Faculty
Rania Ghosn

Rania Ghosn is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT School of Architecture + Planning and founding partner of DESIGN EARTH.  

Through research and design, Ghosn explores aesthetic forms of environmental engagement. She uses the medium of the architectural drawing as a tool to visualize how urban systems change the Earth and to speculate on ways of living with legacy technologies, such as oil fields and landfills, on a damaged planet. Her approach is shaped in part by her academic formation in three spatial disciplines ­–architecture, urbanism,­ and geography­. Ghosn holds a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut, a Master in Geography from University College London, and a Doctor of Design from Harvard University.

Her scholarship brings together geography, energy, and design. She is editor in chief of New Geographies 2: Landscapes of Energy (Harvard GSD, 2010), which makes the case for energy as a spatial project and argues that the planning for energy transitions should examine and respond to the power structures of the current fossil fuel system. Her current book project, Geographies of Oil across the Middle East, traces the biography of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, a transnational oil transport infrastructure, to document territorial transformations associated with the region’s incorporation into a global fossil fuel economy. Some of her publications on energy include “Energy Regions: Production without Representation” (Journal of Architectural Education, 2014), “Hassi Messaoud Oil Urbanism” (New Geographies, 2014), “Soft Energy Controversy” ([bracket], 2012), and chapters “Territories of Oil” (in Architecture and Representation: The Arab City, Columbia GSAPP, 2016), “Farming Fuel” (in Energy Accounts: Architectural Representations of Energy, Climate, and the Future, Routledge, 2016), and “Geography and Oil: The Territory of Externalities” (in Infrastructure Space, Ruby Press, 2017). 

Ghosn deploys the speculative project of design as another method to bridge between geographic representation and the scales of architecture and urbanism in DESIGN EARTH, her practice with El Hadi Jazairy. Ghosn and Jazairy are recipients of an Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and two Faculty Design Awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The DESIGN EARTH competition entries were awarded first prize in Jacques Rougerie Competition, and honorable mentions in Rio City Vision, London Organic Skyscraper, Archinect Dry Futures, and The Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Awards in Architectural Representation. DESIGN EARTH has exhibited at Venice Architecture Biennale, Oslo Architecture Triennale, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, MIT Keller Gallery, and Sursock Museum in Beirut. They are authors of Geographies of Trash (ACTAR, 2015) and Two Cosmograms exhibit catalog (MIT SA+P, 2016). Their essays and projects have been published in Volume, Avery ReviewJournal of Architectural Education, New Geographies, ARQ, San Rocco, and MONU. Their forthcoming monograph Geostories is supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.