Tamara Knox is currently a Masters in City Planning candidate at MIT. She graduated from Stanford University with honors in 2012 majoring in Urban Studies. Between her studies, she worked for an urban economics consulting firm in Berkeley called Economic and Planning Systems and a development firm in Los Angeles specializing in wholesale commercial kitchens called Civic Enterprise. What she appreciated most at this development firm was that they worked closely with public agencies to help streamline the permitting process for tenants in their kitchen. This gave people with fewer resources access to starting their own businesses. These experiences showed her the role developers can play in transforming people’s lives when they are daring enough to provide inspiring examples of projects that challenge standard practices.
Her goal is to become a developer who uses a holistic urban planning mindset to navigate the complex challenge presented by the need to develop, while preserving the character of neighborhoods. She is interested in rethinking funding and ownership structures for development projects and how to encourage nourishing social interactions through the physical and financial design of her projects.
She started a development firm called Frolic while at MIT through the DesignX accelerator. The firm is exploring how to build permanently below-market urban cohousing projects.
When she isn’t nerding out about the built environment, she enjoys watching people light up when they dive into a giant scoop of ice cream or realize how many layers there are in an elegant cocktail.