Irene Brisson is an architectural scholar and designer invested in the study and implementation of more inclusive and equitable design practices. They center historically marginalized narratives of architecture and building practices in Haiti and the greater Caribbean.

As a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, Irene is completing a dissertation on practices of communication in the design of Haitian residential architecture through ethnographic fieldwork with contractors, architects, and residents. Considering speech, gesture, drawing, and building as inclusive categories of communication, she examines how design interactions vary in complex relationships of class, education, language, race, and nationality to reproduce and challenge the status quo.
Irene’s other on-going research interests include the intersections of the rhetorical and representational values of homes in popular culture, choreography in relationship to the built environment, community-based visual ethnography, and the politics of inclusion of people with marginalized gender, racial, and disabled identities in the built environment.


Ph.D. Candidate, Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

M.S. Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

M.Arch. Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation & Planning, Columbia University

S.B. Art & Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


“Damage and Repair: Imagining Collective Dwelling in rural Haiti.” Thresholds 48, Kin (April 2020): 106-15.
Chun, Alice Min Soo, and Irene E. Brisson, eds. Ground Rules in Humanitarian Design. AD Reader. Chichest, West Sussex UK: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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