Dr. Laura Narvaez Zertuche is an architect, urban designer, and a spatial scientist. She is a Partner in the Urban Design team at Foster + Partners, where she leads people movement and data analytics service streams within the firm. She has 17 years of experience working in urban design and master planning internationally, primarily in Mexico, UK, the Middle East and Asia. Joining Foster + Partners since 2015, her work incorporates evidence-based and research-led design that combines informed decision-making with simulation-powered design tools and strategic development of methodologies with their application to architecture and urban design. She is a specialist in assessing how issues such as pedestrian footfall, economic activity and social interactions will impact the viability, growth, and long-term evolution of projects, ranging from new cities to complex buildings.
Laura’s academic and practice-based research is concerned with the application of interdisciplinary design methods involving the relationships among architecture, data-driven urban morphology, and spatial economics. She is currently exploring the aspects of cognitive urbanism as a Lecturer at the Chair of Cognitive Sciences in ETH Zurich and has taught, published, and lectured internationally. Her work also includes pro-bono projects working as an advisor for an international multi-disciplinary think-tank called Urban AI, which investigates the ethical modes of governance and sustainable uses of artificial intelligence in cities. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Laura is a graduate from Tec de Monterrey. She gained a MSc and PhD in Architecture and the Built Environment from the Space Syntax Laboratory at The Bartlett, UCL.