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People  •  Architecture  •  Assistant Professor

Cara Michell

Departments

Architecture

Education

  • M.A., Urban Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • B.A., Art and Archaeology (Studio Art Track), Princeton University

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Cara Michell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and the School of Public Policy (College of Social Sciences and Humanities) She is also a Senior Urban Planner and an associate at WXY Studio, where she leads urban design, waterfront revitalization, and community engagement projects. In addition to her work with WXY, Michell is a Forefront Fellow with the Urban Design Forum, where she is developing a proposal for more equitably integrating workers of color into New York City’s plans for energy-efficient building retrofits.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Art and Archeology (Studio Art track) from Princeton University and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University. Michell produces visual artwork and writing that highlights the structural inequalities and institutionalized racism perpetuated by the urban design field. She is a co-founder of Harvard’s biennial Black in Design Conference; Memorabilia from the first conference has recently been accessioned onto the Smithsonian collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Her book in progress, “The Anti-Racism Strategy Handbook,” is currently under consideration for publication.

Cara’s conceptual artwork has been exhibited with the design collective, Intelligent Mischief, at the Boston University Art Galleries. She has been a guest speaker for lectures on design and spatial justice at the Northeastern College of Arts, Media and Design and the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture. Cara has written for The Atlantic’s CityLab, The Site Magazine, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership Forum.

Michell will forge new links between the Centers for Art and for Design, Architecture, and Art + Design across CAMD; she will also build connections with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities through a 25% appointment in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

In the News

“[Participatory mapping is] more about trust-building, tracking the process, and what we’re learning from each other than it is about any sort of final output.”

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