Class of 2014 & beyond

Marianne Potvin

Marianne F. Potvin is a fourth-year PhD Student and was part of the first Risk and Resilience cohort. Born in Peru and raised in West Africa and South-East Asia, Marianne received a B.Sc and Master in Architecture (M. Arch.) from the University of Montreal. After getting her architect license and working in the design field for a few years (Egypt, West Bank, U.A.E and Canada), Marianne carried out humanitarian missions with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international NGOs. She has worked on water projects for victims of armed conflict in Northern Iraq (2011), and managed USAID-funded urban reconstruction projects in Afghanistan (2009-2010), as well as community-based school construction initiatives in the Sudanese refugee camps of the border of Chad and Darfur (2007-2008). In Kabul, she also co-chaired the technical branch of the Emergency Shelter Cluster where she participated in reviewing shelter and transitional housing policies with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and the Kabul Municipality.
In 2013, Marianne received a Master in Design Studies (MDesS) with distinction from the GSD, where she was awarded the Dimitris Pikionis Award for excellence in her program. Her current PhD research explores the intersection of humanitarianism and urbanism, examining the production of space under urban humanitarian regimes, particularly in non-Western contexts and conflict settings.

Eman Abdelhalim Lasheen

Architect Eman Abdelhalim Lasheen, LEED GA, is a 2014 graduate of the Risk and Resilience concentration at Harvard GSD. Her experience in major architectural projects in the Middle East and in Africa expanded her knowledge of the current challenges facing the practice of city making. Her research interests shifted from design-related issues to aspects related to environmental justice, urban development, sustainability and resilience.

Lasheen has participated in many research projects tackling these issues such as designing a construction manual following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, a report on waste management in the Zabbaleen slums in Cairo, and most recently a design prototype for community-shelters within immediate aftermath of disasters. Her work on the right to the waterfront in Cairo was displayed in the Venice Biennale in 2006.

Brittancy Meece

Prior to attending the Graduate School of Design, Meece graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.S. in Architecture, where she studied historical adaptive practices in Venice, Italy. As a Risk and Resilience student she developed a framework for adapting coastal cities to flooding based on her research of existing coastal housing typologies. She is currently with a research and consulting firm in Boston, where she works internationally to advise city officials and stakeholders on the effects of climate change and natural hazards on the development and growth of their cities.

Jean You

Jean is a 2014 dual-degree graduate of the Harvard GSD in the Master of Architecture in Urban Design and MDesS: Risk and Resilience programs. Prior to the GSD, Jean received a B.Arch from Cornell University. She was born in South Korea and grew up in Florida. Jean is a disaster-follower, having participated in a temporary shelter and housing project in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and in a recovery project in Japan in 2012. Her current urban studies include disaster design and development and creating resiliency for cities.

Mengni Zhang

Mengni Zhang graduated from Cornell in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and received the Charles Goodwin Sands Medal. Following that, Zhang worked for a year in DC at an architecture firm before joining the Risk and Resilience concentration at Harvard GSD.
Zhang has received various awards in competitions, such as an Honorable Mention in Evolo Skyscraper competition, an Honor Award from the AIA-DC UnBuilt Competition, a finalist in the Moon Capital Competition, a first place in Roanoke Urban Effect Competition and a second place in the Seipp Prize. Some of these had been covered by CNN and Scientific American, and exhibited in the National Air and Space Museum. Zhang’s interests spans from architecture, mechanical details to urban planning and geographic data analysis. Currently working for Harvard’s ZOFNASS Program.

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