Harvard Doctor of Design students constitute a group of select students with a great variety of research interests. The program is intended for persons who wish to enter teaching, research and advanced careers in the theory and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, urban form and technology; or the analysis and development of cities, landscapes and regions with emphasis on social, economic, ecological, transportation and infrastructural systems. Further, students may wish to conduct research in the area of digital technologies within such context.
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.
Click here for recent DDes graduates.
The goal of Nicole Beattie’s doctoral study is to identify the ways in which the design of our built environment and policymaking can facilitate humans’ vital relationship to sunlight and thus our health.
Nicole’s research covers three distinct areas: The Industrial Revolution as a historical precedent for understanding dark and densely populated communities and the important health and housing policies that emerged as a consequence of these conditions; The Modernist Movement, as the design community’s answer to these unhealthy and dark living spaces; and the Rapidly Urbanizing Centers, a contemporary example, focused in Chile, to address whether novel designs can emerge to stem the growth of unhealthy built environments in rapidly urbanizing centers.
After receiving her MArch from the University of Pennsylvania, Nicole’s interests in environmental health factors led her to medical research. She worked at NYU, examining different genetic and environmental factors in asthma incidence. In 2008, Nicole was part of a research group that traveled the Amazon River to study the infrastructural development at sites throughout the region. This research resulted in an architecture studio she taught in Quito, Ecuador in conjunction with a studio in Temuco, Chile.
Ignacio Cardona focuses his studies on creative methodologies of design research to weave together fragmented urban fabric in the cities of the Global South in order to promote social equity, particularly in areas often characterized by being highly conflictive and violent. The work intends to address issues of fragmentation, connectivity and social equity in urban environments that although very dense are nevertheless highly malleable and hold potential for effective intervention.
Ignacio is an Architect (Universidad Simón Bolívar/1998) and cum-laude Magister of Urban Design (Universidad Metropolitana/2003) and Founder of “AREPA: ARQUITECTURA ECOLOGÍA Y PAISAJE” an important Venezuelan think tank that has become a reference on urban phenomena in Latin-America, that has developed several projects with the philosophy to articulate the technical knowledge of design with felt needs of communities.
Before starting the Doctor of Design at the Harvard GSD, he developed a career as professor in the Universidad Simón Bolívar (Caracas, Venezuela) for ten years In Studios about architecture and urban design, and as advisor of more than 50 thesis of undergraduate and graduate students. Ignacio also has been Visiting Professor in the Magister of Urban Design at Universidad Metropolitana (Caracas, Venezuela), and in the Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, USA).
He has presented lectures and papers in seminars and peer-reviewed publications from cities like Barcelona, Boston, Buenos Aires, Caracas, México City, Nairobi, New York, Puebla, and Santiago; and he has won several awards including a Fellowship in Urban Design for the study of systems of streams in Caracas (BID, 2002), Honorable Mention in the “International Competition of Urban and Social Projects” (CAF, 2012) and Honorable Mention in the “Competition La Carlota – Green Park.” (Alcaldía Metropolitana, 2013).
Yujiao Chen studies building technology and sustainable urban development through computational approach. Her past research explored the sustainability in built environment across multiple scales, from building component and building to neighborhood, city and region. In particular, her research interests include natural ventilation, indoor air quality, daylighting, high-performance building, net-zero energy building, rainwater management, and so on. She is skilled at building performance simulation, data analysis, data visualization, and software development. Her recent papers have been published in Journal of Environmental Management, Applied Energy, Environment International, Building and Environment, Building Simulation, and have been presented at IBPSA Building Simulation Conference. Her contribution of green building studies has been included in the State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 report by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Before entering the DDes program, Yujiao worked as a research associate at Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities for two years. She also worked as a research assistant at GSD Building Energy and Simulation Lab, and PennDesign T. C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy studies. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Zhejiang University, a Master in Environmental Building Design degree from University of Pennsylvania, and a Master in Design Studies with concentration in Energy and Environments from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Mike Chieffalo is a doctoral student, architect, and former planning commissioner. His research focuses on processes of agrarian urbanization, socio-environmental dimensions of factory farming, and the diverse built environments of industrial agriculture. Interdisciplinary by necessity, this work draws from theoretical perspectives in critical urban theory, agrarian studies, urban history, and environmental history. In the broadest terms, Mike is interested in this bundled set of agro-urban relations to better understand both the historical relation between cities and zones of agricultural production, and the rationales driving transformations in agricultural landscapes under contemporary processes of urbanization.
Holding a B.Arch from Roger Williams University, a post-professional M.S. in architecture from Columbia University, and an Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology focused MDes (Distinction) from Harvard, Mike has extensive academic training in architecture and urban social sciences. He is also an experienced architect in practice with high-level involvement across many project types, most recently serving as Project Architect for 10 commuter rail stations along a new commuter rail line. In addition to his professional experience, Mike served as a Planning Commissioner in Norwalk, CT from 2009-2012. He was previously a Research Assistant in the Urban Theory Lab GSD, and will be a Teaching Assistant in the inaugural design studio for the Master in Design Engineering program.
Somayeh Chitchian is an architect, urban researcher and a doctoral student at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. She is also a doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany. Her research focuses on the urban geography of immigration. Her work lies at the intersection of critical urban theory and migration studies, and explores the reciprocal relationship between processes of urbanization, changing geographies of urban governance, and spatialities and institutional terrains of migration. Moving beyond the inherent ‘city’-centric and ethno-centric focus in migration research, Chitchian’s work seeks to reconceptualize the object of migration studies’ analysis in the context of contemporary urban forms of geo-economic and geo-political interscalar restructuring, and aims at opening up new cartographic and representational tools and techniques for geographic analysis. Her research “Middle Eastern Immigration Landscape in America” won Harvard ESRI Development Center Student of the Year Award in 2014.
Chitchian, a Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Fellow, is a trained architect from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She also holds a Master in Design Studies degree in Critical Conservation (distinction) from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her thesis was titled “Other[ed] City: (Re)presentation of Muslim Identities in Contemporary Urban West”, which she has presented at conferences in Northeastern University (Migration, Mobility, and Movements, March ’13) and Harvard Divinity School (Ways of Knowing, October ’13). During her years in the Netherlands, she practiced as an architect at several firms in both Amsterdam and The Hague, where she collaborated on various residential and cultural projects, as well as the design of advanced building envelopes.
Daniel Daou is a licensed architect by the Universidad Iberoamericana from where he graduated top of his class in 2006. In the same year, he was awarded as fellow of the National Fund for Culture and Arts and was a visiting scholar at SCIArc’s advanced masters program. From 2006 to 2008, he was teaching faculty at the Universidad Iberoamericana and Unit Chief at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Mexico City. In 2008, with the support from the Fulbright-García Robles he was admitted to MIT where he obtained a Master in City Planning, a Master in Science of Architecture Studies, and an Urban Design Certificate.
Daniel enrolled as a Doctor of Design student in 2011 with the support of a fellowship from the National Council for Science and Technology. Under the title of Synthetic Ecology, his research grapples with the multitude of ecological positions—from the philosophy of ecology to ecological economics and from ecological marxism to urban political ecology—and their relationship with the design disciplines vis-à-vis the current climate of social and environmental urgency.
Since 2005, Daniel writes about design topics for a broad audience in magazines such as Fahrenheit, Arquine, and Domus. His academic papers have been published by MIT’s Thresholds and UVA’s Lunch design journals. He is currently member of the editorial board of the New Geographies Journal, editorial adviser for Domus Mexico, and a fellow of the Energy Consortium at Harvard University Center for the Environment.
Ali Fard is a designer, researcher, and educator. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and an editor of the New Geographies journal. He is the co-director of Op.N, a design and research office based in Toronto and Boston, and a research associate at the Urban Theory Lab at Harvard GSD. Ali has held teaching positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and University of Waterloo where he is a lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism. Ali’s current research investigates the operational landscapes of connectivity, the urban/spatial disposition of information and communication technologies, and the urbanization of cloud computing. His research and design work have appeared in MONU, MAS Context, Bracket, Azure, and Harvard Design Magazine. Ali is the co-editor of New Geographies 7: Geographies of Information. (HUP, 2015) Prior to the GSD Ali received a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) from University of Toronto.
Wendy W. Fok, trained as an architect, is the creative director/founder of WE-DESIGNS, LLC (Architecture/Creative Strategy) and Resilient Modular Systems, PBC (Socially Missioned Venture). She is the winner of the Autodesk AiR Fellowship (2016), Young CAADRIA Award (2015), Digital Kluge Fellowship awarded by the Library of Congress (2014/15), the Art Director’s Club of New York’s ADC Young Guns 11 Award (2013), AIA (American Institute of Architects) Dallas “Express Yourself” Women in Architecture Award (2013), and selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011) and the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009). Fok has a Master of Architecture and Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Concentration in Economics (Statistics) from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Along with her practice, Fok is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design Strategies (SDS) commencing this Fall 2016, and completing her Doctor of Design (expected 2016) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In parallel with her doctoral research, Fok is involved as a Teaching Fellow for CopyrightX, under the guidance of Prof William “Terry” Fisher of the Harvard Law School, and a pioneer in the Digital Problem Solving Initiative (DPSI) with Peter Suber at the Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Her doctoral research is an investigative approach between intellectual property issues of ownership/authorship of digital/real property in computational innovation, and ethical/equitable application of technical methods within open innovation, digital fabrication, and commodisation for the built environment. Fok has also been invited to several Architectural Association (AA) Visiting Schools, SXSW Interactive, among other prestigious design workshops internationally.
Yun Fu is an architect and doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School Design. His dissertation, tentatively titled “In What Style Should We Rebuild,” looks at the persistent problem of post-earthquake reconstruction, aiming to identify, understand and categorize emerging design approaches; tracing them back to different conceptions of the problem, and forward to the aesthetics of distinct architectural and urban forms.
Yun has worked at Foster+Partners in London, ZAO/standardarchitecture in Beijing and Facet Studio in Sydney. He has been a guest critic and teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of New South Wales. As part of Prof. Peter G. Rowe’s research team, he was involved in the publications China’s Urban Communities: Concepts, Contexts and Well-Being (Birkhauser, 2016) and Urban Intensities: Contemporary Housing Types and Territories (Birkhauser, 2014).
Yun received his Master of Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He also holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with distinction from the University of New South Wales, earning the AIA Undergraduate Degree Design Prize, the Dean’s Award for highest academic achievement, and the Eric Daniels Prize for Residential Design.
Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo Lopez is an architect, computational designer and educator. He advocates for a future where programming and code are tools as natural to designers as paper and pencil. In his work, he explores creative opportunities at the intersection of design, technology, fabrication, data and art. His current research focuses on the development of digital frameworks that help democratize access to technologically complex environments.
Jose Luis is a registered architect, and holds a Master in Architectural Technological Innovation from Universidad de Sevilla and a Master of Design Studies in Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he is currently pursuing his Doctor of Design degree. He has worked as a structural consultant for several international firms, such as OMA, Mecanoo, and Cesar Pelli, as well as data visualization architect at Fathom Information Design. He is also the co-founder of ParametricCamp, an international organization whose mission is to spread the knowledge of computational design among designers and architects.
Mariano Gomez Luque is an architect from Argentina, where he graduated with honors. As a Fulbright Fellow, he graduated with Distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design (2013), where he received both the James Templeton Kelley Prize for Best Final Design Project and the Kevin Kieran Prize for Highest Academic Achievement. He is also the recipient of the Dean’s Merit Award.
Mariano has worked on several competitions and projects, and a spectrum of different research artifacts. He is also one of the authors of “Horizon House”, an experimental project built in Japan by a GSD Team, after winning the First Prize in the Next Generation Sustainable House in Taiki-Cho International Competition. Currently a DDes student at Harvard GSD, he is a researcher at the Urban Theory Lab and the Office for Urbanization, and co-editor of the New Geographies journal. His work is concerned with the complex relations between architecture and the forces of planetary urbanization that creatively destroy the built environment under contemporary capitalism.
Saira Hashmi is currently pursuing a Doctor of Design degree at the GSD. Her research focuses on designing an optimal water infrastructure model for sustainable cities that embodies culture and the environment with a focus in the MENA region—test case is Abu Dhabi region, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
She is developing a model that will help in maximizing reuse of water sources, minimizing the water consumption by investing in an appropriate and efficient set of water saving technologies within the city along with unconventional water resources. This will include the quality of water received from desalination plants along with environmental, social, economic and political constraints and policies. The proposed model will help in pricing water and in the evaluation of future water demands.
Saira holds a BSc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and she received her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Harvard University. She has extensive teaching experience and has received numerous teaching fellowships from various graduate schools at Harvard, including the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Design, among others. She organized the 2011 water sustainability workshop with Professor Steve Caton that focused on the current global water crisis.
Yujie Hong (MDes Tech’16) studies Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Design. Before Harvard, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Computer Applications and Industrial Design, China.
Yujie’s research goal is to seamlessly integrate technology into people’s work and life by designing intuitive and emotional interactive experience. Some of her previous projects are interactive prototypes related to Virtual/Augmented Reality, Games, Architecture, Children Education, Wearable Technology, and Food.
Yujie’s ongoing research is about Exploring Virtual Reality as An Architectural Experience Design Tool. From an interaction designer’s angle, she perceives VR/AR as a future 3D user interface in our space/built environment. From the perspective of architectural design, she believes that VR/AR technology will revolutionize the ways that architects design buildings (interiors, openings, lighting…) and that people experience the space.
Vaughn Horn is a fourth-year Doctor of Design student. His research deals with the spatial and social dimensions of adaptive reuse as a form of housing production. Throughout his career, Vaughn has held memberships in the American Institute of Architects and serves as the Vice President of the Boston Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. He is LEED Accredited, NCARB Certified, licensed in California. He is the founding president of Vaughn Horn Design LLC in 2008, Vaughn Horn Architecture in 2012, and megaobjekt in 2016. The breadth of his experience includes stadia, K-12 educational buildings, retail, and multi-family residential and adaptive reuse. Currently, Vaughn is Faculty and Director of Special Projects at Boston Architectural College. In 2002, he earned his B-Arch degree from the University of Southern California. He then earned an M-Arch degree from Syracuse University in 2005. Vaughn’s research expertise includes the social impact of urban design, distressed property rehabilitation, and equitable development within neighborhoods in decline. As an educator, he earned Educator of the Year by the American Institute of Architecture Students, bestowed at the AIAS FORUM while serving as Tenure Track professor at Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Xiaokai Huang is a doctoral student in urban and real estate studies at Harvard. His research concerns the field of real estate development and urban development under China’s transitioning economy. In particular, he explores the role of state-owned enterprises in the real estate development sector and their impacts on urbanization from the perspective of political economy. Related fields cover public-private partnerships and real estate finance.
Kristen Hunter‘s research concerns innovative public‑private financing mechanisms to stimulate urban regeneration and economic development. Additional interests include sustainable urbanism, institutional and non-profit development, and socially responsible investment.
An experienced development manager and LEED AP, Kristen currently provides strategic consulting for complex urban development projects in domestic and overseas markets. She authored a series of case studies on best practices in the delivery of federal construction projects for the U.S. General Services Administration Public Buildings Service, where she served as an Assistant Instructor at the agency’s semi-annual academy.
Since 2010 she has taught Real Estate Development and Finance, as well as Public and Private Development, at the GSD. She was the recipient of the 2012‑2013 GSD Student Forum Teaching Fellow Award. As an extension of her teaching, Kristen advises student teams participating in a variety of regional and national urban development competitions.
Kristen received a master’s degree with distinction in Real Estate and Project Management from the GSD, earning the Gerald M. McCue Medal for highest overall academic record and the Ferdinand Colleredo‑Mansfeld Prize for superior achievement in real estate studies. She also holds an M.A. in Medieval Chinese History from Cornell University and an A.B. cum laude in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.
Daniel Ibanez is a licensed architect and urban designer who received his Masters of Architecture from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid in 2007. In addition, he holds a Master in Advance Architecture from the Institute for Advance Architecture of Catalunya. In 2012, he completed a Masters in Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design as a fellow and Fulbright Scholar of the Fundación La Caixa, where he was awarded the Dimitris Pikionis Award for best academic performance in his program.
At the GSD, Daniel is Doctor of Design candidate and instructor, member of the editorial board of New Geographies journal and researcher at the Urban Theory Lab (www.urbantheorylab.net). His research, critically examines to frame the design disciplines in relation to broader socio-ecological interdependencies through cross disciplinary research on the field of urban metabolism. Connected with his research, Daniel has organized the conference on Projective Views on Urban Metabolism (Harvard GSD, 2014) and Wood Urbanism: From the Molecular to the Territorial (Harvard GSD, 2014). He is co-editor in chief of New Geographies 06: Grounding Metabolism (HUP, 2014), co-editor Thermodynamics Applied to High-Rise and Mix-Use Prototypes (Harvard GSD, 2013), co-editor Third Coast Atlas: Prelude to a Plan (Actar, 2016) and the forthcoming publication Wood Urbanism: From the Molecular to the Territorial (Actar, 2017). Besides the academic work, Daniel directs the design firm Margen-Lab (www.margen-lab.com).
Aleksandra Jaeschke is an architect and a doctoral candidate. Her interests range from issues of broadly-conceived sustainability and integrated performance in architecture, to system-based design processes as a means to achieve synthesis between spatial and ecological innovation. Her DDes research investigates the relationship between the building code system and the environmental impact of home-building.
Aleksandra is co-founder of the architectural studio AION/www.a-i-o-n.com, and she holds a professional license in Italy. She received her AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London in 2005. Aleksandra is the recipient of the Europe 40 Under 40 Award for 2011 conferred by the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design & Urban Studies and Chicago Athenaeum. In line with her professional work, she has managed numerous design workshops and contributed to various publications, amongst them: the AD issue “Versatility & Vicissitude”, “Cupole per Abitare” and “Parametrico Nostrano.” Together with AION, she participated in the “27/37 Exhibition of Young Italian Architecture” at the Italian Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010, and was part of the “ARCHITEKTUR!” conference series held at the MAXXI Museum in Rome in 2012. In 2013 AION held a solo exhibition “Eco-Machines” in the Wroclaw Museum of Architecture in Poland.
Aleksandra is one of the 2014 Kosciuszko Foundation Fellows. As part of the DDes program, she served as a Teaching Fellow in the Theories of Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology (2014), Media as Method (2015), and Construction Systems (2015) courses. In 2015, she coordinated the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Housing Research and Prototype Design Project hosted by the GSD Environments & Design Research Lab. She also co-organized the 2016 DDes Conference #decoding, which investigated the impact of codes in mapping of environments, demarcation of legal territories, operational protocols of logistics and control of built environment. In Fall 2016, Aleksandra will be teaching a core design studio in the Master of Architecture program at Woodbury, Los Angeles.
Ghazal Jafari is a designer, researcher, and cofounder of OPN, an undisciplinary collective crossing geography, media, time and territory. She is currently a Doctor of Design candidate and a teaching fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Ghazal is an Aga Khan student, as well as a research fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, a member of the Urban Theory Lab, and a coeditor of New Geographies Journal. Ghazal’s current research is concerned with logistics as logic of organization, and as a lens for investigating the significance of land in hyper-contingent and uncertain markets and geographies. Ghazal’s previous projects are invested in the landscape of infrastructural systems at multiple scales, altitudes, and across borders; also the challenges/opportunities brought with migrating climatic and economies zones. The geographic context of these projects range from emerging oceanic economies to submerging coastlines. Her writings and projects has been exhibited in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and Montreal, and has been published/featured in Volume, Harvard Design Magazine, Azure, MONU, and Domus, among others.
Seung Kyum is a licensed landscape architect and LEED accredited professional, currently in the Doctor of Design program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His current research examines the economic effects of environmental policies and strategies according to different urban growth patterns from a comparative international perspective.
Seung Kyum holds a Master degree in Design Studies, Risk and Resilience concentration, from Harvard University. Before his post-professional degree, he practiced in various fields from planning and design to policy and administration, in private and public sectors both in the United States and South Korea. His previous work as a director of international cooperation on mega infrastructural projects. These experiences expanded his interests in understanding the current challenges facing the design practices in risk management, particularly the interplay between politics, resilience and infrastructure development. He has organized several summit-level inter-governmental meetings and various international conferences related in water and disaster, for which he received the President’s Award from the President of the Republic of Korea for his outstanding contribution in urban resilience and economic development dealing with flood management and drought mitigation.
Miguel Lopez Melendez is an architect interested in the cultural values of design as well as its tangible and intangible dimension. His research questions the tendency to relegate the study of architectural form to its operative physical scale rather than as an evolving diagram of social, economic, and political processes which rule the development of urbanization.
Miguel holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico) and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before coming to Harvard, he worked in FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, TEN Arquitectos of Enrique Norten and Tecnologico de Monterrey, where he collaborated as Design Studio Instructor for two years. At Harvard, he has worked in Research projects such as the Housing Surplus Project (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Topaz Project (Monterrey, Mexico) and A Sustainable Future for EXUMA (Bahamas). Besides working on his doctoral research, he works as Research Assistant for the Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.
Yingying Lu’s research interests cover sustainable urban design, in particular, the interplay of urban form, environmental comfort and resource efficiency. Current research focus is exploration of sustainable urban forms in China for enhanced environmental comfort and resource efficiency through the application of simulation workflows. She is participating an ongoing project Health and Places Initiative Neighborhoods Research led by Professor Peter Rowe and Professor Ann Forsyth. Besides, she worked as a Research Associate in Professor Peter Rowe’s Lab from 2013 to 2014, exploring techniques on the spatial analysis of urban formation, temporal and spatial shifts in population, and transportation accessibility, and studying urban typologies with methods of environmental analysis. She also co-founded Harvard East Asia Urban Forum as an academic platform inviting distinguished scholars and professionals to discuss urban issues and facilitate collaborations.
Yingying studied in the GSD’s MDes program with a concentration in Energy and Environments from 2011 to 2013. Before coming to Harvard, she received her Master of Engineering from Tsinghua University. Courses focused on architecture and urban planning. Her thesis “Study on Passive Strategies in the Green Design of ‘Western New City’ Service Center in Tianjin” was awarded Outstanding Master’s Thesis of Tsinghua University in 2010. She received her Bachelor of Engineering from North China University of Technology majoring in Electrical Engineering. She worked at Tsinghua Urban Planning and Design Institute, COX Architecture and Chinese Academy of Science Institute of Automation in Beijing.
Sarah Norman’s doctoral work studies self-actuated forms and systems, with particular interest in geometries exhibiting ranges of transformations; explored through additive 3D printing processes in multiple materials and robotics. In research at Harvard, she currently collaborates with Martin Bechthold and the Materials Processes and Systems Group (MaP+S) at the GSD; and James Weaver at the Wyss Institute for Biological Engineering.
With over ten years of experience as an interdisciplinary designer on civic, cultural, institutional and infrastructural projects, Sarah formerly worked in New York with Rafael Viñoly Architects, Schlaich Bergermann Partner and Santiago Calatrava. Her international projects include complex facades, grid shells, membrane structures, pedestrian bridges, slender spires and various complex/special structures.
Having taught most recently at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) as a visiting fellow, Sarah has also taught design studios and technology/theory courses at Parsons School of Design, The New School, and University of Michigan. She has also been an invited visiting critic for reviews at Columbia University, University of Virginia, Pratt Institute and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
In addition to currently working towards her DDes degree, Sarah also earned her MArch I from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), an MFA in Product Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and undergraduate degree concentrations in studio art, art history, journalism and photography.
Pablo Pérez-Ramos is a licensed architect and landscape architect. He received a Master in Architecture and a Master of Advanced Studies from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Currently he is visiting assistant professor in the Urban Landscape Program at the Northeastern University School of Architecture.
At the GSD, he is a Doctor of Design candidate, instructor in the landscape architecture core studio sequence, member of the editorial board of the New Geographies journal, and co-editor-in-chief of New Geographies 08: Island (HUP, 2016). His work at the GSD has been supported by several fellowships, including the GSD Dean’s Merit, the Fundación Caja Madrid, the Fundación La Caixa, and the Harvard RCC, and has been published in A Line in the Andes (Harvard GSD, 2012), MONU#20 (2014), Urban Landscape (Routledge, 2015) and Architecture is All Over (Actar, 2016), among others.
As a DDes candidate, his research focuses on the mediation between theories of ecology and theories of landscape design. Departing from the prevalence of process oriented discourses in today’s landscape architecture, his dissertation discusses the translation of ecological ideas into formal design thinking, and illustrates this theoretical mediation through a series of cultural landscape formations and landscape design exercises. By examining systems, phases and patterns as central ideas in both the philosophy of ecology and the contemporary theory of landscape architecture, his work offers a consideration of landscape form as an epistemology of ecology.
Carolina San Miguel is a licensed freelance architect, urbanist and designer. She holds a BA in Architecture & Urbanism from Instituto Metodista Izabela Hendrix, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2003). She has a Master´s degree in Strategic Design, from IED São Paulo, Brazil (2007). After some time working in Basel, she completed her Advanced Master´s degree in Architecture, Specialization in Housing, with emphasis in Ecological Regional Urban Planning, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, Switzerland (2010).
In between Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Basel, Serra do Cipó, Oslo, Zurich and now Cambridge, she has been working within different fields of the design process, ranging from Interior to Ecological Urban Design projects, with professional and research experiences in the areas of Architecture, Housing, Urban Design and Regional Urban Planning, Sustainable Tourism, Construction, Interior Design and related areas.
She runs her own office that focuses on Design in Housing, connected to Ecological Urban Planning and kids in situation of risk. As a former Professor in three universities in Brazil, she is mainly interested in how vulnerable situations of social and environmental risk appear and the effects of this in urban cores and nature. She is a doctoral student at the GSD, with a full scholarship from brazilian government through the Science without Borders Program, investigating, among other fields, on how to reverse processes of environmental damage of natural areas neighboring urban vulnerable communities, creating new sets of balance between the natural and built environment, through new geographies, social psychology, and urban ecology.
Julia Smachylo’s doctoral work looks at how cities are tied to their surrounding hinterlands, investigating how the operationalization of these landscapes have/are leading to specific forms of urban development. At Harvard she is a member of the Urban Theory Lab, and is engaged in a Secondary Field degree in Critical Media Practice, which integrates media production into her academic work. Using film as a method of investigation, her recent work focus on woodland areas in the province of Ontario, Canada, documenting forests and forest products at multiple spatial scales to reveal the extent to which these landscapes are tied to the social, economic and political histories of production and conservation within the region.
Before coming to Harvard, Julia worked in planning, and urban design offices in London and Toronto. She has participated in a summer residency at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA), and was deputy curator of the Canadian exhibition at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture entitled Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 with Lateral Office. She has experience teaching studio and core courses at both Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo.
Jihoon Song is a doctoral candidate in urban planning with an architectural background, whose research interests encompass various social and environmental issues related to the making of livable and sustainable cities. His research seeks to better understand interaction between spatial environments and people, with implications for urban policies enhancing social justice, environmental sustainability and healthy living.
Among his specific research topics are urban regeneration, mixed-use and open space planning. Working as a research assistant at the GSD, Jihoon participated in the publication of Cheonggyecheon: The City and the Stream (2010) which analyzed social and environmental impacts of the Cheonggye stream restoration project in Seoul. He also co-authored a paper examining the relationship between commercial use and residential property values for the 2013 AESOP-ACSP conference. He is currently working on a dissertation that investigates environmental factors that influence pattern and volume of open space visitation in Tokyo.
His interests in research methods have led to creative and precise applications of quantitative spatial analysis based on GIS and statistical tools. His dissertation deals with emerging data gathering and analysis techniques, including remotely-sensed imagery and massive GPS data, and ponders the potential and limitations of those techniques to answer important planning questions.
Jihoon holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Seoul National University and a master’s degree in architecture and urban design (MAUD) from Harvard University. He has been fully supported by the Samsung Scholarship since 2008. He practiced architecture at Heerim Architects and taught courses on architectural design and history at Bucheon University in Korea. He also served as a short term consultant for the World Bank, analyzing and suggesting strategy for urban growth in Afghanistan. Currently, he is a cooperative researcher at the Center for Spatial Information Science in the University of Tokyo.
Lara Tomholt studies the design of future smart homes to increase efficiency and sustainability. She focuses her research on robotics in the home to create a ‘living machine’ with modern day technologies. She views the future smart home as one robot entity that becomes responsive, adaptive and interactive. Lara holds a BSc and MSc degree in Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences from Delft University of Technology and studied a semester at Polytechnic University of Milan. She participated in multiple projects of The Why Factory (part of MVRDV and led by Winy Maas), a think-tank that researches architectural futures. She worked as an intern at Benthem Crouwel Architects, after which her research and data visualization on passenger flows at railway stations was presented at IABR in 2014. Her work consists of a wide range of visionary designs and design tools based on diverse issues and developments in the world: from the design of a city that could provide food for one million inhabitants to the means that could significantly reduce travel time in the city. In her projects she brings research into the world of architecture and urbanism and shows an interest in data visualization to support designs.
Guy Trangoš is a professional architect and urban researcher. His work explores a range of urban concerns with particular focus on cities of the global south. This includes public space, transportation, urban form, and processes of urban change and socio-economic marginalization. He has explored these themes through exhibitions, journal articles, media articles, book contributions, and his own book Movement Johannesburg co-edited with Zahira Asmal (2015).
Guy holds a MSc. in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Master of Architecture (Professional) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Before coming to Harvard, Guy worked as a researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, a researcher at LSE Cities, a sessional lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, and a guest lecturer and critic at numerous other institutions. In 2011 he was selected to participate in the Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s International Curatorial Course.
In parallel to his research, Guy remains a very active designer. He has been involved in a number of architectural projects and competitions, from the Freedom Park Museum in Pretoria while at Mashabane Rose Architects, to strategizing small-scale interventions in underserviced urban environments while at 26’10 south Architects. His graphic design portfolio is also extensive, with competition-winning work, document and exhibition designs, and website overhauls.
Juan Pablo Ugarte is a second-year DDes student. He holds an Architecture degree from Universidad Católica de Chile, and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard GSD. His research interests include Human Augmentation, Human-Robot Interaction, and the relationship between digital technologies and crafts. As a DDes student, Juan Pablo is examining the production of wearable robots that enhance our ability to conceive and fabricate artifacts, and developing a theoretical framework to understand Digital Design and Fabrication from the perspective of Human Augmentation and Transhumanism.
Hanne van den Berg is an urban planner and designer specialized in urban resilience, adaptation to climate change, participatory planning and (urban) decision-making processes and tools. In her research at the GSD, Hanne studies holistic, adaptive and participatory approaches to urban (climate) resilience with the objective to mainstream (climate) resilience into urban pro-poor development planning. Specifically, she is interested in the challenges and opportunities of local government leadership and governance; and the potential role and relevance of the design profession in urban resilience building.
Before coming to Harvard, Hanne worked as researcher/advisor at the Dutch applied research institute of Deltares, where she has been involved in the development of climate adaptation and urban resilience strategies and tools for a.o. the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Mexico and the United States. In the past two years she was based in Singapore to strengthen Deltares´ knowledge alliance with the National University of Singapore in the fields of High Density Living, Adaptation to Climate Change and Urban Water Management. She was also a visiting lecturer and studio teacher at Delft University of Technology and has worked for architecture and urban design offices in the Netherlands and the UK.
Hanne holds an MSc degree in Urban Planning and Design from Delft University of Technology (cum laude), an MA and BA degree in Architecture from the University of Cambridge (Honours) and a BSc in Natural Sciences from University College Utrecht (summa cum laude).
Bing Wang is a Doctor Student in Design Studies at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, as well as a research assistant in Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. His research interest falls in environment simulation technologies and its application in design. Bing’s work includes development of design toolkit to achieve fast and valid evaluation of building performance, as well as design optimization methodology based on building performance given by computational simulation technologies. He believes that the idea of climate adaption and building performance will form a new design methodology with the help of simulation technologies.
Bing Wang holds a master’s degree in Design Studies in Energy and Environment from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a bachelors degree of engineering from Tisnghua University in China. He worked as an environmental design consultant for several companies and most recently in Transsolar, Stuttgart, Germnay. His professional experience also includes teaching and research assistance in Harvard University Graduate School of Design as well as in Tsinghua University. His previous work was published in peer-reviewed journals as well as presented in international conferences.
Jung Hyun Woo is an architect, urban designer, and doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is interested in the research topic related to infrastructure, logistics, social, and economies associated with coastal areas. Her research focuses on an understanding of the limitations and potentials for the future direction of sustainable urban growth and examines more speculative models for urban renewal in Asian coastal cities.
Jung Hyun holds a master’s degree in Urbanism Landscape Ecology concentration from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has a Master of Architecture from the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Along with her practice, she worked at Relational Urbanism Office in London, MVRDV in Rotterdam, and SIAPLAN in Seoul. She was invited as a guest critic and lectured in USA, the Netherlands and South Korea (Taliesin, the Berlage Institute, Ewha Womans University, Daelim University). She was teaching for an urban design core studio at the Berlage Institute in Delft (2012/13). She has been a teaching associate and research assistant at the Harvard GSD. She works as an urban design and research consultant for a transportation and public infrastructure studio at Perkins Eastman, NY. Her research and design works have appeared in Kerb Journal 23: Digital Landscapes (RMIT University, 2016), the Green Line (NY Daily News, 2016), Bio Digital City – Tomorrow’s Seoul (Seoul foundation for Arts and Culture, 2015), The Vertical Village (MVRDV, NAI Publishers & Equalbooks, 2012), and Sketches for a National National History Museum (SUN Publishers, 2011).
Longfeng Wu is interested in the ecological and social services of green space in contemporary urbanization in the developing world. Particularly, his research discusses how the spatial distribution and formation of urban-rural green space effect its ecological as well as socioeconomic contributions during the rapid urban expansion in Beijing metropolitan area. Relying on data construction and consumption from various sources with the support of GIS techniques and quantitative analysis tools, Longfeng is targeting a more efficient planning approach to improve the performance of the future urban-rural green spaces.
Longfeng holds a Master in Design Studies concentrated in Urbanism Landscape Ecology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research has been granted by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard Asia Center, the Penny White Fund, and Harvard Center for Geographical Analysis. He also received scholarship from China Scholarship Council for the doctoral study.
Before the GSD, he received a Bachelor of Engineering in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Engineering in Urban Planning from Beijing Forestry University. He has been involved in various scales of landscape design and planning projects closely working with several renowned landscape architects in China.
Dingliang Yang is an architect and urban designer from China. He received his Master of Architecture in Urban Design Degree with distinction at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he was awarded Urban Planning and Design Thesis Prize and Paul M. Heffernan Fellowship. He also holds a bachelor’s degree of architecture with highest honor of Chu Kochen Medal from Zhejiang University in China.
At the GSD, Yang is a second-year DDes student, teaching fellow in Optional Studio and Grid Seminar. He is the co-author of Shanghai Regeneration: Five Paradigms (AR+D, 2016) and co-editor of Hangzhou: Grids from Canal to Maxi-Block (AR+D, 2016). His most recent writings are included in EL Croquis, Mechanics in Engineering, Taiqian: The Countryside as a City (Harvard GSD, 2015), Cities and Urban Plans in the 21st Century (AMB, 2014), Xiamen: The Megaplot (Harvard GSD, 2013). Besides the academic work, Yang is the founding partner of Preliminary Research Office: PRO, conducting practices at different scales both in US and China. His design works have been widely published and exhibited, including Venice Biennale, Beijing International Art Biennale, Beijing Design Week and China International Architectural Decoration and Design Art Fair.
Arta Yazdanseta is a LEED certified architect and is currently a Doctor of Design student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is a research assistant at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC) where she is investigating the thermal impact of green walls on building energy performance. Her research explores the intersection between design, building science, and plant biophysical ecology and emphasizes coupling building energy performance with vertical vegetative surfaces through design strategies.
Arta received her Masters of Design (MDes) in Energy and Environment in Design from the GSD and her professional architectural degree (with Honors) from the Pratt Institute. Her work experience includes both large scale master plans and small residential projects. She has worked with numerous well known design firms such as SHoP Architects and hMa. She founded her architectural design studio, LINX Architecture, in 2008 while serving as a visiting instructor at the Pratt Institute.
During her tenure at the Pratt Institute, Arta created and developed the Institute’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) department, designing and teaching two BIM courses as well as overseeing the creation of the BIM lab itself. She also served as a lecturer in several other courses, including Professional Practice.
Arta’s team was the first prize winner of the 2012 IBPSA Student Competition Award in Chambery, France, and her master’s thesis,Radiative Cooling Roof Systems, was a winner of the Harvard Sustainability Grant. She is a recipient of the Circle Award Fellowship and was an AIA Women’s Architectural Auxiliary Eleanor Allwork Scholar. Her work has been displayed at the New York Chapter of the AIA and has been published in Metropolis magazine.
Nari Yoon’s cross-disciplinary design research involves high performance, urban airflow, building energy simulation (BES) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Her doctoral study tries to find efficient and effective ways of evaluating indoor and outdoor environments to help designers better create living spaces by utilizing computational tools.
Her academic and professional interests range from architectural design to engineering for design, as she has accumulated various experiences from design and engineering firms. Before attending the DDes program, she worked as a building performance analyst and CFD engineer at Cradle North America where she performed independent studies on CFD simulations and provided technical support for the CFD users. Her recent study about BIM-integrated CFD demonstrated the potential for applying CFD to design phases. She also held several workshops and lectures about the applications of CFD for buildings at professional conferences and academic institutions.
Nari holds a Master in Design Studies, (MDes) in Sustainable Design (now called MDes Energy and Environments) from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a B.Arch from Hongik University in Korea.
Jeongmin Yu is a doctoral candidate with research interests in informal settlements in highly developed East Asian cities. Focusing on the period from the 1940s to the present, her study explores the various forms and histories of informal settlements, with a particular focus on rooftop housing. Rooftop housing, which in most instances are illegally built and inhabited, is a common occurrence throughout East Asian cities. Jeongmin’s research will explore its architectural typology, current demographics, relation to formal housing, role in society, and its future with the potential developments on the local and regional level.
Previously, Jeongmin worked at the Architecture & Urban Research Institute (AURI) in Korea and at the NYC Department of City Planning in the Urban Design Department. At AURI, she worked on an affordable housing project under South Korea’s Park administration (2013-2018), and constructed a database for Han-Ok (traditional Korean housing) remodeling. She was a teaching fellow and a guest critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Korea University.
Jeongmin holds a BA in Architecture from Columbia and a MLA from the GSD. Her master’s thesis proposed ways to improve the vulnerable housing and infrastructure in South Korea’s Daldongnaes (informal settlement areas). The project explored ways to minimize the residents’ inconvenience throughout the upgrade process, preserve the site’s local fabric, and promote a heightened sense of community.
Jingyi Zhang is a doctoral candidate with research field in real estate and land economics. She studies the impact of mixed land use and urban amenities on residential housing prices. Her other research interests include infrastructure finance, public-private partnership and real estate investment. Jingyi is the recipient of Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies John Meyer Dissertation Fellowship 2015-2016.
Prior to attending the Harvard GSD, Jingyi worked at the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Department in Washington DC for two years. She worked on research and operations in the regions of East Asia, Latin America and Africa covering a wide range of fields of land value capturing of urban rail, land development strategies for Special Economic Zones, tourism promotion through cultural heritage protection and urban regeneration, small town urbanization and municipal finance. Jingyi also worked in real estate investment with institutional investors including sovereign wealth fund, pension and endowment funds. In Cambridge, Jingyi worked as a research assistant and a teaching fellow for real estate finance and development courses at the GSD and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Jingyi holds a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from Peking University with a double major in Economics and Spanish.