As we kick off 2014, are very happy to welcome some new members of the team. Here is a quick glimpse about our new writers (for a more complete bio- please click on the WRITERS page):
>> Juan Manuel Restrepo Cadavid: Juan is an active member and one of the creators of La Ciudad Verde, a Colombian activist think thank that promotes sustainable cities through citizen participation and creativity. Currently he is studying a PhD in Politics and Public Administration in the University of Hong Kong. He has a Master’s degree in “Governing the Large Metropolis” from SciencesPo, Paris.
He has been advisor of cultural policies, sustainable development and social innovation to civic, public and private institutions. In 2013 he worked at the New Cities Foundation, identifying urban and social innovators for the What Works series New Cities Summit 2013 in São Paulo. He believes in the power citizens to maker cities better. Twitter @juanmrestrepo
>> Anna Wachtmeister: Over the last decade Anna Wachtmeister has lived in ten cities including Stuttgart, Nairobi, Cairo, Caracas, Erbil and Port-au-Prince where she worked at, among others, the UN-HABITAT, the GTZ’s Participatory Urban Development Programme and the Urban-Think Tank.
Her work relates to people and their built environment in post disaster / conflict settings with a focus on stakeholder liaison and housing. She takes a particular interest in communities’ own building practices, as well as their abilities to organize themselves.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, she was involved with the urban revitalisation of the ancient city Erbil and until recently she led a process from post ‐earthquake shelter interventions towards sustainable urban development in Port au Prince and found little time to write. Since shortly, Anna freelances and she hopes this will change. She trained as an architect in the UK and is based out of Sweden and India.
>> Luis Diego Quiros Pacheco: Luis Diego Quiros is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of the University of Maryland whose research focuses on contemporary urban issues in Latin America – specifically, the impact of urban and architectural interventions in informal settlements. He is the organizer of the “Conflict and Convergence: Urban Informality in Latin America” Symposium and has presented his work in several conferences, including ACSA, CELA, EDRA and other symposia. Luis is also the principal of Luis Diego Quiros Arquitectura, where he applies what he learns from his research to both privately-driven and socially-oriented projects. Most recently, his project “Layered Elements: A Holistic Approach to Malaria Prevention” was selected as a finalist in a design competition organized by ARCHIEVE International. Luis holds a professional degree from the Universidad del Diseño in Costa Rica and a Masters from Kansas State University.
>> Diana Maldonado: Diana is Mexican architect and professor in Architecture at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL). Diana holds a PhD in Architecture from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and a Postdoctoral degree at the Department of Architecture, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina, Mexico. Considering Latin-American informal settlements (favelas, barrios populares and villas miseria) as the new proto-cities of the current century, Diana’s research focuses on the urban vernacular architecture and the complexity of its context (informal geography), in Latin America cities.
Aside from being a research fellow through the Fulbright program at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture, Diana has participated in multiple conferences and research projects. She is currently working on a research project related to participatory documentation processes, aiming to reconceive the informal everyday geography through the construction of participatory dynamic maps.
>> Giovanna Medina: Giovanna is an architect and urban designer from Venezuela. After working for 3 years at the Municipal Institute for Housing and Habitat of the City Council of Sucre Municipality as a Coordinator of Projects and Studies for poor neighborhoods, Giovanna recently founded a design consultancy, advising political leaders and communities on city development. In 2012, Giovanna was selected by the World Economic Forum to represent Venezuela in the group of young transformers (Global Shapers), where she works as a curator of the Caracas Hub.
Engaging architecture as a social, cultural and economical tool, Giovanna is currently working on the integration of squatter settlements into the formal city, aiming to build a culture of citizenship, a system of safe public spaces, and reduce violence in these communities. Giovanna also writes for the newspaper “constructor report,” where she holds a monthly column.
We very much look forward to sharing some thoughts and ideas with you this year and do stay tune!