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Taubman College Highlights the Work of Alumni Clauson and Sheth

Graduates from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Sasaki Principals Caitlyn Clauson and Romil Sheth have been side-by-side since their days taking classes in Ann Arbor.

In a recent Q&A with their alma mater, Sheth and Clauson chat about their educational and career journeys, which have taken them across the country and around the world.

A principal and chair at-large on Sasaki’s board of directors, Caitlyn Clauson received her M.U.P. from Taubman in 2007. With a focus on campus planning, Clauson has worked with over 50 institutions to help create and build welcoming spaces that integrate cultures and offer accessibility. Clauson is particularly passionate about working with institutions to integrate dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into planning initiatives. In an article Caitlyn co-authored in 2018 for the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP)’s Planning for Higher Education Journal, she expresses a belief that physical spaces on campus reflect a school’s commitment to values of inclusion and accessibility. Among her current clients is UC Berkeley, with whom Clauson is applying this thinking while solving challenges within the campus’s dense urban setting.

“There are explicit and implicit messages that are communicated through the built environment. Campuses should be spaces where individuals can see themselves, their histories, and narratives be reflected in the campus environment.”

Caitlyn Clauson, from Portico Spring 2021: Caitlyn Clauson, M.U.P. ’07, and Romil Sheth, M.U.D. ’06, M.S. ’10, Help Campuses and Cities Look to the Future

Romil Sheth, urban design principal, practiced as an architect in Mumbai before attending the University of Michigan, receiving his M.U.D. in 2006 and his M.S. in 2010. With Sasaki, he has worked on many projects around the world to improve the efficiency and use of districts and city spaces. One of Sheth’s projects, the Songzhuang Arts and Agriculture City near Beijing, won the Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Excellence Award, one of the American Planning Association (APA)’s highest honors. Currently, he is working on a master plan for the Ho Chi Minh City Innovation District  in Vietnam, a unique project for the region, which will make the new innovation district a significant economic driver for the city and region, connecting research, entrepreneurship, academia, industry, and the local community to create a diverse innovation eco-system.

“Beyond the object of a building, I’ve always had that lens that I wanted to broaden my horizon and engage with larger issues of the urban condition and how cities are made and operate.”

Romil Sheth, rom Portico Spring 2021: Caitlyn Clauson, M.U.P. ’07, and Romil Sheth, M.U.D. ’06, M.S. ’10, Help Campuses and Cities Look to the Future

Together, Sheth and Clauson joined Sasaki in 2007 after their studies in Michigan and have collaborated on multiple projects, including Xinyang University South Bay Campus Master Plan and the University of Washington Master Plan. Although the pandemic has proven difficult for many working couples, the two have come to embrace new opportunities as they’ve learned to work from home alongside their two daughters.

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