Yutaka Sho
Associate Professor

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design; M.Arch, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Yutaka Sho’s research focuses on the role of architecture in activism and development discourse, in both global south and north. Her research focuses on planning and building practices in the global south pressured by both the Northern modernization and internal desires for economic, social and environmental sustainabilities.

She also writes and teaches about the role of networks connecting spaces of food production and consumption in recovery efforts after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster. Sho has practiced and researched internationally including in Bangladesh, Japan, Lebanon, Rwanda and Turkey. 

Sho is a founder and a partner at GA Collaborative, a non-profit design firm comprised of architectural and landscape architectural designers that work with people whose access to productive space is limited. GAC opens design and building processes to local stakeholders, municipal and academic partners to gain sustained support for projects. In Masoro, Rwanda, GAC is planning and designing a village for fifty homes with low-income villagers. The prototype house using low-cost and easy-to-make EarthBags was completed in 2013, and in the process the Masoro villagers were trained in this new technique. As a result the villagers established a builders’ association and GAC continues to work with them in sustainable building practices.

Sho received an MArch I from Harvard GSD and a BLA and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She is the recipient of the 2013 Arnold Brunner Grant and 2008 Deborah Norden Grant.

Buildings and Projects

  • Planning of housing developments in Rwanda, working with widows’ NGOs in Rwanda to develop sustainable villages, 2009-
  • ARES Sustainable Emergency Shelter Competition, Boston natural disaster preparedness manual: converting big-box parking lots in Boston to emergency shelter community, 2007
  • Institute for Sustainable Urban Societies (ISUS) education initiative to create coalition among South- and Southeast Asian institutions for developing sustainable environment programs, 2006 -





Grants and Awards

  • Deborah J. Norden Fund Architectural League of New York Travel Grant for research in Rwanda, 2007
  • Penny White Landscape Architecture Research Award (Harvard), for documentation of open spaces in informal squatter settlements in urban Turkey. (with Takako Tajima), 2004
  • American Society of Landscape Architecture Honor Award, 1996


  • ‘Two Squares,’ edited by Hashim Sarkis, Harvard University Press, 2006