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Norman B. (1938) and Muriel Leventhal Graduate Fellows 2017

This academic year 2017-18, the Leventhal Graduate Fellowships have been awarded to Sarah Dalton Brown (MCP, DUSP),  Justin Lim (SMArchS Urbanism, ARCH), and Alexander Wiegering (SMArchS Urbanism, ARCH).  These fellowships recognize academic excellence in students, who also exhibit an interest in the research and design of large-scale metropolitan environments.

Justin Lim’s creative work on large-scale, mixed-use projects respects the authentic culture and unique environmental characteristics of every site. He designs conceptual master plans focused on the human experience, with a preference for the complex challenges of urban redevelopment and for connecting the past with the future.

He designs walkable urban districts within a civic infrastructure of public open spaces. His previous work in the United States, China, and Australia also includes campus master plans for universities and hospitals.

Justin holds his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture with a concentration in Urban Planning from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Justin’s work is influenced by his education at IIT but his design approach is rooted in his broad experience at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, which he first joined as a student intern while attending IIT in 2008. He was named a Senior Urban Designer of the Chicago office in 2012.

Justin is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Architectural Studies (SMArchS) in Architecture & Urbanism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Fellow at the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) at MIT, where his primary research is focused on social and affordable housing in Latin America.  He is a co-founder of “officeless”, a multidisciplinary international research and design firm based in Cambridge and Rotterdam.

Sarah Dalton Brown is a dual-degree graduate student in City Planning and Real Estate Development at MIT. Her studies lie at the intersection of urban design and development, and she is particularly interested in the production, design, meaning, and politics of public space.

This past summer, Sarah worked for Asiye eTafuleni, a South African non-governmental organization, where she conducted research on real estate and infrastructure investment for an informal marketplace in Durban. She also interned with Goody Clancy, a Boston-based planning firm, where she examined the potential of public-private partnerships in the institutional campus planning space.

Prior to MIT, Sarah lived and worked in New York City as an associate at Lazard Asset Management. Under the supervision of senior investment professionals, she serviced sophisticated institutional investors and supported a book of business with over four billion dollars in assets.

As an undergraduate, Sarah interned with a number of architecture and urbanism related organizations. She researched the design, construction, and renovation of Louis Kahn’s Yale Center for British Art to help develop building conservation policies; she interned with both the New Haven Preservation Trust and the New Haven City Plan Department; and she spent a summer in the curatorial department of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Sarah’s undergraduate thesis on the evolution of a New Haven city street received the Richard Hegel Prize for outstanding senior essay.

Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, concentration in Built Environments, from Yale University.

Alexander Wiegering Spitzer is a Peruvian architect with a genuine interest in giving the city back to pedestrians. His ongoing work and research with the LCAU is focused on developing successful community led affordable housing projects in Latin America. He graduated from the PUCP, after attending programs at the ETSAM and Architectural Association School of Architecture. His main academic and professional experiences have been oriented towards improving living conditions and human interactions in urban environments and developing communities.

He is Co-Founder & Director of La Fabrica Design Lab, a collaborative design platform that explores the role of architecture and urbanism as a mediator between people and the city, using multidisciplinary and participatory processes, and critical design thinking. He previously worked developing Metropolitan & Distrital Urban Regenerations for Peruvian cities, Urban Mobility Plans for developing settlements and Planning the Legacy for the Pan-American Games 2019 in Peru with LLAMA Urban Design.

After a year at MIT, he has been working on developing two multidisciplinary startups that address the topic of new forms of infrastructure. “Joro” is an holistic carbon emission tracking application that has won the MIT Clean Energy Prize and the MIT Ideas Global Challenge competition. “Kawsay” is being funded by MIT SandBox, and focuses on creating new forms of microinfrastructures and management in developing and developed communities that challenge and redefine what ‘infrastructure’.