Justin D. Stern is a third-year PhD Student whose research focuses on the history and theory of urban form in rapidly urbanizing regions. His dissertation project studies the interplay of industrialization, institutional development and spatial morphology in major cities in East and Southeast Asia.
Questions addressed in Justin’s research include: In what ways do the contemporary urban forms of cities in Asia, and their dominant building typologies, reflect the economic and political restructuring of the previous half century? What role do large-scale, diversified corporate conglomerates, such as Samsung Group in Korea and Ayala Corporation in the Philippines, play in urban development? And how can the experience of Seoul and other cities in East Asia, as inductive role models, better inform rapidly developing regions in Southeast Asia and beyond?
Justin holds a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from Harvard University and completed his bachelor’s degree at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Oxford. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Justin served as a Fulbright Fellow in Seoul, South Korea and was the recipient of a Harvard-Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to support comparative fieldwork. He has presented his work at numerous venues including The East Asia Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements World Congress; TedxTaipei; Hong Kong University; Leiden University; the Cosmopolitan China Conference at the University of Manchester (UK); the University of Seoul; and the Pakistan Urban Forum in Karachi.
In addition to working on his dissertation, Justin currently serves as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Design. He is also finalizing a short documentary film and exhibition on trans-border infrastructure in Central Asia. Prior to enrolling at Harvard, Justin worked in the international development arena and in affordable housing development in New York City.