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.

Suleiman AlhadidiSuleiman Alhadidi is an architect, scientist and engineer. He is a researcher at the Material Processes and Systems Group (MaP+S) at the GSD. He is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Suleiman runs his own architecture practice “O(n!) Architecture” with an aim to design and build more efficient, intelligent, and sustainable buildings and cities. He practiced architecture in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East and worked before at several well-known architectural institutions and practices such as: MIT Media Lab, Melbourne University, RMIT University, SIAL, Coop Himmelblau, BVN, and HASSELL. During 2016-2018 Suleiman took an elected position in the administration council of The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, he has served as reviewer and contributor for several architecture journals and conferences such as ACADIA, the Journal of Architectural Education and CAADRIA. He authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on architecture, urban design and technology.

During the last 15 years, Suleiman received more than 25 awards for his research, design and academic achievements. Suleiman is currently one of the American Australian Association 2018 Scholars. His doctoral research at Harvard focuses on adaptive smart buildings that encompasses environmental design and algorithmic morphogenesis. Being a multidisciplinary advocate of architecture, computation and engineering, he aims to build transformable facade systems using robotic technologies and smart materials.


Spyridon AmpanavosSpyridon Ampanavos is a second year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research explores ways in which humans and artificial intelligence systems engage in a synergetic design process. In his work he is using machine learning methods to train systems that predict, evaluate and give feedback to design behaviors. Other recent projects include Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality applications (headsets, smartphones), web and software development for environmental data and coastal simulations, connected urban food systems.

Spyridon holds a Master in Architectural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and a Master of Design Studies in Technology with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has worked as an architect in Greece and has taught design and programming at NuVu Studio innovation school in Cambridge, MA.



Bauranov_Aleksandar picAleksandar Bauranov is a licensed civil engineer and a first year doctoral student at Harvard Graduate School of Design where he explores the relationship between cities, mobility and autonomous vehicles.

Aleksandar was a researcher at NEXTOR, an aviation research institute, where he worked on projects led by the FAA and NASA on the modernization and automation of the National Airspace System. Coupled with his experience in transportation planning and urban design, Aleksandar has a keen perspective on the challenges of integrating autonomous vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles into the urban environment. His other recent projects tackled a variety of interdisciplinary topics in transportation, economics and operations research. Aleksandar regularly publishes papers in scientific journals and presents his research at international conferences. He is skilled in machine learning, data science, and data visualization.

Aleksandar is a founder of Urbanova, a consultancy that specializes in transportation planning and economics. Aleksandar holds a master’s degree in Transportation Engineering from the University of California Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Belgrade.


Ignacio CardonaIgnacio 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 urban informality, 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: ARCHITECTURE, ECOLOGY & PARTICIPATION an important Venezuelan think tank that has become a reference on urban phenomena in Latin-American, 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 and 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 90 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, Delft, 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 (IDB, 2002), Honorable Mention in the International competition of urban and social projects (CAF, 2012), Finalist in the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (UCLG,2016), the EB1 Visa of Extraordinaries Abilities (USCIS, 2017), and the New York City Summer Fellowship of the IPA Institute of Public Architecture (IPA, 2018).


Chen_Yujiao picYujiao Chen, a second year DDes student, studies building technology and sustainable urban development through a computational approach. Her past research explored sustainability in the 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, advanced building control, high-performance building, net-zero energy building, and rainwater management. She is skilled at building performance simulation, data analysis, machine learning, and software development. Her contribution of green building studies has been included in the State of the Nation’s Housing report by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Her recent papers have been published in Applied Energy, Energy and Buildings, Environment International, Building and Environment, Journal of Environmental Management, Building Simulation, and have been presented at IBPSA Building Simulation Conferences.

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, a Master in Design Studies with concentration in Energy and Environments from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Chieffalo_Michael picMike Chieffalo is a doctoral student, architect, and former planning commissioner. His current research engages with processes of agrarian urbanization; socio-environmental dimensions of factory farming; the diverse built environments of industrial agriculture; and 20th-Century Utopian planning visions that foreground agricultural landscapes as a primary unit of urban form making. This bundled set of agro-urban concerns is explored using historic and comparative analysis in service of critically analyzing how organizational rationales and spatial patterning of cities and zones of agricultural production evolve over time and in different political-economic contexts.

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. 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, Guest Critic for final studio reviews at several institutions, and a Teaching Assistant in the inaugural design studio for the Master in Design Engineering program at Harvard. During the upcoming academic year, Mike will serve as a Teaching Fellow in Neil Brenner’s History and Theory of Urban Interventions course, and co-edit New Geographies 10, forthcoming later in 2018.


Chitchian_Somayeh picSomayeh Chitchian is an architect, urban researcher and a doctoral student at the 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.


Daou_Daniel picDaniel 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 has been writing 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 a 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.


Fu Yun is an architect and designer with expertise in contemporary housing, emerging structural design strategies, Modernism in the Asia Pacific Region, and 20th/21st-century design objects. As a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yun’s research, tentatively titled ‘In What Style Should We Rebuild,’ is focused on the history and evolution of building design strategies in seismic regions.

In 2017, Yun received the Sinclair Kennedy Traveling Fellowship and was a Confucius Scholar at Peking University in Beijing. Yun has worked at Foster+Partner 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, and was involved in the publications The Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Palava City: A Brief Account and Evaluation (Harvard GSD, 2017), 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, where he was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with distinction from the University of New South Wales, receiving the AIA Design Prize, the Dean’s Award, and the Eric Daniels Prize for Residential Design.


Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo 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 robotic technologies for designers and artists.

Jose Luis is a registered architect, and holds a Masters in Architectural Technological Innovation from Universidad de Sevilla and a Master of Design Studies in Technology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 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.

Jose Luis currently pursues his Doctor of Design degree at the Material Processing and Systems group at the GSD, works as research engineer in the Generative Design Team at Autodesk Inc., and teaches computational creativity in the Arts+Design Department at Northeastern University.


Gomez Luque_Mariano pic Mariano Gomez Luque is an architect from Argentina, where he graduated with honors. As a Fulbright Fellow, he graduated with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Master in Architecture 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.


Boya GuoBoya Guo is a cultural geographer with an interest in how cultural powers shape the built environment and vice versa. Trained as an urban planner, she is also interested in conservation, planning, and urban morphology in the consumer society and contemporary media-driven time. In particular, her current research focuses on the phenomenon of architectural mimicry and themed space in China since 1990s. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in urban planning and a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from Peking University, and a Master in Design Studies degree from the Harvard GSD focusing on Critical Conservation. Before pursuing the DDes degree, she worked in several urban planning and architectural media companies. She is currently the vice president of Harvard Visual China: a student organization dedicated to the study and promotion of Chinese art.


Yujie Hong studies virtual reality and augmented reality’s applications in architecture and design. Her current research focuses on augmented reality in construction. Coming from a non-architectural background, she is trying to integrate knowledge from other disciplines into the architectural domain.

Her projects have explored the integration of VR/AR in education, gaming, film and art. She has presented papers at the SIGGRAPH Asia, ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and at Zhejiang University. Her works have been published in Florence Design Week 2017 and Red Dot Design Award “Best of the Best” 2013. She holds a Master in Design Studies (Technology) degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Master of Engineering (Computer Applications) degree from Zhejiang University. She has interned at NetEase Games as an interaction designer/ project manager and at ISEE INC, a Cambridge-based AR startup.



Vaughn Horn is a fifth-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 urban development from the perspective of political economy. Related field covers real estate finance.

Xiaokai’s research has been widely granted by the Harvard Real Estate Study Grant, Harvard Asia Center and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He is also a FIABCI Scholar awarded by the FIABCI foundation, which aims to support students in international real estate study.

Prior to joining the DDes program, Xiaokai worked at Sasaki Associates as an urban planner with the responsibility of developing strategic urban and regional planning for municipal governments and some of the largest private developers in China. From 2015 – 2016, Xiaokai, as a research consultant at a consulting practice, worked closely with a municipal government in Southern China and its Development and Reform Commission, and co-developed a comprehensive report regarding development potentials of 24 towns in the city. Xiaokai is now working as an intern consultant for the Development Research Centre of State Council, P.R.China, with main focus on the cross-border e-commerce in China and its potential impact on China’s economy.


Hunter_K_photoKristen 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 IbanezIbanez-Moreno_Daniel pic 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 student 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).


Seung Kyum Kim 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 impact of climate change adaptation measures on the real estate markets in coastal cities.

Seung Kyum holds a Master’s degree in Design Studies, Risk and Resilience concentration, from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 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 research interests in understanding the current challenges facing the design practices in the market place, particularly at the interplay between infrastructure development, local economy and politics. He has organized several summit-level inter-governmental conferences and managed national projects 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.


Jingping LiuJingping Liu is a doctoral student focusing on urban design issues, especially the urban open community design in China with the application of ArcGIS. She aims to improve the urban community situation and figure out a practical way to develop the city in modern China.

Before coming to Harvard, she was a graduate student at Southeast University, China. There she participated in a “Twelfth Five-Year” National Key Technology R&D Program of China, and she was mainly responsible for the key technologies of community planning in areas with dense watercourses. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Zhengzhou University and a Master of Architecture degree from Southeast University in China.

Jingping once made an oral presentation about the paper The Evaluation and Evolution of Rural Spatial Morphology in Southern Jiangsu in the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Conferences 2016, Seoul. She participated in the Venice Biennale Sharing & Regeneration Exhibition 2016 with the team work Living Construction. In 2014, she participated in the studio of Joint Urban and Architect Design of China and Japan. She has been awarded a scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC) to pursue her doctoral study in Harvard.


Lopez Melendez_Miguel picMiguel Lopez Melendez studies the disciplinary contribution of design toward an understanding, not of urbanization itself, but the complexity of urbanization. Based on the Autonomy of Architecture as a form of knowledge, his research aspires to formulate the autonomy of urbanism as a collective conception and experience of space. Within a contemporary urban debate that focuses on techno-scientific discourses concerned with sustainability, technological innovations or descriptive logics our contribution as designers is often relegated to individual efforts: how relevant is the Autonomy of Architecture, and how feasible is the Autonomy of Urbanism in our societies that, as Manuel Castells suggests, are “increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the net and the self”? The Autonomy of Urbanism is not proposed as a fragmented interdisciplinary research where the study of urbanism becomes an end in itself but rather as transdisciplinary contributions, from a design approach, where it is understood as a process that expands and contracts disciplinary boundaries according to the instability of the urban processes.

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. He worked in FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, TEN Arquitectos of Enrique Norten and Tecnologico de Monterrey, where he collaborated as Design Studio Instructor. At Harvard, he has worked in several 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.



Lu_YingYing picYingying 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.


Mojdeh MahdaviMojdeh Mahdavi is an urbanist, registered architect, and designer. She is currently a Doctor of Design student at Harvard University Graduate School of Design where her work is supported by a Dean’s merit award. She is affiliated with the Aga Khan program at the GSD and is a partner at TUIC (Tehran Urban Innovation Center.) Mojdeh received a research-based (mention recherche) Post-Master degree in Architecture and Urbanism from ENSAPLV, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris LaVillette and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Tehran where she graduated with honors.

Before coming to the GSD, she practiced urban and architectural design in Paris, Tehran, and Almaty, gaining extensive experience in public participation and community empowerment in the process of urban renewal and development. The outcome of this practice and her personal research on urban renewal and conservation policies, and gradual piece-meal regeneration, has been presented at IFLA 2011 in Zurich and IFLA 2017 in Montreal. Later, she examined the efficiency of a combination of off-line and online methods in the complex process of participation. She narrows that down to three stages: community encouragement, engagement, and empowerment.

At the GSD, Mojdeh studies the social agenda of Smart Cities. She is interested in understanding how hybridization of digital and physical layers affect the urban areas and in particular, how big data and emerging technologies change the nature and sociopolitical capacity of public spaces. Moreover, her work questions the interaction of urban media and public spaces and looks at the ways through which this symbiosis engenders new urban experiences and forms new interfaces. She is currently organizing the DDes 2018 conference where a broad range of prominent scholars will rethink the urban theoretical framework and agency of practice in the current socio technological context.


Jeffrey NesbitJeffrey S Nesbit is a doctoral student at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, research fellow in the Office for Urbanization (http://officeforurbanization.org) and is founding director of the experimental design group Haecceitas Studio (www.haecceitasstudio.com). His research focuses on processes of urbanization, infrastructure, and defense. Currently, Nesbit is studying the 20th century spaceport complex through the lens of historical technology, planetary urbanization, and the remote landscape. Nesbit has written a number of journal articles and book chapters on infrastructure and urbanization and is co-editor of Chasing the City: Models for Extra-Urban Investigations (Routledge, 2018), Rio de Janeiro: Urban Expansion and Environment (Routledge, 2019), and was recently named co-editor of the forth-coming New Geographies 11 (Actar, 2019). Previously, Nesbit taught architecture and urban design as an Assistant Professor, along with leading a number of studies and urban theory seminars at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Texas Tech University. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University.


Xuanyi NieXuanyi Nie is an architect and doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His dissertation research concerns the integration of healthcare-related industry and urban development under China’s transitioning economy. He has worked at KPF, Kengo Kuma and Associates, New York Department of City Planning and NBBJ in Boston. His design work has been featured on various platforms, including Boston Society of Architects Design Exhibition, Outside Art Fair in New York City and LUX design festival in New Zealand. Xuanyi received his Master of Architecture Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He also holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, earning the NZIA Student Design Award and the Dean’s Award.


Norman_Sarah_pic convertedSarah 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.


SanMiguel_Carolina picCarolina San Miguel is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with research and interest focus across the fields of Human Development, Semiotics and Social Psychology, Design Thinking and Social Entrepreneurship, Ecological Urbanities and Healthy Environments, Risk and Resilience in Early Childhood and Community Development, Child Friendly Design Processes in Family Planning and Policy Making, and Implementation of Child Friendliness in Neighborhoods, to name a few.

As an architect, designer, urban planner, community activist, strategist and veracious Child advocate, with Master Degrees in Social Housing (ETH, 2010) and Strategic Design (IED, 2007), she envisions, works, advocates, and believes in Design as less of a distorted semiotic imagetic privileged product and as more of an anonymous, autonomous and just constructive Process of Service, across governments, geographical territories and social constructions, where all realities and peoples matter.

Whether in Brazil, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Bolivia or USA so far, her evolving mindset is built through design and professorship practices in diverse fields of the design process. More recently, she's been volunteering, managing and leading community-based activism in homeless shelters for children and youth, collaborating with foster care systems, government and local non-profits in private and public partnerships and helping homeless children, young moms and their babies in vulnerable circumstances. Working as an Innovation Capacity Strategist at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and involved with venture incubation at the Harvard i-lab, she's been building collaborative knowledge and cross disciplinary thinking between the schools of Design, Education, Public Health, Government and Business, now turning them into new pathways of conversation, paradigm, and action towards and Beyond Social Design.


Andreina SeijasAndreina Seijas studies the urban night. In other words, how cities can become safer, more inclusive and productive by creating quality spaces for work and leisure after dark. Her research intends to measure the social and economic impact of nocturnal interventions over the revitalization of urban areas, and to find ways in which urban policy and design can accommodate more elastic and efficient uses of urban spaces throughout the day.

Andreina is a Venezuelan communications professional and public policy analyst with almost 10 years of experience managing communication and policy strategies for the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has a Communications degree from Universidad Católica Andres Bello (Caracas), an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics, and a Master in Public Administration and Non-Profit management from New York University.

Before entering the DDes program, Andreina worked as a consultant for the Housing and Urban Development Division at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. Previously, Andreina was the Information Manager for the Mayor’s Office of the Chacao municipality in Caracas, worked as Policy Associate at Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Editorial Associate for policy journal Americas Quarterly in New York City.

Andreina has presented lectures and papers in seminars and international conferences organized by McGill University, Leiden University, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the Inter-American Development Bank. Her work will also be featured at the upcoming XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial in Valparaíso, Chile. Watch her TEDx talk and learn more about her research project at andreinaseijas.com.


Smachylo_Julia picJulia Smachylo is an urban designer as well as a registered urban planner in Ontario and the United Kingdome. 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. Her research responds to an increased awareness and shift towards valuing natural capital in research and policy, as well as the growing influence of non-state actors such as environmental organizations, landowners, and the private sector in shaping regional landscapes in response to climate change. Using film as a method of investigation, her recent work focus on woodland areas in the province of Ontario, Canada, documenting incentivized managed forests 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, landscape and urban design offices in London and Toronto, and in 2014 she was deputy curator of the Canadian exhibition at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture entitled Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 with Lateral Office. This past summer she participated in the Canadian Center for Architecture’s PhD residency program, and is a current Canada Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She has been an invited critic at the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Harvard University for landscape, urban planning and urban design studios, and has taught core studio courses at both Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo.


Song_Jihoon picJihoon 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.


Tomholt_Lara picLara Tomholt studies the design of future artificially intelligent buildings to increase efficiency and sustainability. She views the future smart home as one systemic entity that becomes interactive, focusing her research on the intersection of artificial intelligence, architecture, sustainability and biomimicry. Alongside her doctoral research at the GSD, she is involved in materials research for the GSD’s ALivE group and robotics research at the Harvard Microrobotics lab, both affiliated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. 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), a think-tank that researches urban and architectural futures. She worked as an intern at Benthem Crouwel Architects, after which her research and data visualization were presented at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam in 2014. Her previous work consists of a wide range of visionary designs and design tools based on diverse issues and developments in the world. Her interests include sustainability, parametric design, biomimicry, robotics, and data visualization. laratomholt.nl


Guy Trangoš is a South African architect, designer and urban researcher. He is a founding partner in Meshworks Architecture and Urbanism, and a Research Fellow at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory. His doctoral research investigates the landscapes and infrastructures of mega-science projects and how these ‘zones of exception’ are entwined in urban processes. In doing so, he considers how these shape theory, and techno-scientific and spatial imaginaries.

Guy’s broader research questions the evolving relationships between the urban, architecture, and society, with a focus on the global south. He has considered related themes in numerous publications including Perspecta, Scenario Journal, The Architectural Review, City Journal, Canadian Architect, and Architecture South Africa. He has also written in popular media on cities and architecture. In 2015, Guy co-edited the book ‘Movement Johannesburg’, and has authored chapters in other edited volumes.

IGuy works commonly in multidisciplinary teams, and has been instrumental in award-winning architectural, research and graphic design projects. He has been employed as a researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, a researcher at LSE Cities, a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, an architect at 26’10 south Architects and Mashabane Rose Architects, and has been a guest lecturer and critic at numerous institutions.

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. guytrangos.com


Juan Pablo UgarteUgarte_Juan pic is a third-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.


DSC_0367Hanne van den Berg is an urban planner and designer specializing in urban resilience, adaptation to climate change, participatory planning and (urban) decision-making processes and tools. As a Fulbright Fellow and doctoral researcher at the GSD, Hanne studies holistic, adaptive and participatory approaches to urban (climate) resilience. She focuses on the disproportionate impact of climate change on specific communities and ways to achieve more equitable allocation of adaptation resources. Within this field of research, she is particularly interested in issues of equity within decision-making processes (due process justice) and equity in outcome in reducing vulnerability (distributive justice.)

Before coming to Harvard, Hanne worked as researcher/advisor at the Dutch applied research institute of Deltares, where she was involved in the development of climate adaptation and urban resilience strategies and tools for a.o. the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Mexico and the United States. For 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).


Liang WangLiang Wang is an architect and urban designer. He is currently a doctoral student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His design research resides at the intersection between the (re)production of housing, infrastructure and the urban form at large.

Liang's design expertise benefits from his professional and academic experience in architecture and urban design. Prior to the GSD, Liang has worked at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in New York and Bjarke Ingels Group in Copenhagen among others. At the GSD, Liang has served as teaching and research assistant for multiple design studios and research projects. He served as the Urban Planning and Design studio instructor at the GSD Career Discovery Program in 2016.

Liang received his Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree with distinction from the GSD. He also holds a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. He has been awarded the Harvard GSD Urban Planning and Design Thesis Prize in 2017, and he is also the recipient of the Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design from the GSD in 2016. Liang is the winner of Morris R. Pitman Award in Architecture and Fondren Research Award from Rice University. Liang's projects have been published and exhibited in the United States and China.


Jung Hyun Woo is an architect, urban designer, and doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is interested in research topics related to infrastructure, logistics, social, and economies associated with Transit Oriented Development 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 transit renewal in Asian Megacities.

Jung Hyun holds a Masters degree in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology concentration from the Harvard GSD. 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 as a teaching associate and research assistant at the 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 Landscape (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 History Museum (SUN Publishers, 2011).


Wu_Lonfeng picLongfeng 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 currently a DDes student with research topic on Infrastructuring Megalopolis, as well as a teaching fellow in Option Studio and Seminar. He is the author of Townization: In Search of New Paradigm of Urbanization in China (Springer, 2017), co-author of the books, Shanghai Regeneration: Five Paradigms (AR+D, 2016), Hangzhou: Grids from Canal to Maxi-Block (AR+D, 2016) and forthcoming books, Regular City in Chongqing (Harvard GSD, 2018) and Savannah: Rethinking the Multi-Scalar Capacity of the City Project (Mariscal, 2018). His most recent writings are included in CITY, EL Croquis, Mechanics in Engineering, Time+Architecture, Taiqian: The Countryside as a City (Harvard GSD, 2015), Cities and Urban Plans in the 21st Century (AMB, 2014), and 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. He has won various awards, inclusive of Architizer Prize and The American Architecture Prize and his 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 and Architecture and Design Museum. p–r–o.com


Yoon_Nari picNari 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.


Yu_Jeongmin picJeongmin 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.


Zhang_Jingyi picJingyi 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.