I am an assistant professor of urban studies at the University of Washington in Tacoma. My current research focuses on the role of incremental housing production in segregation by income on the U.S. - Mexico border. My overall interest is in the role of architecture and urbanism in spatial discrimination of marginalized groups. My scholarly work incorporates aspects of housing studies, infrastructure studies, theories of justice in the city, and urban sociology.  

( 01 )


 December 2019

Ph.D. in Architecture, Texas A&M University

Dissertation: The Relationship between Housing Segregation and Housing Production on the U.S. - Mexico border. 

Advisors: Dr. Stephen Caffey, Dr. Cecilia Giusti, Dr. Shannon Van Zandt, Prof. Michael O'Brien

May 2019

Master of Urban Planning, Texas A&M University

Thesis: Environmental and Regulatory Risk Characteristics associated with the spread of Chagas Disease in the Rio Grande Valley

Advisors: Dr. Cecilia Giusti, Dr. Shannon Van Zandt, Dr. Stephen Caffey

June 2011

Diploma in Architecture (RIBA 2) The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design

Design thesis: How to build better colonias in Texas

Advisors: Prof. Robert Mull, Catrina Beevor, Prof. Peter Carl.


( 02 )



Modernism on the United States - Mexico border

1920 - 1970: Architecture of exploitation. In F. Lara & R. Loredo (Eds.), Architecture and Forced Exploitation: The Gulf of Mexico, 1920-1970.

Safarova, B., & Ledesma, E

Publisher: Ciudad Victoria COLOFON / Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas.

[copy available upon request]

Revise Resubmit

Standard Inequality: The Quiet Role Standardization Plays in Housing Segregation

Journal: Technology | Architecture + Design

[copy available upon request]

Summer 2015

Dialogo on the Border: Planning for Latino Communities in South Texas

Ledesma, E., Giusti, C., Safarova, B., Vasquez, L., & Valles Rojas, E.

Journal: Progressive Planning, Summer (204).




Learning from Collaborative Integration: The Hackathon as Design Charrette

Safarova, B., Ledesma, E., Luhan, G., Caffey, S., & Cecilia Giusti.

Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe. Vienna, Austria




( 03 )

Competitions / Exhibitions 


UC Berkeley Big Ideas Competition

Our team project Colonias Unidas 2.0 was selected from over 180 submissions as a finalist in 2014.


ARUP : Resilient Cities Competition

Runner up with the project: Learning from Lagos in the competition organized by ARUP and Engineers without Borders UK.


Royal Society for Arts: Resourceful Architect

My design thesis: Pavement for Las Lomas, Cass School in London was a runner up in the competition.


( 04 )

Professional Experience 

2012 - 2016

Buchan Group & Portland Desing, London

During my Ph.D. studies, I worked as a summer term designer and commercial masterplanner in London. 

2005 - 2012

Brooks/Murray Architects, London

Throughout my studies in London, I worked as an architectural assistant on mostly residential projects.


( 05 )


2020 Winter

2020 Fall

Introduction to Urban Design History & Theory University of Washington Tacoma

Undergraduate lecture class in the School of Urban studies. Provides an historical overview of urban design practice and its political economy, allowing students to learn about the intellectual trajectory of the discipline, both within and outside the structures of power.

2020 Winter

2020 Spring

2020 Fall

Urban Design studios

University of Washington Tacoma

Undergraduate studio class in the School of Urban studies.

Studio I: Introduction to the design of public spaces in the urban environment. Provides an understanding of the various factors considered in the design process. Introduces students to various design techniques.

Studio V: Focuses on neighborhood-level design interventions, allowing students to practice the skills they have acquired in all previous studios.

Studio VI: Capstone class that engages students in research and acquisition of stakeholder input, focusing on a particular community design challenge. The output is a professional report.

2014 -2018

Diversity Hackathon coordinator

Texas A&M University College Station

As a Research Assistant on the Diversity Council I organized four Diversity Hackathons / BuildDays: 24hr ideas competitions to enhance inclusion at Texas A&M.

2013 - 2015

Design Communication Foundation

Texas A&M University College Station

Undergraduate studio-format class of 20 students. Students learned throughout their freshman year foundation of visual communication: graphic design, typography, color theory, architectural drawing conventions, photography, 3D modelling, rendering, portfolio making, laser cutting.


( 06 )

Awards & Fellowships [more]

June, 2018

Texas A&M University Dissertation Fellowship for 2018 -2019

Awarded by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The fellowship is to support Ph.D. candidates in their final year of study with full funding. Fifteen fellows are selected annually based on academic performance, potential impact of scholarly work and financial need.

May, 2018

Partners in Learning Award of Excellence

This award is one of the Texas A&M University ACE Awards (Accountability, Climate, and Equity) and was sponsored by the Department of Disability Services. The award recognizes a staff member, faculty member, or administrator who has actively removed barriers for students with disabilities on campus. more info 

2016, 2017, 2018

Campus Climate Grant

Sponsored by the Department of Multicultural Services. This grant was awarded three times to the Diversity Council to support activities that promote inclusive campus climate. These grants were awarded in support of Diversity Hackathons in 2016, 2017, and 2018.