Our Story

Over the past seven years, we've been studying the different types of conflicts that affect territories around the world:  From the impacts of the Arab Israeli conflict on the longest continuously inhabited city on Earth... to the Syrian/Jordanian border where thousands of refugees are stranded in No Man's Land... to Central America where drought and climate change are propelling migration to the United States... to Bosnia & Croatia where the Balkan Conflict destroyed invaluable cultural heritage and patrimony... to New York City where children attend the most racially segregated public schools in the nation...


Conflict relies on “othering”: the systematic use of a device that demarcates a difference between an “us” and a “them”. These devices can range from racial to national to socioeconomic. Similarly, territorial conflict is based on the “this is ‘ours’ and that is ‘theirs’,” premise that permeates the built environment. This is evident in neighborhoods, cities, and nation-states. These universal attitudes have led us to believe that the antidote to conflict is empathy. Therefore, if a conflict is spatial, then so too must empathy. At Territorial Empathy, we aim to understand “othering” and identify opportunities for applied empathy. Through this methodology, we aim to advocate for mediation, equity, and resolution to complex urban issues around race, climate, and migration.


Our People

Juan  Herrera, Design Technologist

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Juan Daniel Herrera is a digital designer, technologist and entrepreneur from Bogota, Colombia and based in New York City. He is passionate about creating work and telling stories that explore and experiment with design, creativity and technology. Juan has worked with brands and clients to build their digital presence and work on project and campaigns for both internal and external audiences.Resourceful, committed and hard working, Juan is relentless in finding the best way to tell a great story or execute a successful project. He spends his free time in Brooklyn playing soccer, taking pictures and eating at Smorgasburg.

Zarith Pineda, Founder &

Executive Director

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Zarith Pineda is an architectural and urban designer. In 2017, she was appointed to teach Digital Design Techniques, Urban Theory, and Data Visualization at Columbia University as an Adjunct Associate Professor. At Columbia her research on water diplomacy, spatial justice, and conflict urbanism awarded her the prestigious Lowenfish Memorial Prize. Zarith has practiced at a number of national/international architectural and urban design firms where she was involved in a broad range of institutional, residential, and planning projects. Zarith’s work has been published and exhibited in New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Paris, Brussels, Venice, Amman and Tel Aviv. She appreciates a good IPA, listening to podcasts, and FaceTiming her genius nephew, Oliver.

JD Coronado, Director of Operations

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JD comes from a revenue management, business intelligence and consulting background. Some of the companies he has worked with include Hilton Inc, SHL trade company, Brigard & Urrutia and MyPhoneMD. He graduated from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá where he completed a Bachelor’s of Business Administration specializing in Management. Previously, he attended Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management where he majored in Finance, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. He brings professional expertise from Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and New York to TE. In his spare time, he enjoys practicing his Portuguese and perfecting his famous culinary skills.

Victoria Vuono, Architectural and Urban Designer

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Victoria is an architectural and urban designer based in New York. Her architectural work experience spans numerous typologies in scales providing a broad understanding of the city. She has recently completed her graduate studies, obtaining a Master's in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University. Her research focused on equity through productive landscapes of which she was awarded the Lowenfish Memorial Prize. In her free time she enjoys cooking and spending quality time with her cat, Silvio.

Tola Oniyangi, Urban Planner, Design Technologist

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Tola explores human-centered design through technology. Her passions involve merging research, analysis and computational design through the lens of the human experience. Recent graduate of Columbia GSAPP with Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Urban Planning degrees. Open to job opportunities at the intersection of design and technology.

Valentin Fauveau, Data Scientist, Biomedical Engineer

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Valentin is a Data Scientist and Biomedical Engineer, he graduated from the University of the Andes in Biomedical Engineering and with a double master's degree from Télécom Paristech in Medical Imaging and Artificial Intelligence, and from Columbia University in Computational Bioengineering.

Cecilia Gonzalez- Rubio,

Architectural Designer

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© 2023 by Territorial Empathy 501(c)(3)