Lorena Bello Gómez is Design Critic in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Through international grants, she works with local foundations and NGOs in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams as a way to connect design expertise and political will to positively impact regenerative change and climatic adaptation. She has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in Spain (2016), the Aga Khan Foundation in India (2017-2018), Fundación Social in Colombia (2017-), TUMO Foundation in Armenia (2018), the David Rockefeller DRCLAS in Mexico (2018-), and UKPACT Mexico Program (2021-). She has also engaged in workshops with universities and/or governments in Colombia, Japan, Spain, Mexico, China, and Portugal. Out of these collaborations, publications include: Beyond Reconstruction, City in Transition, and Disaster Resilient Housing. Bello´s work has been exhibited at the 2018 Venice Biennale and at MIT´s Media Lab.
Prior to the GSD, Bello was lecturer in architecture and urbanism at MIT SA+P (2013-2021) and Visiting Professor in architecture and urbanism at Porto University´s FAUP (2020-2021). During her time at MIT Lorena collaborated in design projects at the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism.
Her design research focuses on the territorial implications of infrastructure as catalysts for design. She started examining this topic in her dissertation “Hybrid Networks”—with the guidance of Joan Busquets and the late Manuel de Solá-Morales—to portray the slow geography of the European ¨camino network¨ toward the Romans´ World End in Finisterrae. Caminos are resilient and millenary cultural itineraries that combine continuous upgrades and recalibration to fuse history, art, religion´s geopolitics, territorial urban design and landscape to create a public and open platform regardless of race, class, or religion. Since then, Lorena has applied some of these lessons when working with environmentally vulnerable communities engulfed in climatic risks in India, Colombia, Armenia, and Mexico.
Bello began her architectural career in Barcelona as project director at Aldayjover Architecture and Landscape, where she led projects at different scales including those within the Water Park 2008 international exhibit in Zaragoza. She was also research assistant at the Joan Miró Foundation and the Building Tech Institute of Catalonia (ITEC). Bello holds a Master in Architecture with honors from Barcelona UPC (MArch´05), a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard GSD (MAUD´11), and a European PhD in Urbanism from Barcelona UPC (PhD´15).
Image credit: Nomeda Urbonas