Kaja Kühl directs the Hudson Valley Initiative at GSAPP. The initiative enables research and design projects that enhance the built and natural environment by expanding social impact design, taking research and scholarship beyond the classroom.
In addition, she coordinates the 5 Borough Studio, the first studio in the Urban Design program with a focus on New York City’s five boroughs.
She has taught and lectured at universities in the US and abroad and has been a Visiting Professor at the IUAV Venezia, Italy. Kaja received her Diploma in Architecture from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia GSAPP.
She is the founder of youarethecity, a research, design and planning practice focused on creating dialogue about the urban environment. Informed by the belief that everyone has agency in shaping their own environment, youarethecity collaborates with institutions, individuals and non-profit organizations to produce maps, diagrams, writings, designs, websites, events and exhibitions about urban spaces.
Recent projects include a hiking trail through Northern Manhattan and the Morningside Park Green Gym. As a fellow of the Public Policy Lab (2012-2014), Kühl developed design solutions for housing-related services and of the Design Trust For Public Space (2013), she mapped and researched the suitability for urban agriculture on public land in New York City. Her recent work “Field Guide and Field Lab to Phytoremediation” was shown at the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice and published in numerous design publications. Prior to founding youarethecity in 2008, she worked for the New York City Department of City Planning as an Urban Designer and team leader where she was responsible for design guidance and development of public policy for rezoning applications and city initiatives.