GSD Town Hall: Student Voices / New Perspectives, New Possibilities
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm (EDT)
GSD Alumni and Friends were invited to attend the second annual Town Hall event with Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture. This year’s Town Hall featured a panel discussion and Q&A with five student leaders, giving guests an opportunity to learn and ask about their experiences at the GSD and thoughts on the future.
- Welcome by Peggy Burns, Associate Dean for Development & Alumni Relations
- Remarks by Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture
- Panel Discussion with Student Leaders, moderated by Dean Whiting
- Question & Answer (Q&A) with Audience
Muhammad (Muha) Bazila MLA ’24
Hometown: Salvador and Sao Paolo, Brazil
Undergrad: University of Brasilia
Muha believes that design is not neutral and wants to address blackness in his design practice. He believes it will take a long time to understand what this can reach but envisions racially empathetic spaces as the outcome. Muha is pursuing an interdisciplinary design education. In addition to his M.Arch from University of Brazil, Muha studied Interior Design at Parsons-NY. Muha’s initial goal in applying to GSD is to learn the landscape scale of design and better address the racial issues in the public realm.
As an MLA I student, he looks forward to learning the ecologic aspect of the field and new possibilities of spatiality. Muha is the Internal Relations co-chair of the African American Student Union (AASU) and member of Brazil GSD. He also represents the GSD as an Officer for the Harvard Brazilian Association of Students and Scholars.
Areti Kotsoni MDes ’22
Hometown: Chania, Crete, Greece
Undergrad: Technical University of Crete
Areti’s work is focused on migration, crossings, and thresholds of the human and the non-human. They focus on the Mediterranean, and currently exploring e counter-mapping and counter-narratives of the Cypriot conflict through the lenses of gender. Areti’s professional experience includes Project Architect at Papatzanakis Technical office, Freelance Architectural Engineer, Furniture Designer, Graphic Designer, Architectural Consultant, and studio Instructor at IEK Delta, in Greece. Areti puts their research into practice as a Teaching Assistant for “Mapping: Geographic Representation and Speculation” and a Research Assistant at the Critical Landscapes Design Lab. Areti’s work has been recognized by the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, Onassis Foundation, Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, Foundation for Education and European Culture, and the Harvard Hellenic Fund.
Areti is committed to enhancing the experience of students and future designers through their leadership on GSD student groups — Areti co-chairs Womxn in Design, Mediterranean GSD, and Greece GSD.
Outside of their work and studies at the GSD, Areti loves going to rock and metal concerts, and cannot wait to see Ghost, Dream Theater, Nightwish, and Nick Cave perform live soon.
Livesey Pack MUP ’23
Hometown: Lake Forest, IL and Chappaqua, NY
Undergrad: Davidson College
Following her graduation from Davidson College with a degree in Political Science, Livesey worked at the Davidson Housing Coalition, then held concurrent positions with the City of San Francisco’s Office of Civic Innovation and the San Francisco Urban Planning and Research Association (SPUR). She is interested in the intersections of housing and economic justice, and how urban planning can expand communities’ civic capacity and improve societal social trust.
In her first year at the GSD, Livesey is involved with the Urban Planning program’s alumni committee and Womxn in Design. Through the Community Development Project, a joint initiative between the GSD and the Harvard Kenney School, Livesey is working with the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), a community-based organization that works in underserved and immigrant Asian American communities in the Greater Boston region to create and preserve affordable, sustainable, and healthy neighborhoods. Specifically, they are supporting ACDC’s placemaking work by identifying sites in and around Boston’s Chinatown that could be activated through community programming, public art, etc.
When not reading or thinking about the built environment for class, she enjoys cooking, keeping up with the news, being late to trends like Wordle, and persuading family and friends to go on architectural tours of Cambridge.
Isaac Pollan MArch ’22
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Undergrad: Wesleyan University
Isaac studies the relationship between fire and architecture, and the beneficial ecology of fire on the landscape. This academic interest has been shaped by his love of hiking and time spent in the natural world. Isaac’s past experience in the culinary world has also inspired his thinking about regenerative cycles.
Isaac’s professional experience includes positions at common room, MADE, Shapeless Studio, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, WW Architecture, and Johnston Marklee. Isaac has been a Teaching Assistant for the Architecture Core, an option studio, and a seminar course. Isaac is a recent recipient of a Joint Center for Housing Studies Student Research Support grant for a project with Diandra Rendradjaja & Jenny French, In It Together: Models for Owner-Developed Collective Housing in America. In this project, the team identified vacant lots in the Boston area and designed a set of compact units that could comfortably accommodate more residents than a typical development. They also illustrated a manual that would make this process accessible to future homeowners, rather than outside developers.
Whytne Stevens MUP ’22
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Undergrad: DePaul University
Whytne’s work focuses on design-based urban planning, alternative models of housing, community building and centering people in urban planning projects, the intersection of art and urban planning, and elevating the contributions of the African Diaspora in urban planning.
Whytne serves as the Co-President of the African American Student Union (AASU) and is an active member of the Harvard Urban Planning Organization (HUPO). Her professional experience includes positions at HKS Architects, 42 Real Estate, The Real Estate Council, and CityLab High School. In 2020, Whytne received the APA Foundation Scholarship to support her study at the GSD and had since paid that support forward as a 2021 Community Service Fellowship recipient and member of the Black in Design Mentorship program.
Outside the GSD, Whytne enjoys reading, being a foodie, vinyl record collecting, caring for her house plants, and traveling whenever possible.
Contact [email protected].