Rania Ghosn is an architect and geographer. She is Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning and founder of DESIGN EARTH. Her work investigates the geographies of technological systems, such as those of energy and trash, to open up aesthetic and political concerns for architecture and urbanism.
DESIGN EARTH’s work involves the coupled undertakings of writing about the Earth and also writing on, or projecting again a new world. The practice has been recognized with several awards, including the Architectural League of New York Young Architects Award, Jacques Rougerie Foundation’s First Prize and honorable mentions for Archinect Dry Futures, London Organic Skyscrapers Competition, and Rio Cityvision. They are authors of the recently published Geographies of Trash (Actar, 2015), for which they received an ACSA Faculty Design Award. The book charts the system of waste management across scales to propose five speculative projects that reclaim the forms, technologies, economies and logistics of trash in urbanism. Their work was exhibited at Liberty Research Annex, MIT Keller Gallery, Venice Biennale, and Oslo Architecture Triennale. Some of their recent writings and projects are published in Volume, Avery Review, Journal of Architectural Education, MONU, and San Rocco.
Ghosn is a recognized scholar on the relations of energy and space. Her current book project, Geographies of Oil across the Middle East: The Trans-Arabian Pipeline, traces the biography of a transnational oil transport infrastructure to document territorial transformations associated with the region’s incorporation into a global fossil fuel economy. She is editor of New Geographies 2: Landscapes of Energy (Harvard GSD, 2010), which spatializes the relations of energy and space mapping in particular the physical, social, and representational geographies of oil. As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston University, she organized a yearlong Energy and Society seminar series that brought together leading scholars from the humanities and social sciences to discuss various aspects of energy transitions. Some of her recent publications on energy include “Energy Regions: Production without Representation” (Journal of Architectural Education, 2014), “Hassi Messaoud Oil Urbanism” (New Geographies, 2014), and “Soft Energy Controversy” ([bracket], 2012).
Prior to joining MIT, she was Assistant Professor at University of Michigan. Ghosn holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University, a Master in Geography from University College London, and a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut.