Kathlyn R Kao
BiographyKathlyn Kao is a scientific collaborator at the RIOT, EPFL ENAC-IA; a practicing architect at Dream the Combine; and co-founder of Paperwork - an architectural research practice that investigates bureaucratic and legal methods of territorial governance. Her work focuses on questions of immeasurability and intangibility within regimes of land ownership and environmental law
As a researcher, she has worked for the Harvard Bloomberg City Leadership Initiative, Frances Loeb Library Building for Tomorrow Project, and the World Bank Building Index Pilot Program. Her thesis, “In the Capital of Absence, I am Longing for___,” supported by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, focuses on the spatial remittance economy of overseas Filipina domestic workers. Her work has been featured in Harvard Urban Review, Room One Thousand, and Pairs. She has given talks at institutions including Bauhaus-Universität Weimar University, ABK Stuttgart, and ARQ Technológico de Monterrey.
As a practitioner, she has helped design, manage, coordinate, and execute projects in New York City and Boston, specializing in academic institutions, historic renovations, and installation work with firms like DiMella Shaffer Associates (MIT Vassar Street Residence Hall), Christoff:Finio Architecture (Bennington Commons Renovation), and Do Ho Suh (Rubbing/Loving).
As an advocate, she has helped steward the First-Generation Initiative Committee (Harvard GSD), establish the Racial Equity Working Group (DiMella Shaffer Associates) and served as Vice President for the Cal Poly, SLO National Service Fraternity chapter (Alpha Phi Omega). She recently partnered with Association for Preservation Technology, New England (APTNE) to create, deliver, and implement the first design in the built environment program as part of a pilot STEAM curriculum for Girls, Inc. The program, named the “Dream Home Project,” is catered to young female-identifying students of color in Massachusetts, USA.
Kathlyn is a registered architect in New York, USA. She holds an M.Arch from Harvard and a B.Arch from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Master of Architecture
Graduate School of Design
Bachelor of Architecture
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo