Dear Alumni and Friends,

Welcome to the Harvard GSD Alumni and Friends website—newly refreshed and relaunched in January 2021! Whether you are an alumnus or a friend of the GSD, it is here that you’ll be able to connect with the GSD, listen, learn, and contribute.

It’s important to reinforce that solving global challenges using design is at the heart of all the work we do as a school. And the time, energy, and resources from our community directly impact our abilities to research, execute, and create change.

During this incredibly challenging year, we’ve found two opportunities for new student-focused funds to help continue the pursuit of design education: our Student Emergency Fund, which provides emergency relief need funding and unemployment funding through research grants, and our Racial Equity and Anti-Racism Fund created to raise awareness of how race, racism, and racial injustice affect society (with a focus on the design fields) while promoting a culture of anti-racism at the GSD. You can contribute to either or both of these funds along with any number of our annual funds below. While we hope that our funds mentioned above will inspire tangible and immediate action to support the education of GSD students, we also have several newly launched or relaunched initiatives that our team is committed to funding:

  • It is no secret that the design industry faces a problem of representation and The African American Design Nexus seeks to promote the presence of African Americans in the design industry, showcase their craft, explore different geographies of design practice, and inspire change within design institutions to participate in adopting new approaches to elevate black designers.
  • The Option Studio is the most crucial and esteemed course design students will undergo while attending the GSD. Supporting the Regional Studio Fund will foster the growth and design education for students and support a design solution for a community.
  • The Laboratory for Design Technologies is a collaborative platform that investigates the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of design technology and the built environment. It advances design as a catalyst of change and leverages innovative research methods to understand the architecture of complex issues.

We are working on several additional initiatives that we hope to share in the months ahead.

As many of you know firsthand, design school at the graduate level is an endeavor that requires significant focus with the goal that the results will inspire and transform the world. For more than 80 years, the Harvard Graduate School of Design has continued to pursue the mission to educates leaders in design, research, and scholarship to make a resilient, just, and beautiful world.

We look forward to seeing you at events (on Zoom, or later in-person), hearing your stories, connecting over causes that are close to your heart, and working together to support design students as they follow in our alumni’s path and seek to change the world.

And please remember, that this will always be your community too. If you have questions, comments, updates, or just want to say hi, please do connect with us. I am always here for you!

Joyfully yours,
Peggy Burns