Tekuma Frenchman is a multidisciplinary urban design and innovation firm, defining the future of urbanism through original perspectives, shaped by the intelligence and expertise of some of the most visionary minds from across the industry. Our expertise lies in the application of digital technology to city design through cutting-edge research that emerges from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thus, creating 21st century cities where innovation and the digital economy thrives.
To date, we have designed over 40 cities around the world, working closely with governments, policy-makers, city planners and developers to formulate a practical, technology-astute vision for the future.
Underpinning everything that we do is the dedication to create greater value for all of mankind, by designing transformative places that are productive, positive and prosperous for all.
We draw on decades of experience in the art and science of city-making, cutting-edge technology and urban analytics to create clear and actionable strategies for transforming regions, cities and places.
We cross the inherent attributes of a place with its future potentials by taking a holistic approach to design, formulating functional development solutions that are aesthetically beautiful, digitally enabled, and culturally sensitive.
By collaborating with thinkers and creators from leading urban research institutions, including MIT and Harvard, the Innovation Lab propels urban design into the future, transforming its potential.
This hub focuses on bringing new urban development products, processes, and organizations into being by partnering with academic entrepreneurs and start-up companies, facilitated by our deep expertise.
Founded in 1983, the MIT Center for Real Estate is uniquely positioned to help the real estate industry increase its efficiency, prosperity, and social responsibility. Through research and education initiatives, MIT/CRE develops innovations to help practitioners build responsibly and profitably.
This research and development laboratory for the built environment measures the financial and economic performance of innovation in real estate, design and planning.
For 40 years, Prof. Dennis Frenchman has taught and practiced across Asia, Europe South America and the USA. Currently Director of the MIT Center for Real Estate, and former head of the City Design and Development Program, his illustrious career has also seen him act as External Advisor on urban livability to the President of the World Bank.
Frenchman’s award-winning work focuses on the making and transformation of cities through digital design and the development of 21st century industry clusters. Widely-known in the field of urban design, his publications include Technological Imagination and the Historic City (2008, Ligouri, with William J. Mitchell, et al), he has also been recognized by Progressive Architecture, the American Institute of Architects, and awarded three citations from the American Planning Association for the most outstanding projects in the USA.
Hailing from Beijing, Kun Qian holds a Master of Architecture and Real Estate from MIT and is also former Chairman of MIT China Real Estate Innovation Forum. Qian is an entrepreneur and urban strategist, guides the practice through his rich academic and professional experience, while also leading all China-related projects.
Marwan Aboudib is lead partner in the Middle East. With dual Master’s degrees in architecture and real estate development from MIT; His interest lies at the intersection of culture, technology and cities. Marwan was recognized as one of 10 innovators under the age of 35 by MITTechnology Review and a Forbes 30 under 30 for his work on smart cities. He also is a featured speaker having collaborated with McKinsey, BCG and the United Nations on the topic of future cities in the digital era.
Originally from French Canada, Naomi Hébert has a Bachelor and Master of Architecture degree from McGill University. In the USA, Naomi worked for an innovation-lead real estate and design studio based in Cambridge, MA., and for Mapdwell, another MIT startup that built the world’s leading platform for solar rooftop mapping. Prior to Boston, Naomi worked at SOM in New York, and Kengo Kuma in Paris. She currently oversees design and production across all projects at Tekuma Frenchman.
With an acute sense of detail and unmatched design sensibilities, Mr Jun directs the visual content developed by Tekuma Frenchman. Prior, he established a design and rendering studio with clients in Europe and in North America. He was involved in large scale projects such as Jinan North Masterplan, KAEC Aggregate, Fili Park Development in Moscow.
Mr Jun received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Architecture from McGill University in 2010 and 2014. He continued his study in IAAC Barcelona, Spain after graduation and received his master degree in 2015.
Tatiana has a strong passion towards the notion of context, memory, and multi-sensory space when it comes to developing urban and architectural strategies to create well connected and inclusive designs, using all the disciplines architecture has to offer.
Tatiana Mitri joins TF as an architect and project manager. She has graduated with honors from Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts with a Master Degree in Architecture.
Jingqiu is an associate at Tekuma Frenchman. As an urban designer, Mr Tang has worked for well-known international companies, including Arup Hong Kong and the Shanghai East China Architectural Design Research Institute. His realm of practice includes new town planning, tourism resort planning, urban renewal, transport hub design and commercial complex design.
He holds a Bachelor of Urban Planning from Southeast University and a Master of Urban Design from the University of Hong Kong received with distinction.
Mr Chen’s experience sits at the unique intersection of landscape and architecture. He has worked on large scale complex master plans from design to implementation. His topics of research included productive landscapes and phytoremediation.
While Mr Chen is a recent landscape graduate, he has worked for over a decade at prestigious architectural practices in China, namely the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and the Beijing DADOU Architectural design company.
Mr Zhang is an emerging architect and urban designer, recipiant of numerous design awards during the course of his graduate studies at Politecnico Di Milano.
Prior to joining the Teuma Frenchman team, he worked for leading design design firms in Europe and China, namely UNStudio and Office Offcourse. There he was involved in large scale master plans and architectural projects such as the Huanggang Innovation Zone, Lishui River Masterplan, and the Guiyang MIX mall.
Xiaoxuan holds a bachelor of Architecture from Xian University of Architecture and Technology, and a Master of Urban Design from National University of Singapore. As an architect and urban designer, Xiaoxuan has worked on a number of urban design and architectural projects in Xi’an and Shenzhen, such as the Hongling Middle School and the Qinglong Temple Masterplan. He joined the Tekuma Frenchman Beijing team in 2022.
Marked by her experience in southern China and its greater bay area, Xinyan has long focused on sustainable and resilient landscapes. Since joining the Tekuma Frenchman team in Rotterdam, she’s carried on that intent, working on coastal flood-prone developments and arid climate master plans, rethinking the future of living with water.
Prior to Tekuma Frenchman, she was a landscape designer at AECOM in China. She holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Delft University of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from South China University of Technology.
Hailing from the south coast of China with its incredible urbanization, Peishan developed an interest in urban regeneration, and the balancing act of land and water. She navigates seamlessly in her work from landscape to urban design strategies, from public space design to regional planning.
Peishan joined the Rotterdam Tekuma Frenchman team as an urban designer and landscape architect in 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the South China University of Technology and a Master of Science in Urbanism from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Michaela Schippl is a professional architect with 20+ years of international experience in master planning, urban design, landscape design, and architecture for governments and private developers. With over a decade of practice in the fast developing Middle East market, Michaela worked with many thought leaders on the vision and positioning of master plan projects.
Mrs. Schippl joined the Tekuma Frenchman Rotterdam team in 2021 as a senior urban designer, working as a design lead on creative solutions for urban design, building typologies, and landscape architecture. Her core expertise in urban planning includes sustainable communities, public realm, and housing.
Mr. Żelaznowski is an architect and an urban designer. His knowledge in city making and design experience were shaped during his work at MLA+ in Rotterdam. He has studied and worked in Australia, Italy and in the Netherlands while focusing mostly on Russian and Chinese contexts of rapidly developing, high-density urban projects. He also participated in many workshops and conferences worldwide, including in Poland, Germany, Ireland and Norway and co-authored two publications about Baltic cities.
In addition to being a Tekuma Frenchman Rotterdam office since 2022, Mr. Żelaznowski contributes to the foundation Instytut Metropolitalny as their representative in the Mobility and Transportation Council by the Mayor of Gdańsk. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Gdańsk University of Technology and a Bachelor in Architecture at Università di Bologna. Mr. Żelaznowski joins the team as an urban designer.
Ali Khodr is an architect, urban designer and historian whose work intersects research, education and practice. He received his Bachelor in Architecture (B-Arch) from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and completed his Masters of Science in Architectural Studies (MSarchS) with honors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2017. Khodr has work, research and teaching experience across Lebanon, Poland, Spain, Italy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United States. The latest of these initiatives was working as an Exhibitions and Commissions Production Manager at the Arts and Creative Industries (ACI) department within the Royal Commission for AlUla. Prior to that, he worked with PwC as a Consulting Project Manager for the same department and client. Mr. Khodr joins the Tekuma Frenchman team as a project manager.
Zichang begins his design process with a deep exploration of the local context and culture surrounding each project and site. He is inspired by the density of the cities he works in across Asia, and by the challenge of designing large-scale, mixed-use developments that enhance both the environment and the human experience. Many of his projects, such as 548 Ploenchit Tower in Bangkok , Avania complex in Jakarta, Qingdao cruise terminal in Qingdao, and Organization of Islamic cooperation, include diverse buildings that remake city centers by bringing public spaces, nature, and transit connections to some of the world’s densest neighborhoods. As a design leader in Shenzhen studio, Zichang works to establish a synergy between clients and the multi-disciplinary design teams he leads—bringing out the best in everyone, and cultivating solutions from each team member’s unique expertise. He finds joy in determining the craft, clarity, and resolution of a larger design vision, working from the broader concepts to the smallest of details with rigor and purpose.
Jingcheng holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Suzhou University. He has worked on urban design and architectural projects, such as Shenzhen-Zhuhai cooperation demonstration zone. He joined the Tekuma Frenchman Shenzhen team as an urban designer and architect in 2022.
Liang is an urban designer and architect based in China. Prior to joining Tekuma Frenchman, she worked for well-known firms, including HPP Architects and THAPE. There she lead the design of urban renewal projects, new town planning, TOD hubs, mixed-use developments, and heritage sites. She brings a rich experience to the team, having worked across many scales and context in China.
As an urban designer at Tekuma Frenchman, Yuechen Cui has worked on a wide range of urban design projects from urban renewal to concept new town planning. He has long focused on new urban design techniques and applies them to projects. Mr Cui holds a Bachelor of Urban Planning from Beijing University of Technology with distinction and a Master of Urban Design from the University of Hong Kong.
David Khanh Lafond is an urban designer at Tekuma Frenchman originally from Montréal, Canada. He has studied architecture at l’Université de Montréal, McGill University and Università Iuav di Venezia. Prior to Tekuma Frenchman, David was an architectural designer at Lafond Architecte working on high-rise residential buildings across the province of Québec. Currently, his interest lies in bridging the gap between the AEC industry and emerging technologies such as the blockchain, AR/VR and AI.