PhD Student Bios
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.
Students generally take courses their first two years, and are engaged in research and teaching for at least two more years. After their fourth year, students may or may not remain in residency; many travel to pursue their research, either in the US or abroad.
Click here for recent PhD graduates.
Salma Abouelhossein is in her 6th year of the Ph.D. program in urban studies and planning. Her research interests are in urbanization and crisis, the materialities and ecologies of the finance economy, depeasantization and labor. Her dissertation is a historical geographical project that studies the entangled ways in which agro-ecological change in the Nile Valley of Egypt and Sudan was constitutive of emergent urbanization processes in the Middle East during the second half of the twentieth century. Focusing on two sugarcane production regions in Egypt and Sudan, her dissertation studies the advent of regional ‘Gulf-led’ urbanization since the mid-1970s in relation to the consecutive global ‘food regimes’.
Salma’s research is supported by the Agha Khan program at Harvard University, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), and Harvard University’s Center for African Research. She holds a Master of Science degree in urban development and planning from the Bartlett, University College London and a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University in Cairo. Before starting her Ph.D. at Harvard university, she worked as an urban planner in Cairo in collaboration with several NGOs, international development organizations, governmental agencies and local municipalities.
Katarzyna (Kate) Balug is an historian and an artist. Her research explores feedback loops between techno-political change and subjectivity as mediated by artistic practice. Her dissertation studies the influence of aeronautics on visionary architecture at two pivotal moments in the history of human spaceflight: the 1783 launch of manned balloons, and the late 1960s Apollo space program. The dissertation frames these as cosmic events, during which a new picture of Earth emerged, and examines the renewed relevance of late 18th century paper architecture as a precedent for 1960s inflatable architecture. The project deploys recent studies of air in philosophy and literature, and leads to questions about the upcoming phases of inhabiting the Earth and resumed space exploration.
Kate’s artistic practice intervenes in public space with momentary fictions that transform familiar situations and behaviors. She works with communities, from Peruvian villages, to Mexico City, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Boston, to strengthen the sense of agency through the co-production of wonder.
Past projects include a co-curated 2017 exhibition, The New Inflatable Moment, at Boston’s BSA Space, which captured the utopian sensibilities of inflatable structures from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Kate’s work has received support from, among others, the Harvard Sinclair Kennedy Fellowship for academic research, and from ArtPlace America for her long-term collaboration, Department of Play. For several years, Kate has taught seminars and lecture courses in the Landscape Architecture department at the GSD, and has been the lead instructor for the summer English for Design program. She serves as an MDes Research Tutor. Her essays have been published in, among others, Geoforum, Critical Sociology (co-authored), UCSB’s react/review journal, and New Geographies: Extraterrestrial. She has a book chapter forthcoming in NASA in the American South (University of Florida Press, Brian Odom, ed.). Her creative work has been featured in the Journal of Architectural Education, FastCo, Metropolis Magazine, Next City, and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Hugo Betting is an architect and a second-year Ph.D. student. His research explores the entanglement of technology and the polysemic notion of nature in the built environment, considering both texts and objects from the western contexts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
His current work examines how technology bears both practical and symbolic functions in nature’s exploitation, imitation, reproduction, and “recovery.” On a narrower scope, Hugo’s work addresses this problematic in the American context: how particular readings of natural history, cultural constructions such as wilderness and frontier, and the fantasized ideal of a “natural man” impacted theories and objects. Hence, beyond the relationship between nature and technology, his research investigates the entanglement of the built environment with politics, science, labor and race
Prior to arriving at Harvard, Hugo completed a Licence’s and a Master’s Degree from Paris La Villette School of Architecture and worked for various architecture studios in Paris as a project architect. In 2021 and 2022, he was the recipient of the Arthur Sachs Fellowship.
Will Conroy is a fourth-year PhD student in urban studies and planning at Harvard University. He is broadly interested in the historical geographies of capital, the geopolitical economy of urbanization, US environmental and imperial history, ascriptive difference and hierarchization, critical urban theory, and spatial dialectics; and his dissertation project builds on those themes, developing a theorization of the relationship between ascriptive difference and capitalist urbanization – and a rereading of the history of twentieth century US urbanization – by way of a history of African American political thought since 1925. William has presented his academic work at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers and at the Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network, among many other fora. He took his PhD qualifying exams under the supervision of Neil Brenner, Katrina Forrester, and Walter Johnson, with his major exam developing a “reproductionist approach” to the historical geographies of capital, and his minor exam engaging the topic of race and the urban process in the imperial United States after 1870. His own research on those themes has appeared or is forthcoming in leading journals of urban studies, geography, history, and socio-spatial theory. (For more information and publication details, please visit his website: williamconroy.net).
William has a BA (summa cum laude) from Northwestern University, an MPhil (with distinction) from the University of Oxford, and an AM from Harvard University, where he was named a Presidential Fellow. He is a Research Affiliate at the University of Chicago’s Urban Theory Lab. Prior to graduate school, William worked for several environmental organizations, including as a Princeton in Asia fellow.
Yazmín M. Crespo Claudio is a Puerto Rican architect, educator, and Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her scholarship addresses the relationship between architecture, education, media, and territory, focusing on pedagogical experiments of architecture in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Yazmín has taught at Harvard GSD, NYIT, Cornell, Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico, Universidad de Puerto Rico, and was a Visiting Professor at the Elisava Escola Universitària de Disseny i Enginyeria de Barcelona, and former director of the department of Architecture at Universidad Ana G. Méndez. She frequently lectures about her work and has been invited to participate in several design workshops, seminars, and peer-reviewed conferences from cities like Madrid, Helsinki, Santo Domingo, Arequipa, Santiago de Chile, Valparaíso, Rio de Janeiro, Guadalajara, Vancouver, New York, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. She has also been an invited juror at various universities and has also collaborated in the curation of art and design exhibitions.
Yazmín’s work in teaching, research, and practice has been recognized with several awards, including the Edita Technical Chamber of Greece Award for her proposal Housing and Public Space in the Historical Center of Barcelona at the XIX Congress of the UIA in Barcelona, a Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill (SOM) Urban Design Category Finalist, and as an associate designer at Perkins Eastman, the World Architecture Award 2009, and the AIA NY Merit Award for the TKTS Booth in New York.
She is the co-founder of taller Creando Sin Encargos (tCSE). This all-women design collective has developed several design-build workshops titled Arquitecturas Colectivas in Puerto Rico and US communities. Her research explores Counter-narratives of architectural pedagogies: an interdisciplinary perspective. Her dissertation focuses on pedagogical experiments that played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her doctoral research has been supported by Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
Yazmín holds the Master in Design Studies (MDes) in History and Theory of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, the Master of Architecture (MArch), and the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning, and the Bachelor’s in Environmental Design (BED) from the Universidad de Puerto Rico’s School of Architecture. In 2020, Yazmín completed a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Samira Daneshvar is a fourth-year PhD student in History and Theory of Architecture and a master’s student in History of Science. Her research broadens the definition of design to consider its place in the histories of sciences, media, and the environment. She is particularly interested in the histories and materialities that have formed the relation between the human body and its ‘surroundings’. Inquiring into history of modern environmental thought, she has been researching the interconnectedness of interior and exterior environments. Her dissertation focuses on history of radiation in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, studying how spaces within and between bodies are mediated, represented, and reasoned.
Samira holds a Master of Architecture from University of Toronto and Master of Science from University of Michigan. She joined the discipline of art and architecture after five years of medical studies in Iran. Prior to GSD, Samira taught at University of Miami and practiced in Toronto. Her writings have appeared in Thresholds Journal, Inflection Journal, Centre 22, and other venues. She has exhibited at: MIT (Keller Gallery), Fashion Art Toronto (Daniel’s Spectrum), University of Texas at Austin (Goldsmith Hall), and Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University.
Taylor Davey is a sixth-year PhD candidate working at the intersection of transnational governance, environmental expertise, and urban political ecology. Her work focuses on the rise of local greenhouse emissions inventorying and the development of municipal sustainability indicators since the 1990s. Interested in the influence of accounting and financial risk techniques on local environmental governance, the dissertation takes the Canadian cities of Toronto and Edmonton as historical case studies to investigate the relationship between expert-driven discourses and the localization of global climate governance agendas. Of interest is the changing scalar politics of climate, the way new local policy objects are developed as part of this agenda, and the potential for concepts like the local or regional “climate” to become a more radical political resource.
Taylor holds an MA in Urban Planning from Harvard University as well as a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Waterloo, where she has also worked as an instructor. Taylor was the recipient of a SSHRC Masters research award and OAA Guild Medal. Her earlier research focused on the Social Urbanism program in Medellín, Colombia, and the politics of its dissemination as “best practice” model. She has also worked as an editorial intern at Log, The Architectural Review, and is an editorial assistant for the Harvard GSD publications office. Prior to her academic career, Taylor worked as an intern in architectural offices in Toronto. Taylor is currently located in Cambridge, MA.
Romain David is an architect, historian, and suburbanist. Now in his third year in the program, he describes his research as a socio-history of the present time, with a specific interest in the corporate metamorphosis of the western neo-avant-garde at the end of the 20th century. He defends a form of methodological eclectism and he is as much indebted to the sociology of organizations, anthropology of work, and history of labor as to intellectual and institutional history. In addition, Romain has a deep passion for historical writing and methods and is currently trying to imagine what would be a global microhistory of architecture.
His most recent researches are about the distribution of authorship in corporate firms, the intersection of architectural and managerial discourse in North American and European academia in the 90s, as well as the historiography of architectural history.
Romain holds a Bachelor’s in cinema studies from Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle and a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in architectural design from Paris La Villette School of Architecture. For his master’s thesis, “1995: OMA Born Again”, he received the Prix du Mémoire de Master en Architecture 2018 by the Fondation Rémy Butler. In 2020 and 2021, he was the recipient of the Arthur Sachs Fellowship.
His writings had been published in Plan Libre, Pli, and San Rocco.
Beyond his academic work, he is also an avid explorer of the suburbia and its untapped world of warehouses, pinball temples, jump-parks, and gated communities.
Phillip Denny is a PhD candidate working on histories of architectural prefabrication, colonialism, and urbanization in the twentieth century. He is advised by Antoine Picon and Sarah M. Whiting. Phillip is a Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow in Germany for the 2021–22 academic year.
Phillip frequently writes about architecture, art, and design. His writing has appeared in Harvard Design Magazine, Volume, Metropolis, The New York Times, and other publications. Recent projects include a genealogy of “creaturely” architecture in Inscriptions: Architecture Before Speech, edited by K. Michael Hays and Andrew Holder (Harvard University Press), and The Art of Joining: Designing the Universal Connector (Leipzig: Spector Books), a pocketbook anthology of original research on the architect Konrad Wachsmann. He is a member of the editorial board of Architect’s Newspaper and editor of New York Review of Architecture. In 2020, Phillip co-founded a83, a gallery and organization in Soho, New York, with a three-part mission to exhibit, publish, and promote experimental projects in architecture, art, and design.
Phillip completed his Master of Architecture degree at Princeton University, where he graduated with the certificate in Media + Modernity, and received the School of Architecture History and Theory Prize. He received a Master’s degree from Harvard University in 2019. He also holds a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was awarded the Louis F Valentour Fellowship, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Prize for Architecture History, and the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He has practiced in numerous roles with architecture firms and organizations in the United States and Europe, including OMA/Rem Koolhaas, MOS Architects of New York, and C-Lab at Columbia University. In 2018, Phillip was a fellow of the Bauhaus Global Modernism Lab in Dessau, Germany. In 2019, he received a Graham Foundation grant to support his work on an English-language translation of Nicolas Schöffer’s 1969 urban manifesto La ville cybernétique.
Hayley Eaves is a third-year Ph.D. student interested in Baroque and Enlightenment architecture, stage design for opera, festival architecture and ephemera for theatrical enactments, and architectural draftsmanship. Past projects have focused on wayang golek (rod puppetry) in modern Indonesia, Philip James de Loutherbourg’s (1740-1812) use of theatre models and miniatures, and Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena’s (1657-1743) appropriation of ancient and global monuments on the late Baroque stage. Hayley has been the recipient of a Governor General’s Academic medal, a Max Stern Museum Fellowship, and a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, which supported her 2018 residency at the Centro Vittore Branca where she was based out of the Institute of Theatre and Opera.
Hayley holds a Master’s in Art History from McGill University. While completing her M.A., Hayley attributed close to one-thousand watercolour paintings of zoological specimens from an eighteenth-century collection and was the lead curator and researcher for an exhibition aimed at illuminating the impact of the Great War on McGill students, faculty, and staff. The exhibition was featured on CTV News. Hayley has written exhibition reviews for Montréal-based artists and has recently published essays for the nascent Infrastructure and Climate Project at Harvard’s Centre for History and Economics.
Igor Ekštajn is a PhD candidate in architecture, urban, and landscape history. His dissertation studies how the understanding of nature has played a dynamic role in the planning and organization practices of the European southeast in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
He received a Master of Architecture from the University of Zagreb (2005) and worked in a number of Croatian architectural offices. He also holds a Master in Design Studies in History and Philosophy of Design from the Harvard GSD (2011), and a Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture from Harvard GSAS (2013).
Igor has experience in curatorial practice, having worked for both the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the GSD’s Exhibition Department. He served, moreover, as the Deputy Curator of the Croatian Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, and as a member of the research and curatorial team for “Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative”- a travelling exhibition of the Harvard-Mellon Urban Initiative, where he was also a Research Fellow.
He is a Graduate Student Affiliate of the Harvard University Center for European Studies and of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Igor’s doctoral research has been supported by fellowships from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and from the Krupp Foundation.
Samaa Elimam is a PhD Candidate studying the history of technology, empire, and environment in the nineteenth century. Her dissertation examines the links between engineering methods and the technical production of the past in the Nile Valley, with a focus on the relationship between Egypt and the Sudan. Previous research has explored rival conceptions of technical knowledge, including early nineteenth century ideas of public utility, optimization, and aesthetic discourse in the design of public works. Samaa completed her Masters in Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where her thesis in the New Geographies Lab explored modern Mediterranean environmental history, particularly infrastructural networks in the Nile Delta. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
Before her PhD, Samaa worked as an architectural designer at offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cairo, and later, a visiting studio instructor at the American University in Cairo. Her dissertation research has been supported by fellowships from the Society for the History of Technology, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Tamer Elshayal is an urbanist working at the intersection of urban theory, critical geography, environmental anthropology, and science and technology studies. His current research seeks to examine the shifting spatialities of mega-engineering in the Middle East through the study of spatial and cultural politics of large infrastructural projects. He is interested in how large engineering schemes reconfigure territories and landscapes as they take shape in discursive and material mediums and how they engender contested socio-spatial formations.
Tamer is an associate member of the Spatial Ethnography Lab, a research collaborative co-founded and led by anthropologist Vyjayanthi Rao. He is also a research member of Neil Brenner’s Urban Theory Lab at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, in which he works on the spatial and political dimensions of extractive economies and large-scale water and energy infrastructure in the restructuring of North Africa. Tamer previously worked as a research assistant in the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, focusing on water and energy infrastructure in the US. Furthermore, reflecting his shared interests in critical geography and environmental anthropology, he was awarded the Penny White summer grant to conduct fieldwork in Egypt, investigating the infrastructural landscapes of coastal engineering works in the Nile Delta.
Tamer holds a Master in Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), a Master of Landscape Architecture from FH Anhalt, Germany; a Post-professional Certificate in GIS and Environment from Salford University, UK; and a Bachelor of Architecture from Faculty of Fine Arts, Egypt. Tamer has previously worked as landscape architect in Germany and Egypt, and as an environmental researcher at the Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
José Carlos Fernández is a second-year PhD student whose work spans the fields of law, urbanism and history. He is broadly interested in the history of the influence of property law on the development of cities. His research explores the tension between European liberal property regimes adopted in colonial and post-colonial contexts and the everyday practices of urban communities as they go about owning and acquiring land. His “geography” of interest is the global south and particularly Latin America.
Between 2020 and 2021, he held the position of Director of Urbanism of the Ministry of Housing of Peru, where he led the development and approval of the new National Policy of Housing and Urbanism 2030 and the passing into law of the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2021. Prior to this, Jose Carlos worked as an associate and senior associate at the Lima office of Baker McKenzie law firm and as the legal advisor to the Metropolitan Institute of Planning of Lima.
He has worked as professor of Property Law at the Catholic University Law School and has also taught seminars and workshops at the schools of architecture of Catholic University and the National University of Engineering in Lima, Peru.
Jose Carlos holds a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University and is also a licensed lawyer graduated from the School of Law of Catholic University of Peru.
Morgan Forde is a second year PhD student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Graduate Student Affiliate with the Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies. Her research focuses on the urban history of Black communities in the United States from 1917-1980, with a particular interest in the architectural and intellectual synergies developed between afro-socialists in the United States, the Caribbean, and the Soviet Union.
Morgan holds an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Studies with distinction from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in International Politics and Security Studies from Georgetown University. Formerly a journalist and editor, her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Mic, Popular Mechanics, Ploughshares, and Smart Cities Dive.
Swarnabh Ghosh is a PhD candidate in urban planning and a secondary field candidate in science, technology, and society (STS). He works at the intersection of critical geography, environmental history, and urban studies. His doctoral research focuses on the uneven and combined historical geographies of perennial irrigation, primary commodity production, and socioecological change in late-colonial and postcolonial South Asia. His dissertation explores the prehistories and crisis-riven afterlives of the “Green Revolution” in northwestern India through an examination of state spatiality, infrastructure development, environment-making, and agrarian intensification from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries.
His recent publications include a paper (with Neil Brenner) on the relationship between processes of planetary urbanization, neoliberal agro-industrial restructuring, and the political ecologies of emergent infectious disease; an essay on work and the labor process in the construction industry; and a paper (with Ayan Meer) on the conceptual convergences between critical agrarian studies and urban theoretical scholarship on extended urbanization. His broader research interests include geographical political economy, critical urban theory, the political economy of development, infrastructure studies, and the historical geography of capitalism from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
Swarnabh is a research affiliate at the Urban Theory Lab, formerly based at the GSD, currently based at the University of Chicago. His research has been supported by the Harvard GSAS Graduate Society, the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and the IJURR Foundation. His work has appeared in Urban Studies, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Dialogues in Human Geography, and The Avery Review, among other publications.
Swarnabh holds a Master of Philosophy in Urban Studies (with distinction) from the University of Cambridge where he studied as a Bass Scholar and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. Before coming to Harvard, he worked at the interdisciplinary studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro in New York City where he was involved in projects spanning art, media, and architecture.
Sarah Hutcheson (she/they) is a 5th year PhD candidate with a focus on early modern Britain and the British Empire. Her dissertation research examines royal building projects after the Restoration of the monarchy, and the problems of renegotiating the relationship between politics and space in the years following regicide and revolution. Sarah holds an MSc in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in History from Vassar College.
Hannah Kaemmer is a 6th-year PhD candidate working on early modern architecture and engineering. Her dissertation considers the relationship between engineering and empire building in 17th-century England. Focusing on sites in North Africa, Ireland, North America, and the Caribbean, it explores the role of expertise and institutionalization in the construction of colonial fortifications. Broadly, Hannah is interested in the built environments of empire, the politics of architecture and architectural knowledge, and the intersection of science and architecture in the early modern period. Other current research includes studies of 17th-century English interpretations of Ottoman architecture and of architectural and scientific images in antiquarian debates.
Hannah holds a Master of Arts with distinction in the Archaeology of Buildings from the University of York and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Williams College. Before her PhD, she was a resident fellow at the Preservation Society of Newport County, where she researched patron-architect relationships in the late-19th century, as well as the rebuilding and preservation of Newport’s Gilded Age homes in the 20th century. She has also worked as a consultant for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across the U.S. Her dissertation research has been supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Renaissance Society of America, UCLA’s Center for 17th– and 18th-Century Studies, and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Hanan Kataw is a PhD candidate whose research looks at discourse-making practices in the western discipline of architecture, focusing on the rise of the digital discourses of the 1990s and examining the social and institutional systems and power relations that conditioned and shaped these discourses.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture Engineering from The University of Jordan, where she was awarded the Issa Hassan Abu Al Ragheb Award for Academic Excellence. She also holds a Master of Arts in Architectural History with distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Her master’s thesis focused on the architect’s agency and the politics of knowledge in the “digital generative architecture” discourse.
She has worked as a visiting lecturer at Al-Zaytoonah University in Jordan, where she taught a class on the theories and applications of Building Information Modeling (BIM). She was also a research consultant at Studio-X Amman, run by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the Columbia Global Centers, where her research focused on the history of urban planning in the city of Amman and the different digital technologies used in mapping the urban change and their influence on the ways the city has been represented and narrated. In 2019, Hanan participated in the Global Modernism curatorial research residency at the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau, Germany, and edited Handle with Care: Unpacking a Bulky Table, an anthology that looks at a table designed by Marcel Breuer as a case study, investigating the incorporation of everyday objects into the design canons. Hanan’s doctoral research has been supported by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The Weatherhead Center, and The Charles Babbage Institute.
Matthew Kennedy is a designer, writer, and educator operating between Mexico City and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2020, he formally partnered with longtime collaborator Andrés Harvey to establish the architecture and design studio Cosa, which seeks to explore the relationship between local material culture and global economic networks via architectural and interior interventions, experimental preservation, exhibition design, objects, and research. Prior to establishing Cosa, he worked in architecture offices including Frida Escobedo Taller de Arquitectura, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, and The Fautory. Since 2017, Matthew has served as the assistant editor of the journal Faktur: Documents and Architecture, and is the co-author of the forthcoming book The Advanced School of Collective Feeling: Inhabiting Physical Culture, 1926-38 (Park Books, 2022). From 2020 to 2022 he taught design studios and architectural theory at the Pennsylvania State University, where he helped lay the groundwork for the PhD student-edited journal Hyphen. He has been an invited critic at schools such as Yale University, Columbia University, and UC Berkeley. He has presented work at venues including the Center for Architecture (New York, NY) and The Berlage (Delft, NL), and has participated in panel discussions at LIGA (Mexico City, MX) and SCI-Arc (Los Angeles, CA), among others. Matthew holds a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation.
Photo credit: Portrait by Enrique R. Aguilar for MENTES vol. 2, 2022.
Gabriel Kozlowski is a Brazilian architect and curator. He is principal at the architectural firm POLES.studio.
Gabriel is currently Assistant Curator for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2021. Past curated exhibitions include “Walls of Air” (the Brazilian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale) and “Housing+” (the 3rd Biennial Exhibit of the MIT L. Center for Advanced Urbanism). His recent books include: The World as an Architectural Project (MIT Press, 2020); 8 Reactions for Afterwards (RioBooks, 2019); and Walls of Air: Brazilian Pavilion 2018 (Bienal de São Paulo, 2018).
Graduated from the Master of Science in Urban Design program at MIT, Gabriel has held research positions at the School of Architecture and Planning, the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism and the Senseable City Lab, and taught graduate-level seminars, workshops and studios at the same school.
For his PhD at Harvard, Gabriel is looking at the history of urbanization in the Amazon basin. His research interest suggests that the way politics and power got spatialized in that region has defined the framework through which we conceive of and relate to the Amazon, and that a new reading of it can, in turn, inform the way we understand and address broader urbanization processes as well as the responses from our design disciplines.
Sunghwan Lim is a licensed engineer in architecture and building facilities. He is a second-year Ph.D. student in Architecture, concentrating in Architectural Technology, advised by Professor Ali Malkawi. His research focuses on sustainable and high-performance building technologies, with particular interests in energy simulation, natural ventilation, and HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system studies. Sunghwan is currently working on developing innovative building control systems and increasing the potential of natural ventilation at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.
Sunghwan earned his Master in Design Studies (MDes) degree in Energy and Environment from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2021. He received the Dean’s Merit Scholarship during his study and his master’s thesis, entitled Controlling Wind Pressure around Building by Multiangle Ventilation Louver for Higher Natural Ventilation Potential, was awarded to Daniel L. Schodek Award for Technology and Sustainability.
Before joining the Harvard community, Sunghwan double majored in Interior Architecture & Built Environment and Architecture & Architectural Engineering at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Sunghwan worked as a construction engineer at Samsung Construction and Trading company for six years. His invaluable experiences with building an airport in Mongolia and constructing a residential complex in Seoul profoundly shaped his research ideas and motivated him to contribute to the field of architecture.
Adam Longenbach is a fourth-year PhD student whose research follows two lines of inquiry roughly bracketed between the Second Industrial Revolution and the early years of the Cold War. The first concerns how photography, film, and television opened new ways of experiencing, understanding, and producing built space. The second concerns how, in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, the rise of mechanization shaped ways of perceiving and treating the body and the built environment as machines.
Adam’s dissertation considers how the technical knowledges of architecture, science, and film emerged as crucial components of US military power. In particular, he examines the emergence of the “mock village”: sites for conducting military-scientific experiments, simulating operations, and physically and psychologically conditioning troops for the “three-dimensional warfare” of the mid-twentieth century. A broader aim of this project is to open new understandings and new critiques of military thinking, particularly in instances where architectural knowledge is used to enable violence and attitudes of indifference toward civilian life.
Before coming to Harvard, Adam practiced for several years in design offices in the US and abroad including Olson Kundig Architects, Allied Works Architecture, and Snøhetta. His work can be found in Thresholds, Log, and The Avery Review, among others.
Adil Mansure is a first-year PhD student at the GSD and his interests are located at the intersection of technology and complexity science, language studies, and the history and theory of art and architecture. He has previously co-edited Finding San Carlino: Collected Perspectives on the Geometry of the Baroque (Routledge 2019) and curated the traveling exhibit Instrumentalies of an Eternal Baroque, in which he pursued a ‘History and Theory via drawing and making’ method of historical inquiry. His theory project The Architecture of Cliché uses everyday language phenomena as spaces to model the complexities of our participation in a shared medium. Adil is currently also pursuing a circumpolar oral history project exploring how architectural space emerges through language, specifically out of the stories of various Indigenous peoples along our Northern latitudes (initially made possible by the H. Allen Brooks Traveling Fellowship awarded by the Society of Architectural Historians). Adil has previously worked in architecture studios in Toronto, New York, and Mumbai; and has taught studios and graduate seminars based on his interests at the University of Toronto, the University at Buffalo, Wenzhou-Kean University, OCAD University, and Laurentian University. He holds an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Studies from Cambridge University, an M. Arch II from Yale University, and a B. Arch from Mumbai University.
Sarah Moses is a second-year PhD student with an interest in the interpretation of sites with “difficult” or contentious histories. She holds dual Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Historic Preservation degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design where she won the William M. Mehlhorn Scholarship for Architectural Theory and Anthony Nicholas Brady Garvan Award for Outstanding Thesis for her examination of conflict between a collective desire to memorialize and a protective impulse to stigmatize, sanitize, or obliterate sites with traumatic or violent associations, such as sites with legacies of enslavement. She holds an undergraduate degree in fine arts from Yale University.
Prior to her arrival at Harvard, Sarah was an architectural historian for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Her focus on lesser-known facets of New York’s past led to publications about female reformers’ creation of the first purpose-built kindergarten in Brooklyn, the adaptation of Civil War-era manufactories by Abstract Expressionist artists for use as studios, and Redemption-era racism through the lens of Tin Pan Alley’s 1890s-1910s popular music businesses. These projects were urgent case studies in the material regulation of historic sites with cultural import, the latter of a confrontational “negative heritage” site.
Sabrina Osmany is a PhD candidate in Artificial Intelligence & Design Computation at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on developing Deep Generative Models of Artificial Imagination. She is co-advised between Harvard and MIT working in collaboration with Isola lab at MIT-CSAIL.
Sabrina’s research combines machine learning with cognitive linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience of human visuospatial reasoning, in an effort to lay the foundations for machines that are capable of human-like generative capacities such as imagination and creativity. Her work builds on models of Conceptual Exploration which integrates language as a fundamental component of the cognitive experience. Sabrina uses these language insights to train machines that can perform tasks such as abstract thinking, cross-modal reasoning, concept transfer and concept invention, which is the immanent frontier towards Artificial General Intelligence.
Sabrina’s research draws from key insights from research on Mental Spaces suggesting how humans choose to represent concepts frames the choices they make during in subsequent spatial reasoning tasks. As such, representations instantiate frame consistent choice architectures. This means that representations can both reduce or expand the range of exploration of choice outcome. Nudging literature from Cognitive Psychology has shown that this phenomenon can be used for enhancing decision making in rational choice settings. Sabrina’s work asks how it might also augment the human imagination and creative arts. This has bearings on the nature of agency and intentionality.
Generative Models enable an expansion in our conceptual agency, authority and imagination in the realm of the Arts but also New Ways of Thinking. By forecasting and generating Art Futures, and possible Future Worlds, Sabrina is currently developing generative models for applications in Neural Diversity and Brain Machine Interfaces.
Sabrina holds an M.P.S. from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU where her research explored how human agency and intentionality are mediated by the design of interactive systems, focusing on the the development of intelligent virtual environments that sense, decode, and mediate human choice making behavior.
In collaboration with NYU’s Center for Neural Science, Sabrina developed her thesis, the Human Avatar Project, an anatomical, 27 degree-of-freedom upper-limb simulation to aid Pesaran lab’s research in brain-machine interfaces for robotic prosthetics.
Her interactive work includes the development of a programming language in Urdu, a mobile app that uses computer vision to identify and connect with network devices, and a 120 ft. video installation at InterActiveCorp headquarters in New York City. She has exhibited Computational Art work internationally and maintains a vibrant artistic practice alongside her research.
Sabrina studied Philosophy at Bard College, completing a thesis, The Stature of Man in the Age of Creative Machines, which explored the cybernetic implications on of machines surpassing human creative intelligence. She is a mentor for OpenAI Scholars Program and currently serves on the board of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College. Sabrina is from Karachi, Pakistan.
Christina Shivers is a PhD candidate in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Her dissertation investigates the rise of market-based environmental policies since the 1970s through researching the history of surface-mined land reclamation programs in Canada and the United States. Specifically, she looks to the influence of ecological and economic thought on the planning and design of formerly mined sites in order to understand the ways in which reclamation research influenced environmental policy at the national and international scales.
Christina was a Graduate Student Affiliate and Graduate Research Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Canada Program, and is the recipient of the Weatherhead Center’s Dissertation Writing Grant for the 2021-22 academic year. She was previously the recipient of the Warren Center for Studies in American History Term-Time Dissertation Research Grant in 2020. Christina was a participant in the Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Student Workshop at Dumbarton Oaks in the summer of 2020 and was a doctoral fellow at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal in 2019. She has presented her work at a number of venues including the 2021 New England Society of Architectural Historians annual conference, the 2021 HAUS PhD Symposium at Cornell University, 2019 Annual Conference for the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, the Society of Architectural Historians 2018 International Conference in Minneapolis, the Berlin Unlimited Urban Arts Festival in Berlin, Germany, the AIA Washington D.C. Emerging Architects Thesis Showcase and has been published in MAS Context.
Christina is also a visual artist and electronic musician. She was previously awarded the AIA Atlanta Emerging Voices Award in 2016 and presented an exhibition entitled Contrapuntal Narratives: Architectural Drawing Machines for Atlanta. She has also exhibited her artistic work at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s fortyK Gallery, at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and recently installed a sculpture at the Nashville International Airport. She is also an electronic musician and performs regularly in New England.
Caroline Filice Smith is doctoral candidate in Urban Planning and the ‘22-‘23 Democracy Doctoral Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. Their work focuses on racialized histories of urban design across the US and its empire, histories of activist planner-architects, and reparative and abolitionist models of urban design. Caroline’s dissertation project explores the emergence of “participatory planning” in the mid-twentieth century. Through a focus on federally funded—yet activist led—community action programs in the US, Caroline’s research examines how the Black Power movement, the War on Poverty, and models of community development originally designed to quell insurgency abroad, intersected to form the foundation of a now central paradigm of US urban planning practice. This work touches on issues of democratic social engineering, cold war imperialism, 20th century anti-racist urban uprisings, and struggles for self-determination across the US.
In addition to their dissertation, Caroline teaches and conducts research as part of the Urban Design and the Color Line project and has recently completed an anti-racist planning toolkit with the Highline Network and the Urban Institute (link), and a report for the Architectural League of NY on landscape and community-led, post-coal futures for Appalachia. They are a Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative doctoral fellow, having previously served as an Irving Innovation Fellow, and their work has been funded by the Graham Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Warren Center for American Studies, the Canadian Center for Architecture, and the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative. Caroline holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from the GSD, where they were awarded both the Thesis Prize and Academic Excellence Award in Urban Design – additionally, Caroline holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech. Prior to coming to Harvard, Caroline spent five years in professional architectural practice – most of which was spent working for UNStudio in their Shanghai office, and less of which was spent practicing in Los Angeles where they were actively involved in the Occupy movement.
Sam Tabory is a fourth-year PhD student. He studies the governance and negotiation of urban-regional systems transitions, paying attention to questions of scale, infrastructure, and boundary. He is interested in how transitions and alternative governance logics interact with evolving spatial and temporal understandings of crisis under conditions of global environmental change. His work considers how conventions of both growth and polity are implicated by such ideas of crisis. Trained both as a planner and a Latin Americanist, comparative and global perspectives inform his work. His interests are interdisciplinary and multi-scalar across planning, law, and urban science. An element of Sam’s focus on transitions includes an interest in the speculative and propositional work of intervening in support of urban systems transitions.
Prior to doctoral studies, Sam worked in urban science-policy engagement for a Sustainability Research Network supported by the US National Science Foundation and as a research associate with the global cities research team at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Professionally, he has contributed to reports commissioned by UN Environment, the World Bank, and NATO. His scholarly work has been published in Global Environmental Change.
Sam holds master’s degrees in urban planning and Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from Tulane University.
Demetra Vogiatzaki is a historian of eighteenth-century architecture working on the intersection of virtual and material spaces in early modern Europe, with a particular focus in the French Enlightenment. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation ‘On Marvels and Stones: Dreams, Virtuality, and Space in Late Eighteenth-Century France’, part of which was conducted in collaboration with the French literature department at Sorbonne, where she served as an HSS Chateaubriand Fellow. For her research, Demetra has received generous support from Harvard, UCLA, the French Embassy in the United States, and the Canadian Center of Architecture, among others. Her broader interests include the politics of early modern imagination, eighteenth-century environmentalism, and Eastern Mediterranean religious and diplomatic mediations in the Enlightenment.
Demetra is co-chairing the ASECS (American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies) sponsored panel at the CAA 2023 conference, and is part of the organizing committee for the upcoming EAHN (European Architectural History Network) conference to be held in 2024 in Athens, Greece. She has also been an organizer of DocTalks, an inter-institutional platform for presentations by and for PhD students, where she spearheaded ‘DocTalks X MoMA’; a doctoral think tank on environmental research that will launch in Fall 2022, under the auspices of the MoMA Ambasz Institute.
An active member of the Harvard-wide Mental Health Task Force, Demetra represented the GSD in the year-long deliberations of the group, while she also worked closely with Deans Dench and McCavana to formulate concrete proposals for the enhancement of advising structures at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. During COVID-19 she had the opportunity to carry this interest into her professional community, volunteering for the HECAA (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture) DEI ‘Resources’ and ‘Mentorship’ committees. Demetra is particularly interested in questions of equity and inclusion and for the past year she has been a member of Queer Space Working Group, joining colleagues from UPenn, Princeton, ETH and RISD, among other institutions.
A licensed architect-engineer in Greece (MA, MSc with excellence from the National Technical University of Athens), Demetra is further interested in design, and curatorial activities. Beyond the academic walls, she has participated in art exhibitions in Paris, Istanbul and Athens, while her work was on display at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture (Greek Pavilion). She enjoys poetry, crime books, and traveling, and is always up to chat about history and theory in the trays.
Eldra Dominique Walker is an architectural historian whose dissertation examines the theme of the “primitive” in nineteenth-century French architectural thought and practice. She received the support of the Bourse Jeanne Marandon from the Société de professeurs français et francophones d’Amérique (SPFFA), the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard University, and the Pforzheimer Fellowship from the Harvard Library. More broadly, Modern European Architecture (1750-1950) is her primary field, and her additional research interests include transnational histories, architectural literature, intersections between race and architecture, history and theory of architectural ornament, and the theory and practice of architectural preservation.
Eldra has presented work at conferences organized by the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, the European Architectural History Network, and the Première Université d’été de programme STARACO (STAtus, RAce, et COuleur) at the University of Nantes.
Currently, she is a lecturer and principal advisor to the MDesign Historic Preservation Program for the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Additionally, she was the Nettie Seabrooks Graduate Curatorial Intern in European Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she assisted museum curators with an upcoming exhibition entitled “Color of Faith.” Eldra has taught courses at the GSD in Western Architectural history and theory, from the Renaissance to the present. Before coming to Harvard, Eldra was an architectural design reviewer in the District of Columbia Office of Planning. Eldra has an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Morgan State University.
Xiaoshi Wang is a PhD candidate in the Harvard PhD of Architecture program, and his research focuses on exploring potential connection between geometrical spatial layout and indoor natural ventilation evaluation. He tries to propose and test a method of embodying such connection with expandable CFD dataset and machine learning model implemented to first predict the air flow pattern inside a multi-room indoor space layout, and then optimize this space layout towards a better flow pattern, so as to form a design iteration loop. Xiaoshi is also interested in involving human preference in the design iteration and develop a human-AI interactive mechanism. Before entering his PhD track, Xiaoshi holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Tongji University in China, a Master of Science in architecture degree from Columbia University in New York, and a Master of Design degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Xiaoshi is currently based in China.
Angela Wheeler is a sixth-year PhD candidate and graduate associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her dissertation examines historic neighborhood conservation in the postwar Soviet Union and its development as an urban planning tool, site of transnational exchange, and arena for local identity politics. She is broadly interested in the history of heritage conservation movements, experimental and activist approaches to heritage, and the role of preservation pedagogy in design curricula.
After working with the International Council of Monuments and Sites as a Fulbright grantee in Tbilisi and conducting HUD surveys of Hawaii public housing, she completed an MSc in Historic Preservation at Columbia University. Her thesis, Socialist in Form, National in Content, investigated official attempts to reconcile historic preservation and postmodern aesthetics with Soviet ideology in the Brezhnev era.
Angela’s recent projects include a Graham Foundation grant for “Indigenous Outsiders: Endangered Islamic Heritage in the Republic of Georgia,” an exhibition and publication documenting the wooden mosques of Georgia’s Adjaran Muslim community. Her chapter on mosques of Russia and the Caucasus appeared in Rizzoli’s Mosques: Splendors of Islam and she recently completed the Tbilisi volume for DOM’s Architectural Guides series (2022), the first comprehensive English-language guide to city since glasnost. Angela currently works as adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on architecture and urban history.
Ziwei Zhang is a third-year Ph.D. student in Urban planning, focusing on the rural-urban division and coordination in the developing world. She is attentive to the agrarian transformation in labor, resources, and state-society relationship shaped by economic thought and ideological conceptualization. Her scholarly work has been presented at Global Environmental Justice Conference at Yale. Besides her main work in China, she also works on projects in Indonesia and Mexico regarding land tenure, resource management, and institutional building.
Ziwei holds a Master in Landscape Architecture, a Master in Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), and a Bachelor of Architecture from Southeast University, China. She has also experience as an urban designer for one year for Stoss Landscape Urbanism, where she participated in projects in China, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates.