The goal of Nicole Beattie’s (DDes '18) doctoral study was to identify the ways in which the design of our built environment and policymaking can facilitate humans’ vital relationship to sunlight and thus our health.
Nicole’s research covered three distinct areas: The Industrial Revolution as a historical precedent for understanding dark and densely populated communities and the important health and housing policies that emerged as a consequence of these conditions; The Modernist Movement, as the design community’s answer to these unhealthy and dark living spaces; and the Rapidly Urbanizing Centers, a contemporary example, focused in Chile, to address whether novel designs can emerge to stem the growth of unhealthy built environments in rapidly urbanizing centers.
After receiving her MArch from the University of Pennsylvania, Nicole’s interests in environmental health factors led her to medical research. She worked at NYU, examining different genetic and environmental factors in asthma incidence. In 2008, Nicole was part of a research group that traveled the Amazon River to study the infrastructural development at sites throughout the region. This research resulted in an architecture studio she taught in Quito, Ecuador in conjunction with a studio in Temuco, Chile.
Joëlle Bitton, (DDes '16) is head of the BA programme in Interaction Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). She is an artist and interaction designer, addressing in her work the relationships between humans and technologies, in particular within the topics of connectedness, embodied fabrication and everyday life. Her teaching puts an emphasis on associating theory and practice and on inviting students to question assumptions and stereotypes, and to embrace the “excursive” journey of a design process.
Her DDes research titled “Measure of Abstraction: Embodied Fabrication and the Materiality of Intimacy” proposed interactive processes in digital fabrication with the implication of personal data.
Ali Fard (DDes '18) is a designer, researcher, and educator. He was an editor of the New Geographies journal. He is the co-director of Op.N, a design and research office based in Toronto and Boston, and a research associate at the Urban Theory Lab at Harvard GSD. Ali has held teaching positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and University of Waterloo where he is a lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism. Ali’s current research investigates the operational landscapes of connectivity, the urban/spatial disposition of information and communication technologies, and the urbanization of cloud computing. His research and design work have appeared in MONU, MAS Context, Bracket, Azure, and Harvard Design Magazine. Ali is the co-editor of New Geographies 7: Geographies of Information. (HUP, 2015) Prior to the GSD Ali received a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) from University of Toronto.
Wendy W. Fok (DDes '17,) trained as an architect, is the creative director/founder of WE-DESIGNS, LLC (Architecture/Creative Strategy) and Resilient Modular Systems, PBC (Socially Missioned Venture). She was the winner of the Autodesk AiR Fellowship (2016), Young CAADRIA Award (2015), Digital Kluge Fellowship awarded by the Library of Congress (2014/15), the Art Director’s Club of New York’s ADC Young Guns 11 Award (2013), AIA (American Institute of Architects) Dallas “Express Yourself” Women in Architecture Award (2013), and selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011) and the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009). Fok has a Master of Architecture and Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Concentration in Economics (Statistics) from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Along with her practice, Fok is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design Strategies (SDS). In parallel with her doctoral research, Fok is involved as a Teaching Fellow for CopyrightX, under the guidance of Prof William “Terry” Fisher of the Harvard Law School, and a pioneer in the Digital Problem Solving Initiative (DPSI) with Peter Suber at the Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Her doctoral research was an investigative approach between intellectual property issues of ownership/authorship of digital/real property in computational innovation, and ethical/equitable application of technical methods within open innovation, digital fabrication, and commodisation for the built environment. Fok has also been invited to several Architectural Association (AA) Visiting Schools, SXSW Interactive, among other prestigious design workshops internationally.
Jonathan Grinham (DDes '17) is a Lecturer in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Researcher with the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. His work asks how the design of conventional and emerging material technologies can address architecture’s big problem, energy and where we get it. This question has led to the development of novel technologies and publications around vascular-thin-film heat exchange, nano-scale thermal tuning, and the coupling of breathable materials to buoyancy-driven ventilation. These topics are complemented by Jonathan's other research interests that track themes in robotics, kinematic structures, embedded computation, and automated fabrication workflows.
Jonathan has taught technology seminars at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as design studios at the Catholic University of America and Virginia Tech. While at Catholic University, Jonathan was the Assistant Project Manager for Team Capitol DC’s Solar Decathlon house, Harvest Home. Jonathan’s professional practice ranges from super-tall mixed-use buildings (while at SOM Chicago) to fiberglass composite structures (while at Studio 27 Architecture in Washington, DC) to facade consulting (for Mass Design Group in Boston, Ma).
Jonathan received his Doctorate of Design degree (DDes) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he was a Graduate Researcher for the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Project Manager for the GSD's Alive Project (MaP+S group). He holds a BArch and MS from Virginia Tech.
Saira Hashmi‘s (DDes '18) research focused on designing an optimal water infrastructure model for sustainable cities that embodies culture and the environment with a focus in the MENA region—test case is Abu Dhabi region, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
She developed a model that will help in maximizing reuse of water sources, minimizing the water consumption by investing in an appropriate and efficient set of water saving technologies within the city along with unconventional water resources. This will include the quality of water received from desalination plants along with environmental, social, economic and political constraints and policies. The model will help in pricing water and in the evaluation of future water demands.
Saira holds a BSc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and she received her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Harvard University. She has extensive teaching experience and has received numerous teaching fellowships from various graduate schools at Harvard, including the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Design, among others. She organized the 2011 water sustainability workshop with Professor Steve Caton that focused on the current global water crisis.
Aleksandra Jaeschke is an architect, researcher, and Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design at The University of Texas at Austin. Her doctoral dissertation (DDes’18) entitled Green Apparatus: Ecology of the American House According to Building Codes investigated how building regulations coupled with green building technologies and incentives shape environmentally-driven design and environmental awareness in general. Her broader interests range from mainstream discourses on sustainability and use of integrative design strategies, to process-driven design techniques and broader notions of ecology.
Prior to her move to the UT at Austin, Aleksandra was part of faculty at the Woodbury School of Architecture in Los Angeles where she taught urban design studios exploring the catalytic potential of urban infrastructures. Her most recent studio, taught in close collaboration with the Culver City Department of Community Development, addressed the socio-environmental ecology of the Ballona Creek, an active flood-control channel and underutilized urban space.
While at the GSD, she served as a teaching fellow both in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Departments. In 2015, she coordinated the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Housing Research and Prototype Design Project hosted by the GSD Environments & Design Research Lab. In this project, the sustainability of a housing prototype was explored both as a building-scale issue and that of extraction, transportation, and embodied energy of building materials. Aleksandra also co-organized the 2016 Doctor of Design Conference #decoding, which investigated the impact of codes in mapping of environments, demarcation of legal territories, operational protocols of logistics and control of built environment, highlighting the interconnections between design techniques, economic processes, and regulatory mechanisms.
Born and raised in Poland, Aleksandra holds an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London, and a professional license in Italy where she practiced at AION, an architectural firm she co-founded and co-directed with Andrea Di Stefano until her move to the U.S. in 2013. Most of her research and professional work as partner of AION focused on the integrative approach to design of material organizations, performative potential of material systems, material form-finding, and the role of digital design tools in the integration of environmentally-driven agendas. As part of AION, she managed numerous design workshops and contributed to various publications. She participated in the 27/37 Exhibition of Young Italian Architecture at the Italian Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010, and was part of the ARCHITEKTUR! conference series held at the MAXXI Museum in Rome in 2012. In 2013, AION held a solo exhibition Eco-Machines in the Wroclaw Museum of Architecture in Poland. In recognition of the work developed by AION, she received the Europe 40 Under 40 Award for 2011 conferred by the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design & Urban Studies and Chicago Athenaeum.
Ghazal Jafari (DDes '18) is a designer, researcher, and cofounder of OPN, an undisciplinary collective crossing geography, media, time and territory. Ghazal was an Aga Khan student, as well as a research fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, a member of the Urban Theory Lab, and a coeditor of New Geographies Journal. Ghazal’s current research is concerned with logistics as logic of organization, and as a lens for investigating the significance of land in hyper-contingent and uncertain markets and geographies. Ghazal’s previous projects are invested in the landscape of infrastructural systems at multiple scales, altitudes, and across borders; also the challenges/opportunities brought with migrating climatic and economies zones. The geographic context of these projects range from emerging oceanic economies to submerging coastlines. Her writings and projects has been exhibited in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and Montreal, and has been published/featured in Volume, Harvard Design Magazine, Azure, MONU, and Domus, among others.
Nikos Katsikis (DDes '16) is an architect and urbanist working at the intersection of urbanization theory, design and geospatial analysis. His research seeks, through conceptual and cartographic experimentation, to contribute to a geographical understanding of the socio-metabolic relations between agglomerations and their operational landscapes. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Luxembourg, collaborating in the development of a new program on Architecture, European Urbanization and Globalization. He is also an affiliated researcher at Urban Theory Lab, Harvard GSD. At the GSD he has served as Instructor in Urban Planning and Design (2014-2015), Teaching Fellow, and Research Associate (2010-2014 and 2015-2016). Since 2012 he is on the editorial board of the New Geographies journal and co-editor of New Geographies 06: Grounding Metabolism (Harvard University Press, 2014). He is a licensed architect in Greece and has practiced architecture and urban design as an individual, and as an associate architect. He holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard GSD, a professional degree in Architectural Engineering with highest distinction (2006) and an MSc in Architecture and Spatial Design (2009) with distinction, both from the National Technical University of Athens.
Nathan King (DDes '15) is a Co-Director of the Center for Design Research and Assistant Professor of Architecture and Industrial Design at the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech. He has taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, The Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Innsbruck. At Virginia Tech, Nathan developed the Design Robotics Laboratory and the Laboratory for Additive Manufacturing in Design and holds leadership roles in the Intelligent Infrastructure for Human Centered Communities initiative that is driving the creation of university-wide, infrastructure, curriculum, and trans-disciplinary research programs. In addition, Nathan has developed impact-driven design initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa that provide students with opportunities for international learning and engagement. Nathan lectures and publishes extensively, including the recent book Ceramic Material Systems and Transformable Design (forthcoming) of which he is co-author.
Beyond academia, King was a Director at MASS Design Group, where he collaborated on the development and deployment of innovative building technologies, medical devices, and evaluation methods for application in resource-limited settings. In addition, Nathan has contributed to the development of several Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) –scale research facilities to advance the field of Design Robotics and related material systems research in both industry and academic settings. Recently, Nathan was instrumental in the ln the development of the Autodesk BUILD Space—a 35,000 ft2 AEC research facility that drives innovation through collaboration between academia, industry, and design practice.
Matan Mayer (DDes '14) is Assistant Professor of Architecture at IE University School of Architecture and Design in Madrid and Segovia, Spain, where he teaches construction technology and design courses. He holds a Doctor of Design (’14) and Master in Design Studies (Technology, ’10) degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Design, as well as a BArch degree from Tel Aviv University. Matan’s research work focuses on achieving life cycle innovation in the built environment through developments in manufacturing technology, assembly techniques, and digital design platforms. Prior to his current position, Matan has taught research seminars at Harvard GSD and at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. He has completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, a residency at the Harvard Innovation Lab Venture Incubation Program, as well as research fellowships at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart, the Composite Construction Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the Emerging Material Technologies Group at the University of Arizona.
Taraneh Meshkani (DDes '16) is an architect, urbanist, and educator. She graduated from the Doctor of Design program in 2016 and since then has been teaching at Boston Architectural College. During her studies, Taraneh received a doctoral fellowship from the Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment at Harvard, and she is an editor of the New Geographies journal. Her research examines the linkage of new information and communication technologies and their spatialities to the social and political processes of contemporary societies. Her dissertation is on the impact of social media on physical urban spaces as the issue relates to recent sociopolitical movements. She holds a master of architecture from the University of Toronto. Meshkani has worked in different architectural firms, including Morphosis Architects, organized many conferences and exhibitions, and taught as an instructor and a teaching fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Boston Architectural college. Her work has been published and presented in Canadian Architect Magazine, the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, MediaCities, and ACADIA.
Dimitris Papanikolaou (DDes '16) is an urban scientist, architect, and engineer, and a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard GSD. He holds a DDes ('16) from Harvard GSD, an MSc from MIT Media Lab, an SMArchS from MIT SAP, and a Diploma in Architectural Engineering from NTUA. His research combines big data, complex systems modeling, and interactive technologies, to analyze, model, and design intelligent urban infrastructure and mobility systems. He has previously worked at Microsoft Research, developing novel applications of the Internet of Things, and at the MIT Media Lab, co-developing Mobility on Demand, an intelligent sharing system of electric foldable cars named by TIME magazine as the best automotive invention of 2007. His research has been published in 15 peer-reviewed conferences and 7 books and journals, and has received distinctions including the Buckminster Fuller Challenge; the Harvard Deans’ Design Challenge; the MIT Transportation Showcase award in Economics, Finance, Policy and Land Use; the Harvard Fellowship on Energy and Environment; the Harvard Meyer Transportation Research award; and a Fulbright Fellowship for graduate studies at MIT. Starting Fall 2017, he will be a tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a joint appointment between the School of Architecture and the Department of Software Information Systems, where he will be directing the Urban Synergetics lab.
Daekwon Park (DDes '17) is a licensed architect (NY), a LEED accredited professional and a design technologist who has received his MDes degree in Technology at the GSD in 2012. Daekwon has extensive experience in large scale sports and entertainment facility design and has practiced in various countries around the world including USA, Australia, and China. More recently, he worked as the director in Korea for Populous (formerly HOK Sport), independently leading all the projects in Korea including the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Main Stadium. In parallel with this career, Daekwon has also established his multi-disciplinary design practice meta-territory_studio and has been actively participating in various design competitions, exhibitions and publications.
Academically, Daekwon engaged in a wide range of teaching and research opportunities at Harvard, MIT, and EPFL. During his time at Harvard, he actively collaborated with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (Harvard), Design Robotics Group (GSD), Responsive Environment and Artifacts Lab (GSD), High-Low Tech Group (MIT Media Lab), Changing Places Group (MIT Media Lab), and Media and Design Laboratory (EPFL). Daekwon’s research studies the intersection between design, digital technology and biotechnology with an emphasis on how it influences the way the built environment is designed, built, and occupied.
Pablo Pérez-Ramos (DDes '18) is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research and teaching focus on the relationship between design and ecology. Departing from the prevalence of ecologically-driven design in today’s landscape architecture, his work retraces the genealogy of systems and process-based ideas in the theory of ecology, and investigates their mediation with design methods that privilege the legibility and the specificity of form.
A licensed architect from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid ETSAM, Pérez-Ramos also holds a Master of Advanced Studies from the same school, and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His work has been funded through grants and fellowships from the Fundación La Caixa, the Fundación Caja Madrid, the Harvard GSD, the Penny White Fund, and the Harvard RCC.
Pérez-Ramos has been visiting assistant professor and the Urban Landscape Program coordinator in the Northeastern University School of Architecture. He has been a member of the editorial board of the New Geographies journal from 2013 to 2018, and co-editor-in-chief of New Geographies 08: Island (Harvard GSD, 2016). His writing has also been published in A Line in the Andes (Harvard GSD, 2012), MONU (2014), Urban Landscape: Critical Concepts in Built Environment (Routledge, 2015) and Architecture is All Over (Columbia University Press, 2017).
His research and design work have been recognized in international competitions of architecture and urbanism. He is a landscape consultant and has recently served as landscape planning coordinator for the 2025 Masterplan for the Metropolitan District of Quito.
Bing Wang (DDes '17) is a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. His primary research interest is building performance informed design, including building performance evaluation and its integration with design, especially in regard to natural ventilation, but also including daylighting, energy consumption and thermal comfort. In his doctoral research he developed a design decision-making support system for early-stage design considering natural ventilation potential and embedded the system in Rhino Grasshopper.
Bing worked as teaching assistance at both Harvard University and Tsinghua University for core courses and studios, as well as research assistance for various research projects. In addition, he also has working experience in Transsolar, supervised by the director, Matthias Schuler, and worked in collaboration with architects Steven Holl, Frank Gehry and others. He worked there as a computational fluid dynamics specialist, focusing on analysis of natural ventilation and thermal comfort of indoor and outdoor spaces.
In addition to his DDes degree, Bing Wang holds a Master degree in Design Studies in Energy and Environment from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor degree of engineering from Tsinghua University in China. His previous work was published in peer-reviewed journals as well as presented in international conferences.
Arta Yazdanseta (DDes '18) is a LEED certified architect. She is a research assistant at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC) where she is investigating the thermal impact of green walls on building energy performance. Her research explores the intersection between design, building science, and plant biophysical ecology and emphasizes coupling building energy performance with vertical vegetative surfaces through design strategies.
Arta received her Masters of Design (MDes) in Energy and Environment in Design from GSD and her professional architectural degree (with Honors) from the Pratt Institute. Her work experience includes both large scale master plans and small residential projects. She has worked with numerous well known design firms such as SHoP Architects and hMa. She founded her architectural design studio, LINX Architecture, in 2008 while serving as a visiting instructor at the Pratt Institute.
During her tenure at the Pratt Institute, Arta created and developed the Institute's Building Information Modeling (BIM) department, designing and teaching two BIM courses as well as overseeing the creation of the BIM lab itself. She also served as a lecturer in several other courses, including Professional Practice.
Arta’s team was the first prize winner of the 2012 IBPSA Student Competition Award in Chambery, France, and her Master’s thesis, Radiative Cooling Roof Systems, was a winner of the Harvard Sustainability Grant. She is a recipient of the Circle Award Fellowship and was an AIA Women's Architectural Auxiliary Eleanor Allwork Scholar. Her work has been displayed at the New York Chapter of the AIA and has been published in Metropolis magazine.