SFI 17 presenters


Yasmine Abbas is a French architect (DPLG 1997) and strategic designer who explores the intersection between people, technology and space. Yasmine has received a SMArchS from MIT (2001) and a Doctor of Design from Harvard University (2006). Her research focuses on digital culture and contemporary mobility, ecological and mobile design, architecture and (e)motion, and design by sensory data. She has worked internationally in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia and taught at various schools, Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, Kyoto Seika University, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris Malaquais. She is the co-founder of the Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP), winner of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial Innovation Challenge 2013 and 2017 SEED award for public interest design.
Priyanka Bista is the Co-Founder and Design Director of KTK-BELT leading the participatory design and planning arm of the project. She has over eight years experience of participatory planning, architectural design and community development. She has a Masters in Architectural Regeneration and a Bachelor’s in Architectural Science. Since working on award-winning projects at Diamond and Schmitt Architects in Toronto, she worked in Nepal, India and Nigeria as an architect, planner and a community mobilizer and most recently to design a community-based biodiversity conservation corridor in the Himalayas. As a Senior Architect and Planner at CMAP, Nigeria, she led the community mapping, planning and design projects within informal settlements of Port Harcourt on the Human City Project (HCP).
Rory Dickens is a recent Master of Architecture graduate from Robert Gordon University, Scotland. He ran design/build camps for Arkitrek in Malaysia for which he and the team received an Honourable Mention (2015 SEED Awards). He then went on to work with the US-based NGO All Hands Volunteers in Tacloban, Philippines building classrooms. During a break from work he was in Ecuador during last year’s 7.8 earthquake and began working again with AHV in the most affected communities to design & build emergency toilets, temporary shelters and then project managed the construction of 30 earthquake resistant permanent bamboo homes.
David Dowell, AIA. David is a partner at el dorado inc. and has practiced architecture for more than 25 years. He is interested in work that engages contemporary issues surrounding the public good, culture and education. In 2010 David founded the Design+Make Studio, a graduate architecture program at Kansas State University. The Studio is the recipient of two ACSA Design-Build awards for their work at Camp Daisy Hindman in Dover, Kansas, and the Preston Outdoor Education Station in Elmdale, Kansas. This year’s project, currently under construction, is an affordable housing duplex in Kansas City’s Waldo neighborhood.
DK Osseo-Asare is a designer who makes buildings, landscapes, cities, objects and digital tools. He is co-founder and principal of Low Design Office (LOWDO), an architecture and integrated design studio based in Austin, Texas and Tema, Ghana and design lecturer in engineering at Ashesi University, where he helps run the Ashesi Design Lab (D:lab). DK is a TED Global Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and received A.B. in Engineering Design and M.Arch. degrees from Harvard University for work in kinetic systems and network power. His research spans design innovation, open-source urbanism, digital fabrication and architecture robots. He led urban design for Koumbi City and Anam City new town projects in Ghana and Nigeria, and is co-founder of the Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP), winner of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial Innovation Challenge and 2017 SEED award for public interest design.
Rosamund Palmer, Gans studio Urban Planner. Roz has worked in various planning, environmental, and educational non-profit organizations around New York City, and earned her masters in Pratt Institute’s Urban Environmental Systems Management program. She is Gans studio’s resident urban planner and cartographer. Roz has worked on the planning of the Sheepshead Bay Courts in south Brooklyn since the project inception in 2013, helping residents envision possibilities for rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. She liaises with residents and city officials, providing the materials needed to understand the physical, social and financial situation of the courts.
Sean Slattery, AIA. Senior Associate and Project Manager Sean Slattery has been with el dorado since 2003. With a particular interest in projects that have a social benefit, Sean has managed and worked on the majority of eldo’s public interest projects, including acting as project manager for reStart Housing, the last HUD 811 funded project in the U.S. ReStart provides permanent housing and support services in Kansas City, Missouri, for young adults aging out of foster care, specifically those with mental-health diagnoses. Sean is active in his community, currently volunteering with the Kansas City Irish Center and Olathe School District Design Academy, and having volunteered with Project Lead the Way.
Julie Stevens is an Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. Her research and teaching prioritizes focus on improving human and environmental health by creating mutual stewardship through engaged design. She directs a partnership with the Iowa Department of Corrections to create restorative and productive landscapes in Iowa’s prisons. With teams of dedicated students and offenders, the Environmental Justice In Prisons Program has expanded the production gardens and constructed three therapeutic at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. Efforts are now extending to other prisons in the state with the help of evidence-based design and programming.
Jake Stodola is a landscape architecture student from Iowa State University. Jake has been involved in the Redefining Prisons Project for three years and was on the team that designed and built a therapeutic garden for women with special needs at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. He grew up in rural Iowa and has always had a passion for the natural environment. He enjoys spending time playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.
Yuki Takemura is a doctoral student at Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo. She graduated summa cum laude from the department of Architecture at the university in 2013 for the diploma design project. Receiving the scholarship from the department, she worked as an intern at Center for Public Interest Design in 2015 during her Master’s program. Currently, she practices action-based research on PID education through a design-build project for undeserved community in the Philippines.
Kayla Volkmer is a landscape architecture student at Iowa State University who is passionate about environmental justice and creating restorative spaces for people. She has been working with the Redefining Prison Environments Project for the last three years. The part she enjoys most is working with the women to create production gardens. Kayla has studied in Florence and was an intern for Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates. Kayla will be graduating in May and is looking forward to finding a job that allows her to help others through the landscape.
Cristina Zubillaga, Gans studio Architect. Cristina, junior architect and project manager at Gans Studio, has worked on a variety of projects ranging from small-scale residential to larger-scale urban planning. With a B.A. in Architecture and minor in Construction Management from Pratt Institute, she works closely with clients, contractors and consultants to determine project goals and see them executed. Cristina designed the reconstructed houses in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and worked on the design of a pre-fabricated housing prototype for rebuilding at the scale of the neighborhood.