Ana Puhač

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Originally from Croatia, I was given an award to pursue international education and have since been a “local” in different places around Europe and the Americas. The contact with diversity and inequality in international communities where I lived and studied translated into my passion for understanding socio-spatial dynamics in both natural and built environments.

 I graduated with a B.A. in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic (US), with the focus on sustainable urban development and planning, particularly in food and climate change planning for cities. During college, I spent a year as a visiting student at Parsons School of Design, interning at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in Lower Manhattan and with EcoCity Builders and Catalytic Communities in favelas of Rio de Janeiro. These experiences elucidated the political role of urban design practice and the imbalance of power in the agency of marginalized stakeholders to mediate transformation in their cities.

I completed my MSc with distinction in Building and Urban Design at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit of UCL where I deepened my knowledge in the social production of space, politics of architecture and participatory urban design in informal settlements and emerging countries. As part of the program, I participated in collaborative city-wide upgrading projects in the UK, Italy and Cambodia.

Joining the Play the City team is an exciting opportunity to continue my passion for social aspects of urban design, as the game and play method offers a radically refreshing possibility to transmute often contested and paralyzing multi-stakeholder spaces into an experiential, dynamic and rewarding act of city-making.