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, an urban historian (A.M. Harvard), is a PhD candidate whose scholarship, teaching and consulting concerns infrastructure dis/investment, particularly the spatial politics of Smart Growth/Smart Decline policies and plans. Conflict and consensus on how to conserve Philadelphia’s commuter railways—and communities they’ve served—are subjects of her dissertation on critical infrastructure protection; a ‘white paper’ for the GSD’s Transforming Urban Transport Project; and a chapter in the forthcoming anthology On the Spatial Epistemology of Politics: Essays on Political Spaces and Spatial Politics. As a DuPont Fellow at the Hagley Center for Business, Technology and Society in 2012-13, Fallon investigated the relative roles of transportation planning, engineering and management consultants in rightsizing Rustbelt cities. Fallon has also engaged with the in/accessibility, im/mobility, sustainability and preservation implications of infrastructure divestment as a GSD Instructor (GSD Option Studio, Newark, Fall 2013), Guest Design Critic (GSD MUP Core Studios, 2011-) and Head Teaching Fellow (“Designing the American City,” 2010-2012). First trained as a structural engineer (B.S. Columbia) and conservator of building technology (S.M.Archs.S., MIT), Fallon previously worked for the National Building Museum, Smithsonian, Museo Afro-Antillano de Panama and HNTB Architecture.
Matthew Allen is a first year PhD student who studies cognitive prosthetics: how architects think and the devices that help them. He received a MArch from the GSD in 2010 then worked for Preston Scott Cohen for two years. Following this he taught architecture at the University of Toronto for three years while writing and working on small commissions. He has experience in (among other things) physics laboratory work, computer programming, teaching parametric design, and collaboration with large architecture institutes in China.
Matthew's current work engages history of science to explicate the role of cognitive models in dealing with complexity in the mid-20th century. He has written most recently about how a certain type of image was used to convey the experience of the interactive computer circa 1960 and, separately, the impact of neuroscience on historiography and architecture criticism. His writing has been published in Domus, Log, and other journals and books. Matthew is currently writing about odd cases of visual knowledge.
Matthew is also interested in bringing difficult issues central to architecture culture to larger audiences through exhibitions, books, and lectures. In 2014 he curated an exhibition on how software has affected representation in GSD student work in the last decade, and he is working on a book on this subject. He has recently lectured on the history and present use of screenshots by architects, the preservation and archaeology of digital architecture, and media and the "post-medium condition."
Matthew would be happy to be involved with courses, studio reviews, and anything else to which could contribute.
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. For the 2014-2015 academic year, Amin will be developing his dissertation while teaching at the American University of Sharjah
Maria Atuesta studies the different ways in which public infrastructure interferes in social life and is transformed by it. Methodologically, she is interested in combining approaches from political economy and behavioral analysis.
Maria holds a double major in Economics and History and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from University of California, Berkeley. For her master thesis, Maria investigated the social effects of a redistributive scheme implemented in Bogota, Colombia, for the distribution of public services. She studied newspaper articles, marketing campaigns, job-search ads and partner-search ads in order to document how the official categories of this scheme are utilized as social markers in different spheres of social life. Her research has led to new inquiries about the use of social categories as a window to identify reproduction mechanisms of social inequality.
Having worked for the National Planning Office of Colombia and for the Center for Community Innovation at Berkeley, Maria has had the opportunity to work closely with public administrators and community advocates. These interactions have cultivated her inquiries as well as becoming a source of information in her current research.
Aleksandr Bierig is a first year PhD student interested in exploring how architecture was transformed in early modern Europe—how certain architects found themselves working to appeal to an expanding “public,” while much of the built environment was transformed into a commodity that was appraised, traded, and judged within increasingly developed markets. In short, examining the friction between the physical stability of buildings and the fluidity of the transactions—economic, political, social, material—that envelop them.
Prior to the GSD, Aleksandr completed his M. Arch from Princeton University and worked professionally for a number of 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.
This academic year he in residence in Cambridge.
Christina Crawford is a PhD Candidate, architect and urban designer whose work focuses on design strategies particular to periods of intensive transition. Her dissertation explores the foundations of socialist urban theory and practice in the Soviet Union through three sites conceived, planned and constructed during 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. She has presented at conferences in Russia, Ukraine, the UK and the US, and has published in numerous journals. She is currently working on a book with GSD 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 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 studies the history of the North American landscape and built environment, from 1750-1900. His research focuses on the visual and literary history of landscape routes, especially the projection of travelers’ views into unfamiliar environments. Past projects have explored: the visualization of overland travel through Mormon accounts of the Great Basin, navigational sounding leads and the practice of wayfinding along the North Atlantic coastline, Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s settlement of England’s first overseas colony, in Newfoundland, and Alfred Watkins’ landscape photography along the Wye River Valley.
Brett is from Rhode Island and prior to pursuing his PhD he received a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cornell University (2004) and a Masters with Distinction from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard (2011). 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 expanse of British North America in the mid-eighteenth century. This work focused on the statesman’s observations 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.
John Davis is a fourth 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.
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 a second-year PhD student, Architect and conservation Consultant. She holds an M.Arch from the University of Seville and an M.Des in Critical Conservation (Distinction) from the GSD. Her current research focuses on modern and pre-modern urban conservation practices on historic cities and their repercussion on modern and contemporary architectural design. She has edited and published her previous work under the title The Preservation Fallacy in the Mediterranean Medina. She has presented her work at the Historic New England Conference in 2014 and will be presenting at the SAH Conference in Chicago in 2015. She has been also the coordinator of several conferences among them the GSD Aga Khan Program on Conservation and development in 2014.
Natalia has recently completed a stint at the UNESCO World Heritage Center in the Department of Historic Cities. She has lectured at the University of Seville, and served as a Teaching Fellow and Critic at the Harvard GSAS and GSD. 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.
Natalia, Fellow at the Andalucía Agency of Knowledge, the Real Colegio Complutense, and the Aga Khan Program, has been awarded several grants to pursue her training worldwide. Among them the Spanish Ministry of Education Research grant for young researchers, and the prestigious TALENTIA grant to pursue her research project at Harvard.
Matthew Gin is a third-year PhD student from San Francisco. Currently, his research focuses on architecture and landscape in 17th- and 18th- century France. He is particularly interested in gardens as storehouses of technical knowledge, the politics of representation in the context of French absolutism, and the formalized landscape’s relationship to print and material culture. 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.
Prior to Harvard, Matt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Bachelor of Music in Baroque Flute Performance from Oberlin College. He later attended the Yale School of Architecture where he earned a Master of Environmental Design in Architectural History. His master’s thesis analyzed the architectural and graphic program implemented by West Germany at the 1972 Munich Olympics as an attempt to rehabilitate the country’s international image following World War II.
Matt has also worked with the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust in Chicago on the restoration of the Robie House and as a curatorial intern in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. He is the 2013 winner of Houghton Library’s Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art.
Lisa Haber-Thomson is a fourth-year PhD student 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. 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.
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 a second-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 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's research focuses on early modern European architecture and urbanism, centering on the relationship between architectural theory and practice and the development of scientific thought, labor and commercial practices, and social and aesthetic philosophy in France, 1600-1800. He is currently the Kress Institutional Fellow at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (Paris), where he is conducting research on his dissertation, “Constructing Classicism: Theory, Practice, and the Creation of Architectural Expertise in Paris, 1670-1720.” His project considers how the regulation of architectural practice, construction, and finances came to impact the formalization of architecture as a theoretical discipline.
In additional to being a Teaching Fellow for all modules of the Buildings, Texts, Contexts sequence, he also co-taught the summer architectural history course for incoming M.Arch I students. During 2012-2013, he worked as a curatorial intern in the Division of European and American Art at the Harvard Art Museums. In 2012, he was a Pre-doctoral Resident at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, where he researched early modern European garden treatises.
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 previously presented and published work has focused on the architectural implications of the philosophies of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, and Gilles Deleuze. Bryan’s current research is on the place of architectural history in the formation of university-based architectural education in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century America. By setting architectural education within the contexts of the professionalization of practice, the formation of the university, and philosophical developments in historiography, his dissertation focuses on the key role the conceptualization of history has played in shaping the architectural discipline.
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. His most recent article “Working on a Diagonal: towards a new image of architectural history” appears in the volume Intensities and Lines of Flight: Deleuze, Guattari and the Arts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).
Melany Sun-Min Park is a first-year PhD student learning the history and theory of 20th-century architecture. Broadly, her research is concerned with how issues of patronage and politics—both private and public—bear on the production of the modern built environment. In particular, she is dedicated to expanding architectural historiography considered in the East Asian context. Melany’s intellectual interests also include monographic subjects and microhistory.
Melany holds an MDesS with Distinction from the GSD, where she was honored with the Gerald M. McCue Medal for the highest academic achievement. With the support of Harvard’s Korea Institute, she convened the colloquium “(Un)Building Colonial Korea, 1910-1945.” At the 2015 Society of Architectural Historians Conference in Chicago, she will present her paper on juche (“self-reliant”) ideology pertaining to architectural thought and implementation in late 1980s and 1990s North Korea. Her essay on biopolitics in North Korea and its concentration camps is forthcoming in the edited volume On the Spatial Epistemology of Politics.
Upon receiving her MArch from National University of Singapore, she co-edited with her advisor, Lilian Chee, Home + Bound: Narratives of Domesticity in Singapore and Beyond. Following a Hilla von Rebay internship at Guggenheim Museum, she pursued her MA studies at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Melany was a recipient of the University of Auckland Scholarship, which provided full funding for her undergraduate degree in architecture; she graduated with the New Zealand Institute of Architects Prize for the most meritorious design work.
Marianne F. Potvin is a second year PhD Student. Her research lies at the intersection of humanitarianism and urbanism; it explores how space is used, produced and represented during humanitarian crises, particularly in non-Western contexts.
Prior to joining Harvard, Marianne worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international NGOs, focusing on regions affected by armed conflicts. While in the field, she oversaw projects of water distribution for victims of violence in Iraq (2011), and managed urban rehabilitation projects for internally displaced populations and returning refugees in Afghanistan (2009-2010). In Kabul, Marianne also co-chaired the technical arm of the Emergency Shelter Cluster where she participated in reviewing shelter policies with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). She has also participated in reconstruction projects in Sudanese refugee camps on the border of Darfur (2008).
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 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, where she was awarded the Dimitris Pikionis Award for outstanding performance in her program.
Etien Santiago is an architect and PhD student researching the interconnections between aesthetics, technology, and intellectual production in early twentieth-century France. All aspects of western culture underwent significant upheaval around 1900; the French architecture of this period comprises a useful lens to reexamine how otherwise disparate-seeming practices (artistic, scientific, philosophical, and historical) pushed and pulled against one another in this context.
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) focused on 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 key 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 fifth-year PhD candidate whose dissertation "Building Truth: Architecture's New Visual Culture (1860-1910)" charts the productive utility of photography’s claim to factuality as it explored increasingly subjective qualities in late-nineteenth-century architectural publications. 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 (Ashgate, 2015) a volume he is co-editing with Paul Dobraszczyk of the University of Manchester. In April 2015 he will present a paper on casting and the persistence of indexicality in architectural practice at the SAH conference in Chicago.
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 INHA, the CAA, the SAH and the SAHANZ. His articles have appeared in Abitare, Domus and Oris.
At Harvard, Peter is a Frank Knox Fellow. For the 2014-2015 academic year, he will reside in Montréal, Canada.
Nick R. Smith is a scholar of urban transformation, policy, and planning, with an emphasis on international and community development. Using a combination of ethnography and spatial analysis, his research follows the production, circulation, and application of urban planning and policy practices over international boundaries, tracing their adaptation to distinct social, cultural, and institutional contexts and their intersection with the politics of development. He investigates their effects on specific communities, focusing on areas of instability and liminality, such as marketization, peri-urbanization, and cross-border exchange.
Over the past decade, Smith's work has investigated peri-urban China, where he has conducted extensive field research on village planning and urban-rural policy. He recently completed an ethnographic study of Hailong, a rapidly transforming village on the edge of Chongqing. His current work looks at the adaptation of international urban development practices in Shekou, Shenzhen.
Nick has taught planning theory, American planning history, and studios in both urban planning and design. His research has been published in Cities, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and the China City Planning Review. He holds an A.B. in East Asian Studies and an A.M. in Architecture. Nick will be based in Cambridge in 2014-2015.
Justin D. Stern is an urban planner and second year PhD student with a research focus on the history and theory of urban form in rapidly urbanizing regions. He is particularly interested in the intersection between spatial morphology and industrialization in cities in East and Southeast Asia and has conducted fieldwork in the Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan.
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 and Sociology 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 India, 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; Leiden University; TEDxTaipei; and the University of Hong Kong.
Adam Tanaka is a PhD student in urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). He is broadly interested in regulatory frameworks for urban 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 intervening in local processes of change.
For his undergraduate thesis at Princeton University, Adam investigated the urban development of Bucharest, Romania in the post-communist period. This prize-winning project entailed numerous site visits and interviews with local architects, planners and academics, and can be downloaded here.
Adam has also worked at the New York City Department of City Planning, contributing to a rezoning in Queens in 2013 and producing a city-wide policy study of Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) in 2014. He has also worked at the landscape architecture/urban planning firm Asakura Robinson, based in Houston, Texas.
Adam is a member of the Urban Theory Lab (UTL), a research collective based at the GSD. His work with the lab has focused on landscapes of resource extraction in the Gobi Desert, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between developments in the Gobi region and the Chinese urbanization process. A cartographic film that Adam produced for the UTL, tracing the relationship between infrastructural and territorial conditions, can be viewed here.
Adam has experience teaching both undergraduate and professional degree students at Harvard and received a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching in spring 2014 for his work in the FAS course "Designing the American City."
Marrikka Trotter, a fifth-year PhD candidate, Marrikka is researching geology in the British architectural imagination between 1750 and 1890. The rise of “geohistorical” thinking during this period created a new and deeply challenging picture of the planet as an entity with a history of its own – one that dwarfed both human history and indeed that of all life forms. In this context, Marrikka’s work seeks to interrogate what became newly possible to imagine in architectural terms once geohistorical thought emerged to challenge the primacy of human activity.
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: 2014). 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 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 a designer, researcher, and strategist who focuses on post-conflict and post-disaster rebuilding. Her scholarship develops at the intersection of Architecture, Urban Studies, Cultural Geography and Anthropology. Delia’s work is concerned with the intertwined nature of ethics, politics and space; ameliorative strategies for marginalized groups; and the value of cultural, spatial and historical perspectives in rebuilding processes. 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 is a PhD candidate at Harvard and holds degrees in Architecture (BArch), Cultural Geography (MSc) and Architectural History (MDes). She has held positions in architectural firms, with UN-Habitat/ Nairobi, and as a Lecturer at University of Edinburgh. Recent publications include essays on post-Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans (Journal of Urban Design, 2009), infrastructure and political activism (Handbook of Architectural Theory, 2012), and an avant-garde mass spectacle in 1920s Azerbaijan (Journal of Urban Design, 2012). Delia is also the co-editor of a Graham Foundation funded book, ‘On the Spatial Epistemology of Politics,’ in-progress. Delia will be in Cambridge during 2014-2015 as Graduate Fellow at the Harvard Safra Ethics Center.