Lara Furtado is currently a Ph.D. student in the Regional Planning department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a trained architect from the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil and was a visiting student at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She studies urbanism in a non-traditional way in order to challenge social and structural problems from a practical and direct approach. Furtado has worked in architecture firms and also as researcher in a laboratory in Ceará’s Federal University focused in urban planning and marginalized communities.
Her hope is to contribute in Brazil’s academic and practitioner fields of social housing, entrepreneurship and access to infrastructure by studying the American context. Her work in the Design Center consists of studying Legacy Cities such as Springfield and how design institutions and community-based groups can have a transformative role in revitalizing post-industrial cities.