Iren Taran

Iren joined the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program in 2011. She holds a BA in Architecture from WSU School of Architecture and Construction Management. At PSU, her research interests include sustainable economic, social, and environmental development as well as planning practices that can bridge all three. Last year, she started her research work on the transformation of the urban planning system in the Post-Soviet Bloc which includes almost 30 countries. She is currently looking for opportunities to engage with professionals who have lived through economic, political and social transitions. She spent last summer in Nicaragua on a PSU International Community Development program gaining field experience. This summer, Iren is looking forward to interning with the Shenzhen Institute of Urban Planning and Design and the opportunity to work alongside local planners in China.

Iren’s introduction to international practice began while she was a student at WSU. She has assisted a team of professors in postwar studies and development strategies for the City of Kabul and Kabul University, Afghanistan. After graduation, Iren joined Yost Grube Hall, a U.S. based architecture and planning firm. Originally from Kazakhstan and proficient in Russian, she has coordinated joint efforts with partner firms in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Iren places a great deal of emphasis on close collaboration between professionals in the U.S. and overseas. For the past ten years, she worked on a wide variety of projects, ranging from educational facilities to campus and community planning. Her clients have included USAID, U.S. Department of State, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and a number of prominent universities. Iren has worked on projects in countries such as Pakistan, India, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Botswana and Nigeria.

Intellectual curiosity and drive to explore the world took her on travel adventures to Russia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Guatemala. When she is not juggling education, research and professional practice, Iren is hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Site Assignment: UPDIS, Shenzhen

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