PLAN 89: Article
Introducing Three New Architecture Professors

Experts in Urban Design, the Creative Design of Structural Systems and the Impact of Energy Infrastructure

The Department of Architecture welcomed three new professors this fall, appointments effective July 1.  Below, a brief introduction to each.

Rania Ghosn, Assistant Professor of Architecture. Educated both as an architect and as a geographer, Ghosn focuses on the spatial and political implications of urban infrastructures, in particular those of energy.  Her current book project, Oil Across the Middle East: The Trans-Arabian Pipeline, traces a transnational oil transport infrastructure to document territorial transformations associated with the region’s incorporation into a global fossil fuel economy.

In partnership with El Hadi Jazairy, Ghosn founded Design Earth in 2011, a practice engaged in the geographic as a conceptual, representational and formal project; their speculative study Geographies of Trash was awarded a 2014 ACSA Faculty Design Award.

Ghosn is founding editor of the journal New Geographies, focused on contemporary issues of urbanism and architecture, and is editor-in-chief of its third issue Landscapes of Energy (2010); the edited collection spatializes systems of energy to critically examine visions of sustainable futures.

Ghosn holds a Doctor of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2010); an MSc in Modernity, Space and Place from University College of London (2003); and a BArch from the American University of Beirut (2000).  She has previously taught at the University of Michigan Taubman College; MIT; the American University of Beirut; and Lebanese American University.

Caitlin Mueller, Assistant Professor of Architecture.  Trained as both an architect and as a structural engineer, Mueller researches new computational methods and tools for incorporating creative structural design in the early phases of the architectural design process.

She also works in the field of digital fabrication – with a focus on linking high structural performance with new methods of architectural making – and conducts research on the nature of collaboration between architects and engineers from a historical perspective.  

She leads the Digital Structures research group in the Building Technology Program, focusing on innovative digital methods for designing and making structural forms.  With John Ochsendorf, she also co-directs the Structural Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research collective focused broadly on conceptual structural design. 

Mueller holds three degrees from MIT – BSAD (2007), SM in Computation for Design and Optimization (2014) and a PhD in Building Technology/Architecture (2014) – along with an MS in Structural Engineering from Stanford (2008).

Rafael (Rafi) Segal, Associate Professor of Architecture. An award-winning designer with built work in Israel, Africa and the United States, Segal stands out as an architect and urban designer, expanding SA+P’s commitment to architectural urbanism as a specialized mode of research and creative work at MIT.

He has exhibited his work widely – most notably in the Kunstwerk in Berlin (2003), the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2006), at the MoMA in New York (2012) and at the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Urbanism Biennale (2013) – and recently won the international competition for the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

Segal is co-editor of In Search of the Public –Notes on the Contemporary American City (Princeton University, Island Press 2012), Cities of Dispersal (Wiley and Sons, 2008), Territories – Islands, Camps and Other States of Utopia (KW, Walther Konig, 2003) and A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture (Verso, Babel, 2003). His writings and exhibitions have provided a critical contribution to architecture’s role in the suburbs and peripheries of our cities.

He holds a PhD from Princeton (2011) and two degrees from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology – MS (2001) and BArch (1993).  He previously taught at Columbia, The Cooper Union, Harvard GSD, Princeton and the Technion.