7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (EDT)

The GSD is pleased to present a series of talks and webinars broadcast to our audiences via Zoom.

*The GSD’s Spring 2021 Public Programs are all virtual and require registration. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions for how to register.

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Event Description

“A terrible mechanism [is] on the march, its gears multiplying.” So begins the first essay of the 48th issue of Harvard Design Magazine, guest edited by Mark Lee, chair of the department of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Florencia Rodriguez, editorial director of -Ness Magazine. The issue takes as its theme the slippery and ambiguous figure of “America,” seen through the lens of the built and unbuilt environment. Americanization—once the “terrible mechanism” bent on pressing capitalist values on emerging economies everywhere—is now in retreat, eclipsed by the more urgent domestic concerns of pandemic and climate change, racial injustice and domestic radicalization. The very notion of what constitutes America is ripe for redefinition.


Paul Andersen is founder of Independent Architecture, a Denver-based office with projects around the United States. He was appointed a Fulbright Specialist in Architecture, teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has previously been on the architecture faculties of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Cornell University. He has been a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Biennial of the Americas.

Neeraj Bhatia is a licensed architect and urban designer whose work resides at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism. He is an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts where he also Directs the urbanism research lab, the Urban Works Agency. Bhatia has also held teaching positions at UC Berkeley (as the visiting Esherick Professor), UT Arlington (as the visiting Ralph Hawkins Professor), Cornell University, Rice University, and the University of Toronto. Neeraj is founder of The Open Workshop, a transcalar design-research office examining the negotiation between architecture and its territorial environment. Select distinctions include the Architectural League Young Architects Prize, Emerging Leaders Award from Design Intelligence, and the Canadian Prix de Rome. He is co-editor of books Bracket [Takes Action], The Petropolis of Tomorrow, Bracket [Goes Soft], Arium: Weather + Architecture, and co-author of Pamphlet Architecture 30: Coupling — Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism and New Investigations in Collective Form. Neeraj has a Master degree in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.

Maite Borjabad Lòpez-Pastor is a Spanish architect, curator, and researcher based in Chicago and New York City whose work revolves around architecture, art, and politics. She is currently curator in the Architecture and Design Department at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been published in Pin-Up, Domus, Dezeen, Metalocus, Yorokobu, e-flux, the Chicago Tribune, and El Cultural.

Mark Lee is the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a principal and founding partner of the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized internationally with over 50 major honors and awards. A book on the work of the firm entitled House Is a House Is a House Is a House Is a House was published by Birkhauser in 2016, and monographs include 2G N. 67 (2014) and El Croquis N. 198 (2019). Mark has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Technical University of Berlin, and ETH Zurich. He has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto. The firm’s work spans thirteen countries and resides in the permanent collections of several museums. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, in Houston, Texas; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the new UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios in Culver City, California. Together with partner Sharon Johnston, Mark served as Co-Artistic Director for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Marc Norman is the founder of consulting firm Ideas and Action and associate professor of practice at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Teaching courses in real estate finance and economic development, he also advises municipal, private, and nonprofit clients on housing and development.

Florencia Rodriguez is an architect, and has dedicated her career to writing and editing. In 2014 she received the Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 2010, she founded PLOT magazine, which continued to direct until 2017. Under her stewardship, PLOT quickly became one of the leading publications in the region. In early 2017 Florencia embarked on a new project with Pablo Gerson, the editorial platform Lots of architecture -publishers, which main product is the periodical publication –NESS. On Architecture, Life and Urban Culture.

Rodriguez was curated several exhibitions and organized international symposia. She was a Professor of Landscape Theory and Technology Theory in the Torcuato Di Tella University graduate programs and has taught theory courses at other universities such as Universidad del Litoral and The Boston Architectural College.

She has received awards for her editorial work and published a number of articles in books and specialized media like Domus, Oris, summa +, Arquine, a+u, or Uncube, among others. She has been invited to guest edit the next issue of the Harvard Design Magazine, together with Mark Lee.

How to Join

Register to attend the symposium here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.Register Now button

The event will also be live streamed to the GSD’s YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. If you would like to submit questions for the speakers in advance of the event, please click here.

Live captioning will be provided during this event. A transcript will be available roughly two weeks after the event, upon request.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].