Experience And



Project management + leadership

As a PhD in Environmental Psychology and an experienced leader in the creation of many public projects, events and curricula, I have proven analytic, research & project management skills. I frequently work with organizations to take an idea from planning through fundraising and grant writing, to iterative development, and finally to public launches and participant engagement. 

Community engagement

I create equitable partnerships and compelling projects to foster community-based planning. Pioneering long-term collaborations in contested sites, I use pedagogy and creative practice to open up community dialogue.
Partners include: Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Laundromat Project, Hester Street Collaborative, I Have a Dream Foundation, Temporary Services, and City Lore.
Projects include: “Working with People” and “The America Project for Collaboration, Creativity and Citizenship” 

Public programs

As an experienced leader and public facilitator/public speaker with cross-cultural literacies, I have designed and facilitated symposia and public programming at the Tate Britain, The New School, The University of London, and Brooklyn Public Library. I have also hosted workshops and networks at the New School, the Graduate Center, CUNY and the Center for Architecture among others, and have been an invited speaker on urbanism at institutions including Pratt Institute, Queens Museum, Columbia University, The Architectural League, UC Berkeley, Tate Britain, and the Tenement Museum. I am a regular presenter at the American Association of Geographers, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Imagining America, and the Environmental Design Research Association.

Applied research:
oral history, humanities & cities

My unique approach to qualitative & environmental research focuses on how it can be applied - for community engagement, program evaluation, and design processes. 
Research themes: cultural attachments to public space; arts-based & ethnographic research; neighborhood attachment; sense of home in affordable housing; everydayness; contestation.
Past sites: neighborhoods in New York (2000-2016), Oakland (2004-2007), London (1998-2000) and Buenos Aires (1999); the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (2008-2014), Lower East Side community gardens (2009-2010), the TransBay Terminal in San Francisco (2007), the Statue of Liberty & Liberty Island (2003-2005); WHEDCo’s Urban Horizons’ housing (2003-2004)
Collaborators include: Public Space Research Group & Center for Human Environments, CUNY; Curatorial Design Research Lab; New School Design & Social Science; National Park Service.

Visual and written communication

Communication as both a tool and a craft is central to my work. I am an excellent communicator and content creator across multiple media platforms, as well as a skilled editor. I've published widely in journals and books including Visual StudiesSociety & SpaceSpace & Culture, Buildings + Landscapes, Radical History ReviewThe People, Place, & Space ReaderPlacesUrban OmnibusUrban PamphleteerSee You in the Streets, and Shelterforce.

My book in progress, on art, oral history and community organizing: In the Same Room Without Screaming: Exhibitions for urban dialogue (U of Iowa Press).

Grant writing / fundraising

I am adept at grant writing and frequently write with clients.
Funders have included: New York Council for the Humanities (2016, 2015, 2011), Citizens Committee for New York City (2015), Rockefeller Foundation (2013-15), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2009) & Watson Foundation (1998). Awards from The New School include the Civic Engagement and Social Justice Committee Fund, Innovations in Education Award, and Design & Social Science Fellowship.

Exhibit curation

From community-based, collaborative exhibitions to major architectural retrospectives, I have honed my curatorial practice to create exhibitions as spaces for new kinds of city dialogue.
Institutions include: MIT, Tenement Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, Parsons, Abrons Art Center, Creative Time, Center for Architecture & Brooklyn Public Library.
Exhibitions include: “Intersection | Prospect Heights”, on gentrification + sense of place (2015-16); “Layered SPURA”, on housing, activism + neighborhood meaning (2008-2012); the “Triangle Fire Open Archive + Open Museum”, on urban public history (2011-2012);  “Changing Cities” (2008); “Making Housing Home” on life in affordable housing (2007); and “Policy and Design for Housing: Lessons of the Urban Development Corporation” (2006)

Digital archives design

When I think about digital archives - particularly those involving oral histories - I see them as something more than a place where things are stored, in the hopes that other people will find them. I see them as platforms for further projects, events in the real world, exchanges and as pedagogical tools. They are nothing without being accessible and approachable, and they are nothing without being used in the real world. In creating Working with People, the Triangle Fire Open Archive, the Intersection | Prospect Heights archives at Brooklyn Public Library and the GVSHIP East Village Building Blocks I have created of archives that hold, value and protect, bringing stories back to their contributors and others in a way that adds nuance and honor.   


A skilled photographer and pioneer of the field I have dubbed visual urbanism, I think about the role that photographs can play in the communities in which they're made and as a way to bring people's lived experience into design processes. 

Educational program design

I have more than 10 years of university teaching experience at The New School, Lehman College, CUNY, UC Berkeley, and the Slade School of Fine Art, pioneering interdisciplinary engaged pedagogy on public space, public art, housing, visual urbanism, arts as activism and environmental psychology. I've also been a guest critic at Columbia University GSAPP, NYU, Pratt Institute, and CUNY among many others. 

With extensive professional and faculty development experience, I have created, and regularly teach workshops for critical thinking around civic engagement, interdisciplinary practice and object-based pedagogy. 

Finally, I am an experienced teacher and curriculum designer for K-12 media & arts education for Arts Connection & The Laundromat Project.