Who We Are
CYNTHIA ANDERSON is pursuing a PhD degree in Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her MLA from the Ohio State University where she was awarded the Faculty Prize in Landscape Architecture. She also has a certificate in Healthcare Garden Design from the Chicago Botanic Garden. Anderson is interested in the connections between urban landscapes of food including their connection to and influence upon larger economic, social and environmental systems.
ISAAC COHEN is currently a Public Designer at bcWORKSHOP, a Dallas, TX based non-profit community design center where he is working on a variety of projects in neighborhoods across the city. He is a graduate of the Masters of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Virginia where he was recognized as the University Olmsted Scholar. His work ranges across the ecological, social, and infrastructural, always combining a passion for community, art, and public space.
HOLLAND DVORAK hopes to graduate with a major in Anthropology, a minor in Human Geography and a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She works at the Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and serves as co-chair of Global Student Alliance, an organization on campus that encourages students to participate in global thought. Her hobbies include cooking, traveling both domestically and abroad, playing with her dog Apollo and spending time with her husband.
JENN HARRMAN has been working in preservation and architecture tourism since 2011 after completing a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She completed an extensive research survey for the Devon Avenue commercial district for her thesis project and has continued this research for both the Conference on Illinois History in 2010 and the Vernacular Architecture Forum in 2015. Following her degree, she focused on the preservation and interpretation of modern architecture at the Farnsworth House before turning her focus to a broader appreciation of the history, culture and architecture of Chicago with Chicago Detours. With Detours she has explored numerous research topics that include anything from neighborhood architecture to community and cultural influences on the built environment.
SALMAN HUSSAIN is a doctoral student in Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. His research focuses on migration to the Arabian Gulf states from the city of Sahiwal in Punjab, Pakistan. He has also worked as a researcher between 2014-2015 for the Intertwined Culture Project with the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures program at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, conducting interviews with South Asian Americans on Devon Avenue, Chicago, and updating and editing the web-portal of the project. Hussain edits "Chapati Mystery," an academic blog, and "Tanqeed," an e-zine focused on Pakistan. He has written for Dawn, Sunday Guardian, and CounterPunch. His book on Pakistan’s civil war in 1971 and the subsequent liberation of Bangladesh, Towards 1971: A Personal Journey, is forthcoming.
NIYATI NAIK received a graduate degree in architecture with a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee She has an undergraduate degree from India, where she practiced as an architect. Her interests include research and analysis of change and evolution in global cultures and urban infrastructures. Naik transcribed oral history interviews and wrote initial drafts of the biographies for this website. She also used her digital humanities skills in order to edit interview files for this website.
JARED SCHMITZ is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who hopes to major in Architecture. He began working on this research project as a 2014 UR@UWM Summer Research fellow and has since continued as an undergraduate researcher. In Fall 2014 Schmitz was awarded the prestigious 2014 Nemschoff Chair Award from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Nemschoff Inc.
ARIJIT SEN is an architect and vernacular architecture historian who writes, teaches and studies urban cultural landscapes. His research includes studies of South Asian immigrant landscapes in Northern California, New York, and Chicago. Currently an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with an honorary appointment with the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Dr. Sen cofounded the multi-campus Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures area of doctoral research. Sen has coedited Landscapes of Mobility: Culture, Politics and Placemaking (Ashgate Publishers, UK, 2013, Jennifer Johung coeditor) and Making Place: Space and Embodiment in the City (Indiana University Press, 2014, Lisa Silverman coeditor).
BUILDINGS-LANDSCAPES-CULTURES is a collaborative project at UW Milwaukee and Madison introduces an interdisciplinary research track concentrating on the examination of the physical, cultural, and social aspects of our built environment. The program serves students enrolled in the UW Milwaukee and Madison campuses respectively. It involves faculty members on both campuses with diverse research and teaching interests, including urban and architectural history, cultural landscapes, urban and rural vernacular architecture, public history, and environmental history.
We are storytellers, collecting and relaying tales of places and neighborhoods. Our objective is to conjure up –or picture– various urban neighborhoods like designs in a wonderfully complex quilt. Individually unique and beautiful, each street is part of a larger whole and we are interested in examining how a street fits into a larger urban narrative. Understanding this relationship between the whole and its parts is important because it shows us how individual places produce our larger world. We are the sum total of smaller units. Such an understanding promotes civic belonging and allows us to reimagine ourselves as stewards of our worlds.
Why do we tell stories? Stories are powerful not only because they connect and transfix, not only because they are accessible to all, but also because they spread. Stories produce more stories; transferred from one person to another, stories disperse across time and space. We collect stories about morals and ethics, ones that recount honor and perseverance, or those that our neighbors and community members communicate to us – all with a moral at the end of it. We are interested in stories that become part of our speech and imaginations; stories that teach us how to behave and react to life and how to walk and to talk – those stories that in turn gently transform who we are and what we do.
THE ROGERS PARK/WEST RIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY collects, preserves and shares the story of the diverse community of Chicago’s far north side. Established in 1975 by local residents who believed their part of Chicago was a place with much to celebrate, the Society today serves the community through its publications, architectural tours, and various educational and outreach efforts.