Christina Chi Zhang named Harry the Boghosian Fellow for 2023-24

Christina Chi Zhang

The School of Architecture has announced that designer and researcher Christina Chi Zhang is the Harry the Boghosian Fellow for 2023-24. Zhang will succeed current assistant professor Lily Chishan Wong.

The Boghosian Fellowship at the School of Architecture, established in early 2015 in memory of Harry the Boghosian ’54 by his sister Paula the Boghosian ’64, is a unique program designed to help faculty members early in their careers have the opportunity to spend a year developing a series of design research based on an area of ​​interest while teaching at the School of Architecture.

Fellows play a significant role in the school, enhancing student teaching and faculty discourse while supporting both research and the development of research-related curricula valuable to architectural education and the discipline.

“Christina Zhang’s research uses architecture to design, analyze and intervene in areas that are often outside the realm of professional and academic practice,” says Michael Speaks, Dean of the School of Architecture. “Your proposal, submitted as part of the grant application, is powerful, provocative and timely because it redefines exactly what it means to study and practice architecture. We are very happy to welcome her and look forward to working with her next year.”

During the 2023-24 school year, Zhang will teach an architecture studio and two professional electives focused on her research project, Scale of Healing in Post-Traumatic Landscapes, which examines the tools of representation used to document, analyze, and represent post-traumatic people become landscapes in different scales.

Zhang’s research path will examine the limitations and implications of photography, cartography, drawing and virtual reality, and will discuss the possibilities of documenting individual narratives, archiving evidence and synthesizing different levels of information through drawing and reinterpreting a speculative landscape.

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In order to have a broader conversation with students about ongoing wars and conflicts, Zhang plans to broaden the geographic focus of her previous independent research and discuss other post-traumatic landscapes of students’ interests.

“Ultimately, through these explorations and discussions, we should be able, as architects, to understand, engage, and find our place in current socio-political issues,” says Zhang, whose goal is to become a compassionate architect who cares cares about people and designs for them.

Like the seven previous Boghosian Fellows, Zhang will not only work closely with faculty and students at the School of Architecture, but will also explore interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and its various centers and colleges. Her research will culminate in the form of an exhibition and interdisciplinary symposium addressing issues of memory, reconstruction and resilience in post-conflict landscapes and societies in today’s world, and tools to speak about them as architects.

Zhang is currently completing her final year of her master’s degree in architecture at the Yale School of Architecture, where she served as an instructor for two graduate studio courses and two undergraduate courses.

During the 2021-22 academic year, Zhang was awarded the George Nelson Travel Scholarship, which supported her year-long journey and research investigation into post-atrocity reconstruction in Bosnia and Rwanda, leading to her exhibition Thank You for Loving Me till the End: Life, Memory and Reconstruction in Bosnia and Rwanda after the atrocity at Yale’s North Gallery. In this exhibition, Zhang explored trauma, memory, and reconstruction through recovery, restoration, mapping, and a virtual reality landscape installation created based on interviews with survivors of genocides and wars.

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Zhang holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, where she received the 2017 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts for her practice in humanistic architecture. While at Yale, Zhang received the Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration Research Travel Award (RITM) to work and conduct research at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. While in Kakuma, she co-founded a non-profit organization, International Development in Action, through which she initiated and led the construction of a refugee-run adult education center. The curricula are now managed and taught by refugee leaders and offer literacy, business and reproductive health programs.

From 2016 to 2017, Zhang organized and directed the interdisciplinary competition Place and Displacement to foster collaboration between architects and policymakers to develop new responses to the global refugee crisis based on autonomy and resilience. The subsequent symposium “Reform Refugee Responses” was held in New York City in cooperation with Yale University, New York University and the United Nations.

Zhang has practiced architecture professionally at EFFEKT Arkitekter in Copenhagen; Studio MM Architect in New York City; Turner Brooks Architect in New Haven; and Atelier Deshaus in Shanghai. Along with teammates Joshua Tan and Claire Hicks, she won first prize in the international architecture competition Home for the Blind organized by Bee Breeders in 2022.

“I’m honored to join the fellowship and look forward to exploring memory, life, and recovery in post-traumatic societies together, a timely and pressing issue,” says Zhang. “The Boghosian Fellowship offers an amazing opportunity to work with a diverse, intelligent and courageous student body that enjoys engaging and challenging. Through teaching and research, I look forward to finding and experimenting with ways to heal, nurture and create in today’s world.”

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For more information about Christina Chi Zhang and her work, visit

The Boghosian Fellowship has helped the School of Architecture attract the best and brightest aspiring professors. Past grantees include Maya Alam (2016–17), Linda Zhang (2017–18), James Leng (2018–19), Benjamin Vanmuysen (2019–20), Liang Wang (2020–21), Leen Katrib (2021– 22) and Lily Chishan Wong (2022–23).

To learn more about the Harry of the Boghosian Fellowship, visit the School of Architecture website.