A man smiling for the camera.

David Aurelio

"I became attracted to visual arts and design from an early age."

San Francisco, California

Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Faculty of Architecture and Design, Bachelor of Science; Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Faculty of Architecture and Design, Double Degree Program “Alta Scuola Politecnica”, Master of Science; University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Institute of Urban, Planning and Urban Design, Doctor of Philosophy

Born and raised in Torino, the first capital of Italy, Aurelio became attracted to visual arts and design from an early age. He cultivated his interest by attending an Art Lyceum and developed it professionally by enrolling at the Architecture Faculty of the Politecnico di Torino, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. His approach to architecture and design was influenced by the writings of Aldo Rossi, Heinrich Tessenow, Rem Koolhaas, and Christopher Alexander; as well as the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvaro Siza, and Rafael Moneo. Upon graduation, Aurelio moved to Germany to pursue a Ph.D. in urban studies in a joint program involving the University of Oregon. This experience led him to experiment with participatory design and to exchange ideas with international scholars and professionals.

Briefly describe your current day to day.
It’s hard to describe how a day unfolds because of the diversity of activities required for each project. Some days I begin the day with a project meeting to catch up with my team and understand what to do next. Some days I do full-time research or analytical work and on other days I have brainstorming sessions to unlock team creativity. The bottom line is that every day is unique, and that’s one of the most exciting part of working as a strategist!

Regardless, I like to begin the day with a morning snack and, depending on the nature of the project, work from different places to refresh my mind (the comfy armchairs of the common area have become my favorite light-activity spots).

What advice would you give someone applying to the DSD Program?
Take your time. When you work on the case study, talk out loud to clarify your thoughts and use the principle of “fail fast, fail forward”, i.e. test your ideas multiple times until you know you got it right. Lastly, feel the joy of designing!

Describe the San Francisco office in 3 words or less?
Fun, relaxed, creative.