Ana Maria Duran Calisto

Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design

Ana Maria Durán Calisto is Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design and the Harvard GSD and lectures at the Yale School of Architecture and the Pratt Institute. She has taught research seminars and architecture design studios at the FADA of Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Columbia University GSAPP, the University of Michigan Taubman College, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, the Architecture School of Universidad Católica de Temuco, and UCLA´s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. 

In 2022, Durán Calisto received the Mark Cousins Theory Award for her work on extractivism and the built environment, and her interest in the principles of ancestral urban ecologies. She has co-edited the books Ecological Urbanism in Latin America (2019), Beyond Petropolis: Designing a Practical Utopia in Nueva Loja (2015), and IV Taller Internacional de Vivienda Popular (2007). She has contributed chapters to the books Roadside Picnics (2022), A Line in the Andes (2014), Modernism and Contemporary Art in Latin America (2014), Extreme Urbanism 1 (2011), Restructuring from Within (2007), and Thinking Practice (2007). She co-authored the Charter Toward re-entanglement: A Charter for the City and the Earth (Bauhaus Earth, 2022). Durán Calisto has lectured extensively and actively publishes in magazines such as Log, Mold, The Architectural Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Casabella, Arquine, Pangea, Manifest, Rivista Territorio, Ness, Revista Cardinalis, Rita, LatinArt Magazine, Revista 30-60, Revista Plot, Revista Radar, Trama, GAM, Aula, and Deco Journal. 

In 2010-2011, Durán Calisto received a Loeb Fellowship for her proposal to weave a South American network devoted to critically and creatively addressing the infrastructural integration of South America. She is a member of the Science Panel for the Amazon, convened by SDSN & the UN. She co-authored its report´s chapter on urbanization. In 2015, she was the academic advisor to the Ecuadorian Minister on Housing and Urban Development for the UN Conference Habitat III. She is currently a consultant for CAF on sustainable cities and Ph.D. candidate in the urban planning department at UCLA. Under the advice of Susanna Hecht, she is writing a dissertation on the urban history of Amazonia, with a focus on indigenous systems of territorial planning and colonial disruptions.

Durán Calisto curated the XV Quito Architecture Biennial: Visible Cities (2006) and was National Curator for the IX BIAU. Her exhibition-essay “Water Builds” was showcased in the Art Gallery of Alberta (2022). She contributed a piece on the indigenous communes of Quito to the exhibition Dinámicas urbanas de Quito 1978 – 2018 (CCM 2019) and the art installation Horizonte to La Escala Prevalece (Arte Actual, 2011). In 2017, Durán Calisto collaborated with Fabiano Kueva in the exhibition project Ciudad Modelo (Hipótesis varias sobre la llamada vivienda popular), and in 2015 she co-curated the exhibition Ruta Quebradas for the Water Museum and Arte Actual.