I am a second-year PhD student in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley with a dual concentration in Environmental Design and Urbanism in Developing Countries (EDUDC) and Architectural History. I study the historic and contemporary architecture and urbanism of Rwanda and neighboring countries in East Africa, and my research interests include globalization, postcolonialism, vernacular building traditions, and urban planning.
I received a Bachelor's degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, after which I worked for several years at a Boston architecture firm on a variety of architecture and historic preservation projects. While pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at Tulane University (2009 - 2011), I participated in a design-build studio to benefit a local non-profit, and became involved in many other community outreach initiatives based at the architecture school. My thesis project was a sustainable rice farm and fishery designed to revitalize both the economy and ecology of an endangered wetland community in Louisiana.
After graduating from Tulane, I was hired by a non-profit architecture design group to work in Rwanda on the renovation of a maternity hospital and the construction of doctors' houses. During my time in Rwanda, I created architectural drawings, oversaw the construction of four houses, designed and supervised works of infrastructure and landscape, and conducted interviews with local workers. Being immersed in the emerging field of architectural practice in Rwanda, I witnessed firsthand the impacts of globalization on both the capital city of Kigali and a rural village in the mountains, and found a source of great inspiration for future research.