A look back at a few of the projects and moments that marked the past year at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

June 2018

Thirty-five students are awarded fellowships through the GSD’s Community Service Fellowship Program. The Program provides opportunities for GSD students to apply the skills they have developed in their academic programs through direct involvement with projects that address public needs and community concerns at the local, national, and international level.

Wavelength,” a public art installation designed by the GSD’s Daniel D’Oca MUP ’02 and his colleagues at Interboro Partners, Tobias Armborst MAUD ’02 and Georgeen Theodore MAUD ’02, brings color and shade to Harvard’s Science Center Plaza.

Farshid Moussavi is recognized with an Order of the British Empire award amid the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Moussavi receives an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award in recognition of her contributions to the field of architecture.

July 2018

The GSD selects the Basel-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, design consultant, and New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle, architect of record, to design a significant transformation of the School’s primary campus building, Gund Hall, into a twenty-first-century center of design education and innovation.

The GSD-Courances Design Residency names its inaugural participants: Mariel Collard MLA ’19, MDes ’19 and Juan David Grisales MLA ’20, MDes ’20.

Andres Sevtsuk talks autonomous vehicles, Future of Streets research during a keynote address at the Strategic Visioning Workshop on Autonomous Vehicles conference in Minnesota.

August 2018

The Fall 2018 public program is announced, offering a lecture from Michael Van Valkenburgh, a conversation with Hannah Beachler, and an evening with Hans Ulrich Obrist, among many others.

“I hope my students will leave class seeing themselves as more empowered citizens.” Urban Planning and Design’s Abby Spinak discusses the courses she is leading this fall, what she hopes students will take away from them, and her design inspiration outside the classroom.

The American Planning Association honors two GSD candidates as recipients of each of its two APA Foundation Scholarship awards: Gina Ciancone MUP ’19 and Henna Mahmood MUP ’20.

September 2018


Talking Practice podcast—the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice—debuts. Hosted by Grace La MArch ’95, initial guests include Reinier de Graaf, Jeanne Gang MArch ’93, and Paul Nakazawa MArch ’79.

The Guardian taps the GSD’s Jesse M. Keenan for a series on “climate migration” in America.

The culmination of a four-year investigation funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Druker Design Gallery exhibition “Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative” argues that the complexity of contemporary urban societies and environments makes communication and collaboration across professional boundaries and academic disciplines essential.

October 2018

Mohsen Mostafavi, dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, announces his intention step down at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. “I am proud of what we have accomplished together over the past 11 years, and I look forward to witnessing the School continue its collaborative ethos and engagement with Harvard and the world in the years to come.”

Nine GSD students and recent graduates are among the recipients of 2018 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards.

Sou Fujimoto discusses the relationship between nature and architecture as well as that between nature and man-made environment as part of the fall public program.

UPD’s Ann Forsyth is named Editor of Journal of the American Planning Association. “Professor Forsyth is a visionary among her peers in the planning profession, with an impressive record in both academia and professional practice,” says APA President Cynthia Bowen.

November 2018

Friends of The High Line, 2017 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design winner, is honored through an exhibition in the Druker Design Gallery.

Internationally renowned graphic designer Irma Boom delivers the 2018 Open House Lecture.

Platform 11: Setting the Table, the first student-led installment of the series, debuts at Open House.

Womxn in Design hosts “A Convergence at the Confluence of Power, Identity, and Design.” It marks the formation of a regional network of equity-focused design-centric student groups focused on re-imagining the intersection between identity and design.

December 2018

The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities announces the completion of HouseZero, the retrofitting of its headquarters in a pre-1940s building in Cambridge into an ambitious living laboratory and an energy-positive prototype for ultra-efficiency that will help us to understand buildings in new ways.

No Sweat,” the 46th issues of Harvard Design Magazine, takes on the design of work and the work of design.

The six winners of the 2019 Richard Rogers Fellowship are announced. The cohort includes a range of participants from academia, architecture, and media arts.
Students in studio courses present their work to critics from the GSD and around the world during final reviews. Image (above) from the final review for “Natural Monument” led by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen.

AIA awards the 2019 Topaz Medallion to Toshiko Mori, Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture. The award is considered the highest honor given to educators in architecture.

January 2019

Students participate in a range of J-Term workshops, including “Making the Industrial Basket at Three Scales” led by 2019 Loeb Fellow Stephen Burks.

Taking up social and spatial equity in New York, the “Design and the Just City” exhibition opens at AIA’s Center for Architecture. The exhibition debuted in the GSD’s Frances Loeb Library as part of the Spring 2018 exhibitions program.

The Spring 2019 public program is announced, opening with a conversation led by  Michael Jakob to introduce the exhibition Mountains and the Rise of Landscape.

February 2019

Dean Mohsen Mostafavi talks John Portman, Atlanta architecture, and Portman’s America with Georgia Public Radio.

Ahead of her lecture at the GSD, architect Beate Hølmebakk’s Paper Architecture 4Beate Hølmebakk discusses her paper projects and rejecting the dominance of user-friendly architecture.

2018 Rouse Visiting Artist Hannah Beachler reflects on her history-making Oscar nomination.

March 2019

The Department of Architecture, and Department Chair Mark Lee MArch ’95, launch two new lunch talk series: “Books and Looks” and “Five on Five.”

“We were never considered fully human, so why should we care about this crisis?” Philosopher Rosi Braidotti discusses collective positivity in the face of human extinction ahead of her public program lecture.

The Library’s “Multiple Miamis” exhibition presents the city’s multiple personalities, with lessons for cities across the country.

“Streets are what make some cities great, and some cities not so great.” Janette Sadik-Khan addresses the GSD community to discuss her book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

The 11th annual Platform exhibition, “Setting the Table,” goes up in the Druker Design Gallery.

The Department of Landscape Architecture announces the 2019 Penny White Project Fund recipients.

April 2019

Sarah Whiting

Sarah Whiting is named the next dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A leading scholar, educator, and architect widely respected for her commitment to integrating design theory and practice, Whiting comes to the GSD from Rice University School of Architecture, where she has served as dean since 2010. She previously taught at the GSD early in her career.

The New York Times joins the GSD’s Jesse Keenan for a look at the future of Duluth as a “climigrant friendly city.”

Pioneering conceptual artist Agnes Denes addresses GSD students online. To accompany the piece, Denes created an original object, a six-foot-long scroll of the manifesto she composed in 1970 and which has guided her practice ever since. An artist edition of 1,000 copies of the manifesto designed by Zak Group is offered as a gift to students from Denes.

The Plimpton Professorship of Planning and Urban Economics is made possible by a gift from Samuel Plimpton MBA ’77, MArch ’80 and his wife, Wendy Shattuck. The position will explore a wide range of urban issues and data, including development, evolving land use patterns and property values, affordability, market and regulatory interactions, open space, consumer behaviors, and outcomes, and climate change, and will help inform the decisions of future architects and planners.

The community comes together to celebrate Dean Mostafavi’s 11 years leading the GSD with a “Final Revue.”

May 2019

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus School of Design, contributor Charles Shafaieh looks back at the history of Bauhaus performance and the contemporary ways in which GSD students interpreted Oskar Schlemmer works for a Spring 2019 course and event.

Polish architect Aleksandra Jaeschke wins the 2019 Wheelwright Prize. Her proposal, Under Wraps: Architecture and Culture of Greenhouses, focuses on the spatiality of horticultural operations, as well as the interactions between plants and humans across a spectrum of contexts and cultures.

Instigations, speculations, and platforms: Dr. Catherine Ingraham commemorates Dean Mohsen Mostafavi’s lasting contribution to the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

“You belong here.” Naisha Bradley, the GSD’s first Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, shares her vision for community-building.

Class Day speaker Teju Cole discusses the unpredictability and potential of the city ahead of his 2019 address.

The GSD launches the African American Design Nexus (AADN), a virtual collection that illuminates African American architects and designers from various generations, practices, and backgrounds. Its debut represents four years of research and development, a collaboration among Harvard GSD’s African American Student Union, Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, architect Phil Freelon  LF ’90, and Harvard GSD’s Frances Loeb Library, where AADN is housed.

The GSD awards 364 degrees during Harvard’s 368th Commencement.