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In the context of rapid urban development, a changing climate, and clarified political tensions, the narratives embedded in the aesthetics of being can offer creative departures for design today. Sara Zewde will discuss the recent design work of Studio Zewde in Philadelphia and beyond, in this context.
  • Explore project case studies that meaningfully interpret culture and memory in the design of the built environment
  • Learn innovative methods for integrating community engagement with design processes
  • Consider ways designers can integrate climate change adaptation in the design of public space
  • Cultivate an understanding of how designers can work in the context of contested narratives
Sara Zewde
Founding Principal, Studio Zewde
Sara Zewde is founding principal of Studio Zewde, a landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art practice based in New York City. The studio is devoted to exploring the "aesthetics of being" and creating enduring places where people belong. The studio's work is lauded for its design methodology that syncs site interpretation and narrative with a dedication to the craft of construction.

Sara is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and the Silberburg Memorial Award for Urban Design. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and a 2020 United States Artists Fellow. Sara holds a master’s of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master’s of city planning from MIT, and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University. Her work has been exhibited at the 2016 and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, in the Brazilian and U.S national pavilions.