Liwen is currently an associate at Maryann Thompson Architects located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her interests involve exploring how institutions play a role in defining viable civic and cultural spaces in cities.
Born in China and raised in both England and Hong Kong under the British education system, Liwen received her Master’s in Architecture with advanced placement from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and a Bachelors of Arts in Architecture with a minor in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. She has also lived, worked and studied in Paris on projects in North Africa, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Shanghai.
With a background in architecture, urban design and applied arts, coupled with a strong interest in landscape architecture, Liwen is committed to collaborations across disciplines and scales. She believes that strategies for problem solving and design thinking ultimately occur at the intersection of interdisciplinarity.
Liwen considers that successful, innovative and socially responsible architecture is a result of ongoing discourse and negotiation between theory and practice. Along with practicing architecture, she also holds an adjunct faculty position at the Boston Architectural College where she teaches a professional practice course. In addition to the BAC, she has also taught and been a guest critic at the GSD, MIT and UC Berkeley.
Boston Architectural College (BAC), Boston, MA, US, Instructor
Instructor for the practice of architecture under the Gateway Program. These are service, volunteer, competition, and design/build projects with real clients and deliverables for students at the BAC. My role as an instructor is to guide the students through this hands-on design course ran like a studio with the aims of bridging the demands between practice and academia.
Maryann Thompson Architects, Cambridge, MA, US, Design Associate
- Novartis Day Care Center
- Cambridge Center for Adult Education
- Various private residences
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Research Associate - Digital Cities and Societies Research Initiative
Digital Cities and Societies Research Initiative (DCS) has a mission to provide a research platform to envision, investigate and develop solutions for tomorrow’s societies by uniting innovation in technology and design in a strategic context. We are interested in the convergence of several design/ technology-related fields to analyze and address challenges in the near to distant future, from micro to macro-scale.
Situated within the Harvard community, DCS’s research builds on bringing together minds of academia, industry and policy to explore, envision and co-create future solutions in harmony with economic, environmental and societal goals.
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Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Teaching Assistant - Department of The History of Art and Architecture
Teaching Assistant for Harvard University's first undergraduate studio
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Research Assistant - Department of Urban Planning and Design
Member of the GSD's Urban India Lab
Work involved putting together publications and exhibitions on urbanism in India.
Responsibilities included brain storming sessions on the content of upcoming seminars, grant writing and the contents of upcoming publications/exhibitions.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, GSD Career Discovery Instructor
Teaching an introduction to design representation at Harvard GSD for four sections of architecture students over a course of six weeks.
Work involved conducting lectures, seminars and workshops on the various forms and techniques of representation in architecture.
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Teaching Assistant - Department of Architecture
Teaching Assistant for 2nd Year Masters of Architecture Core Studio
SHANGHAI MADA S.P.A.M. ARCHITECTURE OFFICE, Shanghai, CN, Architectural Intern
Kilo Architectures, Paris, France, Designer
- CasArts, Casablanca Morocco, in collaboration with OMA, Rotterdam (finalist)
- Montabo, a hotel in French Guiana (winner)
- W hotel and resort, Marrakesh, Morocco
- Restoration projects, Fez Medina, Morocco
- Resort housing in Taghazout, Morocco
- Various private residences
Led design for a private residence in Rabat and a social housing project in Casablanca, Morocco
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, MArch, Masters of Architecture I with Advanced Placement
University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, US, Bachelors, Architecture
Graduated with a Minor in City and Regional Planning
Study Abroad with Denmark International Studies, Copenhagen
Activities and Societies: Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco
Araldo A. Cosutta Prize for Design Excellence, Nomination
Faculty nominated finalist, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design Alumni Association Professional Promise Award, Award
Given in recognition of accomplishments, skills and talent demonstrating great potential for future contributions to the environmental design profession.
Awarded upon graduation to three undergraduates out of a year of one hundred seventy