WHO WE ARE
Aretian | Urban Analytics and Design is a team dedicated to helping communities unlock their full potential, providing high quality of life and distributed prosperity to the people who live and work there.
Our design consultancy and research group addresses a major societal challenge in developed countries: how to build urban ecosystems characterized by high quality of life, economic resilience, and environmental sustainability.
Founded in 2018 by Jeremy Burke and Ramon Gras, the Aretian team is composed of Harvard affiliates from various schools at the university, including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard Business School (HBS), and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS).
MEET THE ARETIAN TEAM
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Fellows at The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - Harvard University Venture Incubation Program (VIP) - Harvard Innovation Lab
Dan Schodek Excellence in Design Award - Harvard GSD
Campus Innovation Award - Harvard Office for Sustainability
Our work is based on providing continuity to the vision developed by masters such as Cerdà, Durand, and Galois.
Each of these visionaries worked to make quantitative models capable of shedding light on critical qualitative challenges facing their society. Through their efforts, they sought to help the community around them achieve its fullest potential -- a goal that is eloquently summarized in the concept of Arete.
Our name, Aretian, comes from the Greek Arete (ἀρετή).
The word is translated to mean moral virtue and excellence of any kind. Arete is the virtue governing social interaction, good citizenship, and leadership. It is understood, in a more general sense, to be the act of living up to one's fullest potential.
Ildefons Cerdà is considered the father of modern urbanism, and the first person to write a systematic treaty on urban design not only as an art, but also as a scientific discipline. We see his systems approach to urban challenges as a key source of inspiration for urban designers, particularly in this age of rapid and abrupt technological changes. Cerdà's vision reminds us to conduct analysis and design with a rigorously human-centered approach.
Évariste Galois is the father of Group Theory and a major forerunner of Network Theory. His theoretical work was foundational for developing mathematical models to describe complex systems. At Aretian, we owe many insights to Galois when exploring what types of design interventions will lead to a more prosperous society.
Louis Durand was a visionary architect and theorist who produced a systematic method for analyzing building design typologies and their influence on human behavior. We see Durand’s vision and work as a guide for integrating design criteria for the built environment with its technology systems. Following Durand’s vision, we believe that the human experience can be elevated through the proper design and analysis of architectural environments.