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.
Fallon Samuels Aidoo is a historian of urban industrialization and post-industrial urbanism whose scholarship, pedagogy and consultancy concerns the resiliency and revitalization of America’s Rustbelt. She teaches architectural and urban history from comparative perspectives—currently at Northeastern University, previously at Harvard, where she is completing a PhD in Urban Planning. She holds master’s degrees in Architectural and Planning History from MIT and Harvard, where she studied the production and preservation of metropolitan infrastructure. Her research broadly concerns the role of nongovernmental bodies—corporations, consultants, and communities—in sustaining transport sites and services. Supported by the Tobin Project, Hagley Center for the Study of Business, Technology and Society, and the Volvo Research & Education Foundation, her dissertation critically engages with past and present railway conservation movements in Greater Philadelphia. She also maintains a cultural resources management practice, curating digital histories, archives and exhibitions of the American built environment for community-based organizations and cultural institutions. She is co-editor of Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place (Harvard University Press, 2015).
Matthew Allen is a second year PhD student who studies the history of architecture and computation circa 1960. His writing has been published in Log, Perspectives on Science, Domus, Disegno, Harvard Design Magazine, and other journals and books. Besides writing, Allen is interested in bringing difficult issues central to architecture culture to larger audiences through exhibitions, books, and lectures. For example, in 2014 he curated an exhibition on how software has affected representation in GSD student work in the last decade. He has also recently lectured on the history and present use of screenshots, the preservation and archaeology of digital architecture, and the post-medium condition.
Amin Alsaden is a PhD Candidate whose work focuses on global exchanges of ideas and expertise across cultural boundaries. His research interests include modern architecture, especially in the Muslim and Arab worlds; governance and space in conflict zones; formal and cognitive attributes of interiors; sociopolitical and professional motives behind cultural institutions and districts; and questions of monumentality in contemporary art and architecture.
Amin's dissertation investigates a crucible moment in post-WWII Baghdad, when a host of global and regional factors produced an unprecedented architectural movement, later exported to a modernizing Middle East. The narrative's protagonists are taken to demonstrate the role of the creative class in shaping a grassroots cosmopolitan ethos manifested in intellectual output and built works.
Amin holds a Master of Arts from Harvard University, a Post-Professional Master in Architecture from Princeton University, and a Bachelor in Architecture and a Minor in Interior Design from the American University of Sharjah. He practiced at various firms in Europe and the Middle East, most recently OMA and MVRDV in the Netherlands.
Maria Atuesta is a second year PhD student who studies how public infrastructure interferes in social life and is transformed by it. She is currently examining the implementation of welfare policies and related strategies of spatial planning in 20th-century Latin American cities. She studies these spatial manifestations of social policy in the realm of everyday interactions and segregation to evaluate the possibility of a role in the making of social inequality. She is interested in combining approaches from law, economic geography and sociology.
Maria holds a double major in Economics and History from the Universidad de los Andes, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as a regional analyst for the National Planning Office of Colombia and as a research fellow for the Center for Community Innovation at Berkeley. Maria has had the opportunity to work closely with public administrators, community advocates and leaders of citizen-based accountability organizations. These interactions have cultivated her current inquiries as well as becoming a fundamental source of information in her current research.
Katarzyna Balug Inspired by science-fictional worlds and informed by urbanism studies, Katarzyna (Kate) Balug’s practice flows from research, design, and curation, to performance, installation, and sculpture. Her work addresses the place of imagination in urbanism, and her installations and performances have been exhibited in the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, Poland, Isles Art Initiative in Boston, and FARO Tláhuac in Mexico CIty, among others.
She is co-founder of Department of Play with anthropologist Maria Vidart-Delgado, a lost city department that examines play as a powerful form of collaboration between residents and urban systems, through momentary constructed fictions in public space. Balug and Vidart's research on play and collaborative governance was published in the journal Critical Sociology, and has been presented at several conferences. Department of Play received an ArtPlace America grant in 2015, for work in liminal spaces between established Boston neighborhoods.
Kate is co-curator with architect Mary Hale of a 2016 exhibition on inflatable architectures at BSA Space, working title The New Inflatable Moment. Balug holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a dual B.A. in studio art and French from USC. She was a 2011 Harvard Sinclair Kennedy Fellow in Mexico City. Her doctoral research will begin by examining utopia, with a focus on its role in urbanism after modernism.
Aleksandr Bierig is a second-year PhD student. His research is concerned with how architecture has been deployed as an instrument to manage economic, environmental, and social risk. Recent work has included an investigation into the changing definition of the English cottage in the late eighteenth century from improvised shelter for commoners to improved housing for agricultural labor, and an examination of historical interpretations of plantation reform in the nineteenth-century American South.
Prior to the GSD, Aleksandr completed his MArch from Princeton University and his BA in Architecture from Yale University. He has worked professionally for a number of architectural firms in the United States and Europe. His writing has appeared in Log, Clog, Architectural Record, The Architectural Review, and Pidgin, where he served for two years as an editor.
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 conceptions of history and place.
His current research focuses on the development of Tokyo roughly since the 1980s, and aims to understand the processes involved in the creation of urban space and place. It begins from the assumption that the city itself first emerges through the relationship between the physical city and representations of it, thus the dissertations examines visual and textual media for 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 both urban design and visual arts. In 2014, he published a chapter on the monument of the Valle de los Caídos in Memory and Cultural History of the Spanish Civil War (ed. Aurora Morcillo). While researching in Tokyo, he completed a vast project documenting the landscape of Tokyo using large-format photography. Aside from English, he speaks Spanish and Japanese, along with some German.
Christina Crawford is an architect, urban designer and historian of urban form whose work focuses on design in transitional periods. Her current research explores the foundations of early Soviet urban theory and practice in three seminal industrial cities: Baku, Magnitogorsk and Kharkiv. Christina is the 2015-16 Sidney R. Knafel Dissertation Completion Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and an active participant in the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative as a collaborator for the Moscow research portal.
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. She has presented at conferences in Russia, Ukraine, the UK and the US, and has essays forthcoming in Future Anterior, Harvard Design Magazine and Journal of Urban History.
Prior to returning to the GSD, Christina worked as an architect and urban designer in Boston and taught architectural history and theory at Northeastern University. She is a Registered Architect, a Graduate Student Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs 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.
Brett Culbert received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 2005, with concentrations in both Theory and Visual Studies. In the time between this degree and his Master’s degree at Harvard, MDes: 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 Master’s 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 fifth 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 dissertation is a historical analysis of the U.S. government’s evolving relationship with nature, focusing on the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the evolution of public works, and the technological communities that supported them, in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
His ongoing research interests include early modern surveying and cartography, historical coastal reclamation practices, infrastructure design and construction in extreme environments, the effects of militarization of landscapes, nature and aesthetics in the early American republic, literature and constructed landscapes, and more generally, the relationship between design, construction, and environment in modern North America. He is currently working on an article about populist efforts to dismantle 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.
Igor Ekštajn studies the exchanges between science, technology and architecture, particularly focusing on how the built environment, from architecture to infrastructure, straddles natural spaces and political environments and performs as a material manifestation of territoriality.
Igor received his Master in Design Studies degree in History and Philosophy of Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2011. Before returning to the GSD, Igor taught architectural history and theory courses, and design studios focused on architectural preservation at the University of Zagreb. He also served as the Deputy Curator of the Croatian Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014.
Igor holds a Master of Architecture degree from 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.
Samaa Elimam is a first year PhD student interested in architecture, archaeology, and the visual arts. She studies theories of scale, vision, and image in the transnational Mediterranean context, accompanying institutions and devices, and their influence on the architectural imaginary. Samaa completed her Masters in Architecture with Distinction at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2012), where her thesis focused on Mediterranean historiography, particularly the scalar and visual misalignments of postcolonial public works and infrastructures in the Nile Delta’s port cities. Past projects explored the concept of the quasi-object at the urban scale, and the figure as a way to make legible public space and infrastructure at the geographic. Samaa holds a B.A. in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley (2007).
As a designer in the U.S. and Middle East, Samaa worked on projects ranging from high-end residences in Dubai and LA, a Nile hub near Cairo's largest informal settlement, and a vision to expand Makkah's Grand Mosque. She has also maintained strong academic involvement as a research and teaching assistant at the GSD, and later, a studio instructor at the American University in Cairo (2014). While at Harvard, Samaa participated in organizing conference events, including curating an exhibition at the Radcliffe Institute on the socio-political transformation of Cairo's public space. Her design work and writing have been published in several online and printed journals.
Tamer Elshayal is an urbanist working at the intersection of urban theory, critical geography, environmental anthropology, and science and technology studies. His current research seeks to examine the shifting spatialities of mega-engineering in the Middle East through the study of spatial and cultural politics of large infrastructural projects. He is interested in how large engineering schemes reconfigure territories and landscapes as they take shape in discursive and material mediums and how they engender contested socio-spatial formations.
Tamer is an associate member of the Spatial Ethnography Lab, a research collaborative co-founded and led by anthropologist Vyjayanthi Rao. He is also a research member of Neil Brenner’s Urban Theory Lab at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, in which he works on the spatial and political dimensions of extractive economies and large-scale water and energy infrastructure in the restructuring of North Africa. Tamer previously worked as a research assistant in the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, focusing on water and energy infrastructure in the US. Furthermore, reflecting his shared interests in critical geography and environmental anthropology, he was awarded the Penny White summer grant to conduct fieldwork in Egypt, investigating the infrastructural landscapes of coastal engineering works in the Nile Delta.
Tamer holds a Master of Design Studies in urbanism, landscape and ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), a Master of Landscape Architecture from FH Anhalt, Germany; a Post-professional Certificate in GIS and Environment from Salford University, UK; and a Bachelor of Architecture from Faculty of Fine Arts, Egypt. Tamer has previously worked as landscape architect in Germany and Egypt, and as an environmental researcher at the Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Natalia Escobar is an Architect and third-year PhD student who works on the theory of architecture conservation. She is interested in conservation practices or ideas which are tangential and somehow opposed to the material preservation of objects and rather she focuses on places, buildings and sites defined by their instability. She is the invited editor of the upcoming issue of the magazine Materia Arquitectura titled ‘Conservation in the Expanded Field.’
Natalia, Fellow at the Andalucía Agency of Knowledge, the Real Colegio Complutense, and the Aga Khan Program, has been awarded the Spanish Ministry of Education Research grant for young researchers, and the prestigious TALENTIA grant to pursue her research project at Harvard published as The Preservation Fallacy in the Mediterranean Medina, 2013. She presented her ongoing research ‘Pre-modern Conservation Practices in the Iberian Peninsula’ at the SAH Conference in 2015 and at the Historic New England Conference in 2014, and she organized Professor David Lowenthal’s lecture ‘Conservation Past and Present’ at the GSD in 2014, and the GSD Aga Khan Lecture series of 2015 and 2014 on conservation issues in the Middle East.
Natalia holds a MArch from the University of Seville and an MDes in Critical Conservation (Distinction) from the GSD. Her previous experiences include teaching studio at the Boston Architectural College Summer Academy in 2015, completing a stint at the UNESCO World Heritage Center in the Department of Historic Cities in 2014, and serving as a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard GSAS, the Harvard GSD and the University of Seville. She has also practiced as a Licensed Architect at Alan Dunlop and Gordon Murray in Glasgow, at Omnireditas Arquitectos in Barcelona and as Urban Designer at ARUP Shanghai. In addition she worked as a Consultant for the rehabilitation project of the Philadelphia Academy or Arts.
Matthew Gin is a fourth-year PhD student from San Francisco who studies the history of architecture and landscape in 17th- and 18th- century Europe, with a particular emphasis on urban design and spectacle in France. His dissertation, tentatively titled “Fantastic Fabrications: Ephemeral Architecture, Urbanism, and the Spectacle of Commemoration in France, 1722-1763” considers temporary structures erected for celebrations of royal births and marriages during the reign of Louis XV. The study seeks to understand how changing notions of kingship and power in the late Ancient Régime were inscribed in urban space. Past projects have examined André Le Nôtre’s labyrinth at Versailles, Louis XIV’s collection of relief maps, and the transformation of theater architecture during the Enlightenment.
Matt has a BA in Art History and a BMus in Baroque Flute Performance from Oberlin College, an MED in Architectural History from Yale University and an AM in Architecture from Harvard University. He has also held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Prior to Harvard, Matt worked for the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust on the restoration of the Robie House and as a curatorial intern in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA.
Lisa Haber-Thomson is a fifth-year PhD candidate whose research is located at the intersections of territory, law, and architecture. Interests include geopolitics and the formation of political boundaries; the extra-territorial site as a spatial and legal exception to traditional notions of sovereignty; rhetorical and material definitions of property law. She is currently working on her dissertation, which traces the political expansion of England from the 18th to 20th centuries through changing practices of incarceration and the material manifestations of judicial oversight. 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; as a video and sound editor for the Science Media Group; and as a freelance animator and sound designer.
Ateya Khorakiwala is a PhD candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she is researching her dissertation entitled, The Well Fed Subject: Modern Architecture in the Quantitative State. Her work looks at how the fixation on creating stable food-supply systems in India in the 50s and 60s led to a biopolitical revolution to augment food production; she studies the infrastructure and architecture that allowed the system to proliferate. Earlier work has looked at road construction research in India in the 1960s and violence in photography in 1857. Her research interests range from the complex processes of designing decolonization, to the ways in which modernist architects concerned themselves with crafting new systems in the post-war 20th century, drawing from quantitative disciplines like demographics and statistics, to produce what she calls “quantitative architectures.” She holds a BArch from KRVIA, Mumbai, and an MSc in Architecture Studies from the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art program at MIT. She is currently based in India on a junior fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies.
Manuel López Segura is a third year PhD student, an architect, and a Masters in architectural history. His research at the GSD MDesS program 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 conducts research on 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 has appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Cuadernos de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, no.4 (2013) published by the Madrid School of Architecture.
Manuel holds a professional degree in architecture from the Valencia School of Architecture (Spain; Honors Diploma), an MA Architectural History (Distinction) from The Bartlett, University College London, and an MDesS History & Philosophy of Design (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’s and Hashim Sarkis’s TA.
Morgan Ng is a PhD candidate in architectural history and theory, whose research interests lie at the intersection of the built environment, visual culture and the technical sciences in early modern Europe, with a particular emphasis on Renaissance Italy. He is completing a dissertation that explores how developments in sixteenth-century military architecture transformed the experience of Renaissance buildings and cities.
From 2015 to 2017, he will be a Samuel H. Kress Institutional Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome. His research has previously been supported by Villa I Tatti; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Medici Archive Project; the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe at the Uffizi Gallery; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Getty Research Institute.
Morgan's recent publications appear in Word & Image and the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. These essays explore the aesthetics of biblical inscription and Psalm-singing in Huguenot-occupied churches, and cities; as well as the influence of Calvinist exegetical cartography on John Milton’s poetic form. Before beginning his graduate studies, Morgan completed his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University, and worked as an architectural designer in New York and Chicago.
Jason Nguyen studies early modern European architecture and urbanism, with an interest in the relationship between architectural theory and practice and the development of scientific thought, labor and commercial practices, and social and aesthetic philosophy, 1600-1800. He is currently the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Fellow (CASVA, National Gallery of Art) as well as a invited researcher at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris, where he is working on his dissertation, “Constructing Classicism: Theory, Practice, and the Creation of Architectural Expertise in Paris, 1670-1720.” His project considers how the codification of architectural practice, construction and finances came to impact the formalization of architecture as a theoretical discipline. From 2013 to 2015, he was the Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the INHA.
Jason has been a Teaching Fellow for all modules of the Building, Texts, Contexts sequence as well as an instructor for the summer history courses for incoming M.Arch I students. He has worked as a curatorial intern at the Harvard Art Museums and was also a Pre-doctoral Resident at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. Trained as an architect, he received his B.Arch from Drexel University. From 2003 to 2009, he practiced with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.
Bryan Norwood is a PhD candidate who works on the intersections of philosophy and architectural thought. His dissertation, entitled “The Architect’s Knowledge: Images of History in American Architectural Education, 1800-1920,” is a study of the development of professionalized architectural knowledge through the formation of university-based architectural education in nineteenth-century America. Focusing on the key role the conceptualization of architectural history played in the configuration of the discipline and profession, Bryan’s dissertation explores the ethics of the hermeneutic relation of architecture to its own past.
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. He has taught lecture and seminar courses in architectural history and theory at the GSD, Northeastern University, and Boston University. His presented and published work has focused on the architectural implications of the philosophies of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, and Gilles Deleuze and has appeared in Philosophical Forum, Harvard Design Magazine, Culture Machine, and MONU. His most recent articles are “Working on a Diagonal: towards a new image of architectural history” in the volume Intensities and Lines of Flight: Deleuze, Guattari and the Arts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014) and “Metaphors for Nothing” in Log 33.
Sabrina Osmany is a recent graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (M.P.S) where she prototyped interfaces for tangible and social computing. Her work includes the development of a programming language in Urdu, a mobile app that uses computer vision to identify and connect with network devices and a 120 ft. video installation at InterActiveCorp headquarters in New York City.
She has worked as a researcher at NYU’s Center for Neural Science at the Pesaran lab which develops brain machine interfaces for robotic prosthetics. Her thesis, the Human Avatar Project is a collaboration with the lab to develop a novel virtual prosthetic to study the movements of the upper limb during motor planning and initiation. She developed an anatomical avatar of the right upper limb with 27 degrees of freedom, driven by real-time motion capture.
Sabrina's research explores how agency is mediated by digital interfaces. Her interdisciplinary work is divided between the development of tools to study decision making in interactive systems as well as the development of experimental frameworks to study choice behavior.
During her time at Harvard, Sabrina is particularly excited to explore Machine Learning and Multi Agent Simulation as tools to study human dynamics in the forthcoming age of consumer virtual reality which promises real-time human avatars aplenty.
Her work has been shown at the Association for Computer Machinery’s Tangible Embodied Embedded Interaction Conference, 2015. Sabrina also serves on the board of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College.
Melany Sun-Min Parkstudies 20th-century Korean architecture, especially its relationship to professional organizations and institutions that emerged in the postwar period. Her current work examines the corporate history of modern architecture in South Korea and its intersection with political economy in the Park Chung-hee era. She holds an MDes with Distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was honored with the Gerald M. McCue Medal. In 2015, she was awarded a conference fellowship by the Society of Architectural Historians to deliver her paper on anthropometric studies of the Korean body. Her research on mobility politics in North Korea and its concentration camps is forthcoming in the edited book Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place (Harvard University Press, fall 2015). Her essay on Singapore’s avant-garde art collective, The Artists Village, featured in the co-edited volume Home + Bound: Narratives of Domesticity in Singapore and Beyond. She recently interviewed Chi Soon, South Korea’s first registered female architect, in collaboration with Mokchon Architecture Archive’s ongoing oral history project. The Korea Institute at Harvard has supported Melany’s research on numerous occasions.
Marianne F. Potvin studies the intersection of humanitarianism and urbanism. Drawing on urban theory, and science technology and society studies (STS), her research looks at the spatial practices of humanitarian actors, and the various ways in which aid interventions transform built environments, societies and the everyday lives of refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals.
With a focus on conflict areas, Marianne has worked several years in the humanitarian sector, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq, as well as with NGOs in Afghanistan and in Chad (Darfur border). While in the field (2008-2012), she oversaw water and urban rehabilitation projects for victims of armed conflict, internally displaced populations and refugees. In Kabul, she also co-chaired the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Emergency Shelter Cluster’s Technical Working Group and worked closely with 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.
Marianne holds a B.Sc in Architecture and a M.Arch. 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. At Harvard, Marianne is a doctoral researcher in the Urban Theory Lab (UTL), as well as a resident tutor at Eliot House. She presented her work on “Humanitarian Urbanism” at the 2014 UN-Habitat Conference on the Non-Formal City in Munich, and at the Harvard Design for Urban Disaster Conference. Her current fieldwork focuses on the humanitarian response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.
Katherine Prater is an anthropologist and urbanist, with a research focus on urban conflict and its implications for contemporary issues such as immigration, marginalization and ethno-national contestation. She recently completed her MPhil in Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Cambridge in association with the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research. Her dissertation, which examined identity politics in Brussels and their manifestation in museums and sites of heritage, received the Peter de Somogyi Award for European Research. While at Cambridge, Katherine was editor-in-chief of the Cambridge Architecture Journal and contributed to a collaborative design project with UN-Habitat in Nairobi. Prior to Cambridge, Katherine worked as a consultant and researcher for UN-Habitat and an international engineering firm, involving projects at the intersection of ethnographic analysis and design in thirteen countries on six continents. Katherine graduated summa cum laude from the Distinguished Majors Program in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, wherein she cultivated an interest in the use of architecture and visual arts as tools for anthropological research. Her honors thesis was awarded highest distinction, and involved an examination of the evolution of university architecture and its changing relationship to slavery and socioeconomic diversity.
Etien Santiago is a licensed architect and PhD student who researches the modern interconnections between aesthetics, technology and intellectual production. His work focuses on seminal early twentieth-century experiments in reinforced concrete, glass and wood architecture, which contain insights into how artistic, scientific, philosophical and historical ideas pushed and pulled against one another in this context. More broadly, Etien is interested in tracking the rise of a modern form of architectural thought which presupposes the primacy of construction materials.
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) dealt with cultural programs and additions to buildings of historical importance. Etien's own design work, honed at Rice University (BA, cum laude, and BArch) and the GSD (MArch, with distinction) has been attributed various awards, including the AIA School Medal and the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. Commended with the 2011 James Templeton Kelley Prize, his MArch thesis exposed parallels between structural linguistics and the work of Sergio Musmeci, an iconoclastic 20th century Italian architect and engineer.
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 PhD candidate whose dissertation "Building Truth: Architecture's New Photographic Visual Culture (1860-1910)" charts the productive utility for architects of photography’s claim to truthfulness in late-nineteenth-century architectural publications. A chapter exploring this argument is forthcoming in Blackwell’s Companion to 19th Century Architecture (2015). He co-authored (with Martin Bressani) an article on the photographs published with Charles Garnier's Le Nouvel Opéra, published in Art and the Early Photographic Album (CASVA, 2011).
Peter’s research on Émile Zola and the immateriality of 19th century iron buildings will be published in The Aesthetics of Iron Architecture (Ashgate, 2015) a volume he co-edited with Paul Dobraszczyk.
Peter holds architecture degrees from McGill University (B.Sc. Arch 2004 & M. Arch 2006) and the Harvard GSD (M. Arch II 2008). He has previously presented at numerous scholarly conferences, including those of the RIBA, the INHA, the CAA, the SAH and the SAHANZ. His has written articles for Abitare, Canadian Architect, Domus, Harvard Design Magazine and Oris.
At Harvard, Peter is a Frank Knox Fellow. For the 2015-2016 academic year, he will reside in Montréal, Canada.
Justin D. Stern is a third-year PhD Student whose research focuses on the history and theory of urban form in rapidly urbanizing regions. His dissertation project studies the interplay of industrialization, institutional development and spatial morphology in major cities in East and Southeast Asia.
Questions addressed in Justin’s research include: In what ways do the contemporary urban forms of cities in Asia, and their dominant building typologies, reflect the economic and political restructuring of the previous half century? What role do large-scale, diversified corporate conglomerates, such as Samsung Group in Korea and Ayala Corporation in the Philippines, play in urban development? And how can the experience of Seoul and other cities in East Asia, 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 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. He has presented his work at numerous venues including The East Asia Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements World Congress; TedxTaipei; Hong Kong University; Leiden University; the Cosmopolitan China Conference at the University of Manchester (UK); the University of Seoul; and the Pakistan Urban Forum in Karachi.
In addition to working on his dissertation, Justin currently serves as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Design. He is also finalizing a short documentary film and exhibition on trans-border infrastructure in Central Asia. Prior to enrolling at Harvard, Justin worked in the international development arena and in affordable housing development in New York City.
Adam Tanaka is a PhD candidate in urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies for the 2015-2016 academic year. His research focuses on housing policy and development in the contemporary United States, drawing from the fields of political science, law, urban planning and real estate to develop methods for understanding and improving upon urban housing provision.
His dissertation, tentatively titled "Private Projects: Lessons for Middle-Income Housing Development," examines the origin, evolution and current condition of a number of private, large-scale, middle-income housing developments in New York City. The project aims to broaden our historical understanding of post-war urban development—offering a counterpoint to the well-known narrative of suburbanization—as well as draw lessons for contemporary housing policy. Case studies include: Co-Op City (1968), LeFrak City (1967) and Parkchester (1943).
For the 2015-2016 academic year, Adam will be a dissertation research fellow at the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy at New York University. He can be reached by email.
Marrikka Trotter a six-year PhD candidate, Marrikka is researching the intersections between geology and architecture in Britain between 1750 and 1890. The discovery of deep time profoundly challenged architectural thought and practice in the Romantic period. The real extent of earth’s history suddenly eclipsed the importance of Greco-Roman antiquity, and along with it, the cultural authority it had bestowed on architecture. Stone emerged as a formational process rather than an inert architectural material, and the formerly passive landscape became an active and unstable substrate. Marrikka’s dissertation examines how British architects and geologists responded to this upheaval, first by attempting to mediate between geological time and architectonic scale, then by positioning geology as a potential model for social, aesthetic, and national development.
Marrikka is co-editor of the contemporary architectural theory collections Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (The MIT Press: 2010), and Architecture is All Over (ACTAR: 2015), for which she was awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation. 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, where she has also played a leading role in developing the GSD’s first online course, The Architectural Imagination. Her writing has appeared in Harvard Design Magazine and Log, among others. She will be in the United Kingdom as a travelling scholar for the 2015-16 academic year.
Rodanthi Vardouli is an architect and theorist who studies the artistic and architectural production of the early 20th century avant-garde in Europe through and in relation to emerging theories of performance and performativity in the humanities. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Harvard’s Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning Program.
Rodanthi holds a Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS 2014) from the MIT Department of Architecture, where she conducted joint research between the History Theory & Criticism (HTC) and the Architectural Design (AD) areas of study. She also holds a Professional Diploma in Architectural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (MArch 2010) and a Graduate Specialization Diploma from the NTUA Interdepartmental Graduate Program "Design-Space-Culture" (MSc 2012).
Rodanthi is a Harvard GSAS doctoral fellow and has also been awarded the Aristides Evangelus Phoutrides Memorial fund for her first year of studies at Harvard. She was an MIT Department of Architecture graduate fellow and a scholar of the Fulbright Greece, Alexander S. Onassis and A.G. Leventis Foundations. Among other academic merit awards, she has received the MIT Arthur Rotch Special Prize awarded to one graduating SMArchS student for highest academic achievement and original contributions to more than one research fields.
Since her graduation from MIT in June 2014, articles based on her graduate research have been accepted for publication at the Kurt Schwitters Society annual journal (KSUK) and the “Research in Architecture” journal edition of the National Technical University of Athens. Among other presentations of her work in various classes at the MIT Department of Architecture, she was an invited speaker for the Fall 2014 MIT Architecture Studies Faculty Colloquium lecture series.
Rodanthi is currently completing an art project called “Properties” which will be exhibited at the MIT Museum in the Fall 2015.
Dimitra Vogiatzaki is a first year PhD student who researches human body design, being particularly interested in early modern epistemology. During the past years she focused her research on transgender aesthetics and corporeal representations in fiction, while her work also includes articles and conference presentations on parasitism, geographies of prostitution and fairy tale landscapes.
Dimitra enjoys lecturing and she developed her course organization skills as a Theory of Architecture Teaching Assistant at NTUA (National Technical University of Athens). Beyond the academic walls, she has participated in art exhibitions in Paris, Istanbul and Athens, while currently she is producing an exhibition that deconstructs Le Corbusier’s icon via pop culture and media art with the support of NTUA and Fondation Le Corbusier. She is the Greek correspondent of European Architecture Historians Network and has served for multiple years as the National Contact of Greece for the network of European Architecture Students Association.
Before her doctoral studies, Dimitra completed an MSc. with excellence on History and Theory of Architecture from NTUA and a Diploma (BA/MA) with excellence on Architectural Engineering from the same university. During her studies she received multiple academic merit awards including A.G.Leventis Foundation and Greek State Scholarship Foundations Scholarships.
Eldra Dominique Walker studies visual and textual representations of architecture’s origins in Modern European Architecture c. 1750 to 1950. Eldra’s other interests include theories of ornament and color, modern European painting and sculpture, and transnational histories of the Americas, the Caribbean and France. Her dissertation examines the idea of the “primitive” in French architectural thought and practice during the long 19th century.
Eldra has taught courses at the GSD in Western Architectural history and theory, from the Renaissance to the present. In fall 2014, Eldra will be presenting a paper at the annual meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Recently, she presented her research at “Architecture’s Archive” at the GSD and co-presented a paper at the Third International meeting of the European Architectural History Network in Turin, Italy. In 2013, she delivered a paper at the Première Université d’été de programme STARACO (STAtus, RAce, et COuleur) at the University of Nantes. Prior to coming to Harvard, Eldra was an architectural design reviewer in the District of Columbia Office of Planning. Eldra has a MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
Delia Duong Ba Wendel is an architectural historian and cultural geographer who studies how communities rebuild and recover from conflict and disaster. She is completing her PhD with a finishing grant from the American Council of Learned Societies and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. She holds degrees in Architecture (BArch, Rice University), Cultural Geography (MSc, University College London), and Architectural History and Theory (MDes, Harvard GSD). Delia has previously worked for architectural firms, run her own residential design practice, and held teaching appointments at Harvard GSD as Visiting Lecturer and as Tenure-Track Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
Delia’s research is interdisciplinary, and draws significantly from anthropology, cultural theory, and peace and development studies. Current writing builds from ethnographic and historical research in Rwanda, and examines how State peacebuilding objectives are realized and challenged in the reconstruction of settlements, housing, and civic spaces after the 1994 genocide. Delia’s work has been published in the Journal of Urban Design, New Orleans and the Design Moment, and the Handbook of Architectural Theory. She is co-editor of the Graham Foundation funded book, Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place.