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 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 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).


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. Mike is co-editor of 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.


Sang-Yong ChoSang Cho is a landscape planner. As a first year DDes student, he is currently researching sustainable industrial development planning in the Republic of Korea and Asia. From a policy and planning perspective, he studies the feasibility of bridging ecological services in collaborative planning process. He examines different case studies on how geospatial technology, scenario generation process, and stakeholder engagement can enhance decision making.

He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture at the GSD. He has practiced as a landscape planner and consulted on community development projects in the United States. Sang presented and participated at the 2017 Seoul Architecture Biennale, and in 2018 co-curated the ULSAN REMADE: Manufacturing the Modern Industrial City exhibit at the GSD.


Daou_Daniel picDaniel Daou studies the relationship between design, political ecology, and the philosophy of science. His thesis, Synthetic Ecology: Design and the Ecological Imaginary, explores the relationship between the design disciplines and the ecological imagination from 1972 onward and the ways in which the ecological metaphor can help reconsider an emancipatory project for architecture today.

At Harvard, he has been a Fellow of the Energy Council at the Center for the Environment and a member of New Geographies’ editorial board from 2013 to 2018 where he co-edited the ninth volume of the journal. Over the last decade, he has contributed over 60 essays on design for several magazines and journals including Domus Mexico, Arquine, Thresholds, Lunch, and New Geographies. He holds a Licentiate in Architecture from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City where he graduated top of his class. He also holds a Master in City Planning and Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Fu Yun is an internationally trained architect. Originally from New Zealand and Taiwan, work and study have taken him to Sydney, Beijing, London, and Boston, where he is currently an Instructor in Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Recent and on-going projects concern contemporary building design strategies in seismic regions; modernities, modernisms, and modern architecture in the Asia Pacific; as well as independent consulting on issues of design and creative strategies.

Yun’s work has been supported by the Sinclair Kennedy Fellowship, the Confucius Research Ph.D. Fellowship, and the DDes Research Grant during his doctoral candidacy. He 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, 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 holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he received the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He also holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of New South Wales, where he received the AIA Design Prize, the Dean’s Award, and the Eric Daniels Prize for Residential Design.


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 researches focus on socialist spatial practices and 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.


Han_JungMin picJung Min Han is an architect, building scientist, and software developer seeking strategies for architectural sustainability and energy-efficient building design. She navigates interoperable building simulation software for architects to use in creating flexibilities between building performance analysis and early design decision-making. Her doctoral research, advised by Prof. Ali Malkawi, focused on tool development for environmental analysis and building performance simulation. She takes statistical inference as her primary methodology for advancing the feasibility of software with manifold sets of building data.

Jung Min holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Korea National University of Arts, a Master of Science in Building Performance and Diagnostics from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and a Master in Design Studies with a concentration in Energy and Environments from Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Before starting the DDes program, she worked at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (at GSD) and the Intelligent Workplace Lab (at CMU) as a research assistant. As a student and researcher, she developed several building simulation tools to help architects with sustainable design decision-making on topics ranging from the building to urban scales of implementation. Along with her academic engagement, her journal and conference papers on building performance and simulations have been published and presented at conferences sponsored by the International Building performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). She also won the student competition at the IBPSA conference in San Francisco in 2017.



Yujie Hong (MDes Tech '16) studies Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Design. Yujie’s ongoing research is about exploring mixed reality as an architectural experience design tool.

In the coming academic year she will undertake fieldwork on this subject in China. Her projects have explored the integration of VR/AR in education, gaming, film and art. From an interaction designer’s angle, she perceives VR/ AR as a future 3D user interface in our space/ built environment. She believes that mixed reality technology will revolutionize the ways that architects design buildings. Some of her previous projects are interactive prototypes related to virtual reality, augmented reality, games, architecture, children education, wearable technology and food. She has presented papers at the SIGGRAPH Asia, UIST, CSCW and at Zhejiang University. Her design 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, a Master of Engineering degree (Computer Applications and Industrial Design) from Zhejiang University, and a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science. She has interned at NetEase Games as an interaction designer/project manager. She was the founder and president (2015-2017) of UX GSD.




Vaughn Horn is a 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 a 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).


Ikpefan_Esesua picAs a DDes student, Esesua Ikpefan’s work aims to advocate the importance of the spatial dimensions of inequality and marginalization in Lagos, Nigeria. Her research sees the built environment as both an informer of conflict and identity, as well as a reflection of these issues. She focuses her work on the intersection between heritage, identity, and inequality in Nigeria’s urban centers.

Her past research through the Masters of Design Studies in Critical Conservation at Harvard GSD, examines the colonial, religious, and cultural practices that together have formed current governmental and societal biases towards Nigeria’s urban poor.  This research focuses on how heritage and narratives of history and place, and its built environment, can become tools for urban inequality and exclusion. Her work assesses how claims of ownership and authenticity are performed in contestation over limited urban space in Lagos, Nigeria. It confronts popular hierarchies of place and persons in Nigeria, questioning who a given society sees as valuable enough to have a right to urban space, and why.

Esesua Ikpefan also holds a B.F.A. in Environmental and Interior Design form Syracuse University. She has worked since in architectural design, as well as in media editing and production, and instructional assisting and certified tutoring.

Koeva_Elitza picElitza Koeva’s practice is in the intersection of fine art, media and architecture. Her research focus, triggered by her experience of living in Tokyo, explores how virtually-enhanced urban space alters perception by interrogating the role of art, digital media technologies and the city in their respective and inter-related production of subjectivity. The analysis would cast light on how artistic & design practice engenders people’s engagement, critical awareness and participatory responses to the virtual cityscape.

Elitza holds a Master's Degree in Information Studies from the University of Tokyo. She has practiced at various art & architectural firms and institutions: OMA, Arata Isozaki & Associates, MAD Architects, MOT (Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) and Junya Ishigami. At MOT, she worked on Oscar Niemeyer and Yoko Ono exhibitions. While at OMA/AMO, she was part of the exhibition team of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition / Fundamentals (Venice Architecture Biennale, 2014). Prior to Harvard, Elitza was a research assistant at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD), ETH Zürich. At ETH, she explored the convergence of art, philosophy, quantum physics and coding. Elitza is a recipient of the Monbusho scholarship from the Japanese Government, the Fulbright and Thanks to Scandinavia grants, as well as of the ETH CAAD 2017 research fellowship. http://elitzakoeva.com


Jingping Liu is a doctoral student focusing on community and housing issues in P. R. China, especially the evolution and retrofit of work-unit (Danwei) communities that were built during the 1950s to 1980s. She aims to figure out reasonable and applicable retrofit strategies for the work-unit community in the country by studying the morphology evolution process of specific work-unit community cases in Nanjing, with the self-organizing theory as a supporting theory and typo-morphology approach as the primary methodology.

Before coming to Harvard, she was a graduate student at Southeast University, P. R. 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 got her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Zhengzhou University and Master of Architecture degree from Southeast University in China.

Jingping has been awarded a scholarship from China Scholarship Council (CSC) to pursue her doctoral study at Harvard. She has coauthored the paper Quantitative Study on the Evolution Trend and Driving Factors of Typical Rural Spatial Morphology in Southern Jiangsu Province, China, which was published in Sustainability in 2018. She made an oral presentation 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.


Lopez Melendez_Miguel picMiguel Lopez Melendez is a Doctor of Design student at Harvard Graduate School of Design where he studies the architectural interpretation of the term “autonomy,” in the twentieth century, to formulate the autonomy of urbanism as a reevaluation of our role as designers within contemporary urbanization 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.



Yingying Lu studies sustainable urban planning and design. Her current research focuses on active transportation including walking, cycling, and their correlations with built and social environment. The goal is to identify ways in which planners, designers, and policymakers can facilitate active transportation for individuals’ health and the overall social benefits. Her ongoing thesis titled “Walking Culture in China” uses qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the shared values about walking and how culture may impact walking behavior in contemporary China. She participated in the Health and Places Initiative Neighborhoods Research led by Professor Ann Forsyth and Professor Peter Rowe from 2013 to 2015, and her work on environmental analysis was published in the book China’s Urban Communities (2016). She also worked as a Research Associate in Professor Peter Rowe’s Lab from 2013 to 2014 exploring GIS-based techniques on spatial analysis. Additionally, she co-founded and is the resident of the Harvard East Asia Urban Forum, an academic platform focusing on urban issues.

She studied in the MDes program with a concentration in Energy and Environments from 2011 to 2013. She received a Master of Engineering degree from Tsinghua University in China, with her thesis on sustainable architectural design strategies 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 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.

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 (https://www.ddes2018.com/) 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 an architect, urbanist, and doctoral candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is founding director of the experimental design group Haecceitas Studio and research fellow in the Office for Urbanization, directed by Charles Waldheim and Mohsen Mostafavi. His research focuses on processes of urbanization, infrastructure, and the evolution of the defense landscape. Currently, Nesbit is studying the 20th century spaceport complex at the intersection of architecture and aerospace history. He 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 currently working on the forth-coming New Geographies 11 Extraterrestrial (Actar, 2019). Nesbit previously taught architecture and urban design as an Assistant Professor, along with leading a number of studios and 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 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).

Sarah 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.

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 looks at how policy and planning can accommodate more elastic and efficient uses of urban spaces throughout the day, and analyzes the relevance of new forms of urban governance—such as the emerging role of ‘night mayors’—as mechanisms to facilitate conflict resolution at night.

Andreina is a Venezuelan communications professional and public policy analyst with more than 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.

BBefore entering the DDes program, Andreina worked as a consultant for the Housing and Urban Development Division at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 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), the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Her work was also featured at the XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial in Valparaíso, Chile. Watch her TEDx talk and learn more about her research project at www.andreinaseijas.com.


Smachylo_Julia picJulia Smachylo is an urban designer as well as a registered urban planner in Canada and the United Kingdom. As a doctoral student at Harvard, she is a member of the Urban Theory Lab, and is pursuing 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 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.

Julia has a BA in Geography from Queen’s University, a Master of Science in Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, and a Master of Urban Design from the University of Toronto. 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. She is a current Canada Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and a John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellow at The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.  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.


Tannebaum_Ashley picAshley Tannebaum’s research explores how evidence-based design can lead to the construction of therapeutic environments which foster the academic and social growth of adolescents. More specifically, Ashley’s studies at Harvard aim to identify and investigate how distinct design strategies that can be implemented to reduce stress and promote learning amongst students within the K-12 school environment.

Ashley has centered her career on the creation of effective, sustainable public spaces both within and outside of the realm of academic environments to foster collaboration. Before beginning her studies at Harvard, she worked as an architect for several years on academic, civic, and healthcare projects in all stages of design throughout the state of South Carolina. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture + Health from Clemson University – the latter of which included an empirically-based thesis project funded through multiple grants which sought to explore effective behavioral healthcare environments for adolescents and identify specific design strategies to facilitate the therapeutic milieu.


Tish_Daniel picDaniel Tish is a designer and researcher who investigates responsive architectural environments through the lens of behavioral materiality. His research develops computational methods for the design and simulation of self-actuating materials, as well as novel processes for their robotic additive manufacturing. Daniel’s recent projects have included additively manufactured cable-net structures at a variety of scales, from kinetic gallery installations with programmable topologies to functionally-graded chair surfaces. His work has been published as a part of recent ACADIA, Fabricate, Rob|Arch, and IASS conferences, as well as in the book Towards a Robotic Architecture and the journal TAD.

Daniel was recently a Lecturer at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he taught digital fabrication. He also led an intensive summer masterclass at the University of Technology Sydney. Daniel has worked in the research offices of RVTR in Ann Arbor and murmur in Los Angeles, as well as in commercial firms in Chicago and St. Louis. Daniel received his Master of Architecture with Distinction from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis with a self-guided special major in Sustainable Design.


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 infrastructural, spatial and political implications of large science projects on landscapes and society.

Guy’s broader research considers the evolving relationships between urbanization, society, science, technology, and outer space. He has written on these and other themes for numerous publications including Folio (forthcoming 2018), 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. In the upcoming year, Guy will co-edit New Geographies 11 (forthcoming 2019).

Guy works commonly in multidisciplinary teams, and has been instrumental in award-winning architectural, research and graphic design projects. He has most recently been employed as a researcher at LSE Cities, a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, a researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, and a Teaching Fellow at the GSD. He has also 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. guytrangos.com


Juan Pablo UgarteUgarte_Juan pic is a fourth-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 specialized 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). She is also a Teaching Fellow in both Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

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 the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Mexico and the United States. She was also based in Singapore for two years 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. Furthermore, she was 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 theorization of urban form at large and the dialectics of social process in transitions of China’s urbanization. Liang’s doctoral research is currently sponsored by the Harvard GSD, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center China Programs.

Liang received his Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree with distinction from the GSD where he was awarded the Harvard GSD Urban Planning and Design Thesis Prize and the Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design. He also holds a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University where he won the Morris R. Pitman Award in Architecture and the Fondren Research Award. Liang received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in China, where he was recipient of the National Scholarship by the Ministry of Education of China.

Liang's design expertise benefits from his academic and professional experiences in architecture and urban design. At the GSD, Liang serves as teaching fellow and research fellow for design studios and research projects. He taught at the GSD Career Discovery Program as studio instructor in 2016. Liang contributed to multiple publications including Sao Paulo: A Graphic Biography (The University of Texas Press, 2018), Regular City in Chongqing (Harvard GSD, 2018), HOUSUS: Housing Tomorrow (Studio for Transformative Urban Forms and Fields, 2017), Harvard GSD Platform (Actar Press). Prior to the GSD, Liang has worked at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in New York, Bjarke Ingels Group in Copenhagen and WW Architecture in Houston among others. Liang’s projects have been featured in multiple publications and exhibitions in the United States and China.



Jung Hyun Woo is an architect, urban designer and planner specializing in spatial analytics for urban transit areas and spatial adaptability. Her research concerns multidimensional assessment of development of urban transit areas associated with infrastructure, logistics, walkability, culture, public realm, and economies. She studies the impact of urban transit development of Seoul Metropolitan area for the period from 1960s to the present relying on transit ridership and demographic data with support from GIS and quantitative methods. Her research has been supported by Harvard Center for Geographical Analysis Grant and the DDes Research Grant.

She is a candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and holds a Master 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 (2012-2013). She has been as a teaching fellow and a research assistant at the GSD. She works as an urban design and research consultant for transportation and public realm 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 a doctoral candidate with a background of urban planning and landscape architecture. He is interested in the ecological and social services of green space in contemporary urbanization typically in the developing world. Currently, he is writing a dissertation on 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 Harvard Graduate School of Design. His researches have been granted by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard Asia Center, the Penny White Fund, Geology Society of America, and Harvard Center for Geographical Analysis. He also received scholarship from China Scholarship Council for the doctoral study. Before in 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, a DDes candidate, 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 from Zhejiang University with university’s highest honor of Chu Kochen Medal.

At the GSD, Yang is currently researching the topic on Megalopolis: Towards New Form of Urban Future, 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, 2018), co-author of the books, Urban Grids: Handbook for Regular City Design (ORO, forthcoming 2019), Savannah: Rethinking the Multi-Scalar Capacity of the City Project (Mariscal, 2018), Chongqing: Searching for Regularity as A Transformative Model in the Design of the Contemporary City (Mariscal, 2018), Zhengzhou: From A Rail-City to A Metro-Polis (AR+D, 2018), Shanghai Regeneration: Five Paradigms (AR+D, 2016), Hangzhou:Grids from Canal to Maxi-Block (AR+D, 2016) and . His most recent writings are included in CITY, EL CroquisMechanics in EngineeringTime+ Architecture, Common Frameworks: Rethinking the Developmental City in China (Harvard GSD, 2016), Cities and Urban Plans in the 21st Century (AMB, 2014), and Xiamen: The Megaplot (Harvard GSD, 2013)

Yang is the founding partner of VARY Design (http://www.varydesign.com.cn), after working for Coop Himmelb(l)au in Vienna and SOM Chicago and San Francisco Offices. With VARY, he has been conducting practices at different scales which have been widely recognized, winning awards including Architizer A+Prize and The American Architecture Prize (AAP). His works also have been widely published through media like Archdaily, Dezeen, Archinect, and Architectural Review, as well as exhibited in Venice Biennale, Beijing International Art Biennale, Beijing Design Week and China International Architectural Decoration and Design Art Fair, Shanghai Urban Space Art Season (SUSAS) and Architecture and Design Museum


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.