Cesar Castro

Cesar holds a concurrent degree in MDes Risk and Resilience and Master of Urban Planning from the GSD.

Silvia Danielak

Silvia’s research is interested in how conflict manifests itself in the city and, conversely, how the built environment influences, predominantly identity-based, conflict. She seeks to explore how urban governance, architecture and planning upset spatial structures and cause divides, hence jeopardizing the functional density and very plurality of cities.

Prior to coming to the GSD, Silvia served as conflict prevention advisor in support of the African Union Border Programme, based in Addis Ababa. Before that she worked as a fellow with the United Nations Development Programme and with think-tanks on peace infrastructures, multi-track mediation and human rights. A trained mediator, Silvia holds a Master’s degree in security studies from the Institute for Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po Paris), and studied at Maastricht University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Kennedy School.

Michael de St Aubin

Michael intends to focus his research at the GSD on resilient international public health development and infrastructure strategies. He received a professional Bachelors of Architecture degree from Auburn University. While enrolled at Auburn, he was involved in various hands-on community engagement projects, including being part of a class at the Rural Studio that designed and built a home for a lower income family in rural Alabama.

Professionally, he has worked on many public health and education related projects in developing countries. The projects include the design of a college prep school in central Haiti, on-site facility assessments of hospitals in West Africa, the development of a prototypical Ebola triage center, and a new global health university and teaching hospital in Rwanda.

Yan Liu

Prior to coming to GSD, Yan received a Master’s degree from University of Southern California, where she majored in Landscape Architecture. She worked on several Landscape Architecture and Urban Design consulting firms in Singapore, Boston, Paris, and Hong Kong for almost two years.

She is extremely interested in projects focusing on urban risks and conflicts, disaster prevention and reduction, emergency response and relief operations, post-disaster humanitarian aid, and the like. Her design research has delved into several non-profit projects including informal settlements upgrading in Ecuador, post-earthquake emergency reconstruction in Nepal, flooding mitigation program in Southeast Asia, post-tsunami reconstruction in Japan, wetland ecological restoration in Los Angeles, among others.

Samuel Alexander John Matthew

Sam’s current research focuses on ways in which refugee camps and other spaces of confinement can be made more humane through design. He is a Herchel Smith Scholar at Harvard.

Prior to the GSD, Sam studied Geography at Cambridge University where he examined global population movement and the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities. His fieldwork included researching the effect of animism and witchcraft practices on peacebuilding efforts in Northern Uganda and South Sudan. He has surveyed and mapped informal refugee camps in Europe and has substantial experience in East Africa.

Charles Kevin Newman

Charles’ graduate research considers the interactions between public, private and non-governmental organizations towards the implementation of large-scale multi-national infrastructure projects. Issues of legality, transparency, efficiency, risk and responsibility have emerged as areas of interest. He is a LEED Accredited Professional with a B. Arch from the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

As an architectural designer with over 10 years of experience, Newman worked primarily in the Central/East Africa region with various non-profits in both the rural and urban conditions. He has also recently begun contributing in an advisory capacity to off-grid housing projects in various regions of China. Charles enjoys discussions of low cost / high impact design solutions and will listen to any music you may want to send him.

Hazal Seval

Hazal studied in Istanbul Technical University where she received her Bachelor degree in Architecture and in École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-La Villette where she spent a year within the Exchange Program. Prior to coming to the GSD she worked in an Istanbul based design-research practice and collaborated in the Design-Build studio at the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture in MEF University as a Teaching Assistant.

She is now a Turkish Education Foundation scholar who inspired by the inter-disciplinary nature of urban sociology, aspires to promote bottom-up strategies for developing countries deficient in democratic decision-making processes, that will address socio-spatial injustice and exclusion emerged from the capitalist modes of urban production.