ONNA Research + Design is a portfolio of projects that incorporate principles of ecology and urbanism to activate mutually beneficial scenarios for people and ecosystems, particularly in addressing projected risks from climate change in urban coastal regions.

Ports and industrial areas form the basis for many projects, where the reinforcing ideals of resilience and functionality coalesce in the form of biodiversity protection and shoreline engineering. By connecting the fields of architecture, design and science, ONNA aims to contribute to versatile frameworks for implementing eco-engineered infrastructure and guide ecological restoration and resilience planning efforts on urban coastlines.


Ashley Cryan is a marine ecologist and designer specializing in coastal Building with Nature projects and social-ecological systems research.

Her career in applied research has involved marine scientific lab and fieldwork at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and San Francisco State University, shoreline design work at Arrowstreet Architecture + Design, nonprofit management at the North American Marine Environment Protection Association and energy industry academic administration at MIT. She is the author of several publications, including Ecological Design for Urban Coastal Resilience (2019).

In December 2019, she graduated with an MSc in Marine and Environmental Science from Northeastern University and now lives and works in Delft, The Netherlands.