Isabel Saffon

Isabel Saffon

New York, NY, US

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I am a strategic and urban designer interested in exploring strategies to overcome socio-economic disparities and build agency through design.

 With a background in community planing, urbanism and architecture my recent practice is focused on developing strategies of open-decision making to empower communities to shape their built environment.

I am interested in building pedagogic and advocacy tools that increase our capacities to be agents of change. These tools have taken the form of urban plans, participatory visioning sessions, critical maps, infographics and data visualization.



Center for Active Design, New York, NY, US, Design and Research Fellow

Jan 2018 - current

Design Trust for Public Space, New York, NY, US, Community Planning Fellow

Building on a deep legacy of community organizing roots, Power in Place will ensure that area residents and local organizations have a place to continue to live and work in the area; a voice in the planning process; a means to develop financial equity; and the tools to advocate for and initiate a healthy and sustainable development for their neighborhoods. South Bronx Unite and Design Trust for Public Space will explore the potential of the Community Land Trust as a model for equitable public space in Mott Haven-Port Morris.

Jan 2018 - current

The New School, New York, NY, US, Design Strategist | Researcher

The Digital Equity lab at the New School -directed by Maya Wiley- worked with the Chief Information Officer of the City of Detroit, recommending community
engagement strategies for a visioning plan for Digital Inclusion.

Jun 2017 - Feb 2018

WXY Architecture + Urban Design, New York, NY, US, Architecture and Urban Design Intern

Jul 2016 - May 2017

Diana Wiesner Arquitectura y Paisaje, Bogotá, CO, Architect | Urban Designer

Mar 2015 - Aug 2015

Tab - Taller De Arquitectura De Bogotá, Bogotá, CO, Architect | Urban Designer

Jun 2013 - Mar 2015

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, CO, Design Strategist | Researcher

Jan 2013 - Jul 2013


The New School, New York, NY, US, Masters, Design and Urban Ecologies

The Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons radically reframes the study of and design approaches to cities. Through fieldwork, research, policy analysis, and activism, students gain a broad understanding of the complex forces that influence urban growth and development. Inspired by The New School’s long-standing commitment to social justice and design, students develop and implement innovative strategic projects that transform community organizing, the solidarity economy, food systems, public space, housing, infrastructure, public transportation, nonprofit management, cultural development, environmental equity, socially engaged art and technology, and other areas.

Aug 2015 - May 2017

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, CO, BArch, Architecture and Design

Jan 2008 - Aug 2012

Areas of Specialization