Emily grew up in Hanover, NH and then moved north to study Art History and Education at Colby College in Maine. She traveled to Ghana for the first time during the summer before her junior year to teach english and ended up writing and illustrating a fictional children's story inspired by the trip. After graduating, she worked in an architecture firm for a couple of years in Washington, DC and then attended the University of Virginia's Masters Program in Architecture. While at UVA, Emily traveled to Ghana two additional times for research in Cape Coast. Since then, she has been working as a project manager in an architecture firm while continuing to develop independent research projects related to water, notions of boundary, and informal settlements. Emily founded Open Boundary Design Lab [OBDL] in April of 2012 and is continuing this research at MIT through the SMArchS Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture.