture (Spain; Honors Diploma) and an MA Architectural History (Distinction) from The Bartlett, University College London, as well as an MDesS, History & Philosophy of Design concentration (Distinction) from the GSD. Manuel has a thorough command of French, Spanish and Catalan, reads Italian and knows some German. He has served as Professors Rafael Moneo and Hashim Sarkis’s teaching assistant.
Morgan Ng studies the interplay of technology, architecture, and urbanism in the early modern period. His current research, in particular, focuses on how the use of architectural light shaped the experience of sixteenth-century buildings. In the coming academic year he will undertake fieldwork on this subject both as a graduate fellow at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s center for Italian Renaissance studies in Florence, and as a research associate at the Uffizi Gallery’s Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, among the world’s premier collections of early modern architectural drawings.
Other recent projects have explored the aesthetics of Protestant psalm-singing in Huguenot-occupied churches and cities; the influence of Calvinist exegetical cartography on John Milton’s poetic form; and the late-sixteenth-century rise of clear window glass in northern European secular architecture as a material agent in the geographical diffusion of classicism and urban growth. He has presented papers at the annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians, as well as at Oxford, Princeton, and Binghamton Universities. Before coming to Harvard, Morgan worked at architecture offices in New York City and Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.
Jason Nguyen studies early modern European architecture, landscape, and urbanism, with a particular focus on the relationship between architectural theory and practice in France, c. 1600-1800. His research considers this in light of the development of scientific rationalism, labor and commercial practices, and social and aesthetic thought during the period. He is currently the Kress Institutional Fellow (2013-15) at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA) in Paris, where he is conducting dissertation research. His project considers how approaches to craft and construction impacted the formalization of architecture as a theoretical discipline in late seventeenth-century France.
At the GSD, Jason has taught courses on architectural history and theory, from the Renaissance to the present. During the 2012-13 academic year, he worked as a curatorial intern in the Division of European and American Art at the Harvard Art Museums. In 2012, he was also a pre-doctoral resident at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library (Washington, D.C.), where he studied early modern garden treatises. In 2013, he co-chaired the GSD conference, "Cambridge Talks VII: Architecture and the Street." He has presented his work internationally, including at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the European Architectural History Network.
Trained as an architect, he received his B.Arch from Drexel University in 2006. From 2003 to 2009, he practiced with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates in Philadelphia.
Bryan Norwood is a third year PhD student whose general interest is in the relationship of philosophy and architectural education. Concerned in particular with questions of the practice and character of architectural history, Bryan’s dissertation aims to provide a history of the concepts and logics of the history of architecture, focusing in particular on nineteenth and twentieth-century German, English, and American developments. Building a philosophy of architectural history through the work of Martin Heidegger, Gilles Deleuze, and Reinhart Koselleck, his dissertation argues that the architectural historian has a particular responsibility to reflect on the historicity of the mechanisms by which she or he decides what does and does not fall within the body of architectural history.
Bryan previously received a BA in philosophy and a BArch from Mississippi State University, an MA in philosophy from Boston University, and an AM in architecture from Harvard. His work has appeared in Philosophical Forum, Harvard Design Magazine, and MONU. In 2011 and 2012, he co-organized conferences on philosophy and architecture at Boston University.
Sun-Young Park is a PhD candidate who investigates the intersections between medical history, histories of the body, and space. She has presented research on 19th century sewers, prostitution, and asylums in the French context, and she co-organized a conference on “The Body in History / The Body in Space” at the Humanities Center in 2011. Her dissertation, entitled “Building Bodies: Architecture, Hygiene, and the Construction of Gender in Early 19th Century Paris,” examines how architectural developments in military, educational, and recreational settings responded to new medical ideas. It argues that emerging theories on physical and moral hygiene comprised a politically charged subtext in the transformation of spaces where gender and class identities were refashioned.
Sun-Young has been a Teaching Fellow for architectural history and theory courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Harvard. She holds a BA in Architecture from Princeton and a MArch from the GSD. Sun-Young’s research has been supported by the Center for European Studies, the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She will be in residence as a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Marianne F. Potvin is a first year PhD Candidate. Her research lies at the intersection of humanitarianism and urbanism, and explores the production of space under urban humanitarian regimes, particularly in non-Western contexts.
With a focus on conflict areas, her professional experience includes humanitarian assignments with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq (2011), as well as with NGOs in Afghanistan (2009-2010) and in Eastern Chad (Darfur border, 2008). In Kabul, Marianne also co-chaired the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Emergency Shelter Cluster’s Technical Working Group, and advised the Kabul Municipality on urban shelter policies.
Marianne is a licensed architect and has worked in design practices in the West Bank, Canada, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. She holds a BSc in Architecture and a MArch from the University of Montreal. In 2013, she received a Master in Design Studies in Risk and Resilience, with distinction, from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Dimitris Pikionis Award for outstanding performance in her program.
Chris Rogacz is interested in how space acts politically. He did his undergraduate work at Cornell, concentrating on political philosophy and visual studies. Writers from The Frankfurt School and other critical theorists have greatly shaped his thinking on how the built environment can be productively read as an artifact, mediator, and producer of power. Currently, his interest is in exploring the mode by which sovereign borders are made to act meaningfully; initial research into this project has led to a political theological reading of Augustine’s Confessions as a border security project.
Ivan Rupnik is a PhD candidate in the doctoral program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning. Ivan’s research is focused on the notion of experiment in postwar and contemporary discourse and practice, particularly in relation to digital and analog computational approaches. His dissertation examines the impact of the experimentalist discourse of the late fifties and sixties on architectural and art practice via the New Tendencies Movement.
Ivan holds a BArch from Louisiana State University and Master of Architecture with distinction from Harvard GSD. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture of Northeastern University. From 2005 until 2007, Ivan was the Principal Instructor of the Architectural Program of Harvard GSD’s Career Discovery program, and from 2005 to 2006 he was an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture.
Ivan is the coauthor of Project Zagreb: Transition as Condition, Strategy, Practice (Actar, 2007), the author of A Peripheral Moment: Experiments in Architectural Agency (Actar, 2010), and is also editing “Home Work: Contemporary Housing Delivery Systems” (2011). Since 2007, Ivan has served as an urban design and planning consultant to the University of Zagreb’s Spatial Planning and Development Office.
Fallon Samuels Aidoo is an architectural and urban historian whose scholarship, teaching and consulting focuses on infrastructural landscapes, particularly how their formation and transformation relates to community advocacy, social justice and environmental activism. Her dissertation, tentatively titled "Rightsizing Rights-of-Way: The Regional Science of Interregional Mobility, 1944-1991," examines how urban transportation authorities legitimized mass transit construction and conservation in American cities experiencing depopulation, disinvestment and decentralization. Focused on the spatial contingency, social construction and geopolitics of technocracy, this study of "freeway revolts" draws on and contributes to social studies of science and technology, urban and suburban history and the history of American city and regional planning. In addition to writing her dissertation, she’s co-editing a Graham Foundation publication on the spatial politics of design theories, pedagogies and practices.
First trained as a structural engineer and a conservator of building technology, Fallon has worked on Historic Structures Reports with HNTB Architecture (2004) and the Smithsonian’s Division of Architectural History & Historic Preservation (2005). She continues to work in the field of cultural resource management as a consultant on cultural landscape surveys and historic preservation plans, including the Penn-Jersey Study at the Hagley Museum and Library (2012), the AIA Digital Archive at the National Building Museum (2008) and a Conservation Plan for the Afro-Antillian Museum of Panama (2006). Her work with museums, archives and other cultural institutions is intimately related to her teaching at MIT and Harvard, which includes planning studios as well as surveys and seminars in architectural and urban history. Fallon received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Columbia University, and master’s degrees in architectural and urban studies from MIT and Harvard respectively.
Etien Santiago is an architect and PhD student whose work focuses on the intersection of cultural production, technology, and the transmission of knowledge, which is central to Modernity. He is especially interested in how philosophical and scientific conceptual systems are interwoven into—and sometimes challenged by—contemporaneous art and architectural practices. In his MArch thesis (James Templeton Kelley Prize, 2011) he exposed key parallels between, on the one hand, structural linguistics and, on the other, the theories and designs of Sergio Musmeci, an iconoclastic 20th century Italian architect and engineer.
His professional work for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum expansion) and Iu+Bibliowicz Architects (on the rehabilitation of Carnegie Hall) has specialized in cultural programs and additions to historically sensitive buildings and contexts. Etien's own design work, honed at Rice University (BA, cum laude, and BArch) and the Harvard GSD (MArch, with distinction) has been attributed various awards, including the AIA School Medal and the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. In 2007, he co-founded Manifold Magazine, and in 2011 launched Apeira, an online journal that aims to implicate cultural theory with contemporary architectural developments.
Peter Sealy is a fourth-year PhD student who studies the relationship between photography and the evidentiary underpinnings of architectural discourse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He explores the tension between photography’s claim to factuality and its utility in the creation of ‘productive fictions.’ A chapter exploring this argument is forthcoming in Blackwell’s Companion to 19th Century Architecture (2014).
Peter’s research on Émile Zola and the immateriality of 19th century iron buildings will be published in The Aesthetics of Iron Architecture, a volume he is co-editing with Paul Dobraszczyk of the University of Manchester.
Peter holds architecture degrees from McGill University (B.Sc. Arch 2004 & M. Arch 2006) and the Harvard GSD (M. Arch II 2008). He has presented at numerous scholarly conferences, including those of the INHA, the SAH and the SAHANZ. His articles have appeared in Abitare, Domus and Oris.
At Harvard, Peter is a Frank Knox Fellow and holds a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. For the 2013-2014 academic year, Peter will reside in Montréal, Canada
Nick R. Smith is a PhD candidate studying international settlement transition and urban planning, with a particular emphasis on China, where he has conducted extensive ethnographic and historical research. This has included investigations of urban-rural integration, the design of urban villages, and the politics of redevelopment and graffiti. His current research focuses on the planning and transformation of a rapidly urbanizing village on the fringes of Chongqing, where he was a visiting scholar in 2011-2012. An anthropologist by training, Nick combines ethnography with analytical techniques from planning and architecture to investigate the intersection of space and society. His research seeks to integrate and influence the diverse perspectives and practices of policy makers, professional planners, political leaders, and residents.
As a teaching fellow, Nick has taught planning courses in history and theory, research methods, and studio. His research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He holds an A.B. in East Asian Studies and an A.M. in Architecture. Nick will be based in Cambridge in 2013-2014.
Justin D. Stern’s research focuses on the political economy of urban form in rapidly urbanizing cities in Asia. Questions addressed in his research include: In what ways do the contemporary urban forms of Asian cities and their dominant building typologies reflect the economic and political restructuring of the previous half century? To what extent has the newfound wealth of late industrializing East Asian nations led to a rediscovery of the urban and, with it, a localized search for the cultural and social dimensions of architecture and the city? And how can the experience of Seoul and other East Asian cities, as inductive role models, better inform rapidly developing regions in Southeast Asia and beyond?
Justin holds a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from Harvard University and completed his bachelor’s degree in Design Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Oxford. During the 2012-2013 academic year Justin served as a Fulbright Fellow in Seoul, South Korea and was the recipient of a Harvard-Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to support comparative fieldwork in China, Indonesia and the Philippines. He has presented his work at numerous conferences including the East Asia Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements World Congress; the Cosmopolitan China Conference at the University of Manchester; TEDxTaipei; and at the University of Hong Kong Shanghai Center.
Adam Tanaka is interested in the relationship between architecture and politics, particularly during periods of transition. He is especially interested in analyzing the ways in which historical and ideological meanings become embedded into urban forms — and how the transformation of these spaces subsequently affects a change in their associations. In the context of revolutionary and post-revolutionary societies, such issues of memory management are particularly pertinent.
Most of Adam’s work to date has focused on socialist and post-socialist cities in Eastern Europe. His undergraduate thesis investigated the urban transformation of Bucharest following the fall of the communist regime in 1989. In preparation for this project, Adam undertook two research trips to Romania and Poland, interviewing a number of architects, politicians and journalists on site.
Adam has also worked on projects related to 19th century Paris, Renaissance Rome, Fascist Berlin and post-war Japanese architecture. Adam received his BA with highest honors in Art History and Urban Studies from Princeton University in 2011.
David Theodore is a PhD student dually registered in the GSD and the department of the History of Science, who studies the intersecting histories of architecture, medicine, and technology. He seeks to understand buildings and cities as material culture artifacts, rather than as works of art, but deploys both approaches strategically.
He recently taught in Montreal in the School of Architecture, McGill University, and in the Department of Design, Concordia University. A 2009 Trudeau Scholar, he was among the winners of the National History Society's Pierre Berton Award for 2008, for his contribution to the innovative teaching website, Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (www.canadianmysteries.ca).
An active design journalist and critic, he is a regional correspondent for The Canadian Architect, a contributing editor at Azure, and a contributor to the Phaidon Atlas of 21st-Century World Architecture. He has prepared exhibitions for McGill University, Toronto’s Design Exchange, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. His recent research on medicine and architecture has been published in Technology and Culture, CBHM, and Scientia Canadensis.
Olga Touloumi is an architectural historian and curator. She researches media and technology in post-World War II architecture and design thinking. Entitled “Architectures of Global Communication, 1941-1970,” her dissertation examines the emergence of a global space in the intersection of communication technologies, media theory, and design.
She holds a B.Arch from AUTh and a SMArchS in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture from MIT, where she examined questions of biopolitics and national identity in criminal anthropology laboratories and prisons of the post-Risorgimento Italy. She is Visiting Lecturer at MIT and is co-organizing the conference Futures Past: Design and the Machine. In the past she has co-organized the symposium “Mediated Space,” and has co-curated “A Media Archaeology of Boston” at the Carpenter Center and “Made in Greece Plus” at the Museum of Science, Boston. She has published articles on Buckminster Fuller’s theory of articulation, Constantine Doxiadis’s architectures of communication, and Iannis Xenakis’s immersion strategies in Thresholds and the edited anthologies Soft Shells and Music and Modernism c.1849-1950. Her work has been presented at Buell, SAH, NE/SAH, MIT, Brown University, the Courtauld Institute, DOCOMOMO, and other venues internationally. Her design projects have been exhibited at the Barcelona Biennial of Landscape Design and the Staatliche Akademie der Bildende Künste in Stuttgart. She has been invited crit at the GSD, MIT, RISD, BAC, and AUTh.
Marrikka Trotter, a fourth year PhD student, is interested in the early nineteenth-century tendency, particularly in German thought, to treat both natural and artificial forms as temporary eddies in ongoing flows of formation and erosion. This stance implied some degree of equivalence between matter shaped by humans and matter shaped by natural processes and encouraged ways of acting and dwelling in the landscape that would reinforce and capitalize upon existing formative rhythms.
Marrikka is co-editor and co-instigator of the Work Books project, a series of publications aimed at examining architecture in its expanded field. The first book of this series, Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else, was released with MIT Press in 2010. She has recently finished editing the second Work Books volume, Architecture is All Over. With a background in practice and site-responsive art, Marrikka has taught at the BAC and is a guest critic at Northeastern University, MassArt, Wentworth, MIT and the GSD. Her writing has appeared in Harvard Design Magazine and Log.
Eldra D. Walker, a third year PhD student, is interested in Modern European Architecture focusing on the ideology of the primitive in architectural history and theory. Other interests include human-scale structures, domestic spaces, racial aesthetics and visual representations of difference. During 2013, Eldra participated in the Première Université d’été de programme STARACO (STAtus, RAce, et COuleur) at the University of Nantes.
Eldra earned a BS from Morgan State University in Information Science and Systems, an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and an AM in Architecture History and Theory from Harvard in 2012. Her teaching fellow experience includes the course “Designing the American City” and “Building, Texts, and Contexts”. From 2008 to 2011 she worked for the District of Columbia (DC) Office of Planning as a lead design reviewer for four historic districts. In this position, she analyzed architectural plans for proposed construction projects to ensure their contextual compatibility as stipulated by DC Historic Preservation Law and guidelines.
Delia Wendel Delia is a PhD candidate that researches post-conflict and post-disaster rebuilding strategies. Framed by the title, ‘Space and the Ethics of Transition: Rebuilding after the Genocide in Rwanda,’ her dissertation focuses on how State peacebuilding objectives are realized and challenged in the rebuilding of settlements, housing, and civic spaces in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. During 2012-2013, Delia is working on dissertation research in Rwanda, with support from the Social Science Research Council and Harvard University.
Delia was trained and worked as an architect, and lead her own residential design practice in Virginia. In addition to a Professional degree in Architecture (BArch, Rice University), she holds degrees in Cultural Geography (MSc, University College London) and Architectural History and Theory (MDesS, Harvard GSD). She has published scholarly essays on post-Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans (Journal of Urban Design, 2009) on architecture, infrastructure and political activism (The Handbook of Architectural Theory, 2012), and on an avant-garde mass spectacle in 1920s Azerbaijan (Journal of Urban Design, 2012). In 2009 Delia worked for UNHABITAT as a research consultant, and from 2008-2011 as a tenure-track Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. At Harvard, Delia was co-organizer of the 2010 ‘Cambridge Talks: Design Politics’ symposium, and the Head Teaching Fellow for Architectural History, Urban Design, and Landscape Theory courses. She is also co-editor of a Graham Foundation funded publication – ‘On the Spatial Epistemology of Politics, or How We Know Politics Through Space: Essays for Design Studies’ – in progress.