• visual artist | researcher | designer
    traveler | storyteller | writer

     

     

  • Elizabeth Ulanova, based in Cambridge-Boston, works at the intersection of culture, art, tech, and design. Academically, Elizabeth attended Columbia University (B.A, Visual Arts, Magna Cum Laude), the University of Cambridge (M.Phil, Sociology of Media and Culture, Twining Egginton Prize), and Harvard University Graduate School of Design (M.L.A, Landscape Architecture Candidate) as a full tuition Dean's Merit Scholar. Elizabeth is the founder of the startup, Recess (3x Harvard Spark Grant Award Recipient) at Harvard Innovation Lab and was also a teaching assistant at Harvard GSD. For Summer 2023, she was the artist-in-residence at Industry Lab as well as the Harvard JCHS Summer Fellow in urban community design. Elizabeth's current academic research focuses on the utilization of play equity as a holistic design approach for urban well-being. Her startup Recess currently hosts social fitness game sessions for adults that utilize playing children's games as a fresh perspective in meeting and building community in a post-Covid world.

     

    Elizabeth is a passionate writer proficient in various writing styles, with her first love being the art of crafting poetry and dialogue. As a survivor of domestic violence, a neurodivergent child of colored immigrants, and a first-generation American, Elizabeth’s artistry is deeply shaped by fluid, psychological storytelling. As a conceptual, mixed media artist, her artistic style and practice are described as ‘fluid memory’, and she has exhibited original artworks in New York, England, and Boston. Elizabeth's artwork ranges from abstract sculptures and fluid paintings to conceptual video installations and graphic renderings, making tangible the intangible emotions one experiences. Eager to push beyond conventional limits, Elizabeth initiated her independent study, at both Columbia and Harvard and helped initiate the first student art studio at Downing College University of Cambridge. As a sociologist, Elizabeth undertook research in the realm of new media communication, specifically exploring the influence of social media on contemporary romantic relationships.

     

    California-born, Elizabeth is a New Yorker at heart and has lived in Asia and Europe. Elizabeth has a lifelong love for travel and has visited countries on five continents. Professionally, Elizabeth has held management positions at tech startups and education NGOs, such as National President for The Ivy League Council, Co-Head of the US Expansion of Project Access International, and Director of Technology for FLIP National (New York). Prior to Columbia, she developed digital startups as the first-ever Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Richi Foundation (Boston), worked in business liaison, journalism, and corporate education (China), and studied Mandarin Chinese, after finishing high school early (California). Elizabeth is a proud mom of two adopted pitbulls, Brave (deceased) and Skylar, and can often be found driving with her dog.

  • Resume

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    For past positions and full resume, please refer to my Linkedin and my Resume
    Interdisciplinary Experienced, Internationally Educated, Versatile Artisan
  • Projects & Research

     

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    Not Just For Kids: An Inquiry Into The Foundations, Benefits, and Design Interventions Of Play Equity For Adults

    Advocating For the Fundamental Right to Play For Adults and the Creation of Playful Spaces As A Holistic Design Approach For Urban Well-Being

    September 2023 - December 2023

    Independent Study

    HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN

    This scholarly inquiry undertakes an exploration of the paradigm of ‘Adult Play Equity’, challenging prevailing notions that restrict play to the domain of childhood. Through an analysis of its definition, importance, and inherent characteristics, the paper illuminates the profound advantages that play confers upon adults, spanning realms such as mental health, physical vigor, and social-emotional development. The investigation extends across varied dimensions, from individual wellness to the broader arenas of society and urban landscapes, offering nuanced perspectives on the promotion, sustenance, and integration of ‘Play Equity’ into communal frameworks as a strategic design intervention for future cities. The paper culminates by underscoring the potential transformative impact of ‘Play Equity’ on adult lives and fervently advocating for its formal acknowledgment as an inalienable human right. Moreover, it underscores a notable gap in research concerning the significance of play in the context of adults, emphasizing the abundance of existing research in this domain specifically tailored to children. Consequently, this research study advocates for the imperative necessity of further scholarly investigations and practical design interventions aimed at fostering equitable opportunities for play for all ages.

    Advisors: Karen Janosky and Belinda Tato, Harvard University

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    "PlayScape Renewal: Transforming Rumney Marsh Landfill and Nahant Garbage Dump Into A Public Space For Natural Play"

    December 8, 2023

    LANDSCAPE architecture CORE IiI STUDIO FINAL REVIEW PRESENTATION

    HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN

    This project envisions the conversion of underutilized landscapes marked by landfills and garbage dumps, exemplified by locations such as Rumney Marsh and Nahant, into vibrant public spaces seamlessly harmonizing sustainability and playfulness across environmental, physical, and social realms. Rather than crafting a literal playground, the project's aim is the remediation of these sites, cleansing them and enhancing accessibility to allow visitors to freely navigate both the land and water, encouraging spontaneous and instinctual play. Even a former passive and unwelcoming landfill can metamorphose into an active ground for play. Drawing inspiration from the visionary architect Elger Blitz's concept of a world replete with active playscapes, this endeavor challenges the conventional demarcation of play areas. Instead, it embraces a design philosophy that eschews prescription, unlocking a realm of possibilities where sustainability and playfulness converge, fundamentally redefining the potential of suburban spaces. In doing so, it extends a compelling invitation to individuals of all ages to rediscover and reconnect with their innate inclination to engage in playful interactions with the landscape

     

    Advisors: Alex Wall, Harvard University

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    "Fluid Memory"

    Aug 18 2023 - SEPTEMBER 15 2023

    Solo art residency exhibition 2023

    Industry lab, Cambridge Massachusetts

    "Fluid Memory" emerges as an alchemy of artistic expression curated by Elizabeth Ulanova with the gracious patronage of the Industry Lab. This art exhibition serves as the ecological culmination of Ulanova's growth as an artist morphotically, academically, and deeply within introspection. Fluid Memory stands as a wayfarer to Ulanova's journey of deep love and heartbreaking loss, unrelenting death and small moments of everyday courage - transposing those intangibles, those wistful moments of a surprised laugh or the silent pause of a gazing breath into a tangible artwork. This odyssey became a psychological bridge within the 'play' of art-making, etching the realms of self-discovery, discordantly resonating with the surrounding cosmos, and intricately binding the experienced sensory.

     

    Curated by Justice Mcdaniel, Industry Lab

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    Project Re(Generation): A Cemetery For The Future

    April 26 2023

    Landscape Core II Studio FInal Review presentation

    Harvard Graduate School of Design Landscape Architecture

     

    “Where there is life, there is death, but where there is death, there is also life.”

     

    Life does not cease to exist after death, rather, death is a crucial stage of the regenerative life cycle for every life force on our planet. Project Re(Generation) places regenerative ecosystems as the technical foundation for our cemetery by both its novel interring sequence of biodegradable garment body suits (filled with mushroom spores for mycelium production) as green, toxin-neutralizing entombments for those below ground, to the visual, curated experiences of the vegetative canopy above ground as heliophilic biomarkers philosophically nodding to process of decay, decomposition, and ultimately the growth of new life springing from the past life that has passed on. Giving way the keyholders to the next generation of lives to restore, renew, and revitalize the ecosystems that we experience.

     

    Advisors: Craig Douglas, Harvard University

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    "Alchemy: Between the Past and Magic"

    Dec 14 2022

    Independent Study FInal Review presentation

    HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN

    alchemy: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
     

    Inspired by the traditional craftsmanship of Chinese artistry, “Alchemy: Between the Past and Magic” embeds the ancient philosophies of the intellectual sisters of painting, poetry, and landscape.

     

    Through contemporary compositions between the magical realism of nature and the organic connections of timeless materiality, “Alchemy” probes its own conceptual process through inquisitive methodology and visual abstraction.

     

    Advisors: Ed Eigen, Gary Hilderbrand, Harvard University

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    "The Influence of Social Media on Modern Romantic Relationships" 2019-2020

    GRADUATE SOCIOLOGY RESEARCH THESIS CONDUCTED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY. SUPERVISOR: DR. RIKKE AMUNDSEN

    The role of social media technology has had a profound influence on modern romantic relationships in the past decade. This dissertation critically reviews empirical literature from the field of new media studies (situated within the broader field of media and communications) that focus on the heightened impact of social media usage in the beginning to maintenance stages of romantic relationships. Moreover, gaps in the current literature are explored, such as limitations in the demographics and romantic relationship stages that are analyzed for data collection. For example, the paucity of published literature regarding how social media affects relationships past once users meet their partners is examined. Furthermore, this review questions the scope and focus of existing empirical case studies as well as highlights the importance of literary representation and the cruciality of diversity in this emerging field. It is important to note that this research is focused specifically on social media (such as Facebook), however, this does not exclude dating websites and applications (such as Tinder) that utilize social media profiles within its algorithms. Ultimately, future research must become more invested in inclusivity, namely who and what is represented both topically and empirically, to allow for more insightful exploration into this burgeoning research area regarding the influence of social media on modern romantic relationships.

     

    Advisor: Rikke Amundsen, University of Cambridge

     

    Conference Presentations:

    • October 2020: Downing College, University of Cambridge, Downing Graduate Conference 2020 (Select Research Presenter) - "The Influence of Social Media on Modern Romantic Relationships"
    • January 2020: Downing College, University of Cambridge, MCR-SCR Seminar Night (Select Main Research Speaker) - "Social Intimacy in an Age of Tech-Inspired-Culture"
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    "Clashings of Art, Culture, and Technology in a Digital Anthropological World" 2018

    STUDIO-BASED THESIS COMPOSED OF A SERIES OF ORIGINAL SHORT FILMS, KINETIC ART INSTALLATIONS, AND ACADEMIC INQUIRY. CONDUCTED VIA BOTH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY VISUAL ARTS HONORS SENIOR THESIS I (ADVANCED VIDEO) & SENIOR THESIS II STUDIO AS WELL AS HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDIES. PROJECTS SUPERVISED BY MATTHEW BUCKINGHAM (DEPARTMENT CHAIR), NICOLA LOPEZ (DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR), SERRA VICTORIA BOTHWELL FELS, AND SONDRA PERRY.

     For my theses at Columbia University, I created original short films and installations that showcased alternative universes set in the immediate future. These storylines were centered around the modification or mediation of human behavior through fictional technology. For example, “Voices” critiqued the nature of internal transparency and surveillance within society, through the lens of a fictionalized world that mandates its citizens to wear telepathic brain microchips. Likewise, “Remember” focused on the subjective role of memory through the apparatus of glasses that record and playback every one of life’s moments. The goal of these projects was to present the sociological questions that inevitably arise when technology and culture overlap. Hence, I wanted audiences to digest my hypotheses in an engaging, visceral manner (through media) while I visually critiqued our human behavioral and cultural patterns. In my last thesis film “Connection," I focused on social interactivity and the role of self-medication through the framework of bioengineered pills that induce apathy. Live installations that included the utilization of video projection, sculpture, and paintings, such as “Cracked”, “Screens”, and “Body”, were also produced as tangible mixed collages that sought to create said dialogue in the physical sphere. In conclusion, I did not seek to predict the future, but rather to continually analyze and synthesize the influence of technology-inspired-cultures and culture-inspired-technology.

     

    Advisors: Nicola Lopez, Serra Bothwell Fels, Matthew Buckingham, Sondra Perry, Columbia University

     

    Exhibition: Leroy Neiman Gallery, December 2018, Manhattan, New York.

  • Visual Art, Landscape Architectural Designs, and Short Films

    My newest artworks are always first found on my instagram

    2024

    "Privilege"

    An Original Poem

     

    Performance: "Boston Voices" By Napkin Poetry Review, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, Jan 25, 2024

    2023:

    "PlayScape Renewal: Transforming Rumney Marsh Landfill and Nahant Garbage Dump Into A Public Space For Natural Play"

    Harvard GSD Landscape Architecture Core III Studio Final Review

    2023:

    Swan Song

    A Conceptual Art Video

     

    Sidewalk Video Gallery, Fountain Street Fine Art, Boston, Massachusetts, Nov 2-29, 2023

    2023:
    ''New Language: Contemporary Abstraction", National Juried Group Exhibition

    Gallery 263, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Oct 12 -Nov 4, 2023  

    2023:

    "Fluid Memory",

    Solo Residency Art Exhibition

    Industry Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aug 18-Sep 15, 2023 

    2023:

    Project (Re)Generation: A Cemetery for the Future

     

    Landscape Architecture

     GSD Core II Studio

    2022:

    Alchemy: Between the Past and Magic

     

    View Full Series Portfolio Here 

     

    View Series Reel Video Here

    2018 - 2022:
    Elizabeth Ulanova Official
    Portfolio

     

    Visual Art, Film and Mixed Media

    See Full Portfolio Here

    2021:

    Process on Palka: In Collaboration with Anna Stevens

     

    See Series Video Above

    2021:

    "Galaxy"

     

    See Series Portfolio Here

    2020:
    Sensory: A Collection of Fluid Acrylics

    See Full Series Here

    2018:
    Clashings of Art, Culture, and Technology in a Digital Anthropological World

    See Full Series Here

    2018:

     

    "Connection"

    Conceptual Short Film

    Columbia University Visual Arts Senior Thesis

    2018:

     

    "Voices"

    Conceptual Short Film

    Columbia University Visual Arts Senior Thesis

    2018:

     

    "Remember

    Conceptual Short Film

     

    Columbia University Visual Arts Senior Thesis

  • Past Collections

    Project Synthesis: A Park to Recover
    Herter Park

    2021

    Project PPE: Protest, Protect, Empower: A Plaza for Protestors,

    2021

    Project Meta-Marble: A Courtyard to Reflect

    2021

    Project Street Pool: A Street of Access

    2o21

    Minerals

    2020

    Conceptual Short Film

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Conceptual Short Film

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Conceptual Short Film

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Kinetic Sculpture and Video Installation

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Kinetic Sculpture and Video Installation

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Human Wifi

    Kinetic Sculpture and Performance Installation

    2018

     

    As a part of "Clashings" series

    Conceptual Art Video

    2018

     

    As a part of "Self-Portraiture" series

    Narratus

    Mixed Media

    2017

    Patere

    Photography and Silkscreen Printmaking

    2017

    Zane

    Conceptual Short Film

    2017

    PenPairs: A Meaningful Connection

    2016

  • Writings

     

    For academic papers please view my academia, and for poetry please view my medium

  • Exhibitions and Presentations

     

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    Exhibitions

    Select Artistic Exhibitions and Performances:

    • 2024 - "Boston Voices", The Napkin Poetry Review , Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Boston, MA, Jan 25th, 2024, Curators: Caroline King and Courtney Jacobovits
    • 2023 - "Swan Song", Sidewalk Video Gallery, Fountain Street Fine Art, November 2-29, 2023. Curator: Marie Craig
    • 2023 - "New Language: Contemporary Abstraction", National Juried Exhibition, Gallery 263, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 12 -November 4, 2023. Jury and Curator: Daniela Rivera
    • 2023 - "Fluid Memory," Solo Artist Residency Exhibition, Industry Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 18 - September 15, 2023. Curator: Justice McDaniel
    • 2023 - "Harvard University Graduate School of Design Studios & Seminars Spring 2023" (For STU1112), Druker Design Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 2023.
    • 2022 - "Alchemy: Between the Past and Magic," Solo Independent Study Exhibition (For ADV9201), Gund Hall, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts. December 2022. Reviewers: Gary Hilderbrand and Ed Eigen
    • 2021 - "Design Award 2021 Exhibition" A + D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles, California (In Collaboration with Anna Stevens as writer for Steven's "Palka" exhibit).
    • 2020 - "Twining Egginton 2020 Exhibition" Heong Gallery, Cambridge, England (Covid Canceled). Jury and Curator: Vicky Ambery Smith
    • 2020 - "Twining Egginton 2020 Exhibition" Downing College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England (Virtual Exhibit). Jury and Curator: Vicky Ambery Smith
    • 2020 - "Cedar Tree Exhibition" Battcock Lodge, Downing College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England. Jury and Curator: Vicky Ambery Smith
    • 2018 - "Fall 2018 Senior Thesis Presentation", Leroy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. Curator: Nicola Lopez and Serra Bothwell Fels
    • 2018 - "Fall 2018 Visual Arts Department Exhibition" Prentis Hall, Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. Curator: Nicola Lopez
    • -"Spring 2018 Visual Arts Department Exhibition" Prentis Hall, Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. Curator: Nicola Lopez
    • 2017 - "Fall 2017 Visual Arts Department Exhibition" Prentis Hall, Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. Curator: Nicola Lopez
    • -"Spring 2017 Visual Arts Department Exhibition" Prentis Hall, Columbia University, Manhattan, New York. Curator: Nicola Lopez
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    Harvard GSD Landscape Architecture Studio Designs

    Core MLA studio designs

    Original architectural designs in response to studio projects at Harvard Graduate School of Design MLA I.

    • 2023 - "Fall 2023 Core III Studio Final Studio Review", Gund Hall, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Spring - December 2023
    • PlayScape Renewal: Transforming Rumney Marsh Landfill and Nahant Garbage Dump Into A Public Space For Natural Play, Fall 2023
    • Supervisor: Alex Wall

     

    • 2023 - "Spring 2023 Core II Studio Final Studio Review", Gund Hall, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Spring - April 2023
    • Project Re(Generation): A Cemetery for the Future, Spring 2023
    • Supervisor: Craig Douglas

     

    • 2021 - "Fall 2021 Core I Studio Final Studio Review" Gund Hall, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • Project Synthesis: A Park to Recover, Fall 2021
    • Supervisor: Pablo Perez Ramos
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    Presentations and Press
    • 2023 - Press, Summer 2023 Fellows, Harvard University Joint Center For Housing Studies
    • 2023 - Lecture: Artist Show and Tell: Elizabeth Ulanova, Industry Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • 2022 - Lecture: "On Zhang DaQian and Alchemy: Between the Past and Magic", Independent Study Exhibition, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    • 2022 - Guest Lecture, "On Chinese Cultural Implementation, Desecration, and Exportation", HIS 4141: Histories of Landscape Architecture I: Textuality and the Practice of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
    • 2021 - Press, Notable Alumni, Alumni Notes, The Owl Magazine, Columbia University
    • 2020 - Lecture, "The Influence of Social Media on Modern Romantic Relationships", Downing Graduate Conference, Downing College, University of Cambridge
    • 2020 - Lecture, "Social Intimacy In An Age of Technology Inspired Culture", MCR Seminar, Downing College, University of Cambridge
    • 2019 - Press, "Elizabeth Ulanova Is Where Art Meets Technology Meets Axe Throwing", The Eye Feature, Columbia Daily Spectator, Columbia University
  • Social Media

    Instagram

    Instagram

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    Linkedin

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    Academia

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    Vimeo

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    Medium

  • Press

    Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    2023

    Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    2023

    Harvard University Graduate School of DesignTitle

    2023

    Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    2022

    University of Cambridge

    Downing College Cambridge Graduate Conference 2020

    University of Cambridge

    The Mr and Mrs Geoffrey Twining Egginton 2020 Exhibition

     

    Downing College Cambridge

    University of Cambridge

    Cedar Tree Exhibition 2020

     

    Downing College Cambridge

    University of Cambridge

    Downing College MCR-SCR Night 2020

    Leroy Neiman Gallery Exhibition

    Columbia University

    2018

  • Contact

  • My Travel Log

    "Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth."

    TRAVEL MILESTONES

    1. Flew 22 times in 2015

     

    2. Lived directly with 112+ nationalities in CQU's international commune


    3. Roadtripped across the US and back in 2007

     

    4. Been to countries in 5 continents thus far

     

    5. All time favorites: Rabat (Morroco), Auckland (New Zealand), Belgrade (Serbia), Victoria (Hong Kong).

    North America

    All of California,

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    St.Louis,Missouri

    Dallas,Texas

    Austin, Texas

    Houston,Texas

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Chicago,Illnois

    Portland,Oregon

    Phoenix,Arizona

    Denver,Colorado

    Salt Lake City,Utah

    Detroit,Michigan

    Oklahoma City,Oklahoma

    Topeka, Kansas

    Kansas City, Kansas

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Indianapolis,Indiana

    Boston,Massachusetts

    Salem/Newport, Massachusetts

    New York City, New York

    Philadelphia,Pennsylvania

    Seattle, Washington

    Washington DC, DC

    Jersey City, Jersey

    The Hamptons,New York

    Shelter Island, New York

    Ithaca, New York

    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Prince Edward Island, Canada

    East & Southeast Asia

    Beijing, China

    Tianjin, China

    Shanghai, China

    Chongqing, China

    Three Gorges, China

    Chengdu, China

    Guangzhou, China

    Dongguan,China

    Huizhou, China

    Shanwei, China

    Hong Kong, Hong Kong (All Main HK Islands)

    Macau, Macau

    Ningbo, China

    HeiShanGu(Black Mountain), ZhongXian, China

    KuangShan, China

    WuLong, China

    Wuhan, China

    Gansu, China

    Bangkok, Thailand

    Hua Hin, Thailand

    Western &Eastern Europe

    Paris (France),

    London (England),

    Normandy (France),

    Deauville&Touville (France),

    Berlin (Germany), Leipzig(Germany),

    Halle (Germany),

    Venice (Italy),

    Dresden(Germany),

    Zittau (Germany),

    Belgrade (Serbia)

    Cacak (Serbia)

    Rome (Italy),

    Florence (Italy),

    Vatican City (Vatican),

    Marseilles (France)

    Montpellier (France)

    Arles (France)

    Camargue (France)

    Saint Martin de Crau (France)

    Carro (France)

    Martigue (France)

    Avignon (France)

    Vienna (Austria)

    Oceana

    Auckland, New Zealand

    Mangere, New Zealand

    Ihumatoe, New Zealand

    Waiheke Island, New Zealand

    Rangitoto Island, New Zealand

    Devonport, New Zealand

    Takapuna, New Zealand

    Scandinavia

    Helsinki, Finland

    Reykjavik, Iceland

    Keflavik , Iceland

    Mosfellsbær, Iceland

    Stockholm, Sweden (OOI)

    Oslo, Norway (OOI)

    British North America / Carribean

    St.Georges (Bermuda),

    Paget (Bermuda),

    Hamilton (Bermuda)

    Africa

    Casablanca (Morocco),

    Rabat (Morocco),

    Agadir (Morocco)

    Latin America

    Tijuana, Mexico

    Mexico City, Mexico

    Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico

    Teotihuacan, Mexico

    Middle East

    Doha (Qatar)