Name: Carmen Martínez Fernández-Barja
Hometown: Pontevedra, Spain
Undergraduate school/major: ETSAM Polythetnic University of Madrid. architecture
What was your work experience/background before coming to the GSD?
I was an architectural intern in José Manuel Sanz Sanz studio (September/October 2010)I, in the Meijide-Marichalar studio(summer 2010), in the César Portela studio (summer 2008) and in the Gallego Jorreto studio (summer 2007).
Why did you decide to pursue urban design as a career?
During my undergraduate degree, I pursued the Landscape and Urban Design Specialty. Since then, I wanted to have a deeper understanding of Urban Design ideas from a more global and international perspective.
What made you decide to come to the GSD?
Its tray space has made the GSD the perfect place to be stimulated not only from your major but also from the other programs. Its dynamism in terms of conferences and opportunities is really interesting.
What are your main interests in urban design?
Treating all the site problems as urban opportunities in order to improve people’s lifestyle by adopting new solutions.
What was your impression of Harvard and the GSD before you came?
How has your impression changed since coming to the GSD?
It has improved a lot. I did not expect so many opportunities here.
Are you writing a thesis? What is your topic and why did you choose it?
Yes, on emigration in Buenos Aires.
What has been the most surprising aspect of the GSD?
The space of the trays and the strong teamwork roots that you develop.
What has been your favorite class or project? Why?
Neo-Mining: Reconstituting the Foothills of Beijing for Peri-Urban Growth. Beijing is supposed to be a huge challenge, in terms of landform, urban form, and culture. The studio was well lead by the instructors who let us do whatever we wanted without team exceptions. More than that, they supported our work, and I was amazed by the results.