Sarah Cowles MLA ’05 and Ben Hackenberger MLA ’20 Firm Ruderal Featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine
The article, written by Jessica Bridger MLA ’09, describes the context of Ruderal’s studio and field practice in the country of Georgia, from gardens and master planning to the planting plan for the Tbilisi Urban Forest: “As Cowles adventures further into the wild, wild west of Georgia’s landscape-driven international development, Ruderal gets deeper in the reality on the ground, in all its tourism-driven, developer-funded, NGO-engaged mix of terrible and glorious. Many designers avoid this unglamorous, common reality of actual development and global practice, losing the world to stay in the confines of the safe, and dream of idealized projects. In contrast, Cowles is out on the range, getting things done.”
Ruderal was founded by Cowles in 2019 to support and train a new generation of landscape architects in the Caucasus. Based in Tbilisi, the firm pursues a wide range of projects in the Black Sea region and Central Asia as well as in Europe and the United States.
Follow RUDERAL: @_ruderal_
Follow Ben Hackenberger: @bhackenberger
posted July, 2023
Vaissnavi Shukl MDes ’20 has recently been awarded a Graham Foundation grant to advance her project Architecture Off-Centre. Architecture Off-Centre is a podcast highlighting contemporary discourses that shape the built environment but do not occupy the centre stage either in the architecture curriculum or in professional practice. It features conversations with artists, journalists, policymakers, lawyers, educators, and cultural entrepreneurs, whose work is deeply engaged in comprehending and mitigating the current challenges of civic life and whose scholarship contributes to the ever-expanding discourse of architecture.
The podcast currently spans over four seasons with 37 episodes and guests from over 12 countries, with at least 50% identifying as women. With this production grant, she aims to make the podcast content more accessible to a global audience by publishing interview transcripts, providing resources for detailed research and inviting guests from varied backgrounds.
Follow Vaissnavi on Instagram
Follow Architecture Off-Centre on Instagram
posted July, 2023
Three alumni have been named winners of the 2022 Architectural League Prize of New York. The Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, lecture series, and exhibition organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects and Designers Committee. The winners’ lectures and installations provide a lively public forum for the discussion of their work and ideas. These winners will create installations of their work onsite at a location of their choice or in a digital format to be presented in an online exhibition on archleague.org, opening June 14th, 2002. This year’s theme of the League Prize: Grounding.
Visit here for the full list of 2022 Awardees.
posted May, 2022
Nine GSD alumni and faculty have been elevated by the 2022 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to its prestigious College of Fellows. The honor recognizes architects who have “achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.”
The GSD congratulates:
- Prof. Ricardo A. Alvarez-Diaz AMDP ’20
- Mr. Hans-Ekkehard Butzer MArch ’99
- Kenneth Harold Luker MArch ’96
- Prof. Kiel K. Moe MDes ’03
- Mr. Anthony C. Poon MArch ’92
- Mr. Steven Rajninger MArch ’92
- Mr. Mark P. Schendel MArch ’89
The GSD also recognizes Associate Professor of Architecture Faculty member Mr. Eric Howeler was also selected as a fellow this year.
For the full list of 2022 Fellows, visit the AIA website.
posted April, 2022
Timothy Carey MArch ‘15 and Laura Greenberg MAUD ’20 named winners of 2021 Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant
Timothy Carey MArch ‘15 and Laura Greenberg MAUD ’20 have been named as one of the five winners of the 2021 Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant. Administered by the Center for Architecture, AIA New York, this grant is a national award intended to further the personal and professional development of an architect in early or mid-career through travel.
For Carey, his proposal entitled “Some Assembly Required: Performing Arts Architecture and the Idea of Audience” focuses on the shifting relationships between the performing arts building, the concentrated “audience” of previous eras, and the dispersed “public” of the present-day – brought about over the past century by the technological means to consume culture outside of the auditorium. While the discourse on the performing arts building often details attempts to “crack open” the typology, during the COVID-19 shutdowns these institutions were suddenly only able to address their dispersed public. Carey’s research will investigate how those aspirations might be reframed and reevaluated following a time of crisis for the building type. This research extends the work that he originally developed in his thesis (with advisor GSD Professor Grace La) and for which he has gained further significant professional expertise in practice.
For Greenberg, her proposal studies public school closings that have become common in certain US cities as populations decline and disinvestment compounds. Closings tend to disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities, eliminating associated educational and community benefits. Her proposal, “School’s Out” explores equitable re-use strategies that prioritize community input and retain public benefits from former public school sites. The project will focus on district-scale processes (how re-use decisions are made, who is involved, how information is communicated transparently, etc.) and building-scale outcomes. Laura Greenberg will travel across the American Midwest and Northeast to examine the transformation of former public schools.
posted March, 2022
Sarah Cowles MLA ’05 and Ben Hackenberger MLA ’20 firm Ruderal awarded the Landezine International Landscape Special Jury Award 2021
Ruderal, a design firm founded by Sarah Cowles MLA ’05, with landscape architect Ben Hackenberger MLA ’20, has won the Landezine International Landscape Awards Special Jury Award for their project “Arsenal Oasis”. This is a public landscape in Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia. The jury recognized the project for its “newfound and unique roughness reflects a relevant dialogue between what was, what is, and the suggestion of what ought to be. The project addresses wider spatial issues in Tbilisi and will hopefully act as a catalyst to spark positive change regarding neglected areas in the city.” Ruderal was founded by Cowles in 2019 to support a new generation of landscape architects in the Caucasus. Based in Tbilisi, the firm pursues a wide variety of projects in the Black Sea region and Central Asia as well as in Europe and the United States.
Follow RUDERAL: @_ruderal_
Follow Sarah Cowles: @ditch_daily
Follow Ben Hackenberger: @bhackenberger
posted December, 2021
Yoni Angelo Carnice MLA ’20 Researches the Work and Legacy of Demetrio Braceros at San Francisco’s Cayuga Playground
When Yoni Angelo Carnice MLA ’20 first visited Cayuga Playground in San Francisco, he was struck by a wooden sculpture of a woman dressed in the traditional Filipino Maria Clara gown, with a graceful elegance that reminded him of his grandmother. The distinctively personal atmosphere of the park stayed with Carnice, and later became the basis of his year-long research project, “Eden of the Hinterlands: Reclaiming Asian-American Garden History,” under the Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design, sponsored by the Garden Club of America and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
Before coming to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Carnice worked in ecological restoration and climate-based policy work. “I was doing very regimented invasive plant removal, and planting native plants, in a more binary way.” He sought a more fluid, holistic approach to landscape architecture. His time at the GSD and his experience at Cayuga Playground, which “weaves landscape narratives, plants, and architecture together in a beautiful way,” was a revelation. Located in the Outer Mission district, it is an unexpected, idiosyncratic gem in a city dominated by “mow and blow” parks. And it is largely the work of one man, Demetrio Braceros, a Filipino immigrant who became Cayuga’s gardener in 1986.
Read the full story on the GSD website.
posted August, 2021
The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction awarded Soledad Patiño’s MAUD ’20 project “Transitioning infrastructures for sanitation equity” as the first prize in the Next Generation category for Asia Pacific. The proposal was developed as part of a studio and research led by Rahul Mehrotra MAUD ’87, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization. It was conducted at the GSD during 2019 and aims to bring social and economic legitimacy to waterfront settlements of Mumbai through a new network of sanitation and community infrastructure.
The international LafargeHolcim Awards recognize exemplary sustainable construction projects and visionary ideas from nearly five thousand submissions by applicants around the world in 2020. “The project suggests new multipurpose infrastructures,” said the jury. “These give rise to new dynamics of water, waste, and energy management within the community, that offer a high potential in generating sustainable businesses and a strong basis for circular economy models”. Read the full press release.
You can find Soledad Patiño on Instagram @solepatino_
posted June, 2021
A team of Harvard Graduate School of Design alumni is selected as one of the three finalists in the Urban Confluence Silicon Valley Design Competition held by the San José Light Tower Corporation. The design team named CO-MILIEU includes Qinrong Liu MArch ’20, Ruize Li MArch ’20, Yuting Zhang MAUD ’17, Evelyn Cheng Zeng MArch ’18, Vincent Zishen Wen MLA ’19 and Qiaoqi Dai MLA ’19 along with a lighting design group led by Yutong Jiang MDes ’21 and Sijia Zhong MLA ’21. The goal of the competition is to build an innovative iconic world-class landmark for San Jose and Silicon Valley. With an inverted void tower and blurred pixelated matrix, the team’s proposal, “Nebula Tower,” envisions a soft, dynamic, and adaptive contemporary landmark that works as a nebula incubator for new artistic possibilities and celebrates Silicon Valley’s history of technology innovation. Through the medium of light, Nebula Tower recalls the collective memory of its home to build a bridge between past and future. Inspired by the diverse geographical characters along the bay area, the proposal reimagines the Arena Green as a common ground where the natural realm and urban fabric are enriched by their interaction to embrace the co-living of diversities and utilizes innovative adaptability that can secure a sustainable future for San Jose – culturally, environmentally, and economically.
More information about the “Nebula Tower” proposal and the upcoming public meetings of Urban Confluence Competition are available on the competition website.
posted March, 2021
A team including five GSD alumni have been selected as finalists in a competition held by the New York City Council and the Van Alen Institute to reimagine New York’s Brooklyn Bridge as a friendlier experience for cyclists and pedestrians. The design team includes Wendy Wang MLA ’14, Cy Zhang MLA/MLAUD ’20, Vita Wang MArch ’19, Jeremy Pi MUP ’19, and Minzi Long MAUD/MDes ’20 along with designers Shannon Hasenfratz and Andrew Nash.
The team’s proposal, “Bridge X,” reimagines the upper and lower decks for greater pedestrian and cyclist access, to make room for vendors and small businesses, and to offer new modes of engagement with the bridge. The proposal uses digital tools and design interventions that enable visitors to engage with the bridge in new ways, while the bridge itself evolves in response to public feedback and adapts over time. The team submitted their proposal via Wang’s ScenesLab, which she founded as a platform for experimentation and research.
More information about the competition and the “Bridge X” proposal are available in an article on the GSD website.
posted August, 2020