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.
Elene is a Georgian graduate student who acquired her B.Sc. in Architecture and Urban Planning from University of Stuttgart in Germany. She has worked with award-winning architects and interior designers in the US, Germany and Denmark. During her career she sought to relate design to urban issues and understand the social and environmental factors shaping the building context. She has lived in 5 different countries and has always been interested in urban and community development. Her goal is to acquire the necessary expertise to design strategies that will help governments transform the cities into more sustainable, accessible and socially and environmentally just habitats. She intends to use mapmaking and data-driven research as tools for planning future growth and infrastructure projects. She is an advocate for women’s involvement in political decision-making and city planning.
Juliana 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.
Mick (they/them) has spent time working in a few different capacities before joining the DUE program. Such has included teaching in outdoor neighborhood spaces with children, urban farming, and stormwater mitigation and rain garden projects in Seattle, WA. During undergrad they went to Cascadia College in Bothell, Wa and completed their Bachelors of Applied Science in Sustainable Practices focusing on environmental education (Class of 2017). They hope to continue focusing on environmental justice, community, urban food systems, and transportation, multi-generational design, in both their work and everyday life. Along with these professions and study they also spend time as a digital artist, as well in trans and queer spaces, and club + rave communities when able to.
Melissa C. Bosley, born and raised in The Bronx completed her undergraduate program at The City College of New York. Studying Political Science and History, it was imperative for her to serve The Bronx in any capacity. After graduating she searched and found herself working for Bronxworks, a non-profit organization that provides various services throughout The Bronx to most people in need. Uncontent with her work, she quit and applied for the DUE program at Parson School of Design.
Beka (she/her) is an Indonesian graduate student who received her degree from the University of Melbourne. Beka is a driven, growth-focused individual with a great passion for sustainable design and urbanism, great attention to detail, and creative thinking. She is seeking opportunities in Sustainable Urban-centric programs and is keen to explore the strategies of Public Space formation and evaluate the importance of community involvement in the scheme.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1989, Daniela is an architect graduated in 2018 from the Universidad de la República (FADU-Udelar). Her project “Resiliente” won first place in the 2019 National Planning Award from the Uruguayan Ministry of Housing (MVOTMA). She has a diverse career, combining work in the private and academic sectors, including research and teaching roles. In 2012, she participated in an academic exchange at ETSAB-UPC, Barcelona, Spain . Daniela’s passion lies at the intersection of landscape, urbanism and architecture, with a focus on addressing injustices and fostering coexistence between species and surrounding political ecologies. She joined the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program in 2022 through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Mae is an ethnographer, researcher, and designer. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, she received her B.A. in Social Anthropology and developed an interest in indigenous knowledge and intercultural health. She has extensive experience in design research, innovation, and strategic design, with experience in both the private and public sectors. Passionate, empathetic, and a compulsive organizer, her current work is focused on the production of local and popular knowledge, oral history, and land rights. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons School of Design at The New School, seeking an education that uses research and design as powerful tools for social justice and transformation.
Gracia is a designer interested in the intersections of urbanism, design, and justice. She believes in design as a method of approaching wicked issues and empowering communities toward a more equitable future. Coming from Singapore, she previously worked as a designer at Chemistry, a strategic design consultancy focused on circularity and human-centered design. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, coffee, and watching cute cat videos.
What is the us in urbanism?
I think the us in urbanism constitutes living and non-living beings, material and immaterial systems. It is important to recognize that the human being is just one species in the Earth’s biodiversity that is subject to complex material and immaterial systems. While social justice and equity are at the core of urban studies, the systems and infrastructures that are created by humans impact other beings that are our fellow co-occupants of the planet.
Matthew is a graduate student originally from Massachusetts. They have a background in housing and homeless services, specifically serving with AmeriCorps in Tacoma, Washington at a homeless shelter. Matthew’s academic background is in philosophy and architectural history, focusing on human interaction with the built environment. Matthew is interested in affordable housing — how to create and maintain affordable housing complexes within the urban environment. They are now exploring ways in which housing can be created through community engagement and within the existing framework of the urban environment. Matthew is inspired by art, music, and fashion and the creative ways people use the resources around them.
Sofia is a Designer and Storyteller born in Toronto, Canada and raised in La Paz, Bolivia. She holds an MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics, and is working towards highlighting narratives that shift our understanding of development in the city (for whom, and by whom?). She believes in the power of storytelling to organize people around new values and goals — striving for balance over growth, and regenerative systems that support our environment and quality of life. She grounds her work in the Slow Movement, questioning the “need for speed and caffeine culture” in favor of a slower pace of living revolving around community and connection to place. She is currently interested in community healing and pla(y)cemaking.
Previously, Sofia worked on projects for the United Nations – Office for Landlocked and Least Developed States, the Inter-American Development Bank and Art for Amnesty. She co-founded Seeds Game Lab in 2020 focusing on the role of play in bringing forth narratives anchored in indigenous knowledge, just and regenerative values.
She is a yoga teacher and poetry writer on medium.
Lukas’s background is in philosophy, particularly critical theory and alienation. He is interested in the relationship between people and their environments, especially how spaces can define and create identities and experiences. He is also interested in art, public health, history, and anthropology.
Alex comes from a background of inclusive community building, critical media literacy, imaginative hopeful fiction, literacy education, and material climate solutions.
He has collected an arsenal of skills that serve a crucial part in shaping the global village, and has worked to understand how societal elements are interlinked and collectively consequential.
His goal in joining the Design and Urban Ecologies program is to serve community to the best of his ability – using his skills to enable a co-design process of the cityscape. To him, co-designing entails a process of repairing, and reimagining cities for people and for nature.
A native Brooklynite, Jamyra earned her B.A. in Urban Studies from Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School. Her interests include exploring homelessness and housing disparities, social change, community health and development, social innovation and entrepreneurship. She spent time overseas with The School of International Training: International Honors Program while pursuing her undergraduate degree where she investigated and collaborated with numerous humanitarian non-profit organizations and NGOs including in San Francisco California, Cape Town South Africa, Kampala Uganda, Delhi India, and São Paulo Brazil. Jamyra’s work has been featured in the 2019 edition of the SEN Magazine 6.0, The New Schools Dean’s Honor Symposium, and the 8th Annual NYC Multicultural Festival. She is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and is currently enrolled in her first semester of the Design and Urban Ecology masters program at Parsons School of Design. She is an active member of Bailey Cafe’s Board of Directors.
What is the us in urbanism?
The “us” in urbanism serves as a reminder of the importance and value of inclusive urbanization and urban planning, both of which contribute to the creation of the ‘just city’. People are more able to unite to form better communities when they have a shared right to the influences that shape their lives and daily lived experiences.
Hi! My name is Avery Crower and I am born and raised in San Diego, California. I went to undergrad at Cal Poly SLO and studied City and Regional Planning. I came to Parsons because I always wanted to see the city, and what better way to do it than study it! The DUE program itself called my name through its hands-on progressive approaches and interdisciplinary practices. I am excited to see what more it has to offer.
Isabelle (Izzy) holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Georgetown University and is currently pursuing an MSc in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons School of Design, with a focus on environmental justice and bringing nature back into the urban cultural and arts landscape. After graduating in 2020, Isabelle worked as the Studio Manager for National Geographic photojournalist Gerd Ludwig in Los Angeles. She then returned to her home city of London, England to work at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a Programme Coordinator, where she facilitated workshops in Rwanda and South Africa to bring together circular economy practitioners from across the African continent.
Zoe hails from Westchester County, NY and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Interior Architecture from The George Washington University in 2020. After working in residential interiors for two and a half years, she yearned for a career that combined her educational interests, professional strengths, and desire to serve the greater NYC community. Wanting to focus on her passion for people, utilize her experience with non-profit organizations, and stay within the realm of human-centered design, she found a fit within the DUE Program at Parsons.
At this time, Zoe is interested in a plethora of topics. These topics include sustainable urban environments (street design, built environment, and waterfront design), and government planning and public policy. She is hoping to dip her feet in both the public and private sectors through internships and networking opportunities.
I’m Leah, and I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Architecture in Chennai, India. My academic journey has fueled a deep interest in the intersections of urbanism, design, and justice. To me, design goes beyond a mere creative outlet; it serves as a potent tool for addressing intricate societal issues and fostering community empowerment, paving the way for a more equitable future. Having roots in both India and the UAE, I’ve cultivated a profound appreciation for the diverse structures that shape urban landscapes.
Socheata is a designer who is passionate in humanitarian architecture, sustainable neighborhoods and inclusive urbanism. She holds a BA in Architectural Studies at Limkokwing University Cambodia in 2020. She is a former Cambodian Youth Ambassador of Goodwill at the 43rd Ship of Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) and an academic fellow at Young Southeast Asian Leader Initiatives (YSEALI) at University of Connecticut. During her previous three years experience working at architecture firms such as Hok Kang Architects, Native Landscape Asia and Future architecture, she has obtained various work portfolios, ranging from office interior design, community building, urban parks design. Throughout those experiences, she aims to expand her career to an urban designer. Under Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship, she is pursuing Master’s in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons School of Design.
Hi! I’m a first year DUE student from Kansas City, Missouri. This past spring I graduated from the University of Arizona with Honors in a BA in Psychology and minors in French and Sociology. In my final year at UA, I completed a thesis on Enlanguaging Nonbinary Lives in French and English as part of my pursuit of Honors in my degree.