Housing +

The provision of housing is a global challenge with an urgent need for innovation. Attempts at comprehensive, scalable housing solutions have been ongoing by governments, private enterprises, and non-governmental organizations alike. Even though there are examples of progress made in the fields of social science, policy, and humanities, it continues to be a concern. Only recently has formal design been used as a lever for tackling housing affordability, whether at the scale of the house, neighborhood or city. There is a dearth of affordable housing design that is inspiring, sustainable, inclusive, or substantial enough to satisfy the full spectrum of human rights and aspirations at a meaningful level.

In its third biennial theme, "Housing+", the MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism explores this global phenomenon through the lens of multi-scalar design. The “+” acts as a harbinger of innovative responses to the challenge of affordable housing design that confront conventional associations and commentaries.

The Housing+ conference will explore interpretations of the "+," extending the design dialogue beyond the scale of the housing unit. Panels will investigate the ways in which housing interacts with aspects of urbanity such as public space and infrastructure. Speakers will address the challenges that designers face in the housing sector, including those related to affordability, resilience, health and sustainability.

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*CM credits are available for members of AICP community.



Thursday May 3, 2018

May 03, 2018 - 8:30 AM

Breakfast and Registration

May 03, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Housing +

May 03, 2018 - 9:20 AM

Housing + Community Building

For housing projects to be effective, they need to not only provide adequate shelter for residents, but also foster community building and empowerment. In such a context, does design have a role to play? This panel stresses upon the need to engage with local communities as an integral component of housing development, and questions the role of community participation in the design process. Additionally, it asks: How can design foster community building? What is the potential for scalability and replicability of community building processes currently commonly adopted in housing practice?

Andrea Bolnick, Ikhayalami,
Sheela Patel, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres
Andrew Freear, Rural Studio, Auburn University
Moderator: Lawrence Vale, MIT



May 03, 2018 - 10:45 AM

Georgetown, Guyana - Marie Law Adams

May 03, 2018 - 11:00 AM


May 03, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Cartagena, Colombia - Adèle Naudé Santos

May 03, 2018 - 11:45 AM

Housing + Large Scale Planning

Housing forms the largest component of urban landscapes. Housing policy and planning can deeply affect the development of a household, a city, and a country. Current socioeconomic and environmental challenges, such as macroeconomic instability, changing demographics, and climate change confront designers and urban planners with the challenge of creating comprehensive, long-term and large-scale solutions to the problems of housing design and affordability. In which ways can this planning process promote housing design that supports community social structures and economic livelihoods? What is the relationship between design thinking and policy making for housing? And, how can best practice solutions and innovation scale-up to affect development outcomes at large scales?

Fernando de Mello Franco, URBEM
Kazi Ashraf, Bengal Institute
Nora Libertun de Duren, Inter-American Development Bank
Moderator: James L. Wescoat Jr., MIT

May 03, 2018 - 1:15 PM


May 03, 2018 - 2:15 PM

Sâo Paulo, Brazil - Angelo Bucci and Adèle Naudé Santos

May 03, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Housing + Placemaking

How important is the public realm in fostering strong and resilient communities? With this fundamental question framing the discussion, this panel explores ways in which place making and the design of the public realm can strengthen residential neighborhoods and encourage inclusivity, equity, and justice among local communities. It examines the contributions made by public space, urban amenities and social infrastructure in facilitating a higher quality of life for urban residents, and questions: What are the critical components of the public realm that contribute to the potential success of a residential development, especially for vulnerable populations?

Alejandro Echeverri, EAFIT University
Sol Camacho, Raddar
Sharon Davis, Sharon Davis Design
Moderator: Adèle Naudé Santos, MIT

May 03, 2018 - 4:00 PM


May 03, 2018 - 4:15 PM

Charles Correa (1955) Lecture on Housing and Urbanization

Introduction: Hashim Sarkis, MIT
Wang Shu, School of Architecture, China Academy of Art

May 03, 2018 - 5:30 PM

Reception + Exhibition Opening

Friday May 4, 2018

May 04, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Opening remarks

May 04, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Chitravad, India - James L. Wescoat

May 04, 2018 - 9:25 AM

Housing + Form: Typologies

As demographics shift and communities adopt new modes of living, design disciplines must innovate to develop new housing typologies. This panel explores what these future typologies can look like, including examples such as co-housing, modular housing, and live+work typologies, and how they can be incorporated into existing neighborhood models within urban settings. It questions: How can the efficacy of innovation in housing typologies be maximized? What is the role of technology in this housing revolution? What are the barriers to implementation of any new housing typologies, and how can they be tackled?

James Shen, People’s Architecture Office
Nathalie de Vries, MVRDV
Christoph Heinemann, IFAU
Moderator: Rafi Segal, MIT

May 04, 2018 - 10:55 AM


May 04, 2018 - 11:25 AM

Kigali, Rwanda - Rafi Segal

May 04, 2018 - 11:40 AM

Housing + Form: Fabrication

As fabrication technologies evolve and proliferate at a global scale, designers need to develop innovative uses of these technologies to increase housing affordability internationally. This panel explores ways in which both low-tech and high-tech scenarios can provide innovative solutions to the affordability challenge for housing. It questions: Are there ways in which local communities can engage with new technology through a participatory process? What role can vernacular building mechanisms play in this innovation process? How can design and construction system solutions retrofit?

Daniel Wyss, Skat Consulting Rwanda
Anupama Kundoo, Anupama Kundoo Architects
Ying Chee Chui, Design O Studio
Moderator: Lawrence Sass, MIT

May 04, 2018 - 1:10 PM


May 04, 2018 - 2:10 PM

Lima, Peru - Sheila Kennedy

May 04, 2018 - 2:25 PM

Housing + Networks: Infrastructure

Housing and infrastructure are inextricably linked. Traditional approaches to infrastructure include large-scale planning, high capital and operation costs, and extended construction timelines. But, at what scale of infrastructure can affordable housing be best served? How can traditional infrastructure layouts be reimagined to accommodate the evolving needs of urban neighborhoods? How can infrastructure be used as a vehicle for community engagement? And, what role can architects, urban designers, and planners play in redefining the ways infrastructure is provided? This panel will explore the relationships between neighborhood form and the scale of infrastructure, through social, economic, and spatial lenses in affordable housing settings.

Raúl Cárdenas Osuna, Torolab
Alexandros Washburn, DRAW Brooklyn LLC
Diane Jones Allen, DesignJones LLC
Moderator: Sheila Kennedy, MIT

May 04, 2018 - 3:55 PM

Housing + Networks: Partnerships

Due to rapid urbanization and the subsequent increase in the need for new housing, states are often unable to keep up with growing demands. To address these existing gaps, this discussion emphasizes the potential roles that other agencies, such as private and philanthropic organizations, need to play in making change happen on-the-ground. It reimagines the potential for engagement by these organizations within the larger housing provision ecosystem, to explore opportunities for partnerships, networking and investment. It questions: How can planners and designers develop attractive offers to philanthropists who demand a clear social return on their investment? How can housing philanthropy foster new housing solutions?

Steve Weir, Habitat for Humanity
Kenneth Munkacy, Kingbird Properties
Robert Buckley, The Urban Institute
Philip Yang, URBEM
Moderator: Adèle Naudé Santos, MIT

May 04, 2018 - 5:45 PM

Concluding Remarks

Kazi Ashraf

Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements

Kazi K Ashraf is an architect and architectural historian, trained at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania. Having taught at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Hawaii, Temple University and Pratt Institute in the US, he currently heads the Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Institute is engaged in researching and envisioning urban futures of Bangladesh that integrate urbanism, landscape and hydrology. Ashraf has authored/edited "Locations: An Anthology of Architecture and Urbanism, " “The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India”; “Designing Dhaka: A Manifesto for a Better City”, and many other publications.

Andrea (Andy) Bolnick


Andrea (Andy) Bolnick is the founding Director of Ikhayalami, an NGO that was established in 2006, with the primary aim of developing and implementing innovative technical solutions for informal settlement upgrading. Andy is an urbanist and development practitioner who has a practical and theoretical base in architecture and urban planning (Wits 1985; Lund University 2010) and a degree in Political Science (Wits 1988).  Her greatest learning, however, has come through the precedents she has set by working, conceptualizing and implementing catalytic projects with urban poor communities.

Andy is adept at designing both systems and form.  She has been a driving force behind the idea and implementation of re-blocking: a participative design intervention that couples innovative shelter and infrastructural solutions with the spatial reconfiguration of informal settlement layouts to ones that are more rationalized. This initiative has influenced the state (through partnerships and change in Policy), poor communities and social movements.

More recently she is focusing her attention on a collaborative partnership with the BT community and the ETHZ Architecture and Urban Design, known as the Empowershack project. It focuses on the design and implementation of a series of double story prototypes linking this to the spatial reconfiguration of a settlement in Khayelitsha and the development of a new financial model for informal settlement upgrading. She has also conceptualized and started to develop a digital tool to help augment participative planning processes for informal settlement upgrading.

 In 2011, Andy was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship. In 2012 Ikhayalami was a finalist in the FT/Citi Bank Ingenuity Awards and in 2013 the re-blocking initiative came second in the Africa/Middle East category. In 2017 Ikhayalami won first prize to further develop a digital toolkit for informal settlement upgrading. In January 2018 the Empower Shack project was nominated for the Royal Institute of British Architects Prize.

Angelo Bucci


Angelo Bucci is an architect and educator based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Graduated in 1987, Master 1998 and PhD in 2005 at the School of Architecture of the University of São Paulo, FAUUSP. In 2011, he was nomitated Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (HF AIA).

For over 25 years, he has been sharing his time between both professional and academic duties. These parallel activities define a special approach to his projects, in which the professional demands are taken as an opportunity to research new possibilities.
Founder and principal in charge of SPBR architects established since 2003.

He has been professor at FAU USP since 2001 and also a visiting professor in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Italy, Switzerland (ETH Zurich, 2013-14) and in the United States (ASU, 2005; Berkeley, 2006; GSD Harvard, 2008; UT Austin, 2010; Yale, 2013; MIT, 2008 2016, 2017, 2018).

His work has been worldwide exhibited through publications, lectures and exhibitions.

Bob Buckley

Urban Institute

Bob Buckley is at the Urban Institute. He was a Senior Fellow at the New School, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, and Advisor at the World Bank. He has also taught at a number of universities. He has written widely on urbanization and development in both the popular press and academic journals, and has helped prepare projects in a variety of places.  

Sol Camacho


Sol Camacho is an architect and urban designer. She earned her M.Arch Urban Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design after earning a B.Arch from Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana. Both degrees earned with the highest honors. Sol also studied at Ecole d’Architecture Paris Val de Seine for a full year during college. Before establishing RADDAR, Sol worked independently as an open-office format with partnering with renowned architects in Mexico, US and Brazil. She also worked at TEN Arquitectos, Skdimore Owings & Merill in New York and Architecture-Studio in Paris. Sol has been awarded twice the FONCA grant among other grants and awards. She currently teaches at CENTRO University – City Master Program. She has been invited professor for workshops and courses in Harvard GSD, University of Michigan, PUC-Rio, Escola da Cidade Sao Paulo. She is a member at the Board of Directors at Instituto Lina Bo Bardi/Casa de Vidro, among other cultural institution participations.

Chee Chui

Design O Studio

Chee received a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is a registered architect in the State of New York and has founded her own studio in 2018.

Chee has more than 10 years of international working experience including projects in New York, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. Currently, her designed projects, the CITIC Tower (528m) in Beijing, Suzhou IFS (450m) in Suzhou are nearly under completion. She has previously practiced at ASpace (Shanghai), KPF( New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong), OMA (Beijing), Atelier FCJZ (Beijing) and RMJM (Hong Kong).

When the time Chee was in MIT, she received the Carroll Wilson Award by the Entrepreneurship Center, the Harold Horowitz 51’ student research fund on the affordable housing research project. Her first built project “Pinwheel House” was originally designed during the 1K house Studio at MIT in 2009 and was built for the rural poor after the earthquake in Sichuan, China in 2010. It was finally built in 40 days within USD 6,000. The pinwheel house received worldwide recognition from the United State, China, Spain, Denmark, Australia including interviewed and published by the MIT technology review and news office, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Archdaily, Arquitectura Viva, Metropolis Magazine, and Builder Magazine etc. The Pinwheel House project was also selected and exhibited as the Alumni Collection at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2017, the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture in 2010, and the Divergent Convergence, Designing China by USC, American Academy in China in 2009.

Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis Design

Founder and principal Sharon Davis is an award-winning designer whose work is driven by a deep belief in the transformative power of design. In 2007, after a successful career in finance and having earned a Master’s of Architecture degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, where she received the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize, Davis created her firm as a launching pad for collaborative design practice dedicated to human-centered environments around the globe.

In 2016, Sharon was featured as one of the 26 Women Who Changed Architecture by Architizer. Curbed named her one of six “Groundbreakers” for “buildings that look good and do great”. In addition, her firm received an Architizer A+ award for the Partners in Health Share Housing as well as the Architectural Review Culture Award for the Women’s Opportunity Center, both located in Rwanda. Metropolis Magazine named the Women’s Opportunity Center a “Game Changer” in 2013. Sharon’s dedication to the architectural community of New York and the profession more broadly is evident by her participation in multiple organizations including: the Friends of the High Line board of directors and the American Academy in Rome board of trustees.

Davis’ work, which ranges in scope from residential interiors, commercial ground-up construction, and international institutional development, is driven both by a collaborative design process and a strong mission of social and environmental responsibility. Sharon has also been an active member on the boards of the Van Alen Institute, Fresh Air Fund, the National Resources Defense Council and the Council for the New York Public Library.

Alejandro Echeverri


Alejandro believes in the ethical responsibility of designers to contribute towards a better society. He is cofounder and Director of URBAM, the Center for Urban and Environmental Studies, at EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia. His experience combines architectural, urban, environmental projects and planning. He is a Loeb Fellow from Harvard GSD and was given the Obayashi Prize 2016.

Between 2004 and 2008 as Director of EDU, the Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano of the Municipality of Medellin, and then as the city’s director of urban projects, he led the Social Urbanism strategy to improve the most impoverished neighborhoods, with the support and partnership of the city’s mayor Sergio Fajardo; making Medellin a blueprint for the future for other distressed cities worldwide.

Since 2010, from URBAM, he delves into the urban, environmental and social issues of emerging developing countries, particularly those with weak political and institutional structures. He is also active in design through his studio, Alejandro Echeverri + Valencia Arquitectos, focusing on projects with low environmental impact for tropic regions. Alejandro has collaborated as a professor, lecturer and juror in various international and national institutions.

His work has earned the Colombian National Architectural Award in 1996, the Pan-American Biennale in Urban Design Award 2008, the Curry Stone Design Prize in 2009, the 10th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design from Harvard GSD in 2013, among others.

Andrew Freear

Auburn University

Andrew Freear, from Yorkshire, England, is the Wiatt Professor at Auburn University Rural Studio. After the untimely death of Samuel Mockbee, Andrew became the Director of the Rural Studio in Newbern, West Alabama, in 2002. Educated at the Polytechnic of Central London and the Architectural Association, London, England, he has practiced extensively in London and Chicago, and taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and as a Unit Master at the Architectural Association.

Having moved to Alabama over a decade ago, he lives in the small rural community of Newbern, West Alabama where his main role, aside from Directing the Rural Studio, is thesis project advisor to fifth-year undergraduate students and their building projects. The Rural Studio is a hands-on architectural pedagogy that not only teaches students to design and build charity homes and community projects, but also improves the living conditions in rural west Alabama. The focus of the students' thesis year is a community-based project and sustainable materials research. Working in small teams, the students' experience the Arts & Crafts "hands-on" building tradition where they work directly with the community and have the added dilemma of negotiating designs and procedures with their team-mates. Typically in teams of 3 or 4, the students conceive of the project and program, raise funds, write grants, make community presentations, and, design and build the projects from foundation to roof. Projects have ranged from baseball fields, community centers to a house made of cardboard.

Andrew Freear has designed, supervised and built Rural Studio exhibits in Chicago, Cincinnati, Vienna Austria, Barcelona Spain, at the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, the 2005 Sao Paulo Bienal of Architecture in Brazil and most recently at the V&A in London. The Studio's work has also been exhibited at the 2008 Venice Biennale and at MOMA NYC in 2010. He has received awards for Distinguished Service to Rural Life from the Rural Sociological Society, the Educator of Distinction Award from the American Society of Interior Designers and from the Architectural Review for Emerging Architects. His work at the Rural Studio has been published in Architectural Record, Architectural Review, Progressive Architecture, Dwell, Domus, Abitare and Lotus magazines. His work is also covered extensively in two books by Andrea Oppenheimer Dean and Timothy Hursley: the most recent entitled "Proceed and be Bold: The Rural Studio after Samuel Mockbee".

Andrew has lectured on the subject of the Rural Studio across the United States and as far a field as Berlin, Sydney, Barcelona and London. In contrast to this he is a member of the Board of the Rural Heritage Foundation in Thomaston Alabama, the Perry Lakes Board Marion Alabama, and of the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department in Newbern Alabama. He was also made an honorary Citizen of Marion Alabama for his work on the Perry Lakes Park Project.

In 2006, Mr. Freear was honored with The Ruth and Ralph Erskine Nordic Foundation Award which aspires to promote urban planning and architecture which is functional, economical and beautiful, and which is to the advantage of underprivileged and deprived groups in any society. He is the first American-based architect to win this prestigious award. In 2008 he was nominated as one of five laureates in the second edition of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture; the purpose of this new architecture prize is to honour annually a living architect who moves towards sustainability.

Christoph Heinemann


Christoph Heinemann (*1969) studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University of Technology and at the École d’Architecture de Paris la Villette from 1990-97. He co-founded ifau architects together with Susanne Heiß and Christoph Schmidt in 1998. From 2001-2009 he has been teaching urban design as assistant professor at the Brandenburg University of Technology, Department Urban Design, Prof. Heinz Nagler. Since 2017 he is professor for Architecture and City at HCU Hamburg.

ifau (Institute for applied Urbanism) is a Berlin based working group of architects focusing on interrelated, interdisciplinary projects in the field of architecture and urban design. They are especially interested in process-oriented strategies and participative design methods. ifau (Institute for applied Urbanism,  Susanne Heiß, Christoph Heinemann, Christoph Schmidt) realised numerous projects for arts institutions as Palais Thinnfeld in Graz, Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht , The Showroom in London, Artists Space and the Goethe Institut - Wyoming Building in New York (in  collaboration with Jesko Fezer). Their series of exhibitions and talks Spaces of Negotiation - focusing on possibilities and potentials of a social architecture open for appropriation - was shown in Berlin, Vienna and New York. Recently they completed the Cohousing projects R50 and IBeB in Berlin (in  collaboration with Jesko Fezer and Heide & von Beckerath), which have attracted particular attention among experts. Currently ifau is involved in the design of a mixed-use housing block at Spielbudenplatz in Hamburg. ifau's works and texts have been published in numerous books and architectural magazines.

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Diane Jones Allen

DesignJones LLC

Diane Jones Allen has years of practice focusing on land planning, and varied scales of open space design, including community development work. She is Principal Landscape Architect with DesignJones LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana which received the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Service Award. She is currently the Program Director for Landscape Architecture, in the College of Architecture Planning, and Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Arlington. In Baltimore, Maryland, Diane was a member of the Urban Design Architecture Review Panel, providing design guidance on major development projects in the City, and a tenured professor in Landscape Architecture, at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State.  Diane received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design, University of California at Berkeley.  Her research and practice is guided by the intersection of environmental justice, identity and sustainability in cultural landscapes, including “Nomadic” responses to “Transit Deserts,” places of increasing transportation demand and limited access, as discuss in her  book “Transit Deserts; Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form”. Diane, recently co-edited the Book “Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity”, published by Island Press, which provides tools for trans-active engagement and design.

Sheila Kennedy


Sheila Kennedy received her Bachelor's Degree in history, philosophy and literature from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. Kennedy studied architecture at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris and received the Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where she won the SOM National Traveling Fellowship and was graduated with Distinction, the School's highest academic honor. In 1990, she founded Kennedy & Violich Architecture (KVA MATx) in partnership with Juan Frano Violich. As an Associate Professor at Harvard's GSD, Kennedy was Director of the M Arch II Program from 1991-1995 and is Professor of the Practice of Architecture at MIT.

As a founding Principal of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd. (KVA), Sheila Kennedy has established a new model for an interdisciplinary design practice that explores architecture, digital technology and emerging public needs. Designated as one of Fast Company's Masters of Design, Kennedy is described as an “insightful and original thinker who is designing new ways of working, learning, leading and innovating”. In 2000, Kennedy established MATx, a pioneering materials research unit at KVA which engages applied creative production across the fields of design, electronics, and architecture and material science. MATx works collaboratively with business leaders, manufacturers, cultural institutions and public agencies to create designs building components and architecture that advances the widespread implementation of sustainable digital materials. MATx has developed designs and technology applications for Dupont, Siemens, Osram, Herman Miller, Saint-Gobain, The North Face, the City of Porto in Portugal, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States Department of Energy. The MATx Portable Light Project, a non-profit global initiative that enables people in the developing world to create and own portable energy harvesting solar textile kits has been recognized with a 2009 US Congressional Award, a 2009 Energy Globe Award and a 2008 Tech Museum Laureate Award for technology that benefits humanity.

Kennedy's work has been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the International Rotterdam Biennale, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MoMA), and the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) “Design & the Elastic Mind” exhibition on breakthrough designs for new technologies. Kennedy has served as an advisor to the United States Department of Energy, the National Academy of Sciences' Government-Industry Partnerships, and the Vision 2020 National Technology Roadmap. She is the author of multiple patents for the integration of digital technologies into architecture, building materials and textiles. Kennedy's research and work in architecture have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Sciences.

Kennedy's writings and work have been published in Material Misuse (S. Kennedy; Architectural Association of London), Material Ultra Material (Harvard University, 2002), Extreme Textiles, (M.McQuaid; Princeton, 2005), Open House: Designs for Intelligent Living, (Vitra Design Museum, 2006), Design for the Other 90% (C. Smith; 2007), and Digital Culture in Architecture, (A. Picon; Birkhauser, 2010) Kennedy lectures widely and her work has been featured in journals of architecture, design culture, anthropology and optoelectronics, as well as National Public Radio, CBS News, CNN Principal Voices, BBC World News, Wired, Science News, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and The New York Times.

Anupama Kundoo

Anupama Kundoo Architects

Anupama Kundoo received her B.Arch from University of Bombay in 1989 and her PhD from the Technische Universitaet Berlin in 2008. She has built extensively in India and has had the experience of working, researching and teaching in a variety of cultural contexts across the world: TU Berlin, AA School of Architecture London, Parsons New School of Design New York, University of Queensland Brisbane, IUAV Venice, ETSAB Barcelona, Cornell University, UCJC Madrid and IE University in Madrid.

She is the author of ‘Roger Anger: Research on Beauty/Recherche sur la Beauté, Architecture 1958-2008’ published in Berlin by Jovis Verlag in 2009. Her book chapter ‘Rethinking affordability in economic and environmental terms’ is published in the Routledge book ‘Inclusive Urbanisation: Rethinking Policy, Practice and Research in the Age of Climate Change’, 2015.

Her research-oriented practice was exhibited twice at the Venice Architecture Biennale, with the installation ‘Feel the Ground.Wall House 1:1’ in 2012 and ‘Building Knowledge, An inventory of strategies’ in 2016. Kundoo is currently working on a solo show at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art scheduled for 2020.

Marie Law Adams


Marie Law Adams is a co-founding partner of Landing Studio, an architecture, design and research practice whose work negotiates the intersection of large-scale global infrastructure with urban environments. Since 2005 Landing Studio has developed projects with port facilities and infrastructure entities in Boston and New York by designing shared industrial and public access landscapes, light installations, festivals, exhibitions and industrial/community operations agreements. The work of Landing Studio has received such honors as an AIA Honor Award in Regional & Urban Design, a Progressive Architecture Award, and the Architectural League Prize and has been exhibited at institutions including MIT, RISD, Parsons and the City College of New York.

Adams is a registered architect. She earned a BSArch degree from the University of Michigan and a MArch from MIT, where she was a Presidential Fellow and recipient of the AIA Medal.

Fernando De Mello Franco


Fernando de Mello Franco is Architect and Urbanist with a PhD in Environmental Urban Structures from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Is director of URBEM – Institute of Urbanism and Studies for the Metropolis, a brazilian non-governamental organisation focused on structuring urban projects with social impact. Currently responsible for projects and research coordination.

Is consultant for several local and international institutions, among them: ITDP, UN Habitat and World Bank.

Former Secretary of Urban Development of the Municipality of São Paulo (2013-2016). Responsible for the coordination of the regulatory framework revision of the urban policy and for the coordination of the structuring of urban intervention projects.

Founder of MMBB Architects and collaborator of Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

Kenneth Munkacy

Kingbird Properties

Kenneth A. Munkacy is the Senior Managing Director of Boston-based Kingbird Properties, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grupo Ferré Rangel (GFR).  Kingbird Properties is a real estate investment management company focused on value-added multifamily apartments in the U.S. and Latin America, primarily in secondary and tertiary cities.

Grupo Ferré Rangel is a fourth generation family office founded in 1918 based in San Juan, Puerto.  GFR owns and invests in a diversified consumer-centric portfolio of companies that includes media, real estate, newspapers, digital marketing and printing throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Latin America.  Its lineage includes a former governor of Puerto Rico, Luis A. Ferré (1968-1972), whose son Antonio Luis Ferré Ramirez de Arellano created the first Puerto Rican company to be listed on the NYSE (1965), where he served as president (1982-1990).

With Kingbird Properties, Mr. Munkacy will be responsible for creating and implementing its investment strategy, acquisitions, joint ventures and investment management platform in the U.S. and Latin America.

 Mr. Munkacy was previously a Senior Vice President of GID Investment Advisers LLC, and Senior Managing Director of GID International Group, where he was a member of GID’s Executive Committee and was responsible for GID’s international real estate strategy investments, joint ventures and portfolio companies in Brazil and India.

With over 25 years of real estate experience Mr. Munkacy has worked on real estate investments and/or managed real estate operating companies in 15 states and 16 countries.  His experience includes serving as Managing Director, Asia at Starwood Capital (Tokyo); Senior Managing Director of GE Capital Golub Europe (Prague); President of Koll Asia Pacific Development (Shanghai); and Managing Director at TrizecHahn Asia Pacific (Hong Kong).  He also served as Director, Development/Acquisitions with Xerox Realty (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox).

Mr. Munkacy graduated with a BA in Economics – Government from Franklin and Marshall College in 1976 and earned his Masters of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in real estate development/finance in 1981.  In 1977/78 Mr. Munkacy was selected as a New York City Urban Fellow, where he served under Mayor Koch in the New York City Planning Commission. 

Mr. Munkacy serves as Vice Chairman of the Global Exchange Council with the Urban Land Institute.  He is a member of PREA, where he is also a member of its International Affinity Group.

Nora Libertun de Duren

Inter-American Development Bank

Nora Libertun de Duren is an urban development and housing expert at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), where she leads research activities in urban issues. Nora has comprehensive research and operational experience in the topics of housing, public space and urban growth. She has lectured about these topics in many universities, and will be teaching at Harvard University next fall. Prior to joining the IADB, she was the Director of Planning at New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, where she led a citywide strategy for creating sustainable and accessible parks. She has authored papers published in peer reviewed journals, including Housing Policy Debates, Planning Journal of Education and Research, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, City and Community, Urban Studies, Cities and International Journal of Housing Policy. She has been the MIT Journal of Planning editor, and the co-editor of Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Politics in Urban Spaces (Indiana University Press, 2011). Nora has been recipient of various awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, a Harvard Fellowship, an MIT Presidential Scholarship, an MIT prize for outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Planning, and the University of Buenos Aires Highest Achievement medal. Nora holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the MIT; a Master in urban design from Harvard University, and in Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires.

Raúl Cárdenas Osuna


Raúl Cárdenas Osuna founder and principal at Torolab (1995), an artist collective, workshop and laboratory of contextual studies that identifies situations or phenomena of interest for research, basing the studies in the realm of life styles to better grasp the idea of quality of life. His work has been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Havana, Liverpool, Lyon, Montreal and Venice Biennials; and has been awarded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Harvard’s Cultural Agents Initiative, among others.

Cárdenas Osuna has been an advisor for Tijuana’s gov on sustainable city development and social innovation; founded the Digital and Creative axis for the Metropolitan Strategic Plan of Tijuana-Rosarito-Tecate; currently directs the non-profit organization ‘Sociedad de Agentes de Cambio’; directs the program of the Transborder Farmlab in Tijuana; directs the Applied Social Research and Innovation Lab (LiiSA) in Tijuana/Mexico City.

Sheela Patel

Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres

Sheela Patel is the founder Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), an NGO that has been working since 1984 to support community organizations of the urban poor in their efforts to access secure housing and Basic amenities and seek their right to the city. Patel is widely recognized – nationally and internationally – for seeking urgent attention to the issues of urban poverty, housing and infrastructure onto the radar of governments, bilateral and international agencies, foundations and other organizations. She is a founder amongst many, of Slum Dwellers International a transnational social movement of the urban poor, whose Board she Chairs presently.

Adèle Naudé Santos


Adèle Naudé Santos, FAIA, is a Professor and served as the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning from 2004 to 2015. Prior to that she was professor at the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design where her academic focus was the design of housing environments.

Professor Santos has an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London. She also received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University as well as a Master of Architecture and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Her academic career includes professorships at University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Rice University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as Chair of the Department of Architecture. She was the founding Dean of the new School of Architecture at UC San Diego and has had numerous visiting appointments around the world, including Italy and in her native South Africa.

In addition to her academic work, she is principal architect in the San Francisco-based firm, Santos Prescott and Associates. Her architectural and planning projects include affordable and luxury housing and institutional buildings in Africa: South Africa, Swaziland, and Botswana; affordable housing in California and Japan; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia; the Center for the Arts at Albright College, Reading, PA; the Yerba Buena Gardens Children’s Center in San Francisco; City Links, A Vision Plan for San Diego. She is currently working in Guatemala on a children’s center, and has several projects under construction in China.

Dean Santos has received housing awards and honors including the 2009 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. She has won numerous competitions for projects including the Perris Civic Center (CA), three facilities at Arts Park (CA), the Affordable Prototypical Multi-Family Housing for Franklin/LaBrea in Los Angeles, and Penn Children’s Center (PA).

Most recently at MIT she was the Principle Investigator for a two year study for Sekisui House, Japan, on sustainable urban housing and community 2050. She, along with fellow MIT faculty and students, have begun a research project with a major firm in China to design and construct a demonstration business park.

She serves as a juror for numerous national and international design competitions and award programs and has published extensively in journals and books.

She holds N.C.A.R.B. Certification, is a registered architect in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and is a Member of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architect’s Registration Council, UK.

Larry Sass


Larry Sass is an architectural designer and researcher exploring digital design and fabrication across scales. As an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT, Larry has taught courses specifically in digital fabrication and design computing since 2002. He earned his PhD ‘00 and SMArchS ’94 at MIT, and has a BArch from Pratt Institute in NYC. Larry has published widely, and has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Larry’s research focused on digital delivery of housing for low income families. Main ideas are centered on discovery and development of new design tools that automated the production of design models and and aid in fabrication of finished construction. He believes that hand crafted, hand operated construction will soon be a thing of the past, and that in the future, buildings will be printed with machines run by computers. Today in the age of manufacturing with information and and new forms of machine intelligence more than ever designers will need new tools to produce their ideas. His latest obsession is development of fabrication based software that helps designers and builders physical produce ideas from 3D computer models.

Rafi Segal


Rafi Segal is an award winning designer and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT. His practice engages in design and research on both the architectural and urban scale. Segal’s projects include Villa 003 of the ORDOS 100 Project, the Kitgum Peace Museum in Uganda, the Ashdod Museum of Art and more recently the winning proposal for the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. His current ongoing projects include the design of a new communal neighborhood for a kibbutz in Israel and the curating of the first ever exhibition on the architecture of Alfred Neumann undertaken during the 1960s.

Segal is co-editor of Cities of Dispersal (2008), Territories — Islands, Camps and Other States of Utopia (2003), and A Civilian Occupation (2003), and has exhibited his work widely, most notably at Storefront for Art and Architecture; KunstWerk, Berlin; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Venice Biennale of Architecture; MOMA in New York; and at the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Urbanism Biennale. His writings and exhibitions have provided a critical contribution to architecture’s role in the peripheries of our cities.

Rafi Segal hold a PhD from Princeton University and two degrees from Technion — Israel Institute of Technology — M.Sc and B.Arch. Prior to MIT he taught architecture and urbanism at various European and US schools including Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Columbia University’s GSAPP, the Cooper Union School of Architecture, and Princeton University.    

James Shen

People's Architecture Office

Originally from Los Angeles, James Shen received his M. Arch from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc in Product Design from California State University, Long Beach. He is a Visiting Lecturer at MIT and Harvard Loeb Fellow.

In 2010, James co-founded Beijing-based People's Architecture Office, a multi-disciplinary studio focused on social impact through design. People’s Architecture Office is the first architecture practice in Asia certified as a B-Corporation and serves as a model for social entrepreneurship.

The office of PAO is located in a traditional courtyard house in Beijing’s historic core, a setting characterized by urban informality, and one that inspires the studio’s work. PAO engages in urban issues through designs that straddle architecture and product design. The Courtyard House Plugin is a prefab system for urban regeneration that quickly and efficiently upgrades dilapidated homes without demolition or relocating inhabitants. The recently completed People’s Station is a cultural center that incorporates mobile parts that expand and detach in order to bring cultural activities to surrounding communities.

The studio’s award-winning works have been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Harvard Graduate School of Design and the London Design Museum.

Lawrence Vale


Lawrence Vale is Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he served as Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 2002 until January 2009.  He has taught in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning since 1988, and he is currently the director of the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative (RCHI), a unit of the School’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. He was president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History for 2011-2013. Vale holds degrees from Amherst College (B.A. in American Studies, summa cum laude), M.I.T. (S.M.Arch.S.), and the University of Oxford (D.Phil.), which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author or editor of ten books examining urban design, housing and planning.

Much of Professor Vale's most recent published work has examined the history, politics, and design of American public housing. These books include From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors (2001 "Best Book in Urban Affairs"); and Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods (2005 Paul Davidoff Award). This research has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has also received the Chester Rapkin Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, an EDRA/Places Award for “Place Research,” and the John M. Corcoran Award for Community Investment.

His most recent book, Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities (University of Chicago Press, 2013) focuses on Atlanta and Chicago, comparing the slum clearance era that yielded the first public housing with the current spate of public housing demolition and redevelopment. This book has received "best book" awards from both the International Planning History Society (2014) and the Urban Affairs Association (2015). He his also co-editor, with Nicholas Bloom and Fritz Ubach, of Public Housing Myths: Perceptions, Reality and Social Policy (Cornell University Press 2015; 2016 Best Edited Book Award, International Planning History Society). He is currently at work on new book project that explores the variation of HOPE VI public housing redevelopment practices across the United States, provisionally entitled "After the Projects."

Prior to his work on public housing, Professor Vale was the author of Architecture, Power, and National Identity (1992), a book about capital city design on six continents, which received the 1994 Spiro Kostof Book Award for Architecture and Urbanism from the Society of Architectural Historians.  A revised, 2nd edition of the book was published by Routledge in 2008. He is also the author of The Limits of Civil Defence (Macmillan and St. Martin’s Press, 1987), a book based on his dissertation.

Additionally, Vale is co-editor, with Sam Bass Warner, Jr., of Imaging the City:  Continuing Struggles and New Directions (2001); co-editor, with Thomas J. Campanella, of The Resilient City:  How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster (2005); and co-editor, with Bish Sanyal and Christina Rosan, of Planning Ideas That Matter: Livability, Territoriality, Governance, and Reflective Practice (MIT Press, 2012; 2014 Best Edited Book in Planning History, IPHS). Finally, he is the author of a monograph about the history of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Changing Cities:  75 Years of Planning Better Futures at MIT (SA+P Press, 2008).

At MIT, he has won the Institute’s highest award for teaching (MacVicar Faculty Fellowship), as well as multiple departmental awards for advising and service to students.

Nathalie de Vries


Nathalie de Vries. Prof. ir. FRIBA (1965, Appingedam, the Netherlands), is an architect and urbanist. She is director and co-founder of  globally operating architecture and urban planning firm MVRDV, which she set up together with Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs in 1993. Since 2013 she has been Professor for Architecture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.  Nathalie de Vries is currently the chairman of The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA).

Alexandros Washburn

Brooklyn Capital Partners LLC, DRAW Brooklyn LLC.

Alexandros Washburn is the former Chief Urban Designer of New York City. He is a global expert on urban design in an era of climate change who believes resilience begins at home.  After a long public career, he now works with his community in Red Hook Brooklyn to create bottom-up urban design solutions through his development company, Brooklyn Capital Partners LLC and his design company DRAW Brooklyn LLC.

He is the author of the landmark book, The Nature of Urban Design: A New York Perspective on Resilience and is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore.  He has been a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New York University and Princeton.  He is a graduate of Harvard University and winner of the New York Public Architect Award.

Trained as an architect, he began his public career working for US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  He then founded the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation to rebuild New York's main train station and later joined the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the New York City Department of City Planning.

His career combines politics finance and design to get things done.  And in a world facing the question of how to grow during climate change, he fervently believes The Answer Is More Brooklyn.

Steve Weir

Habitat for Humanity International

Steven Weir has managed a wide range of volunteer programs in his work at HFHI as the country director for Sri Lanka, Asia Pacific VP, and most recently as the VP of Global Program Design and Implementation.  Mr. Weir has been responsible for supporting the work in India in in all of these roles and has overseen US government grants a wide range of countries and programs.

Early in his career, Steven Weir worked with an architecture and construction management company and held a research internship, working on solar energy-assisted commercial mechanical systems. He gained experience managing public private venture partnerships and facilitating community-based design workshops. Mr. Weir is a licensed architect with over 30 years of field experience. He spent 16 years in private practice, most of that time with a San Francisco-based architectural and real estate development firm, working on projects throughout the Pacific rim.

 In his operations role in Asia Pacific, he provided leadership and management oversight to the organization’s response to the Indian Ocean tsunami, a four-country effort that built and repaired 25,000 houses with low-income families. Subsequent disaster response reconstruction projects have proven the appropriateness and efficacy of the community-based methodologies and technical advances he promoted. In his role as vice president of Global Program Development and Support coordinates the strategic development and support of Habitat’s multi-million-dollar programs in countries around the world in the areas of housing and human settlement, disaster response, housing finance and market development, multi-faith engagement and program design and implementation

James L. Wescoat


His research has concentrated on water systems in South Asia and the US from the site to river basin scales. For the greater part of his career, Professor Wescoat has focused on small-scale historical waterworks of Mughal gardens and cities in India and Pakistan.

He led the Smithsonian Institution's project titled, "Garden, City, and Empire: The Historical Geography of Mughal Lahore," which resulted in a co-edited volume on Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Prospects, and The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, and Implications with colleagues from the University of Engineering and Technology-Lahore. These and related books have won awards from the Government of Pakistan and Punjab Government.

The overall Mughal Gardens Project won an American Society of Landscape Architects national research merit award, as did a project on The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj led by Elizabeth Moynihan. This work has been generously supported by fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Asian Art, and the American Academy in Rome.
In 2002, Professor Wescoat became head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he taught courses on "Landscape Experience, Inquiry and Design," the "Theory and Practice of Landscape Architecture," and design studios on urban ecological design in Chicago. Together with colleagues and students at the University of Illinois he contributed to a cultural landscape heritage conservation project at the Champaner-Pavagadh World Heritage Site in Gujarat, India, for the Baroda Heritage Trust.

More recently, he has organized a garden and waterworks conservation workshop at the Nagaur palace-garden complex in Rajasthan for the Mehrangarh Museum Trust; and a workshop on the "Three Shalamar Baghs of Delhi, Lahore, and Srinagar" with colleagues from those cities.

At the larger scale, Professor Wescoat has conducted water policy research in the Colorado, Indus, Ganges, and Great Lakes basins, including the history of multilateral water agreements. He led a USEPA-funded study of potential climate impacts in the Indus River Basin in Pakistan with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). More recently, he led an NSF-funded project on "Water and Poverty in Colorado." He is currently conducting comparative research on international water problems.

In 2003, he published Water for Life: Water Management and Environmental Policy with geographer Gilbert F. White (Cambridge University Press); and in 2007 he co-edited Political Economies of Landscape Change: Places of Integrative Power (Springer Publishing) for LAF Landscape Futures Initiative.

Daniel Wyss


Daniel Wyss is an architect and urban planner practicing in developing countries and in post-conflict and post-disaster contexts.

Daniel graduated from the University of Geneva – his final project on post-war reconstruction was published in FACES Revue d’Architecture: Sarajevo- Sortir de l’Urbicide, 2004 - before joining Atelier 5 (Switzerland) working on housing and urban design for the portscapes of Hamburg and Prague.
After his post-graduate development studies, Daniel initiated and co-developed participatory design methods for slum-upgrading projects in the Balkans and coached the key stakeholders and implementers in his position as an advisor at Skat Consulting, Ltd. (Swiss Resource-Centre for Appropriate Technologies). A finalist in the 2014/2015 World-Habitat Award competition, the project was published by UN HABITAT in Going Green: A Handbook of Sustainable Housing Practices in Developing Countries (2012).

Daniel has designed and constructed affordable settlements, paraseismic housing and schools for post-disaster Indonesia, Kashmir and Haiti and worked as architect and industry advisor for the transformation of informal settlements and the informal construction industry in Pakistan, Nepal, Senegal, Afghanistan, South Africa and Sudan – work completed for construction sector development programs financed by the UN, World Bank and the Swiss Cooperation.
Since 2012, Daniel has led Skat Consulting’s offices in Rwanda, Burundi and DRC Congo in the implementation of the Swiss Cooperation’s construction industry transformation program for Africa’s Great Lakes Region. The program introduces affordable and easy-to-build construction systems to the region’s fast growing urban agglomerations and facilitates the construction industry’s shift to environment friendly production of durable building material for the mass supply of affordable urban houses.

Philip Yang


Philip Yang is the founder of URBEM, a “do tank” focused on urban development projects in the metropolis of São Paulo. Yang is a former Brazilian diplomat and one of the founding owners of Petra Energia S.A., a Brazilian oil & gas company. He holds a Master in Public Administration from the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and began his studies at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Arts of the University of São Paulo. Yang had a brief career as a concert pianist and premiered as a soloist with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra. Philip recently served as a member of The MIT Corporation’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning Visiting Committee (2012-2016). He is also an advisor of Arq.Futuro, Brazil’s leading platform for architecture and urbanism.


Housing + will take place on the 6th floor of the Media Lab (E14). The Media Lab is located on the corner of Amherst Street and Ames Street. 

Media Lab (Map)
Building E14, 75 Amherst Street,
Cambridge, MA. 02139-4307 USA


Getting to the MIT Media Lab (Building E14): If you are coming from Kendall Square: walk down Carleton St., turn right on Amherst St. The closest subway station to campus is Kendall Square on the Red Line. Public transportation fares and schedules may be found at the MBTA website. The campus map has directions for getting to MIT from the airport, via public transportation, and by car.


More information will be coming soon.


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