Tessa Crespo

Through her graduate research, Tessa aims to explore themes of agency and victimhood as they relate to collective trauma and the adaptability of culture in today’s anthropogenic era of risk and migration. She is interested in epistemologies that interrogate the politics of knowledge production through reimagining the hegemonic constructs of territory and border. Through a grounded theory approach, she intends to investigate storytelling and its powerful implications for empathy and conflict transformation.

Prior to attending the GSD, Tessa worked as an architectural designer at Olson Kundig in Seattle, WA, where she specialized in exhibit design and cultural projects. Alongside the Director of Building Performance, she worked towards integrating Life Cycle Assessments into initial design phases to minimize environmental and health impacts. Tessa cofounded BCSP, a firm that developed feasibility studies and master plans for mixed-tenure and affordable housing developments for the Seattle Office of Housing. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon.


Armida Fernández

Armida is currently a candidate for the Master in Design Studies Program, with a concentration in Risk and Resilience.

Jimmy Pan

Jimmy’s research is influenced by an inclination to explore the implications of habitation in areas of intersection, where vulnerability to water-influenced disasters generate questions of whether one should remain or relocate. The following lines of inquiry are his momentary guides:

What opportunities are there to reorient reactionary and relief-based policy towards strategies established on the foundation of proactive flexibility? What are the complexities, consequences, and benefits of dissolving the hard edges of boundary making and containment into fields of nomadic settlement? How can we implement understandings of the physiological processes of water transport in plants into building envelopes in order to reconstitute urban systems of water conveyance into networks of collective retention?

Registered Architect, New York / Bachelor of Architecture, The Cooper Union / Cyclist, Fuji Feather

Fernando Schrupp Rivero

Fernando practices architecture in Bolivia and New York.  He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University and a Masters of Science in Public Infrastructure from UAGRM. Fernando grew up in Bolivia in the 1980’s, a time of transition from dictatorship to democracy and rapid environmental degradation of the Bolivian low lands, sparking his interest in recovery. In 2015, he co-founded the exhibition space and artist hub Kunstraum in Brooklyn, while working on Coastal Resilience projects for the city of New York. As part of his multidisciplinary practice, Fernando produces and curates art exhibitions focusing on new media and the agency of nature, and works on economic recovery through cultural programming projects in rural communities.

Isaac Stein

Isaac Stein is currently a dual-degree candidate for the Master of Landscape Architecture and Master in Design Studies (Risk and Resilience) as well as a research assistant at Harvard Graduate School of Design. His research focuses on environmental degradation, development paradigms, risk abatement, and property rights with a particular focus on the Gulf Coast. Prior to attending the GSD, Isaac received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami and practiced as a landscape architect at West 8 in New York and Rotterdam.

Amy Thornton

Amy began her career in television news production with ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. She continued at ABC News producing award-winning, one-hour educational documentaries on the presidency, Martin Luther King Jr, and tobacco. Intrigued and concerned about the state of education, she also obtained her teaching certificate, focusing on project-based and multiple intelligence learning.

After the arrival of her first child, Amy left news production to develop a candid black and white portrait photography business which won juried awards for her impressionistic work. Soon after she had twins, she chose full-time motherhood. This initiated a growing and enduring concern for the inequitable position of primary caregivers who bear the responsibility for raising children and how this impacts their future careers and financial stability. Wanting a more exploratory, imaginative, and nature-and-movement filled education for her children, she chose to homeschool which led her to Vermont, growing food, and permaculture design and practice.

In Montpelier, Vermont, Amy founded, directed, and taught at Pacem School, an unconventional and affordable middle and high school which emphasizes a highly flexible, creative, and inclusive educational system.  Pacem promotes and nurtures student-imagined and designed education, immersion in and education about the natural environment, ample outdoor physical activity, community, and mindfulness. Pacem uses sociocratic governance, an efficient, consent-based system in which all community members are included in decision making. Amy attended Harvard’s School of Public Health in Sustainability, Health, and the Global Environment for one year before enrolling at the Graduate School of Design.

Amy is now exploring whole systems design that promotes behaviors for health in partnership with the natural environment. Her concern arises from accelerating global warming, synthetic chemical pollution, and non-communicable disease (NCDs). Risk factors for NCDs include accelerating urbanization, pollution, indoor lifestyles, and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Meanwhile, direct connection to, knowledge, and care about natural systems is diminishing rapidly. To address these concerns, Amy has founded The Cojujo Project, which envisions a small educational and immersive “field experience” campus dedicated to this subject.

To keep her hands in the soil and her mind and body balanced, Amy grows vegetables and fruits on which she, friends, and family consume for much of the year, teaches and practices aśtanga yoga, practices Buddhism imperfectly, and spends as much time exploring the outdoors as possible. Often with dogs.

Viviana Wei

Viviana is currently a candidate for the Master in Design Studies Program, with a concentration in Risk and Resilience.