RESEARCHING, STRATEGIZING, AND DESIGNING WITH COMMUNITY.

I believe in an approach that begins and ends with the community - to engage, educate, and empower residents to improve upon their physical environment, economy, and society together. While most of my education and work experience has technically operated in the field of architecture, my interests tend towards the relationship between social and spatial issues at multiple scales of inquiry - particularly those related to geographies of power, human rights, and marginalized communities. Working as a researcher, I attempt to understand how these processes have operated historically and in different contexts. And, working as an activist and designer, I aim to find ways marginalized communities are able to transgress existing social/spatial boundaries to encourage access and connectivity to their more privileged contexts. 

Emily is an Anthropology PhD student at Boston University, a cultural heritage consultant, and has taught landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design. Her current research focuses on the processes of spatial marginalization of the Zongo, a network of Islamic settlements in Ghana, West Africa. In her MIT thesis, she asked what historical factors have shaped these urban and architectural transformations in the urban context of Cape Coast. Emily holds a Masters of Science in Architectural Studies from MIT, a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia, and an undergraduate degree in Education and Art from Colby College. 

emilyawilliamson@gmail.com