Summer intern spotlight: Francesca Dong


Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
University: Wellesley College (Massachusetts)
Major: Architecture and Political Science

Meet Francesca, our amazing architectural intern who is part of the billionBricks team in Mumbai. While at billionBricks, Francesca is working on roof structure design for powerHYDE and a solar lamp project for weatherHYDE. Francesca is especially passionate about community impact through architecture and utilizing sustainable design.

Francesca is a skilled athlete and a member of the varsity swim team at Wellesley. She also likes to spend her time traveling, cooking, or practicing her photography skills. Below Francesca answers a few questions about herself and what she hopes to accomplish while at billionBricks.

What excites you about interning with billionBricks?

I found it most exciting to work on site and interact directly with underprivileged communities. I had never worked in Asia before and I wanted to experience first-hand the environment in Mumbai. Additionally, as an architecture and political science double major, the humanitarian mission of billionBricks really inspired and motivated me to join the team. I am passionate about sustainable design, and billionBricks gave me the opportunity to apply my political science background to tangible design solutions that are being implemented across various third world countries today. I wanted to affect the socioeconomic living situations of people living in poverty by implementing green housing options.

What is your background in architecture and design?

I study architecture at Wellesley College and take architecture studios at MIT. At Wellesley, I primarily explore abstract design concepts and physical space. I also have extensive knowledge on architectural history. I have done research on the impact of architecture and art in refugee camps and hope to apply my knowledge to how billionBricks designs can reduce the amount of slums in third world countries. 

How has your experience living in Mumbai affected how you view the issue of homelessness?

Living in Mumbai has profoundly affected my outlook on homelessness because severely disadvantaged families are so prevalent on the daily streets. Everywhere I go in Mumbai, I see large communities of slums and I am constantly reminded of the intense poverty that is omnipresent in India, as well as many other countries in Asia. By encountering this poverty in such a visceral manner I am able to design the most efficient and useful housing solutions for bB.

What is your most memorable experience while living in Mumbai?

I have met so many amazing people through my program! Since I work with architectureBRIO employees in Mumbai, I have been integrated into the work culture of their firm and love exploring the city with them. Furthermore, I have really enjoyed sampling local cuisines and trying different ethnic varieties of Indian dishes.

Prasoon KumarComment