Announcing New Faculty Appointments for the 2024–2025 Academic Year

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) announces eight new faculty appointments for the coming academic year. Reinforcing the existing strengths of the GSD, these new faculty members bring expertise ranging from the management of contemporary city governments to the history of ancient landscape design, and from cutting-edge robotics to sustainable construction techniques. The new faculty members effective July 1, 2024 are: Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, assistant professor of landscape architecture; Maurice Cox, Emma Bloomberg Professor in Residence of Urban Planning and Design, Iman Fayyad, assistant professor of architecture; Elisa Iturbe, assistant professor of architecture; Magda Maaoui, assistant professor of urban planning; Angela Pang, assistant professor in practice of architecture; and Kaja Tally-Schumacher, assistant professor of landscape architecture. Rachel N. Weber joins the GSD as professor of urban planning, effective January 1, 2025.


Color portrait of Karen Lee Bar-SinaiDr. Karen Lee Bar-Sinai comes to the GSD after serving as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow and a visiting lecturer at the School of Engineering and Design at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2021. A former Loeb Fellow (class of 2013), her research explores the evolving relationships between matter and technology at the intersection of landscape architecture, robotic construction, and the environment. Co-founder and design director at SAYA/Design for Change, a Jerusalem-based design studio that has drafted hypothetical solutions to brick-and-mortar problems in disputed territories around the world, she specializes in the use of design and design tools to be used in conflict resolution processes. Bar-Sinai’s recent writing includes co-authored articles “Toward Acoustic Landscapes: A Digital Design Workflow for Embedding Noise Reduction in Ground-forming” in the Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture (2023), and “Editing Landscapes: Experimental Frameworks for Territorial-Based Robotic Fabrication” in Frontiers of Architectural Research (2022). Bar-Sinai is a recipient of the British Chevening scholarship a Rothschild Fellowship, and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) award. She earned a BArch (cum laude) from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; an MSc in Cities, Space and Society from the London School of Economics; and a PhD from the Technion. Bar-Sinai’s background in a succession of research and teaching venues of excellence, coupled with her commitment to innovative and rigorous research, will aid the Department of Landscape Architecture in their determination to continue to exert even greater impact in the topic of materials and design in landscape architecture. At the GSD she will advance the topic in concert with other pressing issues such as climate adaptation, the repair and recovery of landscape sites, and the shaping of landscapes for public amenity and engagement.

Color headshot of Maurice CoxMaurice Cox’s career, spanning from private practice to academia to public service, has been dedicated to demonstrating how design excellence can be at the center of transformative urban innovation that drives social and environmental justice. An award-winning urban designer, he has been the planning and economic development director of two major cities in the United States: Detroit and Chicago. He served as mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, held the federal appointment of Design Director for the National Endowment for the Arts under two United States presidents, and has taught at several design schools, including as a tenured faculty member at the University of Virginia and at Tulane University. At Tulane, he also served as the university’s first Associate Dean for Community Engagement, responsible for strategic initiatives between the university’s community outreach design programs of the university and city and state governmental agencies, cultural institutions, and community organizations. As director of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, Tulane School of Architecture’s community design center, he operated at the intersection of design and civic engagement pursuing projects for the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Cox’s unique range of of experience reflects his profound and equal commitment to merging architecture, design, and politics. Upon completing a BArch from the Cooper Union in 1983, Cox moved to Italy where he practiced architecture and urban design for ten years in partnership with his wife, architect Giovanna Galfione, while also working as an assistant professor of architecture at Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. Cox’s numerous awards and accolades include, among others, the Cooper Union Presidential Medal (2004), the John Q. Hejduk Award for Architecture (2006), the Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award (2006), an honorary doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy (2008), the Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Award (2009), the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (2009), an AIA Collaborative Achievement Award (2018), and the Henry Hope Reed Award (2024). Cox was a 2005 Harvard GSD Loeb Fellow, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2023 for lifetime achievements in architecture, and recently received an Honorary Doctor of Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology. In the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the GSD, he will help create new dialogues and pathways across our various departments and programs and help enhance our visibility at Harvard as a school addressing important challenges of our time—particularly with respect to disinvested communities, growing racial, class, and ethnic inequality, and the positive role that design excellence in the urban built environment can play in meeting these challenges. Additionally, as the Emma Bloomberg Professor in Residence of Urban Planning and Design, Cox will play an integral role in connecting the school to cities around the world.

Color headshot of Iman Fayyad.Iman Fayyad rejoins the GSD from Syracuse University, where she served as assistant professor of architecture, coordinating the first-year design studio curriculum and overseeing a research lab in spatial geometry with a focus on tectonics, construction, and representation. Fayyad is founding director of project:if, an award-winning research practice that explores the relationship between architectural geometry and material economy, sensory perception, and the politics of physical space and building practice. Her public work and research on zero-waste geometric construction techniques has been funded by grants through the MetLife Foundation and the Lender Center for Social Justice, and has received recognition by the Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Young Architects Prize, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Faculty Design Award, and Architizer‘s Architecture For Good Award. She has published in Technology | Architecture and Design, Nexus Network Journal: Architecture and Mathematics, Log, Pidgin, Archinect, Advancements in Architectural Geometry, the New York Times, and has exhibited at the Yale Architecture Gallery, Carnegie Museum of Art, citygroupNY, and the Roca London Gallery. She is a 2024 MacDowell Colony Fellow. Fayyad holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from MIT and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was the recipient of the AIA Certificate of Merit, Faculty Design Award, and the Araldo A. Cossutta Prize for Design Excellence. Prior to Syracuse, Fayyad served on the faculty at the GSD, MIT, and Princeton, and was the inaugural John Irving Innovation Fellow at Harvard. She has practiced in offices in Boston, New York, and Paris. As a leading voice in articulating the significance of geometry as an underlying force in spatial discourse, Fayyad will advance the knowledge of the disciplinary interrelationships between geometry and architecture, including fundamental issues of structure, tectonics, materiality, and climate resilience.

Black and white portrait of Elisa IturbeElisa Iturbe, who earned dual master’s degrees from the Yale School of the Environment and the Yale School of Architecture, joins the Department of Architecture as assistant professor of architecture. Previously, Iturbe served as assistant professor at the Cooper Union; she has also taught at the Yale School of Architecture and Cornell AAP. Additionally, Iturbe is co-founder of Outside Development, a design and research practice. Through her work, Iturbe interrogates the relationship between energy, power, and form, working across theory and design to lay bare the allegiance between architecture and carbon modernity. Her research and practice offer an alternative history of architecture’s role in the climate crisis, linking the adoption of fossil fuels to the emergence of specific spatial and formal concepts—most of which are still taught and used, leaving the fundamental tenets of carbon modernity fully intact, despite contemporary improvements in building technology. Recently, she co-curated and co-produced the exhibition Confronting Carbon Form at the Cooper Union, which exhibited original works in various media that define the spatial concepts of the carbon age. In tandem, she curated a year-long lecture series titled “Architectures of Transition” and a symposium titled “Order!: The Spatial Ideologies of Carbon Modernity.” This work builds on Iturbe’s guest-edited issue of Log, titled “Overcoming Carbon Form,” published in 2019. Her writings have been published in AA Files, Log, Perspecta, e-flux, and the New York Review of Architecture, and she co-authored, with Peter Eisenman, Lateness (Princeton University Press, 2020). Because the subjects of spatial thinking and climate change are often disconnected, Iturbe offers a unique voice that interrogates how architecture, space, and form participate in processes of epochal change.

Magda Maaoui headshotDr. Magda Maaoui recently served as a GSD design critic in urban planning and design and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. Maaoui’s research has been used in campaigns for good governance, affordable housing provision, and public and environmental health reform in France and in the United States. Her work has been featured in popular news sources including Le Monde, Architectural Review, Ouest France, Bondy Blog, La Gazette des Communes, and France Inter and France Culture public radio. While her research emphasizes housing policy and real estate development, she also studies related issues of healthy urban planning, neighborhood and community development, sustainability, planning regulation, and planning research methods. A member of the American Planning Association, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Urban Affairs Association, and a reviewer for the Revue Urbanités, Maaoui maintains an active stream of collaborative research, thanks to the support of institutions like the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Albertine Foundation. She has written or co-written peer-reviewed articles for the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Housing Studies, Urban Studies, and the Berkeley Planning Journal, and contributed to the books Pour en finir avec le petit Paris (2024), Habiter l’indépendance (2022) and Zoning: A Guide for 21st-Century Planning (2020). Maaoui co-founded the participatory design practice Ateliers d’Alger, a collective focusing on urban planning solutions for neighborhoods in Algeria and in France based on local participatory workshops, civic engagement, and the curation of expertise from local and transnational professionals. Ateliers d’Alger has received awards and grants from the Mairie de Paris, the Davis Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. She has a PhD from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Geography and Planning from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and bachelor’s degrees in Planning and Geography, and English Literature and Civilization from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Universités Lyon 2 and 3. She has been an urban planning research associate at the Atelier Parisien d’Urbanisme (APUR) in the Paris Mayor’s Office, and acted as an external expert consultant for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working in Morocco. A former Fulbright Fellow and Normalienne Agrégée civil servant, Maaoui has been an adjunct professor at the University of Paris Cité and the University of Paris-Cergy and was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley during her master’s training. Her ability to link theory to practice, extensive knowledge of multiple planning systems, and commitment to good governance will bolster the Department of Urban Planning and Design.

Color headshot of Angela Pang in a field of flowersAngela Pang, recent GSD design critic in architecture and the founder of PangArchitect, will join the faculty as assistant professor in practice of architecture. Guided by site and program with the integration of tectonics and structure, she challenges conventions through design and research, always balancing intellectual scrutiny and pragmatic solutions. Her firm’s recent design work includes the completion of several university libraries in Hong Kong, including the Polytechnic University, the Lingnan University, and the Chinese University. Other recent works include the Hong Kong Literature Archive and Research Center, as well as a student dormitory at the New Asia College for 300 students, both at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The firm’s major research projects include a research consultancy on building program for M+, a museum of contemporary visual culture in Hong Kong, and a series of exhibitions on Shinohara Kazuo, funded by the Graham Foundation and the Japan Foundation, done in collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis, the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, and the GSD. PangArchitect has received numerous design awards including the Architect’s Newspaper Award for Best Library Design, the Green Building Award from the Hong Kong Green Building Council, APIDA Top 10 Public Space in Asia Pacific, the FuturArc Green Leadership Award, the HKIA Cross-Strait Architectural Design Award, and multiple recognitions from Dezeen Design Award, the World Architecture Festival Award, and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. Before establishing PangArchitect in 2010, Pang worked for Rafael Moneo in Madrid and SANAA in Tokyo. She received a MArch II from the GSD and a BArch from Cornell University. The Department of Architecture will be further enriched by her remarkable success in practice and extensive experience in building integration, from concept to execution.

Color portrait of Kaja Tally-SchumacherDr. Kaja Tally-Schumacher joins us as an assistant professor in landscape architecture with a focus on environmental history. She was previously a visiting scholar in Cornell’s Institute of Material Studies and Archaeology, a faculty associate in the Institute for European Studies at Cornell’s Einaudi Center, and assistant director of the Casa della Regina Carolina Excavation, Pompeii (Cornell-Bologna). Trained as a historian of ancient landscape architecture, her primary area of expertise is the archaeology and analysis of designed landscapes and environments in the Roman world (ca. 2nd century BCE to 4th century CE) across Western Eurasia and Northern Africa. Most recently she has been awarded the Ellen and Charles Steinmetz Endowment for Archaeology from the Archaeological Institute of America for her work on the gardens at Pompeii, a prestigious early-career award within the field of Classical Archaeology. Placing equal emphasis on previously unrecognized makers of landscape and minute investigation of artifactual, literary, and paleo-topographical evidence, Tally-Schumacher’s research advances a conceptually challenging and meticulously documented approach to the history of landscape architecture as co-produced by social, material, and climactic factors. Tally-Schumacher’s first book project, Gardeners, Plants, and Soils of the Roman World, draws an ambitious but finely detailed transect from antiquity to the Early Modern and Antebellum periods. Tally-Schumacher has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota with a double major in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Political Science and she earned an MA with distinction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a major in Roman art with a minor in nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture. She earned her PhD in Ancient Art and Archaeology from Cornell University in 2020. At Cornell she was runner-up award for the James F. Slevin Assignment Sequence Award (2017), granted for designing an innovative sequence of assignments in her course on Ancient Pompeii; promoting foundational, transferable skills; and actively addressing different learning styles. Tally-Schumacher’s approach to history presents several exciting paths forward for the department of landscape architecture, in addition to making new connections between and across diverse questions and fields of inquiry which are not typically seen to be connected.

Color portrait of Rachel Weber.Dr. Rachel N. Weber will be joining us in January 2025 from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she has taught and conducted research in the fields of economic development, real estate, city politics, and public finance since 1998. Weber is best known for her pioneering work unearthing how municipal government engagement with financial markets significantly affects the way cities operate and develop. She is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and published reports, and is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning, a compilation of 40 essays by leading urban scholars. Her latest book, From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago, won the Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association in 2017. Weber’s current research project spotlights the predictive knowledge practices that allow real estate investors to create and extract value from the built environment. Titled “The Urban Oracular: Speculating on the Future City,” this work builds on her previous insight that those involved in urban development too often are overconfident in their forecasts about supply and demand. Focusing on the period from the Global Financial Crisis through the Covid-19 pandemic, Weber is examining the role of ever more sophisticated models and algorithms that enable investors to convert the future into capital. This work holds the promise of extending beyond urban development to the very nature of planning itself, which necessarily relies on projective techniques that themselves are routinely applied yet often understudied. In addition to her academic responsibilities, Weber has served as an advisor to planning agencies, political candidates, and community organizations on issues related to financial incentives, property taxes, and neighborhood change. She was appointed to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s Urban Policy Committee in 2008 and by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force in 2011. She has been cited and quoted extensively in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The Economist, Crain’s, the Chicago Tribune, and other news outlets. She holds a master’s and PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Development Studies from Brown University. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Department of Urban Planning and Design and to the GSD.