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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

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Maria Carrizosa

Maria Carrizosa is a Ph.D. student in Urban and Public Policy at Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. An architect and philosopher by training, her research explores alternative conceptions of urban informality, studying how a spatial understanding of informality reveals its neglected efficiency. 

MARIA CARRIZOSA is a Ph.D. student in Urban and Public Policy at Milano School of International, Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, a Teaching Fellow for the graduate course “Slums and Urban Development,” and Coordinator of the Observatory on Latin America at The New School for Public Engagement. During her ten years of experience in Colombia, she worked with several United Nations organizations, NGOs, a government agency, and as a teacher at the undergraduate level. An architect and philosopher by training, her research explores alternative conceptions of urban informality, studying how a spatial understanding of informality reveals its neglected efficiency.

Maria is looking for a spatial school of thought on the informal economy. Her research investigates space-use intensity in slums, where often residential, commercial, productive, social, and care activities overlap. This spatial multitasking allows for more to be done with less and reveals a particular type of efficiency in informality. Because places that have simultaneous uses are difficult to understand, categorize, visualize, and communicate effectively, they end up being regularly neglected. Such failure to fully understand urban informality has had detrimental effects for urban policy and planning.

At GIDEST, Maria will engage in a methodological exploration using both ethnographic and image-based tools like video analytics, she plans to produce visualizations that map space-use intensity in informal settlements. She will focus on the graphical output of ethnography in the hope that visual evidence can more easily inform urban public policy. She will carry out this work in four slums, two in Bogota, Colombia and two in Cape Town, South Africa.

GRADUATE INSTITUTE FOR DESIGN, ETHNOGRAPHY & SOCIAL THOUGHT, 63 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10003