I'm an anthropologist and writer studying architecture, infrastructure and social life in large cities. I'm especially interested in DIY infrastructure-making, the role of the arts and design in the city, and genres of speculative practice embedded in contemporary urban life.
I've written several essays and have edited two books so far. The first is Speculation Now: Essays and Artworks, which draws together multi-disciplinary reflections on speculation and speculative practices in contemporary life and artistic practices. The second, titled Occupy All Street: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro, is a collection of essays exploring the spatial transformation of Rio in the shadow of the 2016 Olympic Games.
My research combines fieldwork and ethnography as well as other knowledge practices, especially visual research. Along with planners and landscape architects, I founded a collective practice called Spatial Ethnography Lab using ethnography and mapping to study the production of localities within cities. I am also part of an experimental artist collective called Samooha, connecting architecture, activism and anthropology to explore the aesthetic dimensions of urban life through building and media.
I work in New York City as the Director of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a non-profit research and design practice in New York which also hosts all of my research activities and I teach in the Urban Design Program at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College of New York.
I received my BA in Anthropology from Brandeis University, a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, was a post-doc at Yale University and taught at The New School for Social Research prior to my current positions.