Caroline Filice Smith

Caroline is a designer and researcher at Harvard University, where she is pursuing a PhD in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning with a secondary field in Anthropology. Broadly, she is interested in the history of the financialization of space, namely the ways the built environment functions as a fulcrum between the ‘real’ and ‘financial’ sides of the economy; sedimenting and rendering visible otherwise abstract entanglements between the production of space and shifting regimes of Law and Finance.

Caroline’s doctoral work is focused on landscapes of debt and the urbanization of risk along the coal and prison belts of central Appalachia. Her current project, provisionally entitled “Of Risky Bonds and Toxic Deeds,” explores the relationship between a politics of the ‘post-truth’, environmental ‘acts of God’, and the spectral/speculative materiality of post-mountaintop removal development in a region long marked as a national ‘sacrifice zone’.

Caroline is a member of both the Urban Theory Lab and the CoDesign Lab at the Harvard GSD, having previously served as an Irving Innovation Fellow (AY’18), Mexican Cities Initiative Fellow (’16), and research associate for the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative (’16-’18).  She holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from the GSD (‘17), where she was awarded both the Academic Excellence Award and the Thesis Prize in Urban Design (Logistics Urbanism: The Socio-Spatial Project of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative). Additionally, Caroline holds a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech (’10). Prior to coming to Harvard, Caroline spent five years in professional architectural practice – most of which was spent working for UNStudio in their Shanghai office, and less of which was spent practicing in Los Angeles where she was actively involved in the Occupy movement.  Her design work and research has been published and exhibited internationally at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Wired Next Fest, and the London Festival of Architecture.

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Caroline Filice Smith on her porch in Cambridge, MA, 2017.