Cape Cod Academy alumnus and son of our ownJanRapp, architect Gabriel Cira ’04 is heading up an important initiative to address the danger of climate change in Boston Harbor. Gabriel and his team created The Emerald Tutu, a proposal for infrastructural networks of interconnected floating biomatter mats used to prevent storm surge and incoming storm waves from flooding the Boston area. See details here.
The idea began when Gabriel’s team won the overall first prize in the 2018 MIT Climate Changed competition, and then was the recipient of the 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers innovation award in sustainable engineering. Recently, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced the award of a $256,000 research grant to help The Emerald Tutu become a reality.
In addition to leading The Emerald Tutu group—a small team of climate scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, and designers—Gabriel is a licensed architect and preservation consultant based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has always viewed The Emerald Tutu's flood protection measures as an urban-scale historic preservation. He is a professor in the History of Art at MassArt, where he teaches the Architecture of Boston course, and he teaches community-engaged architectural practice courses at Boston Architectural College. He has also taught at MIT and the University of Tokyo. After graduating from Cape Cod Academy, Gabriel went to MIT where he studied architecture, and then he completed a MArch (Masters of Architecture) degree program at Princeton University.
When asked if he had any advice for our current students, Gabriel replied, “Always challenge assumptions, never take things for granted. While it's tempting to imagine new utopian worlds, we must repair the world we have now.”