Harisa believes that designers can make a meaningful contribution in helping to strengthen communities through ecological restoration, bottom-up community governance and partnerships, and activism. As an Emerging Design Fellow with evolveEA, Harisa is supporting projects of all types with her cross-disciplinary interests and experience. She assists project teams in developing urban design strategies for local business districts, and works on mobility and transit infrastructure projects. Harisa is also conducting research on opportunities for creating a reciprocal relationship between ecological and community regeneration in the Pittsburgh region. Her work at evolveEA allows her to combine her interests, and Harisa has worked as a landscape designer for residential and commercial projects.
Prior to joining evolveEA, she conducted research on structural bamboo at the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, and she has investigated Pittsburgh’s challenging topography and infrastructure while a student at the University of Pittsburgh. She was introduced to ecodistrict planning through her capstone project and was awarded a commendation for advising McCandless Township on its water, air, mobility, and energy issues through sustainable development. Harisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture with a Certificate in Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as President of the AIAS Pitt chapter and won second place in collaborative competitions like EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge.