The GSD Fund Makes an Impact
GSD students share their experiences made possible through the GSD Fund
For over 80 years, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design has educated leaders in design, research, and scholarship to make a resilient, just, and beautiful world. And one of the most pressing and consistent needs for prospective and current GSD students is financial aid. Thanks to the many gifts to the GSD Fund over the last 11 months, this community has enabled the next generation of designers and provided invaluable experiences.
Below, Chelsea Kashan MLA ’21, Adam Sherman, MArch ’20, Brittany Giunchigliani MLA ’21, Jose Esparaza MAUD ’20 share their meaningful experiences (pictured above, left-to-right) made possible with financial support through the GSD Fund.
WHY I CAME TO THE GSD
By Chelsea Kashan MLA ’21
The GSD surpassed my expectations because of the collaborative aspect of landscape architecture. I wanted to break out of my individual studio practice, where I decided every project I was going to do, expressed my own thoughts and my own way of seeing and experiencing the world. Now I work with people of different backgrounds and learn more about their research and the environmental science aspects of the field. It is great thinking through the same projects with different lenses.
MY MOST PIVOTAL EXPERIENCE AT THE GSD
By Adam Sherman, MArch ’20
I think the core studio sequence was the most influential experience of my time here at the GSD. Those first two years of studio education laid the foundation of my architectural knowledge and gave me skills that I’ll carry throughout my career. While it may have been grueling at times, core was an exciting and unique opportunity. Not only did I learn so much, but I went through it in a very intimate, collaborative environment alongside my classmates. For that, I’m very thankful.
WHAT SHAPED MY DESIRE TO IMPACT THE DESIGN PROFESSION AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE WORLD
By Brittany Giunchigliani MLA ’21
I have been a part of Womxn in Design since my first semester, where a few members and I developed WiD’s first female-identifying mentorship program of its kind. It’s been an amazing experience working with alumnae and students to bridge the gap between academia and professional practice. It’s comforting to know, deep down, that this is what I am meant to do—I look forward to continuing to develop my place in the profession and work with others who are pushing the field in new directions. I am inspired by the endless pursuit of those around me to always do better—to always push. I look forward to sinking into professional practice—potentially in a time of great uncertainty. But it is within this uncertainty that lies the curiosity of what I will accomplish.
HOW MY INSPIRATION AND OUTLOOK CHANGED DUE TO COVID
By Jose Esparaza MAUD ’20
At the GSD, I have explored and challenged relationships between theory and practice within Urban Design by studying the complexity of settlements and territory beyond the boundaries of cities. I have also learned that our discipline is stronger when it works with other disciplines to provide more compelling readings of urban and non-urban environments. Today, while we face a worldwide pandemic, it is difficult to think forward, especially when the future seems to be full of uncertainties. This isn’t the scenario I was expecting by the end of my studies, but we must remain resilient and creative. Once things settle, this can be an opportunity to question pre-established models, to think differently, to design in favor of vulnerable populations, and to design for justice and equity.
Photo credit: the above pictures were taken in Gund Hall just before Harvard’s COVID-19 lockdown by photographer Justin Knight.