Source Material

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Anya Sirota Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives/ Associate Professor of Architecture

Anya Sirota is an architectural designer, Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Academic Initiatives at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and founding principal of Akoaki. Her work, situated at the intersection of architecture and urban design, explores how a distinct synthesis of aesthetics, social enterprise, and cultural programming can offer contemporary and multi-disciplinary strategies for urban transformation. Her ongoing research and design efforts have received international recognition with recent projects featured at the Vitra Design Museum, the Brussels Design Museum, the Centro Pecci Prato, the Saint Etienne Design Biennale, and the Chicago Cultural Center. She is the recipient of the Architectural League Prize (2018), the ACSA Faculty Design Award (2016), the SXSW Eco Place by Design Award (2015), and the R+D Award from Architect Magazine (2013), and other honors. Sirota regularly contributes to international lectures, panels, workshops, and expositions addressing socially driven architectural practice and its impact on cities.

Sirota earned her Master in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Araldo Cossutta Prize for Design Excellence. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University.

asirota@umich.edu                ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Ishan Pal Singh
TVLab Manager / Lecturer

Ishan Pal Singh is a licensed architect (India), educator and the Design Technologist for the Academic Initiatives at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He received a Master of Architecture from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Architecture at Sushant School of Architecture, Delhi NCR, India. While at Taubman College he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Award for leadership. In India he established his own private practice and was awarded IIDA Best of Asia Pacific Design Award for his BGIF Office project.  His most recent work explores architecture’s blended future by experimenting with extended reality and social media tools. Currently he is leading the efforts in the development of the Taubman Visualization Lab (TVLab). He is also the producer and technician of numerous digital and hybrid events which can be found here.

ishanpal @umich.edu                ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Jacob Comerci
Academic Innovation Project Manager / Lecturer in Architecture

Jacob Comerci is a designer and educator. He is the 2019- 2020 William Muschenheim Fellow at the University of Michigan. He received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at Princeton, he was awarded the Howard Crosby Butler traveling fellowship where he studied building groups in Berlin as well as the Suzane Kolarik Underwood thesis prize for excellence in design. He has previously worked with Bureau Spectacular in Chicago and Los Angeles and with MOS Architects and LTL Architects in New York.

His research and design work reconsiders models for collective life and work by way of the interior fit-out of existing real estate with furniture-scaled domestic equipment.

comerci@umich.edu                ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Chang Chu
Master of Architecture 3G

Chang is a Master of Architecture student at University of Michigan. With a multidisciplinary background in interior design, architecture, and graphic design, Chang excels in integrating various technologies into spatial visualization. As a research assistant in TVLab, her expertise lies in Unity, focusing on incorporating augmented reality into real city spaces. Chang is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and supporting Taubman students on their creative journey, making significant contributions to the intersection of design and technology.

changchu@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Danah Owaida
Master of Architecture 3G

Danah Owaida (BA Architectural Studies, University of Toronto) is a first year Master of Architecture student in the 3G program at Taubman College. She has been a Research Assistant at the TVLab since Fall 2023. Danah’s interest in Architecture lies within the fringes of the discipline; she is more so interested in where architecture is going rather than where it currently is, and is guided by a drive to design joyful, unifying, and accessible spatial experiences. She is always seeking interesting ways to explore architectural form, representation and experiential design, and is currently working on learning Blender and Unity to further explore the potentials of these softwares within these realms.

dowaida@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Grieta Blaka
Undergraduate student - Architecture

Grieta is a senior working on her Wallenberg thesis in the undergraduate Architecture program. In addition to her architecture major she is completing two minors in Computer science and Ukrainian language and literature. Grieta joined the TVLab team just this semester but is learning Unreal Engine and has coding and graphic design experience. She aims to find a way her interests in coding can add to her architectural experience and open possibilities for new ways of representation. She is also an international student from Latvia so can help others on how to navigate the world of being an international student at UofM.

gblaka@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Mollie Davis
Master of Architecture 2G

Mollie is a current second-year in the Master of architecture program at Taubman, graduating in the spring. She is from Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University for her undergrad. She enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, and her favorite new software she's learning is Procreate!

molliesd@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Prakriti Vasudeva
Master of Architecture 2G

Prakriti, a graduate student in the Master of Architecture 2G program pursuing a concentration in Design + Health at Taubman College, takes on a significant role at the TVLab. Her responsibilities include the efficient management of the TV Lab website. Previously, she conducted orientation sessions for incoming students, introducing them to the lab's offerings and offering insightful demonstrations of XR capabilities. Furthermore, Prakriti has led engaging workshops for graduate students on After Effects, highlighting her expertise and contributing to the collaborative environment of the lab.

pvasudev@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Ranya Liu 
Undergraduate student - Architecture + Computer Science

Ranya Liu is a third-year undergraduate student currently double-majoring in architecture and computer science at the University of Michigan. As a new research assistant in the lab, Ranya aims to expand her capabilities in various imaging technologies and platforms like Unity and Unreal Engine. Eventually, Ranya hopes to find a way to merge her two majors to further push architectural ideation and representation.

ranyal@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Xuanshu Lin
Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Lin graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the highest honors in two degrees: B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning and B.S. in Sustainable Design. With a dual-degree background, Lin joined Taubman Visualization Lab (TVLab) with well-equipped graphic design skills for urban planning and design, from data processing to urban modeling and rendering. Lin also hopes to bring his skills and knowledge in virtual reality (VR) to both real-world content creation and rendering creation. As a research assistant in TVLab, Lin begins his journey in exploring Unreal Engine, Unity and UI/UX design. Now, Lin is pursuing a dual-degree in Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Science in Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. P.S. Lin is a semi-professional magician. If you see him in the lab, come in and ask for a trick!

xuanshul@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Zach Keller
Master of Architecture / Master of Science in Digital and Material Technology

Zach, a recent graduate of the Master of Science in Digital and Material Technology program, is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at the University of Michigan. Armed with a strong background in parametric design and digital fabrication, he constantly strives to discover fresh and imaginative ways to integrate state-of-the-art technology into the realm of architecture. As an integral part of the TV Lab, Zach's proficiency extends to various domains, including human-robot interaction, interactive and responsive environments, as well as automation.

kellerz@umich.edu                 ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎    ︎

Previous Collaborators

ManLam Cheng
Caroline Kirk
Alex Bur