CURRENT STUDENTS

Dalia Amellai

Dalia (Class of 2021) is an English halfway architect who graduated from her Undergraduate Bachelor degree at Central Saint Martins, London in 2018. She worked in product design and graphic design firms in Paris and London during her studies, always conserving an underlying passion and fascination for cities and their complexities. She develops interests in science fiction and speculative design within the realm of architecture and urban design. After her move to New York, she seeks to further research and explore the urgent questions tied to the critical nature of technology in becoming an immediate part of our culture and defining new typologies of architecture within future cities.

Emily Bowe

Emily (Class of 2021) is an urban strategist with interests in maps, infrastructure, and storytelling. Before coming to Parsons, Emily worked in architecture, real estate, and urban development in San Antonio, Texas. Her academic background in environmental science, GIS, and photojournalism prepared her to study complex systems and their impacts on people. She is interested in using mapmaking and digital multimedia as a starting point for communities to plan for future growth and infrastructure projects.

Jason Brown

Jason (Class of 2021) is a community artist, facilitator, designer, and social investigator. He received his BA in International Relations with a (handmade) minor in Sculpture and Placemaking and certificate in Urban Studies from Wheaton College (IL). He has always migrated between the camps of social science and artistic expression, seeking to find the best way to make our Selves alongside our Society. This curiosity leads exploration into public spaces, public and community art, geography, critical pedagogy, collective cartography, and expressive, iterative making practices.

Professionally, Jason has worked assisting in installation art sites, private residential construction and design, arts education and advocacy, surface and textile design, community workshop facilitation, and interdisciplinary curation. Through the Design and Urban Ecologies program he seeks to find this meeting place of hard work and soft science, as well as develop technical skills to make the wonders of geography and place-based development accessible to more creators, more communities.

Jorge Cabanillas

Jorge (Class of 2021) is a son of Peruvian immigrants who raised him and his little brother in Jackson Heights, Queens. Upon his and his family’s removal from Jackson Heights, he realized that his family and his childhood friends’ inability to maintain themselves in the area was part of a growing city wide trend- expulsion of POC to the margins of the city. In early 2014 he learned of Queens Neighborhoods United, a local grassroots organization doing anti-gentrification work. He immediately joined QNU out of love for his communities and the long term goal of contributing to the larger NYC housing movement.

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Jacqueline (Class of 2021) is an urban thinker with an academic background in Architecture and Urban Design. She developed her career between Mexico and Italy, where she worked on urban planning and design, public spaces, sustainable mobility and participatory design at different Mexican Government Institutions, and at the international firms MIC Mobility in Chain (Italy) and Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy).

As a creative urbanist, Jacqueline’s passion focuses on designing strategies and projects with an integrated approach, using both everyday tools and breakthrough technologies to develop a balanced and equitable society and preserve our environment. 
Jacqueline is now based in Brooklyn, NYC where she co-founded CITAD, a design collective that aims to improve the urban experience for everyone. CITAD was a 2018 Public Access Design Fellow at the Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Daniela Castillo

As an aspiring urbanist-artist-designer, Dani (Class of 2021) studied Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania where she explored arts engagement, unearthing the history of parks, and underground systems as subversive sites. She embraced life in Philadelphia as an opportunity to get involved in activism through Philly AIDS Fund, Mural Arts, Urban Nutrition Initiative, and more. Her time at Samaj Pragati Sahayog, a non-governmental organization in Madhya Pradesh, India, was formative in furthering design thinking and grappling with questions of gender inequality, elements of ‘empowerment’, defining liberation, resource distribution, etc.; this opportunity allowed for engagement in thoughtful, intentional design processes that considered sustainability, accessibility and waste with a talented team of designers/local producers. Through a constant rooting/unrooting process, she finds herself continuously drawn to the complex nature of urban environments (Mexico City, Houston, Philly, NYC), and hopes to further delve into environmental justice, combating climate grief, resiliency, collective vs. individual healing and expression.

Daniel (Class of 2021) is a cycling urbanist raised in the transients between Taipei, Shanghai, and Hsinchu. A recent graduate of The New School with honors BA in Urban Studies, he combines his hyper-urban upbringing and curiosity in global geopolitics into his quest to understand our surroundings. During his visit to Bedouin friends in Morocco he became personally in touch with the injustice between climate and governance, and started actively learning pan-Arabic language and culture. His past few years in academics focused on unlearning the current pedagogy on sustainability and reimagining climate resiliency with social justice. He recently worked on various government-related projects including Maintaining: Public Works in the Next New York and Clean Heating and Cooling Communities. By continuing his education at The New School, Daniel hopes to deepen his understanding of the different interplays that make up a better urban future.

Sara Devic

Sara (Class of 2021) is an urbanist and product designer from Belgrade, Serbia. She researches and writes about architecture and urbanism, trying to demystify the processes that shape urban environments.

After engaging with activist groups in her hometown, she worked in the City administration, mostly participating in forming the Housing Strategy for the City of Belgrade. However, both perspectives revealed the true weakness of the public interest and the inability of institutions to preserve it. They clearly displayed the global issue: the seemingly irreversible conversion of cities from social configurations to investment vehicles. To better understand this process and to seek ways for citizens and urbanists to oppose this, she moved to New York City in 2019 to engage in theoretical work within the MA program Theories of Urban Practice at Parsons School of Design.

Yana Dimitrova

Yana Dimitrova is an artist and a researcher whose work investigates the intersection between visual arts, community centered practices, and activism as linked to the urban realm. Her research spans between issues of forced migration and displacement to the use of craft in alternative pedagogy methodologies. Formally trained in both Bulgaria and the U.S.,  Yana received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2009. Yana has exhibited at various national and international venues. Her most recent exhibits have taken place at The Rockefeler Brothers Fund (New York), Aronson Gallery in Parsons (New York), Wolke (Brussels, Belgium), OAZO (Amsterdam,The Netherlands), Gallery Twenty-Four (Berlin,Germany), NXNW (Manchester, UK), Sofia City Museum and Credo Bonum (Sofia, Bulgaria), Field Projects, Flux Factory, NARS Foundation, Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York) to name a few. Yana teaches at Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang, and the Schools for Public Engagement at The New School. She is also a PhD Candidate at LUCA School of Arts, Ghent/Brussels, in Belgium.

Amron Lee

Amron (Class of 2021) is from Sunset Beach, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State University, where she received her BA in Design Studies. She completed her thesis on the economic and cultural revitalization of downtown Raleigh that has taken place over the last 20 years and is still ongoing. A desire to turn this type of research into a career has led her to the Master’s of Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons School of Design. She hopes to combine her passion for mapping, historic architecture, social justice, and environmental justice in this setting that encourages interdisciplinary work and is excited about the diverse group of enthusiastic urbanists she will be working with over the next two years. Before moving to Brooklyn, NY, she worked as a waitress and airport ramp agent in Charleston, South Carolina.

Ashley Leher

Ashley (Class of 2021) is a native New Yorker living in Park Slope with a background in performing/visual arts and media production. After working as a Set Decorator and Production Designer for seven years, she began her career transition from the entertainment industry to urbanism and sustainability as a program manager for Habitat for Humanity revitalizing community spaces throughout the five boroughs. Due to the immediacy of current ecological issues in urban spaces, her goal is to acquire the necessary expertise to become a force in pushing NYC toward sustainable policies and practices. A fundamental component that inspired her to pursue the Design and Urban Ecology program at Parsons is the need to shift environmental responsibility from the consumer to supplier. She is eager to expand and redefine the realm of potential approaches to the social and environmental concerns of today’s urban framework.

Vincent Perez

Vince (Class of 2021) is a designer and researcher from the Philippines. Before beginning this program, he worked with foundations, non-profits, and other social good organizations through Fennel, a design agency he co-founded. His experience there gave him the opportunity to do community research and program design for a wide range of projects, with a focus on participation and shared power.

His current research continues this focus by asking questions about collaboration and methods for reclaiming interdependence. He is interested in examining relationships and interactions in the city and how these are accommodated for, affected by, and pose a challenge to the production and reproduction of urban space.

Blake Roberts

Blake (Class of 2021) is a graphic designer and writer. After completing his undergraduate degree — a BFA in graphic design — he relocated to Seattle where he began working with community programs and organizations, turning his focus toward visual communication’s role in place-making and fostering belonging in cities. His research examines the power of design as a cultural anchor and invitation for connection in hyper-dense, diverse spaces. During his time at Parsons, he intends to continue researching the boundaries and perceptions of an urban aesthetic and how it works to develop a sense of identity in the people who live in urban places.

nicholas

Nicholas (Class of 2022) is a Greek-Canadian musician and graduate from the University of Toronto. In his bachelor degree, he majored in Environmental Studies and developed a passion for sustainable design, urbanism and the built environment. Nicholas joined the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program seeking an education that promoted designing solutions for environmental issues that urban centres are facing.

Alongside his studies, he has been steadily releasing music under the moniker “Shagabond” through prominent independent record labels including eOne Music and Majestic Casual Records. He has had the opportunity to perform live all across Canada, as well as in the United States and Europe. In 2017, he was sponsored by Red Bull Music and was invited to Red Bull Music Academy: Bass Camp.

meera

Meera (Class of 2022) works at the intersection of creativity, community, and business. She has a background in strategy consulting and design with a specific interest in how culture plays a role in development. Her interests lie in the role arts and culture play in developing communities and how we can design sustainable sources of income and spaces for the arts to be drivers of economic growth. Meera works as a strategy, communications, and data designer at ThinkWell and also was a Senior Analyst at Accenture Federal Services She has worked with a range of government, foundation, and nonprofit clients, helping develop policy and technology strategy, analytics, and executing business process re- engineering. She has also been involved in corporate social responsibility efforts across her various roles.

Meera holds bachelor’s degrees in both Music and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a native of Overland Park, Kansas but currently resides in NYC. In her spare time, Meera continues her work as a performing musician, playing flute and collaborating in a collection of world music projects across the globe.

Irtiza

Irtiza (class of 2022) is a Pakistani architect who graduated from the National College of Arts. He has been practicing architecture in Islamabad since 2017, with a focus on corporate, residential, and interior design projects. Irtiza developed an interest in urbanism during his undergraduate degree through working on projects which questioned the state of his urban locality. He had the opportunity to visit ongoing rural development projects during his travels across Pakistan and was inspired by the impact of good design; leading him to the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program. Irtiza is passionate about art, sustainable design, and the environment. He enjoys drawing, being outdoors, hiking, and riding his bike.

molly

Molly (Class of 2022) thrives off of finding ways to support a future where building collective community spaces is accessible to all, where all landlords are abolished, and where all land is returned to indigenous communities. They focus primarily on Appalachia.

tori

Tori (Class of 2022) began her studies in Religious Studies and Media Arts. After her undergrad, she started a landscape design business in Los Angeles, California. Tori is an oil painter, tree enthusiast, and guardian of an extensive sock drawer. She hopes to work in ecological design and continue her studies of metaphysics and theology.

juliana

Juliana (Class of 2022) is a Brazilian architect and Urban Planner graduated from Universidade de Sorocaba, where she contributed to the organization of seminars, lectures, projects and political and social activism associated with discussions on the right to housing, education and culture, in addition to having worked in architecture and interior design offices, seeking to relate design to urban issues.

Vijay

While studying at The New School, Vijay (Class of 2022) is also employed as Senior Communications Specialist at Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs. Vijay is a strategic marketing and communications professional with expertise in a broad range of industries, including financial services. Vijay’s interests bring together community issues, policies, rules and regulations, and risk management, in collaboratively developing creative content and design projects deployed consistently across a broad range of channels. Vijay also has keen interest in public policy and international affairs, and is motivated by challenge and change across scales.

drake_compressed

Drake (Class 2022) is a nomadic urbanist with a background in grassroots housing advocacy. He received his B.S. at Towson University (‘15), in Baltimore Maryland. After college, he developed an interest in social anthropology and redlining in racially segregated cities. Since then he has lived in San Francisco where he worked in housing development and attained a post-baccalaureate (‘19). He believes racially conscious infrastructure will focus on the needs and evolution of black and brown neighborhoods. He is interested in using photography, illustrations, and data visualization to reimagine the built environment. His current research addresses the necessity of a radical shift in affordable housing, which he envisions through centering blackness and all of its dimensions.

emily-sandstrom

Emily (Class of 2022) is a Bahraini-Swedish graduate from Northeastern University, with a B.s in Economics. During her time in undergraduate studies, Emily recognized the challenges in the discipline of Economics alone to solve some of the most fundamental issues of our time. She is now pursuing her M.S in Design and Urban Ecologies and looks to urbanism as a means of understanding the ways in which economic and political fates manifest in the built environment, and also as a key method to designing new futures and better worlds. She is passionate about architecture, the politics of emerging technologies in our futures, and different forms of global governance that shape our cities. 

robi

Roberta (Class of 2022) has worked for over three years as a notable Graphic Designer in the insurance company field. You may know her from her work as the lead graphic designer at Experta Seguros Insurance Company, but Roberta can also be credited with contributions to Modo Río Project (University of Buenos Aires), Ht contenidos, communication agency designer, and Besingular, publicity agency designer.
Roberta has been honored with exhibiting the design “Modo Río” project in “Rethinking Vicente Lopez” exhibition within the 4th Design Biennale at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). It is an Illustrator featured project in Behance, selected by Adobe Curators. She holds a BA in Graphic Design at The University of Buenos Aires and currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons School of Design at The New School. Roberta has a significant interest in creating branding/brand image, logo design, and poster design, all her work is dedicated to these fields. Presently, she conveys a fascination in urbanism, community based work and social phenomenons related to urban planning.