Caroline Filice Smith

Caroline Filice Smith is interested in the ontological and epistemological making of ‘the offshore,’ both historically and in the present.  Her research grounds itself, so to speak, in the study of Chinese initiated transnational logistics corridors and their related enclaves of extraction, processing, and distribution in sub-Saharan Africa.  Caroline is particularly focused on the work that goes into enabling such enclaves to be presented as politically, financially, and socially disentangled from their surroundings – work marked by variously occulted development and security practices and their concomitant spatial byproducts and entanglements.  At the broadest of levels then, Caroline’s research is concerned with how such offshore/onshore spaces have come to constitute the licit life of capitalism, and the ways shifting conceptions of sovereignty, urbanization, and risk attend to the making – and remaking – of such spaces globally.

Caroline has 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) at the GSD.  Caroline 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.