PLAN 82: Article
Introducing Five New Professors

Another Fresh Wave of Faculty


Over the past year, SA+P hired six new professors in architecture, art and media, part of a faculty transition of unprecedented scale that will ultimately result in more than twenty new faces here, nearly 15% of our faculty. We hereby introduce five more – two in architecture, three in planning – all of whom will join us in September. Below, a brief introduction to each.

Anton Garcia-Abril, Professor of Architecture
Regarded by some as among the most brilliant and talented architects and thinkers of his generation, Garcia-Abril has a growing international reputation for outstanding built works and prototype research projects that test and challenge notions of materiality, architectural engineering and constructed space.

His seminal projects for the Hemerospocium house in Madrid and the SGAE offices in Santiago de Compostela, for example, illustrate his invention for daringly assembling concrete precast components or massive stone blocks to create architecture that challenges contemporary assumptions about composition, assembly and pre-fabrication. His works and achievements have been recognized by multiple awards on national and international levels.

From 2004 – 2012, he was an associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM-UPM). He is president and researcher with Positive City Foundation and principal architect with Ensamble Studio. He is also the architecture critic for El Cultural, a publication of El Mundo, and the curator for the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Bienalle 2012.

Garcia-Abril holds an MArch (1995) and a PhD in architecture (2007) from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM-UPM). His thesis surveyed contemporary architecture in Spain from 1997 – 2007.

Albert Saiz, Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
An outstanding young urban/housing economist, Saiz pursues research interests in local public finance, real estate economics and urban economic development, with an emphasis on immigration and immigrant location choices, and the impact of skills on earnings and city growth. He will be conducting research and teaching in both the urban planning and real estate programs.

He has done path-breaking work on the determinants of housing supply and the impact of immigrant inflows on housing prices in urban areas, and his work in progress valuing urban amenities and building design promises to open broad areas of collaboration between economists, urban designers and urban developers.

Since 2003, he has been an award-winning assistant professor of real estate in the MBA Core Program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Housing Economics; a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; a research associate at the Penn Population Studies Center; a faculty fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research; and a research fellow at the Institute for the Analysis of Labor (IZA – Bonn, Germany).

He holds a BA and an MA in economics from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (1995 and1997, respectively) and a PhD in economics from Harvard, 2002.

Gabriella Carolini, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
Carolini’s research focuses on the dynamic relationship between social and fiscal responsibilities in the public sector, exploring the impact of fiscal and administrative reforms on city planning and the quality of life for vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities in the global South.

She has often used Brazil for empirical evidence, and is currently researching trends in Mozambique, but her wider work is also informed by South Africa, Kenya, Argentina, India, Sweden and the United States. She specifically explores how international standards and norms of public administration are defined, adopted and translated in an effort to understand how they influence city planning and sustainable investments in basic needs like water, sanitation, waste management and housing. Carolini’s research links such experiences within policy-making and planning with public health intervention opportunities, vulnerabilities and community health outcomes at the neighborhood and city levels.

Since 2008, she has been an Assistant Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. She has served as a senior advisor and project director with the Rockefeller Foundation & Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia’s Earth Institute; as a senior associate with the UN Millennium Project’s Task Force on slums (for which she was a lead author on the final report); and as a political-economic and financial consultant for firms in the UK and New York.

She holds a BA in international relations and political science from Columbia (1997), a Master of Philosophy in development studies from the University of Oxford (2002) and a PhD in urban planning from Columbia (2008).

Joel Lamere, Assistant Professor of Architectural Design
Lamere’s design research investigates the relationships between geometry, digital fabrication and construction – how to model it, how to fabricate it and how to deal with it. His thesis dealt with new models of surface developability, exploring the geometric rules that apply to sheet materials – paper, plywood, steel sheet, plastic sheet – anything that can bend or fold. Exploring the ways those folds can happen, he tries to extend the fold outside of a thing that was generally about straight lines into the world of curve folding in a geometric way.

He has been teaching core courses in architectural geometry, design and representation at MIT since 2007. Previously, he taught design and research studios at Northeastern University and during summer breaks he teaches gifted high-school students in MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science; in 2009, he introduced 25 students to the program’s first-ever class in architecture.

A founding partner of GLD: Gunadi Lamere Design, he has received numerous honors for his work on the Harbor Islands Pavilion (with Utile Architects) and on the Joukowsky Institute and the Community Rowing Boathouse (both with Anmahian Winton Architects). His signature contribution to the award-winning boathouse structure was a recurring wave element that evokes the rhythm of the river, giving the hulking building an organic essence.

Lamere holds at BA in philosophy from Boston University (magna cum laude, 1998) and an MArch from Harvard (with distinction, 2006).

Sarah Williams, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
Williams’ work involves translating data visualizations into policy tools and prototyping technologies for advocacy and research, using survey and census data, GPS information, maps, high- and low-res satellite imagery, analytic graphics, photographs and drawings, along with narratives and qualitative interpretations to produce images.

Since 2005, she has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University and co-director of its Spatial Information Design Lab, a think- and action-tank specializing in the visual display of spatial information about contemporary cities and events. Working with numeric data combined with narratives and images, the lab designs compelling visual presentations linking social data with geography to help researchers and advocates communicate information clearly, responsibly and provocatively. The Lab’s work has been widely exhibited and written about and is currently part of MoMA’s permanent collection.

In 2012, Williams received a Game Changer Award from Metropolis Magazine and in 2011 she was named one of 25 Top Thinkers in Urban Planning and Technology by Planetizen.

She holds a BA in history and geography from Clark University (1997) and an MCP from MIT (2005) with a certificate in urban design (2005). She was the first GIS specialist at the MIT Libraries, where she started the Library's Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory; as a graduate research assistant working with SA+P's Senseable City Laboratory, she helped to integrate spatial analysis methods into several of its early projects.