Hi there!

I’m Romy - a designer, researcher and recent Harvard grad, dedicated to unlocking civic innovation, rethinking humane technology and experimenting with any new tool that comes my way. 



Find out more:
︎ Information
︎ Linkedin
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Currently researching / interested in:
︎ Collective intelligence
︎ Design Fiction
︎ Civic Futures
︎ Fixing Social Media

Favorite / recommended podcasts:
︎ Your Undivided Attention 
︎ Invisibilia 
︎ Recode Decode

Currently reading:
︎ Adverdarial Design
︎ Speculative Everything

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WORLDBUILDING



WORLD #1: Beirut 2030


SYNCRHONICITY

A city undulating in chronic replay, outbreaks of trauma at once interrupting and creating the inevitable state of constant post-trauma. A convulsed infrastructure burdened with an uncalculated load, its supply far beneath its demand threshold. A self-diagnosing people, unable to rely on any label of authority. An endless influx of self- prescribed solutions to mental instability, neatly tucked away from public concern. An army of paranoid androids roaming the city, searching for catharsis. 










Beirut is suffering. Losing its state of repose, it has forever embedded itself in a post-traumatic existence. Apart from frequent attacks to its infrastructure and resources, the city spirals in chronic replay of infiltration, neglect, and corruption. It never rests. Nor do its inhabitants. Drowning in closeted paranoia, they would rather shy away from public scrutiny and solve it in the privacy of their home, their minds. This project investigates the typology of the Horton sphere gasholder, a primary urban energy resource reservoir. By importing a foreign element and program into the sphere, the intervention behaves as a prosthetic, with a plug into the city. The clinic is reimagined in a dystopic world, visited by those unable to deal with the impacts of war and its equivalents. Patients are admitted through a network below the silo, serving as a rehabilitation center. At one point, a schism appears between the curable, for which conventional methods suffice, and the hopeless, the memories of whom are too scarring to make way for a normal life. The former is allowed to reintegrate back into society whereas the latter is taken up into the silo for alternative treatment: memory loss through electroshock therapy. Concealed in the sterile environment of the Silo, the prosthetic reacts to the controlled system of recharge and discharge, using its pressurized environment as a source of energy. The schedule of the silo and that of the clinic are co-dependent and operate simultaneously. The city is read as body, its integrity impacted by various forms of trauma. Inspired by the attacks on the Beirut gasholders in the beginning of the 2006 war, the project experiments with defense mechanisms that a city’s urban fabric and infrastructure can adopt. These silos, being primary targets in the event of an attack on the city, are seen as viral or contagious zones waiting to be amputated.





WORLD #2: Beirut 2025




PITSTOPS FOR LIVING

Beirut has faced overpopulation for over 30 years, reaching its peak the past few years with the immigration of Syrian refugees that now form more than one third of Lebanon’s inhabitants. The number of homeless people are increasing on the streets and the houses of the wealthier are seeming bigger and bigger. Moreover, the unused spaces of these houses highlight a change in our society: our fast-paced individualistic routine has deleted the need for communal spaces within the typical Beirut residential tower. Our actual dwelling spaces can be narrowed down to the limits of the private rooms that provide our basic necessities. Not only is there a disproportion between the spaces occupied and those unoccupied, but there is also a displacement of functions around the house due to this withdrawn lifestyle; for instance multiple activities are done within the comfort of a bedroom. With overpopulation comes one of Beirut’s biggest problems, traffic jams. Beirut’s inhabitants are left with spending 2 hours of commute every day, for a trip that would take a quarter of that time without congestion.













The project investigates a new typology for living in a city that is suffering from diverse issues: overpopulation, traffic jams, and a waste of space.

By making use of some of our towers’ and industrial buildings’ blank walls in proximity to Beirut’s main highways, the intervention behaves as a seamless suspension, flush with the existing facades and acting as a pit stop for passersby. Our new individualistic lifestyle is made use of and narrowed down to our basic movements. This new nature controlled by technology and its advents is translated into webs of circular capsules along the blank walls of Beirut, allowing all inhabitants of Beirut, refugees and civilians to reintegrate into the historic fabric of the city and its buildings. These capsules serve our basic needs provided within the three body positions that make up our daily activities. These body position are made available through the rotation of an ergonomic rectangular pod within a circular frame that takes the minimum width needed for it to seamlessly merge to an existing façade. Its smart capabilities extend the fast-paced lifestyle and provide a series of interactive dwellings at different spots throughout the city, thus allowing these webs to be used as “pit stops for living”.







WORLD #3: Nahr Ibrahim, Lebanon  (undergrad thesis)

A PRODUCT OF NATURE

Situated in the mountainous part of Ibrahim River, Lebanon, my project seeks to question the core relationship between Man-Architecture-Environment. Through careful analysis of the conditions of the site that will become the main ingredients for shaping the structure, Nature is given the chance to disrupt Man's lifestyle. Architecture is complementary to the forces of Nature and thus this relationship is imposed on Man. Architecture acting as a "filter" takes shape in a kinetic dwelling activated by water, in which Man lives aware of his surrounding and in coexistence with Nature's power. The site chosen, located beyond any hydro-electrical station, is threatened by the future Dam of Janneh. This politically criticized and environmentally detrimental plan in this particular site, fueled the need to incorporate a research lab in the proposed dwelling. While living in a space activated by water, the inhabitants conduct studies of the water dynamics and the ecosystem in danger before and after the construction of the Dam. The damage of the latter will both be proven by the data and the later tamed profile of the dwelling.










The project won the Dean’s Award for Creative Achievement, and the 1st prize of the Omrania | CSBE Awardfor Excellence in Architectural Design.