Alumni
Elizabeth Yarina

Lizzie Yarina is a design researcher at MIT where she explores the role of design and planning in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. At the MIT Urban Risk Lab, she is part of a team examining alternatives to FEMA’s post-disaster housing systems. Yarina is currently co-authoring a book on disaster preparedness in Japan with Urban Risk Lab director Miho Mazereeuw, and co-editing a volume on the relationship between climate models and the built environment with a cross-disciplinary team of MIT PhD candidates. She founded the design research collaboration, Thing, with Claudia Bode in 2018. In 2017, Yarina was a Fulbright New Zealand research fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), where she examined the spatial implications of Pacific Islander climate change migration. She has worked as a designer at PLY Architecture, William Rawn Associates, and Dada Architecture (Beijing), and has taught at the Singapore University of Technology and Design and VUW. Her research on the relationships among design thinking, territorial politics, and climate risk has been published in JAE, Architecture and Culture, Pidgin, The Plan Journal, and Arch+. She is the winner of the 2017 Jacques Rougerie Competition on Architecture and Sea Level Rise. She was born and raised on a sheep farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Yarina earned a bachelor’s of science in architecture from the University of Michigan and a dual master’s of architecture and master’s in city planning from MIT.