Delia Wendel is a designer, researcher, and strategist who focuses on post-conflict and post-disaster rebuilding. Her scholarship develops from the cross-pollination of Architecture, Urban Studies, Cultural Geography and Anthropology. At these intersections Delia highlights the intertwined nature of ethics, politics and space; focuses on ameliorative strategies for marginalized groups; and substantiates the value of cultural, spatial and historical perspectives in post-conflict and post-disaster repair. Current writing builds from ethnographic and historical research in Rwanda, and examines how State peacebuilding objectives are realized and challenged in the rebuilding of settlements, housing, and civic spaces after the 1994 genocide. This research explores the relationships between spatial and sociopolitical rebuilding embedded within: memorial landscapes and buildings, rural settlement planning, architectural aesthetics and politics, and the parallels between actual and imagined spaces of conflict and peace.
Delia holds degrees in Architecture (BArch, Rice University), Cultural Geography (MSc, University College London) and Architectural History and Theory (MDesS, Harvard GSD). She is a PhD candidate at Harvard GSD. Previously, Delia ran her own architecture practice in Virginia (from 2000), held a tenure-track Lecturer position at the University of Edinburgh (2008-2011), and worked for UNHABITAT Nairobi as a researcher (2009). She has published essays on post-Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans (Journal of Urban Design, 2009) on architecture, infrastructure and political activism (The Handbook of Architectural Theory, 2012), and on an avant-garde mass spectacle in 1920s Azerbaijan (Journal of Urban Design, 2012). Delia is also the co-editor (with Fallon Samuels Aidoo) of a Graham Foundation funded book, ‘On the Spatial Epistemology of Politics: Essays on Political Spaces and Spatial Politics,’ in-progress.
Photo by Lars Blackmore