Rituparna Simlai MLA ’15 was honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects Florida Chapter as the 2020 recipient of the Exceptional Emerging Professional Award.
She was recognized for the breadth of her work as the founding principal of Studio Arth. In their announcement, the ASLA Florida Chapter noted how, “within two years of inception, under her direction, the portfolio of the studio extends beyond landscape design for high-end residences…to working on research and analysis for ecologically restorative and social-justice projects in geographically diverse regions like Vietnam, China, Nepal and Timor-Leste.”
posted June, 2020
Ali Karimi MArch ’16, Hamed Bukhamseen MAUD ’15, Dima Rachid MLA ’15, Leah Moukarzel Contribute Installation for Amman Design Week 2019 Ras El Ain Gallery Plaza
Civil Architecture, founded by Ali Karimi MArch ’16 and Hamed Bukhamseen MAUD ’15, partnered with Studiolibani, founded by Dima Rachid MLA ’15 and Leah Moukarzel AALU ’12, to contribute an installation for Amman Design Week 2019’s Ras El Ain Gallery Plaza, under this year’s theme of ‘Possibilities’ curated by Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop. The installation was a week-long public park occupying a 720 square meter (7750sq ft) plaza in front of the main design space titled ‘Minor Paradises’. Previous iterations of the design plaza include Watermelon Installation by MIT SA+P Dean Hashim Sarkis.
Civil Architecture and studiolibani presented ‘Minor Paradises’, a series of provocations set against the Arab paradise and against colonial notions of green. Minor Paradises questions design in a time of drought and explores the notion of paradise in one of the most water scarce regions in the world. The Arab countries of the eastern Mediterranean refer to gardens as little paradises (jnaina): bounded boxes of green- delicate curation of plants in an ordered composition. Across the Arabian peninsula, on the coast of the Gulf, they are referred to as hadayiq, from the word‚ ‘to bound or encircle‘. In this context the garden as bounded space of green was rare until the mid-20th century. Traditional courtyards were often barren – reserved for laundry, livestock and cooking. Greenery as an interior fantasy was reserved only for those who could afford the luxury of water that was spent on beauty or cultivation. Today the Gulf landscape is an inherited fantasy: the well mowed lawn, the verdant setback – notions of care or fecundity that‘re borrowed colonial fictions.
Minor Paradises revisits the traditional notion of the courtyard and the picturesque Jordanian landscape, and samples scenarios from the territorial scale re-interpreting it as a miniature landscape at human scale. Locally-sourced sands, gravel, volcanic rock, and limestone re-create the landscape and curate the visitor’s experience towards the Hangar. Mounds of earth material pushed beyond its limits (angle of repose) form artificial geometries of varying heights and sizes, concealing and revealing views of this constructed landscape. Local adapted species of extreme drought tolerance appear as clusters negotiating a new, water-less aesthetic. The garden therefore suggests alternative notions of care, maintenance and beauty.
As an exercise in managing scarcity, the construction of the one week public park was made possible through the ‘loaning’ of sand, gravel and indigenous plants from local contractors and nurseries. The benches will be donated to a nearby skate-park at the end of the Amman Design Week.
Civil Architecture is a cultural practice preoccupied with the making of buildings and books about them. The work of Civil asks what it means to produce architecture in a decidedly un-civil time, presenting a new civic character for a global condition. Since its founding by Hamed Bukhamseen and Ali Karimi, the practice has attracted a strong following for their provocative works and their offer of an alternate future for a nascent Middle East.
studiolibani is an agency of landscape architects and urban strategists, invested in alternative thinking in landscape architecture and urbanism. In their work and design research, the founders, Dima Rachid and Leah Moukarzel, focus on shaping resilient environments and crafting spaces of social meaning and ecological and aesthetic value. studiolibani operates from Beirut, Lebanon, across scales, systems, and geographies.
Photos by Edmund Sumner : Minor Paradises, 2019 – Civil Architecture x studiolibani – The The Hangar Exhibition – Amman Design Week 2019 – Photo by Edmund Sumner
For the other photos: Minor Paradises by Civil Architecture x studiolibani – The Hangar Exhibition – Amman Design Week 2019
posted November, 2019
17 Harvard GSD Alumni from Puerto Rico have assembled as a group to protest the limited civic engagement and transparency in the reviewal process behind the adoption of significant and potentially detrimental changes to the island’s Zoning Maps, led by the Planning Board of Puerto Rico. Together, they wrote an open letter to María del C. Gordillo Pérez, chairwoman of the Planning Board.
The group is made up of the following alumni:
Pedro Manuel Cardona Roig MAUD ’91
Hugo Colón MLA ’13
Manuel Antonio Colón Amador MLA ’14
Irene Figueroa-Ortiz MUP & March I ’15
Nataniel Fúster MAUD ’96 & DDes ’99
Fabiola Guzmán Rivera March I ’18
Yanick Lay Fumero MLA ’18
Eduardo M. Llinás Messeguer MAUD ’13
Maria Victoria Mateo MLA ’11
Oscar Oliver Didier MAUD ’06
Judith Rodríguez MLA & MAUD ’13
Gabriella S. Rodríguez MLA & MAUD ’16
Ángel Y. Rodríguez Colón MAUD ’11
Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola MArch I ’14
Héctor Tarrido-Picart MAUD & MLA ’15
José Juan Terrasa Soler MLA ’07
Emmanuel Torres MAUD ’14
In the past months there was a recent upsurge in democratic mobilization to demand transparency and democracy in the way politics and business are conducted in Puerto Rico. This led to the recent resignation of Governor Ricardo Roselló and will likely lead to fundamental changes to the political and institutional structures of the Caribbean island.
While these mass civil protests were taking place, the Planning Board of Puerto Rico conducted most of the public hearings for first-time proposed major revisions to the Zoning Maps. In addition, the Planning Board failed to provide key information and a suitable timeline for a comprehensive examination by all the parties affected by the zoning changes, including the island’s 78 municipalities. Some of these zoning changes go against the interest of vulnerable communities, the ones most affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
posted August, 2019
Maria Ignacia Arrasate MDes ’15 has joined GeoAdaptive as Practice Coordinator for the company’s Sustainable Infrastructure Area. Founded by Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08, GeoAdaptive’s work concerns strategies for sustainable development using spatial analysis. Ignacia, who will be based in the Boston office, brings over 10 years of experience in sustainability, working in architecture and planning as well as serving as advisor for the Chilean government. At GeoAdaptive she will focus on increasing and expanding the company’s presence worldwide.
“Maria Ignacia is a key addition to our Sustainable Infrastructure Area at GeoAdaptive,” said Vargas. “Her depth of experience complements the skillset of GeoAdaptive’s team. Maria Ignacia’s significant accomplishments demonstrate her commitment to clients, and she alignswell with our core value of doing what it takes to make a robust product.”
Read the full press release.
posted July, 2019
Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15 Co-Edit “From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory”
Four GSD graduates—Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15—have co-edited the book From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory, published by the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), Santiago in March. The volume of 18 essays includes a foreword from Pablo Allard MAUD ’99, DDes ’03, and features the writing of young practitioners and academics (many of whom are GSD alums) based in eight different nations and five continents. Their essays offer a diversity of perspectives on contemporary models of landscape planning, management, and design across scales
The book came about as part of the team’s effort to form a multi-disciplinary group called the International Landscape Collaborative. It began as a group of planners and designers at the GSD interested in developing a landscape approach to tackle socio-ecological issues at multiple scale. Rather than viewing the landscape through the lens of a singular discipline, the book promotes an interdisciplinary approach that uses the landscape as a medium to understand and create urban form, infrastructures, and territorial systems. Since its online release, the publication has been read in more than 100 countries.
Read the publication online.
posted June, 2019
Brian Vargo MDes ’15 and Team Win Competition to Design New Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark
Vargo Nielsen Palle, the firm of Brian Vargo MDes ’15, led the winning design team for the new Aarhus Architecture School, Denmark’s first purpose-built architecture school. Together with ADEPT, Rolvung & Brøndsted Arkitekter, Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming, Vargo Nielsen Palle’s design prevailed in the two-stage competition. The project’s anticipated completion is 2020.
Vargo is an American/Danish architect with a background in design and finance.
Image by Vargo Nielsen Palle, Adept and Rolvung og Brøndsted.
posted September, 2018
Fifteen designers, artists, historians, and others from the GSD alumni community have been selected to receive 2018 Graham Foundation Grants. Announced on April 5, the Graham Foundation’s 2018 Grants to Individuals present $534,850 in new grants to support 74 projects by 111 individuals and collaborators who are “engaging original ideas that advance our understanding of the designed environment,” the Foundation writes.
Alumni projects include exhibitions, publications, and research. Among the winners are GSD faculty Zeina Koreitem MDes ’16 and John May MArch ’02, who received a grant for the exhibition “Under Present Conditions,” produced through their Los Angeles-based firm, MILLIØNS. (“Under Present Conditions” will be on view at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles from January 11 through April 26, 2019.)
The funded projects were selected from over 600 proposals and represent a diverse group of individuals and collectives, including architects, artists, choreographers, historians, and filmmakers who hail from around the world.
Other GSD alumni awardees include:
Eric Bunge MArch ’96
Mimi Hoang GSD ’98
Kenny Cupers PhD ’10
Rami El Samahy MArch ’00
Michael Kubo MArch ’06
Alexander Robinson MLA ’05
Neyran Turan DDes ’09
Bradley Cantrell MLA ’03
Marielsa Castro Vizcarra MDes ’17
Brian Goldstein PhD ’13
Ana Maria Leon Crespo MDes ’01
Sun-Young Park MArch ’08/PhD ’14
Sara Zewde MLA ’15
Read the full list of 2018 Graham Foundation Grants to Individuals via the Graham Foundation’s announcement.
Image: MILLIØNS (Zeina Koreitem & John May), Collectives II, 2016–. Courtesy of the artists.
posted April, 2018
Firm of Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08 Opens First Latin America Office; Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15 Named Director
GeoAdaptive, a global think-tank and consulting company founded in 2007 by Juan Carlos Vargas MDes ’04, DDes ’08 (Founding Partner and Managing Principal of GeoAdaptive’s Boston Office), has launched its first office in Latin America. The branch, located in Santiago, Chile, is led by Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15 (Partner and Director of GeoAdaptive’s Chile Office), and offers intelligence services and strategy for development and sustainability. This is the third office for GeoAdaptive, which is also located in Boston, MA, and Turin, Italy.
“Chile is a solid platform and, comparatively, the spearhead in Latin America for new paradigms of work strategies, professional services, and problem-solving methodologies,” Vargas said in a press release announcing the new office.
“We decided to establish an office in Santiago, since Chile has a competitive advantage in the region in terms of advanced human capital, which facilitates innovation, a process that is central to our work. In addition, we detected that for both the public and private sectors, the objectives of equality, inclusion, sustainability, and adaptability are integral to economic growth and this unequivocally requires new ways of working that can incorporate multiple levels of information,” Sciaraffia added.
Watch the launch video:
Image 1: Relation between street tree-coverage and temperatures. Ricardo Lyon St., Providencia
Image 2: Analyzing temperatures across Santiago
posted January, 2018
Work by Ten Recent GSD Alumni Published in Architectural Portfolio How-To from Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97
Portfolio work from ten recent GSD alumni–Devin Dobrowolski MLA ’16, See Jia Ho MArch ’15, Ahmed Hosny MDes ’15, Jia Joy Hu MLA ’17, Chase Jordan MArch ’17, Flavio Sciaraffia Marquez MLA ’15, Saurabh Mhatre MDes ’15, Fani Christina Papadopoulou MArch ’16, Alberto Embriz de Salvatierra MLA’17, and Michelle Shofet MLA ’16–has been published in the new book, Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio: The Only Primer You’ll Ever Need, by Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97. Their contributions were selected from over 10,000 pages of portfolios submitted by students for possible inclusion. Notably, Hu’s portfolio is included as a full case study and is featured in its entirety in the publication.
Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio is a step-by-step guide to learning the art of designing a compelling and effective architectural portfolio. It includes 400 portfolio examples from 55 designers representing 50 schools nationwide.
Fletcher currently serves as Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.
posted October, 2017
Sonja Cheng MArch ’15, Jennifer Ly MArch ’14, and Max Obata have been awarded first place in the 2017 Burnham Prize Competition: Under the Dome. Sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club, this year’s competition asked designers to reconsider the relevance of the dome in the context of the abandoned St. Stephen’s Church in Chicago. The winning proposal, “New Waters” reconstructs the ground plane and dome to create a new public pool within the existing church – providing a new environment for recreation, relaxation and spectacle. The pool has the ability to regenerate the neighborhood while creating an intimate and playful public space. The public swimming pool has had a contested history in America dating back to the 19th century. It first emerged as a place for personal hygiene and then evolved into a site of public tension through gender, economic, and racial divide. Today, Chicago manages 49 outdoor pools and 28 indoor pools. The new pool joins this existing, established network, but offer a new spatial environment that juxtaposes between the new and the old.The jury members consisted of Penelope Dean, Sarah Herda, Sharon Johnston MArch ’95, and Brian Lee MArch ’78.
In conjunction with the 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennale, the winning proposal and other entries are exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center through October 14th. More information here.
posted October, 2017
Robot Designed by Team Including Rossitza Kotelova MArch ‘15 Featured on the Today Show, The Economist, and More
Rossitza Kotelova MArch ‘15 is a designer at Piaggio Fast Forward where she is the lead designer on exterior features of the robot Gita, interfacing between design, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Gita, the team’s first product, was recently featured on the Today Show, and in The Economist, Wired, the Boston Globe, as well as in other media outlets. Kotelova was one of four team members first hired at Piaggio Fast Forward and has the unique experience of participating in the evolution of the company as well as the creation of Gita from concept sketch to fully functioning prototype.
While at the GSD, Kotelova was selected to participate in the ETH Zurich exchange program, where she worked with pioneering robotic fabrication architects Gramazio & Kohler on complex timber structures. After returning to Harvard, she continued to investigate design through robotics, working with a team to develop the Robotic Roller which strives to eliminate the mold necessary in manufacturing variable surface ceramic tiles. She was an architectural design intern at SHoP Architects in NYC, SCB Architects in Chicago, and E2A Architekten in Zurich. Kotelova continues to apply her architectural training by leading the efforts on spatial projects taken on by Piaggio Fast Forward, including the company’s office space which was featured on BostInno’s Office Envy.
Photos courtesy of Kotelova.
posted March, 2017
Constantine Bouras MAUD ’11 Organized and Curated “A Shelter for Architecture” Along with Partners; GSD Alumni Contributed
Constantine Bouras MAUD ’11, with Evita Fanou, Electra Kontoroupi, Ioannis Oikonomou, Foteinos Soulos and Dimitra Tsachrelia, organized and curated “A Shelter for Architecture,” for the Greek Institute of Architects in New York [GIANY]. The event negotiated the general discourse on shelter and explored the idea of shelter as a concept through diverse lenses. “A Shelter for Architecture” staged events ranging from architectural exhibitions to talks and presentations, artistic performances, and installations.
Ignacio G. Galan MArch ’10, Nikos Katsikis DDes ’16, Dimitris Papanikolaou DDes ’16, Zenovia Toloudi DDes ’11, Dimitris Venizelos MAUD ’15, and Christina Yessios MAUD ’11 were among the contributors to the event.
posted February, 2017
Dima Rachid MLA ’15, Aziz Barbar MDes ’16, and ChengHe Guan MDes ’12, DDes ’16 Enter B-More Resilient Design Competition
A GSD team of students and recent alumni won the Most Innovative Design award from AIA Baltimore, for a project titled “Wet Corridor.” Dima Rachid MLA ’15, Aziz Barbar MDes ’16, and ChengHe Guan MDes ’12, DDes ’16 entered the 2015 B-More Resilient Design Competition, and focused on “rethinking East Baltimore’s infrastructural resilience as a means to social welfare.” Read the full description and see images here.
posted December, 2016
The work of Sara Zewde MLA ’15 at the GSD and in Rio de Janeiro has been featured on nextcity.org, in a piece titled “How a 29-Year-Old Designer is Reinventing the Urban Monument.” Sara began the work in Rio as an undergraduate, and continued during her time at the GSD, funded in part by her scholarship from the Olmsted Scholars Program. Read about Sara’s journey and her designs for Valongo Wharf and the African Heritage Celebration Historical and Archaeological Circuit.
posted December, 2016
Jason Rebillot DDes ’15 has been named Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles.
posted December, 2016
Invivia, the research and technology research lab featuring Bradley Cantrell MLA ’03, Associate Professor of Landscape Architectural Technology and Director of MLA Degree Program at the GSD; Allen Sayegh MDes ’96, Associate Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at the GSD; Stefano Andreani MDes ’13; Craig Reschke MLA ’15; and Ziyi Zhang MLA ’14, was one of four winners of the Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC) for their project “99 White Balloons.” FCDC invited architects and designers worldwide to share their most inventive ideas for a temporary outdoor installation that will be exhibited at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas. Other GSD-affiliated winners included Jonathan A. Scelsa MAUD ’11, Jennifer Birkeland MLA ’11, and Erin Wythoff MLA ’14 for their conception of “Duck Blind in Plain Site.” Read more about the competition and the winning ideas here.
posted December, 2016