I’m a PhD student in Urban and Landscape Studies at Harvard, with a background in urban planning and history. I work as an independent researcher, and with nonprofits, media organizations, and learning institutions, to help communities make sense of place and what it means to them. With every project I undertake, I want to know: What binds people to places, and to each other? How do we build meaning there? I also want to understand the habits of mind that support our meaning-making — curiosity, attention, imagination, what else? — so that we can develop, teach, and measure them.
In addition to writing here, I’ve profiled bartenders as purveyors of social capital, studied restaurants as public history sites, hung out with the vendors at Boston’s Haymarket, staffed a mobile library, thrown dinner parties in public, and watched a neighborhood imagine new ways to incorporate their kids’ learning into their daily lives. In Spring 2012, incubated by the Harvard metaLAB’s Curatorial Innovation Fellowship, I began terroirstudio, an experimental platform for dining events that explore place and history. And in Spring 2013, I’ve worked as a Fellow with Imperative and a flash curator with GOOD, writing pieces and developing a theory and evaluation strategy for Neighborday.
I think questions are the most important thing. And secretly, I hope that one day I’ll be able to help make our neighborhoods as mysterious for grownups as they are for children, and as fascinating to residents as they are to tourists.
Here’s a sample of what I’ve done elsewhere around the web:
Writing and Media
. “These four big ideas are the cornerstones of good neighboring.” GOOD.is, April 2013.
. “With Taste, Smell, and Imagination.” History at the Table, March 2013.
. Chalk Magic. Fresh Eye Fridays, MIT CoLab Radio, 2013.
. “My Avatar is a Turkey.” MIT CoLab Radio podcast, 2013.
. “Producing Authenticity: Redevelopment and Boston’s Haymarket.” Master’s Thesis, 2012.
. “Towards a Theory of the Social Capital Entrepreneur.” unpublished, 2012.
. “Community Learning in Boston’s Dudley Street Neighborhood.” MIT CoLab Radio. February 22, 2012.
. “Food Planning for Your Local Economy.” with Christina diLisio. Planning Commissioner’s Journal, Winter 2012.
. “Imagining an Elastic City.” polis, November 15, 2011.
. “Feeding a Renaissance: How New England’s Food Heritage is Important for its Future.” The New Planner, Winter 2011.
. “The Community Preservation Act: community impacts and funding allocations. A 10th Anniversary Study. “ with Ellen Kokinda, Martiza Martinez, Elizabeth Panella, and Mona Funicello. Tufts University, Spring 2010.
. terroir studio, a collaborative platform for events that promote learning and community
. “Play in the City”, a GSD Tourism Club workshop. March 9, 2012.