Somayeh Chitchian

Instructor in Architecture

Somayeh Chitchian is a doctoral candidate in Urban Studies and instructor in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on the extended bordered corridors of migration and uses a logistical/ infrastructural lens as both a material and theoretical tool towards a respatialized approach to migration research beyond its inherent methodological nationalism. Somayeh was a doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany from 2015-2019.

Her forthcoming coedited volume, Inhabiting Displacement (Birkhäuser, 2021), looks at often-invisibilized migrant and refugee inhabitation practices as alternate modalities of space-making and architectural production. Somayeh is also the coeditor of the forthcoming New Geographies journal, Corridor-spaces, focused on the extended, and fragmented, corridor-spaces of empire, logistics, and migration.

Somayeh is a trained architect from Delft University of Technology in the Netherland and holds a Master in Design Studies degree (MDes) in Critical Conservation (with distinction) from Harvard GSD. Her masters thesis research “Middle Eastern Immigration Landscape in America” won Harvard ESRI Development Center’s Student of the Year Award in 2014. At Harvard, she has held various appointments as teaching- and research fellow.