Mariam Kamara

Mariam Kamara is a Nigerien architect. In 2014, she founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research firm through which she tackles a wide variety of public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. A notable example is the Religious-Secular Complex of Dandaji in Niger, a collaborative cultural project that has won the 2017 Gold LafargeHolcim Award for Africa and Middle East, and the 2018 Silver Global LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Architecture.

In 2013, Kamara became a founding member of united4design, a global collective of architects working on projects in the U.S., Afghanistan and Niger. They have collaborated to produce projects like Niamey2000 in Niger, which was awarded an American institute of Architects Seattle Award and Architect Magazine’s 2017 R+D Award for innovation.

Prior to architecture, Kamara was a software developer for several years after obtaining a Masters and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science, respectively from New York University and Purdue University. She studied architecture at the University of Washington. Her Masters thesis, Mobile Loitering, which focused on issues of gender and public space in Niger, was awarded Thesis Prize and a special mention in the 2014 Young Architects in Africa Competition. The project was also exhibited in the 2014 Milan Triennale’s Africa Big Chance Big Change exhibit. It has since been part of a worldwide traveling exhibition to various European countries, South Africa, China and more.

Kamara’s work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking of spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life. Through her practice, she aims to discover innovative ways of doing so, while maintaining an intimate dialog between architecture, people, and context.

Kamara is the winner of the 2018 Rolex Mentor and Protégé program for the architecture discipline and will spend two years working with Sir David Adjaye RA.

DANDAJI. Région de Tahoua.

Michael Ben-Eli

Michael Ben-Eli, PhD, is the founder of the Sustainability Laboratory, established in order to develop and demonstrate groundbreaking approaches to sustainability practices, expanding prospects and producing positive, life affirming impacts on people and ecosystems in all parts of the world.

Prior to launching The Lab, Michael pioneered applications of Systems Thinking and Cybernetics in management and organization. Over the years he worked on synthesizing strategy issues in many parts of the world and in diverse institutional settings, ranging from small high technology firms to multinational enterprises, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, health care and educational organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and international multilateral organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Program, the Global Environment Facility, and others. In recent years, he has focused his work primarily on issues related to sustainability and sustainable development, and has been working to help inspire leaders in business, government, community, and youth accelerate a peaceful transition to a sustainable future.

Michael is author of the widely acclaimed Five Core Principles of Sustainability. He has been the driving force behind developing The Lab’s current flagship project, Project Wadi Attir, and is leading development of The Lab as a world-wide network of advanced research, development and education centers, based at different ecological zones. In 2016, Michael was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame and recognized with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael graduated from the Architectural Association in London and later received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Cybernetics at Brunel University, where he studied under Gordon Pask. He was a close associate of R. Buckminster Fuller, with whom he collaborated on projects involving research on advanced structural systems and exploration of issues related to the management of technology and world resources for the advantage of all.

Michael Ben Eli with Ali Alhwashla, the Director of the Medicinal Plants Initiative at Project Wadi Attir
Michael Ben Eli with Ali Alhwashla, the Director of the Medicinal Plants Initiative at Project Wadi Attir

Sara Jensen Carr

Sara Jensen Carr is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and the Program Director for the Master of Design in Sustainable Urban Environments at Northeastern University, where she teaches studios and seminars on urban landscape, ecology and human health. Her work has been recognized by the Graham Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research, among others. Her forthcoming book, The Topography of Wellness, will be published by the University of Virginia Press in 2020. At Northeastern University, she is a faculty affiliate at the Global Resilience Institute and a faculty scholar at the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research.

Sara holds a Master of Architecture from Tulane University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture and PhD in Environmental Planning from University of California Berkeley, where she was the co-founding editor of the ASLA Award-winning GROUND UP Journal. Prior to arriving at Northeastern, she held a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and Office of Public Health Studies at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where she worked with several local nonprofits and agencies on evaluation and design initiatives, including the Hawai’i Department of Health, the Native Hawaiian Health Program at Queens Medical Center, and the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

Ahupuaa Restored

Nicole L’Huillier

Transdisciplinary artist from Santiago (CL). Currently based in Boston (US), as a PhD candidate and research assistant at MIT Media Lab, Opera of the Future group, where she also earned a Master in Media Arts & Sciences (2017). Through installations, performances, sculptures, compositions, and multiple transductions, her work explores human and non-human performativity, rituals of membranal and resonant architectures, as well as vibration and sound as construction materials for spaces, identity, and agency. She works at the intersection of music, art, architecture, science, and technology to challenge perceptual conventions and to open the possibility of new imaginaries. Nicole is also part of the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, where she explores the experimental forms and implications of art, expression and culture in outer space. She is also an experimental musician, drummer, synth lover and one-half of the space pop duo Breaking Forms.

Nicole will be an artist in residency at CERN, and ALMA Observatory this 2019. She has exhibited and performed at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Sónar +D, Ars Electronica, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (ICA), SXSW, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Bienal de Artes Mediales Chile, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Santiago (MAC), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA), Guggenheim Museum, Bienal de Arquitetura São Paulo, Centro Cultural GAM Santiago, among others. She has published and been invited as a speaker at Sónar +D, Thresholds Journal, Leonardo Journal, Siggraph, ACADIA, meConvention, Festival en Orbita (NYC, Lima, and Santiago), Festival FIIS Chile. She has been invited as a lecturer and guest critic at MIT Art Culture and Technology (ACT), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), UPenn (PennDesign), Universidad de Chile, Universidad Finis Terrae, Universidad San Sebastián, Universidad Uniacc.

A Choreography of Vertigo

Abraham Francis

Abraham Francis has a BS in Microbiology, 2014, and MS in Natural Resources, 2014, from Cornell University. His past experiences include community empowerment, engagement and research with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and a variety of other community-based organizations.  His Masters’ Thesis focused on applied research to develop a biocultural land Stewardship strategy for existing and newly settled Native American Land Claims on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Akwesasne. Abraham’s research interests are around the intersection of environmental research, health, education and cultural foundations as a means to empower Indigenous Communities.

The West Entrance of Akwesasne

Elena Brebenel

Elena Brebenel is a textile artist and designer who is interested in investigating the intersections between art, craft and design, through a highly experimental and research driven practice. Elena received her MFA in Textiles from the University of Kansas, USA and BA in Textiles from the ‘George Enescu’ National University of Arts, Romania. Elena’s work was widely exhibited including countries such as Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, UK, Uruguay and USA. She has received numerous grants and was awarded residencies at Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside (Troy, NY, USA), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, CA, USA), The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA, USA), Can Serrat Centro de Actividades Artisticas (Barcelona, Spain), Nature, Art and Habitat Residency (Bergamo, Italy), Contextile 2016 (Guimarães, Portugal) and Pocoapoco (Oaxaca, Mexico).

Elena is currently an Assistant Professor in Textiles at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, while also undertaking a practice-based PhD at UAL: Central Saint Martins in London, UK.

Home Pharmacy (detail image)

Alberto de Salvatierra

Alberto de Salvatierra is a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where he founded and coordinates the interdisciplinary Global Studios Program—the SoA’s first studios abroad program—and at-LAS (Anexact Technologies: Laboratory for Applied Systems), a new interdisciplinary laboratory. He is also Founder and Principal of PROXIIMA, and former Curator and current Shaper of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland.

A polymath, architectural designer, and landscape urbanist, de Salvatierra’s research and work focuses on material flows as infrastructure at the urban and civilizational scales, while his collaborative research agenda centers on fostering, developing and writing on interdisciplinary pedagogy and practices. His work has been exhibited widely both domestically and abroad, such as in the U.S., Mexico, Italy, Japan, Sweden and Serbia, and in such venues as the Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI and the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

De Salvatierra is the past recipient of Cornell’s Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship, Harvard Library’s Inaugural May Crane Fellowship, and GSD’s Penny White Prize. Prior to arriving at UNLV, he taught ecological design at Cornell University, architecture foundations at the Boston Architectural College, and landscape architecture at GSD’s Design Discovery. This past summer, he was a Visiting Professor at Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO), Mexico’s most prestigious university. De Salvatierra holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and both a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Reed Urbanism: Soft Infrastructure in the Floating City of Uros

Jenn Livermore

Jenn Livermore is a graphic designer based in San Francisco, California. Her work explores how ecological relationships manifest in visual language and culture, and how visual language influences our ideas about nature. Jenn holds an MFA in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in graphic design from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a BA in environmental studies from Scripps College. Previously, she has worked at Volume Inc., Mende Design, and The Presidio Trust with clients such as the Queens Museum, Autodesk, Take Flight Coffee, and James Corner Field Operations.

Field Guide: A collection of self-directed studies exploring how ecological relationships manifest in graphic design

Talya ten Brink

Talya ten Brink is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rhode Island in Marine Affairs, a Rhode Island Sea Grant Fellow, and a former landscape architect in the Netherlands. Talya received her Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington and her Master’s of Science in Urbanism at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She is co-Principal Investigator on a global socio-ecological fisheries project with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, MD. She worked as a co-Principal Investigator for an undergraduate research project fellowship through NSF RI C-AIM EPSCoR, as a restoration designer on Cape Cod, where she designed restoration and coastal stabilization projects, and for the International Society of City and Regional Planners. She has also published the first journal article on the impact of offshore wind farms on recreational and commercial fishermen in the United States, presented at conferences worldwide, and received awards for her designs in Seattle, Boston, and the Netherlands.

Coastal Conditions: Responding to the Partial Opening of the Haringvliet Sluice

Prathima Muniyappa

Prathima Muniyappa is a Designer, Conservator and a research assistant for the Space Enabled research group. She is a masters student in the Media Arts and Sciences at the Media Lab. She is interested in addressing issues of social justice, democratic access for historically marginalized communities and enabling indigenous agency. Her research investigates alternative cosmologies and cultural ontologies for their potential to contribute to emerging discourse on techno-imaginaries in the realm of space exploration, synthetic biology and extended intelligence. Prior to coming to MIT, she completed a Masters in Design Studies in Critical Conservation at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard under a Fulbright Scholarship. She holds a BDes in Spatial Design from the National Institute of Design, India and is a Young India Fellow 2013-14.

Joseph Clinton

Joseph D. Clinton is the President/CEO of PolyModular, Ltd., and Clinton International Design Consultants. He was the coordinator of design technology programs at Kean University for 14 years and director of engineering/design scientist with Spitz Inc., where he was responsible for the engineering of spherical planetarium and space theater screens and aerospace flight simulation equipment. He co-founded 3-D Structures, Inc., a leading design and manufacturer of aerospace flight simulation equipment. Clinton worked as a design scientist for Visual Displays, Ltd and at SEOS, Ltd., both world leaders in visual display solutions, until his retirement. He serves on the board of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, the advisory board of RBF Dome, and is one of the founders and a past president of Synergetics Collaborative, a not-for- profit association of synergeticists. He has published in leading journals and given workshops on synergetics & design science, holds several patents and is an internationally recognized design scientist.

Rotegrity Models

Biagio Di Carlo

Design Science Architect Biagio Di Carlo has been teaching for years at the Art Institute of Pescara.  He is now retired and works full time at its Design Science Studio carrying out plans, workshops and research on synergetics and design science structures (polyhedra, geodesic domes, reciprocal frames and tensegrity structures), using mainly bamboo arundo donax cane and natural materials.  Known internationally for his studies and publications, Carlo received his degree in architecture in 1976 from the University of Architecture of Pescara.  His doctoral thesis, written under the advisement of professor Eduardo Vittoria, received the maximum score with a proposal to publish.  Since then he has been invited to hold workshops, lectures and seminars all over the world. He has published articles in leading architectural journals and is the author of several books on design science. His books can be purchased from and

Examples from a previous workshop

Ana Rewakowicz

Ana Rewakowicz is an interdisciplinary Polish-born artist, living and working in Montreal (Canada) and Paris (France). She is currently finishing her PhD in art and science at École Polytechnique in Paris. Known for stimulating, interactive, inflatable works that question our relationship with the environment, she is concerned with issues of sustainability and technology as opportunities for social transformation. Presently her art engages in growing environmental complexities with a focus on water. She has works in permanent collections of MACRO (Rome, Italy), MAC (Montreal), MNBAQ (Québec City), Musée de Joliette, and has exhibited extensively in Canada and abroad, including Copernicus Science Museum (Warsaw, Poland), Bienal del Fin del Mondo, (Mar Del Plata, Argentina), ISEA 2014 (Dubai, UAE), Foundation Stiftelsen 3,14 (Bergen, Norway), Anchorage Museum (Alaska, USA), Pori Art Museum (Finland) and La Maison Europénne de la Photographie (Paris, France). Her artworks have been reviewed in various magazines and books including the most recently published anthology about inflatable architecture – Bubbletecture, Phaidon (2019). Her nomadic artwork SleepingBagDress is featured in “Microtopia”, a documentary film by Swedish director Jesper Wachtmeister about micro dwellings, downsizing and living off the grid.

Mist Collector