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

Jeremy Burke is a City and Architectural Designer and Researcher interested in how new modeling techniques can describe complex social systems. At Harvard, Jeremy graduated from the inaugural cohort of the Harvard MDE program, where he developed research around design criteria for innovation districts operating in synergy with logistics hubs and developed industrial infrastructure to support local agriculture. Jeremy explores how traditional design methodologies can be informed through computational thinking. The resulting systems-level understanding of a space can be used to inform the design and development of sustainable architectural and infrastructure projects and to foster healthy communities. In addition, Jeremy has worked with a variety of start-ups to plan, market, and create new strategies for continued growth. Prior to his joint thesis with Ramon at Harvard, Jeremy worked with Kennedy Violich Architecture, BRU Architects, and Alon Development, and has experience completing a wide range of projects from smart sustainable houses, to modern renovations within historical contexts, and the master plan and design of a four million square foot resort and entertainment facility. Jeremy is originally from Santa Fe, NM.

Jeremy Burke
Co-Founder

Master in Design Engineering

Harvard University (2018)

Bachelor of Architecture

Cornell University (2011)

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Ramon Gras is a City and Infrastructure Researcher and Designer from Barcelona, working on the urban innovation space. At Harvard, Ramon graduated from the inaugural cohort of the Harvard MDE program, where he developed research around design criteria for innovation districts operating in synergy with logistics hubs. Prior to developing his joint thesis with Jeremy at Harvard, Ramon worked at Ferrovial’s Innovation office in London, where he led design and technology projects at the London Heathrow Airport and the London Underground. Ramon developed at MIT urban design projects for the Kendall Square expansion and Somerville Innovation Districts in the Boston Area. Ramon’s thesis at MIT addressed the consolidation problem in air freight transportation by designing an advanced Business Intelligence platform. He expanded his training at MIT after working as a designer in major infrastructure projects involving bridge design, maritime infrastructure, high speed rail, and architectural design (a Richard Rogers project). Ramon’s early research at BarcelonaTech focused on bridge design, high performance materials, and nanotechnology applications for structural engineering. Ramon is interested in enhancing innovation around Cities, Technology and Infrastructure, by designing creative and rigorous interdisciplinary solutions to address large, complex challenges facing the cities of the future.

Ramon Gras
Co-Founder

Master in Design Engineering

Harvard University (2018)

 

MEng in Systems Engineering

MIT (2015)

MSc Civil Engineer & City Designer

BarcelonaTech (2010)

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Fernando Yu
Economist
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PhD in Economics

Harvard University (2019)

 

MS in Economics

Harvard University (2014)

MA in Economics

Universidad de San Andres (2009)

Fernando Yu is a PhD economist from Harvard University interested in productive diversification strategies of countries, regions and cities. Fernando’s research combines economic modeling and Big Data analysis to study the tradeoffs between diversification opportunities and growth strategies, utilizing state of the art statistical tools, network analysis and economic modeling, both from the perspective of job creation but also economic, fiscal and financial risk mitigation. As a Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Fernando developed a framework to evaluate the financial risk of alternative growth strategies. This tool was implemented by the Ministry of Economics of Buenos Aires for the Economic Development Plan 2019. Previously, he has worked at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund where he developed a strategy to evaluate and measure the cost of trade wars on the world economy and as a consultant for the Inter American Development Bank where he studied the impact of the financial crisis on international trade flows. In his past experience, Fernando has launched a data science firm working at the intersection of data science and economics to provide solutions to technology companies and data-driven organizations. Fernando is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Gauthier
de La Ville-Baugé

Gauthier is in charge of Project Management, Business Development, Communication and Marketing at Aretian. He graduated from IE University in July 2019 where he studied a Bachelor in International Relations with minors in Business Development, Management and Artificial Intelligence. Raised in Paris, he got to discover the full international experience by living in different cities such as San Francisco, London, Rabat, Madrid, and now Boston. Before Aretian, Gauthier worked in the creation of ecological real estate where he developed projects to build wooden infrastructures in France. He was also part of a research team working for the European Commission on the topic of Cybersecurity, addressing the issue of security of the European Union's citizens, companies, and states online. Gauthier also developed a project with his fellows of IE University called "Water for Niger" which aimed at funding the creation of a water pipes system in suburban Niger. He plays tennis and loves sci-fi literature.

BA in International Relations | IE University (2019)

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Jordan Kruguer

Jordan Kruguer is an undergraduate at Harvard College studying applied mathematics and physics. As a researcher for labs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Harvard University, Jordan has contributed to studies in systems neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, the Digital Humanities, Circular Economy, and Sustainability. Jordan has also studied and contributed to projects related to Cultural and Social Anthropology, Design, Urbanism, Architecture, and Materials Science. Jordan is interested in the novel application of rigorous concepts from the physical sciences and mathematics to problems in these domains in order to improve the equity and sustainability of social systems and the built environment. As an intern at Aretian, Jordan works on data processing and analytics, model building, reporting, and software development.

BA in Applied Mathematics and Physics | Harvard University (2021)

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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

Sustainable Cities and Communities Leadership Award - CogX2020 Festival

Tech and Startup Mover and Shaker Thought Leader - BostInno

UrbanNext and Actar Network Urban Design Firm

 

INSPIRATION

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.

 

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.

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Ildefons Cerdà

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.

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Évariste Galois

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.

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Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand

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.