Joanne Cheung is an immigrant who grew up in a dozen cities around the world. She makes drawings, designs spaces, and organizes and participates in large-scale collaborations. At the moment, she’s writing an essay for an upcoming Harvard Berkman Klein Center essay collection on technology and ethics, and thinking about the parallels between public space and social media, land use regulation and user interface, and how we can design the architectural conditions for contemporary, democratic life.


The City’s Book Of Play

A collection of activities to make community engagement a part of everyday life.  

Project partners: City of San José Mayor’s Office of Tech & Innovation, Department of Transportation, and Gehl.

The project is a part of a Knight Foundation initative and my work at IDEO CoLab.

Buena Vista Pop-Up

A pop-up at the park that builds dialogue with under-engaged residents around technology and equity.  

“City of San José, Design Firms Host Pop-Up to Solicit Feedback About Self-Driving Vehicles,” San José Inside.

Project partners: City of San José Mayor’s Office of Tech & Innovation, Department of Transportation, and Gehl. Community partners: Local Color and CreaTV

The project is a part of a Knight Foundation initative and my work at IDEO CoLab.

A New Town Hall

A re-imagined historic building type that supports democracy in the 21st century.

This project investigates democracy in the age of social media through the lens of the rural New Hampshire town hall. As a place of assembly, the architecture of the town hall has not evolved beyond its colonial meeting house origins to support the scale and speed at which people communicate today. What should the contemporary town hall—and the practice of everyday politics both online and offline—look like in a networked society?

Collaborators: Aimilios Davlantis Lo (model fabrication), Hanna Kim (poster illustration), Mindy Seu (graphic design) 


Photographs of the ocean collaged into a book of poems.

“Shifting the ‘Horizon’,” The Harvard Gazette.

Exhibited at Harvard Global Health Institute’s Sustainability Showcase. Production support from the Harvard Visualization Lab and a Sustainability Grant from the Harvard Office for Sustainability.


An interactive installation that turned the post-climate change waterfront into a beach party.  

“Coastal Cambridge,” Harvard Political Review.

“‘Postcards from the future’: Joanne K. Cheung envisions what design can reveal about our planet,” Harvard GSD News.

Full List of Collaborators

Exhibited at Kirkland Gallery at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the 2016 Hacking Arts Festival at MIT Media Lab.


A pavilion materializing 200 crowdsourced designs that have never been built.

“Class Act,” Wallpaper.

“This Year’s Design Miami Pavilion Has Odd Looks—and Unexpected Creators,” Wired.

“The Most Interesting Projects From a Newly Inclusive Design Miami,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine.

“A Pavilion of Tiny Pink Buildings,” Azure.

Collaborators: Douglas Harsevoort, Steven Meyer, Jenny Shen, Yiliu Shen-Burke.

Commissioned by Design Miami. Named Finalist in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Award.

Filmballad of Mamadada

A feature-length biopic of a Dada artist made by playing a game of exquisite corpse with 50 people.

“Body Politic,” Artforum.

Trailer and Full List of Collaborators

Produced and directed Lily Benson and Cassandra Guan. Screenings include Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Lisbon International Independent Film Festival, and Athens Avant Garde Film Festival.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

The Icelandic landscape as seen by a human and a computer.

This project was exhibited at Machine Experiences II: Art Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence, Rainbow Unicorn, Berlin.

Vanishing Point

Self-portraits taken with a daguerreotype camera where the artist disappears.  


This project was exhibited at Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College

Users V. Muses

An illustrated talk about the past of user-centered design.

Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University