Class of 2015

Maria Ignacia Arrasate MDes ’15 to Lead Sustainable Infrastructure Area at GeoAdaptive

Maria Ignacia Arrasate MDes ’15, Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08

Maria Ignacia Arrasate MDes ’15 has joined GeoAdaptive as Practice Coordinator for the company’s Sustainable Infrastructure Area. Founded by Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08, GeoAdaptive’s work concerns strategies for sustainable development using spatial analysis. Ignacia, who will be based in the Boston office, brings over 10 years of experience in sustainability, working in architecture and planning as well as serving as advisor for the Chilean government. At GeoAdaptive she will focus on increasing and expanding the company’s presence worldwide.

“Maria Ignacia is a key addition to our Sustainable Infrastructure Area at GeoAdaptive,” said Vargas. “Her depth of experience complements the skillset of GeoAdaptive’s team. Maria Ignacia’s significant accomplishments demonstrate her commitment to clients, and she alignswell with our core value of doing what it takes to make a robust product.”

Read the full press release.

posted July, 2019


Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15 Co-Edit “From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory”

Flavio Sciaraffia MLA '15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA '16, Thomas Niderost MLA '16, and Hannes Zander MLA '15, Pablo Allard MAUD '99, DDes '03

Four GSD graduates—Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15—have co-edited the book From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory, published by the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), Santiago in March. The volume of 18 essays includes a foreword from Pablo Allard MAUD ’99, DDes ’03, and features the writing of young practitioners and academics (many of whom are GSD alums) based in eight different nations and five continents. Their essays offer a diversity of perspectives on contemporary models of landscape planning, management, and design across scales

The book came about as part of the team’s effort to form a multi-disciplinary group called the International Landscape Collaborative. It began as a group of planners and designers at the GSD interested in developing a landscape approach to tackle socio-ecological issues at multiple scale. Rather than viewing the landscape through the lens of a singular discipline, the book promotes an interdisciplinary approach that uses the landscape as a medium to understand and create urban form, infrastructures, and territorial systems. Since its online release, the publication has been read in more than 100 countries.

Read the publication online.

posted June, 2019

Flavio Sciaraffia MLA '15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA '16, Thomas Niderost MLA '16, and Hannes Zander MLA '15

Brian Vargo MDes ’15 and Team Win Competition to Design New Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark

Brian Vargo MDes ’15

Vargo Nielsen Palle, the firm of Brian Vargo MDes ’15, led the winning design team for the new Aarhus Architecture School, Denmark’s first purpose-built architecture school. Together with ADEPT, Rolvung & Brøndsted Arkitekter, Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming, Vargo Nielsen Palle’s design prevailed in the two-stage competition. The project’s anticipated completion is 2020.

Vargo is an American/Danish architect with a background in design and finance.

Learn more.

Image by Vargo Nielsen Palle, Adept and Rolvung og Brøndsted.

posted September, 2018


Alumni Receive 2018 Graham Foundation Grants for Exhibitions, Publications, Research

Zeina Koreitem MDes '16, John May MArch '02, Eric Bunge MArch '96, Mimi Hoang MArch '98, Kenny Cupers PhD '10, Rami El Samahy MArch '00, Michael Kubo MArch '06, Alexander Robinson MLA '05, Neyran Turan DDes '09, Bradley Cantrell MLA '03, Marielsa Castro Vizcarra MDes '17, Brian Goldstein PhD '13, Ana Maria Leon Crespo MDes '01, Sun-Young Park MArch '08/PhD '14, Sara Zewde MLA '15

Fifteen designers, artists, historians, and others from the GSD alumni community have been selected to receive 2018 Graham Foundation Grants. Announced on April 5, the Graham Foundation’s 2018 Grants to Individuals present $534,850 in new grants to support 74 projects by 111 individuals and collaborators who are “engaging original ideas that advance our understanding of the designed environment,” the Foundation writes.

Alumni projects include exhibitions, publications, and research. Among the winners are GSD faculty Zeina Koreitem MDes ’16 and John May MArch ’02, who received a grant for the exhibition “Under Present Conditions,” produced through their Los Angeles-based firm, MILLIØNS. (“Under Present Conditions” will be on view at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles from January 11 through April 26, 2019.)

The funded projects were selected from over 600 proposals and represent a diverse group of individuals and collectives, including architects, artists, choreographers, historians, and filmmakers who hail from around the world.

Other GSD alumni awardees include:

Eric Bunge MArch ’96

Mimi Hoang GSD ’98

Kenny Cupers PhD ’10

Rami El Samahy MArch ’00

Michael Kubo MArch ’06

Alexander Robinson MLA ’05

Neyran Turan DDes ’09

Bradley Cantrell MLA ’03

Marielsa Castro Vizcarra MDes ’17

Brian Goldstein PhD ’13

Ana Maria Leon Crespo MDes ’01

Sun-Young Park MArch ’08/PhD ’14

Sara Zewde MLA ’15

Read the full list of 2018 Graham Foundation Grants to Individuals via the Graham Foundation’s announcement.

Image: MILLIØNS (Zeina Koreitem & John May), Collectives II, 2016–. Courtesy of the artists.

posted April, 2018

millions koreitem may collectives ii

Firm of Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08 Opens First Latin America Office; Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15 Named Director

Juan Carlos Vargas MDesS ’04, DDes ’08, Flavio Sciaraffia MLA'15

GeoAdaptive, a global think-tank and consulting company founded in 2007 by Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08 (Founding Partner and Managing Principal of GeoAdaptive’s Boston Office), has launched its first office in Latin America. The branch, located in Santiago, Chile, is led by Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15 (Partner and Director of GeoAdaptive’s Chile Office), and offers intelligence services and strategy for development and sustainability. This is the third office for GeoAdaptive, which is also located in Boston, MA, and Turin, Italy.

“Chile is a solid platform and, comparatively, the spearhead in Latin America for new paradigms of work strategies, professional services, and problem-solving methodologies,” Vargas said in a press release announcing the new office.

“We decided to establish an office in Santiago, since Chile has a competitive advantage in the region in terms of advanced human capital, which facilitates innovation, a process that is central to our work. In addition, we detected that for both the public and private sectors, the objectives of equality, inclusion, sustainability, and adaptability are integral to economic growth and this unequivocally requires new ways of working that can incorporate multiple levels of information,” Sciaraffia added.

Read the full press release.

Watch the launch video:

Image 1: Relation between street tree-coverage and temperatures. Ricardo Lyon St., Providencia



Image 2: Analyzing temperatures across Santiago

posted January, 2018


Work by Ten Recent GSD Alumni Published in Architectural Portfolio How-To from Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97

Devin Dobrowolski MLA '16, See Jia Ho MArch '15, Ahmed Hosny MDes '15, Jia Joy Hu MLA '17, Chase Jordan MArch '17, Flavio Sciaraffia Marquez MLA '15, Saurabh Mhatre MDes '15, Fani Christina Papadopoulou MArch '16, Alberto Embriz de Salvatierra MLA'17, Michelle Shofet MLA '16, Margaret Fletcher MArch '97

Portfolio work from ten recent GSD alumni–Devin Dobrowolski MLA ’16, See Jia Ho MArch ’15, Ahmed Hosny MDes ’15, Jia Joy Hu MLA ’17, Chase Jordan MArch ’17, Flavio Sciaraffia Marquez MLA ’15, Saurabh Mhatre MDes ’15, Fani Christina Papadopoulou MArch ’16, Alberto Embriz de Salvatierra MLA’17, and Michelle Shofet MLA ’16–has been published in the new book, Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio: The Only Primer You’ll Ever Need, by Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97. Their contributions were selected from over 10,000 pages of portfolios submitted by students for possible inclusion. Notably, Hu’s portfolio is included as a full case study and is featured in its entirety in the publication.

Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio is a  step-by-step guide to learning the art of designing a compelling and effective architectural portfolio. It includes 400 portfolio examples from 55 designers representing 50 schools nationwide.

Fletcher currently serves as Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

posted October, 2017


Sonja Cheng MArch ’15, Jennifer Ly MArch ’14 Win 2017 Burnham Prize

Sonja Cheng MArch '15, Jennifer Ly MArch '14

Sonja Cheng MArch ’15, Jennifer Ly MArch ’14, and Max Obata have been awarded first place in the 2017 Burnham Prize Competition: Under the Dome. Sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club, this year’s competition asked designers to reconsider the relevance of the dome in the context of the abandoned St. Stephen’s Church in Chicago. The winning proposal, “New Waters” reconstructs the ground plane and dome to create a new public pool within the existing church – providing a new environment for recreation, relaxation and spectacle. The pool has the ability to regenerate the neighborhood while creating an intimate and playful public space. The public swimming pool has had a contested history in America dating back to the 19th century. It first emerged as a place for personal hygiene and then evolved into a site of public tension through gender, economic, and racial divide. Today, Chicago manages 49 outdoor pools and 28 indoor pools. The new pool joins this existing, established network, but offer a new spatial environment that juxtaposes between the new and the old.The jury members consisted of Penelope Dean, Sarah Herda, Sharon Johnston MArch ’95, and Brian Lee MArch ’78.

In conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennale, the winning proposal and other entries are exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center through October 14th. More information here.

Images provided.

jennifer ly

posted October, 2017


Robot Designed by Team Including Rossitza Kotelova MArch ‘15 Featured on the Today Show, The Economist, and More

Rossitza Kotelova MArch ‘15

Rossitza Kotelova MArch ‘15 is a designer at Piaggio Fast Forward where she is the lead designer on exterior features of the robot Gita, interfacing between design, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Gita, the team’s first product, was recently featured on the Today Show, and in The EconomistWired, the Boston Globe, as well as in other media outlets. Kotelova was one of four team members first hired at Piaggio Fast Forward and has the unique experience of participating in the evolution of the company as well as the creation of Gita from concept sketch to fully functioning prototype.

While at the GSD, Kotelova was selected to participate in the ETH Zurich exchange program, where she worked with pioneering robotic fabrication architects Gramazio & Kohler on complex timber structures. After returning to Harvard, she continued to investigate design through robotics, working with a team to develop the Robotic Roller which strives to eliminate the mold necessary in manufacturing variable surface ceramic tiles. She was an architectural design intern at SHoP Architects in NYC, SCB Architects in Chicago, and E2A Architekten in Zurich. Kotelova continues to apply her architectural training by leading the efforts on spatial projects taken on by Piaggio Fast Forward, including the company’s office space which was featured on BostInno’s Office Envy.

Photos courtesy of Kotelova.

Kotelova_PFF Team_Gita

posted March, 2017

Rosie Kotelova

Constantine Bouras MAUD ’11 Organized and Curated “A Shelter for Architecture” Along with Partners; GSD Alumni Contributed

Constantine Bouras MAUD ’11, with Evita Fanou, Electra Kontoroupi, Ioannis Oikonomou, Foteinos Soulos and Dimitra Tsachrelia, organized and curated “A Shelter for Architecture,” for the Greek Institute of Architects in New York [GIANY]. The event negotiated the general discourse on shelter and explored the idea of shelter as a concept through diverse lenses. “A Shelter for Architecture” staged events ranging from architectural exhibitions to talks and presentations, artistic performances, and installations.

Ignacio G. Galan MArch ’10, Nikos Katsikis DDes ’16, Dimitris Papanikolaou DDes ’16, Zenovia Toloudi DDes ’11, Dimitris Venizelos MAUD ’15, and Christina Yessios MAUD ’11 were among the contributors to the event.


posted February, 2017

A Shelter for Architecture -   GIANY

Dima Rachid MLA ’15, Aziz Barbar MDes ’16, and ChengHe Guan MDes ’12, DDes ’16 Enter B-More Resilient Design Competition

Dima Rachid MLA '15, Aziz Barbar MDes '16, and ChengHe Guan MDes '12, DDes '16

A GSD team of students and recent alumni won the Most Innovative Design award from AIA Baltimore, for a project titled “Wet Corridor.” Dima Rachid MLA ’15, Aziz Barbar MDes ’16, and ChengHe Guan MDes ’12, DDes ’16 entered the 2015 B-More Resilient Design Competition, and focused on “rethinking East Baltimore’s infrastructural resilience as a means to social welfare.” Read the full description and see images here.

December 2015

posted December, 2016

B-More Resilient Baltimore

Sara Zewde’s MLA ’15 Work Featured on

Sara Zewde MLA '15

The work of Sara Zewde MLA ’15 at the GSD and in Rio de Janeiro has been featured on, in a piece titled “How a 29-Year-Old Designer is Reinventing the Urban Monument.” Sara began the work in Rio as an undergraduate, and continued during her time at the GSD, funded in part by her scholarship from the Olmsted Scholars Program. Read about Sara’s journey and her designs for Valongo Wharf and the African Heritage Celebration Historical and Archaeological Circuit.

November 2015

posted December, 2016

Sara Zewde

Jason Rebillot DDes ’15 Named Associate Professor at the Woodbury University School

Jason Rebillot DDes ’15

Jason Rebillot DDes ’15 has been named Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles.

posted December, 2016

Jason Rebillot

GSD Alumni Win Field Constructs Design Competition

Bradley Cantrell, MLA '03, Stefano Andreani MDes '13, Craig Reschke MLA '15, Ziyi Zhang MLA '14, Jonathan A. Scelsa MAUD '11, Jennifer Birkeland MLA '11, and Erin Wythoff MLA '14

Invivia, the research and technology research lab featuring Bradley Cantrell MLA ’03, Associate Professor of Landscape Architectural Technology and Director of MLA Degree Program at the GSD; Allen Sayegh MDes ’96, Associate Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at the GSD; Stefano Andreani MDes ’13; Craig Reschke MLA ’15; and Ziyi Zhang MLA ’14, was one of four winners of the Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC) for their project “99 White Balloons.” FCDC invited architects and designers worldwide to share their most inventive ideas for a temporary outdoor installation that will be exhibited at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas. Other GSD-affiliated winners included Jonathan A. Scelsa MAUD ’11, Jennifer Birkeland MLA ’11,  and Erin Wythoff MLA ’14 for  their conception of “Duck Blind in Plain Site.” Read more about the competition and the winning ideas here.

August 2015

posted December, 2016

Field Constructs Design Competition