An Engaged Community: 2015-2016
The impact of the GSD alumni community spans the globe with expanding opportunities for thought-provoking discourse and building rewarding connections with fellow alumni and the School. This past year, over 1,600 alumni and friends assembled at 28 GSD-hosted events covering 15 cities and six countries. Highlights include design lectures from Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, department chairs, and faculty at iconic cultural institutions, receptions at professional conventions offering valuable networking opportunities, inspiring ambassador events hosted by Alumni Council members, and exclusive tours of provocative structures and landscapes designed by GSD alumni. Through this expanded footprint and heightened interconnectivity, GSD alumni are amplifying their creativity and innovation to transform the built environment.
Last September, alumni from the Classes of 1965, 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2005 reconnected with each other and the GSD during a festive reunion weekend in Cambridge. A dynamic program provided alumni opportunities to experience current studios and courses, engage in discussion with academic department chairs and Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, as well as experience the range of resources available to current students from the Loeb Library and the Fabrication Lab, to research projects and Centers at the GSD. Two weeks later, alumni and friends joined the GSD in Chicago for the Alumni + Friends Weekend. Harvard Design: Chicago began with the Adaptive Architectures and Smart Materials Conference, an inspiring series of panels and events exploring design innovations for architecture and industry. The conference featured over 20 thought leaders, academics, building scientists, and practitioners as presenters and discussion participants. The culmination of the weekend featured an inspiring tour of local projects designed by SD alumni.
In collaboration with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the School hosted the symposium Collaboration: The Lineage of an Architectural Practice, at the Leadenhall Building in London. Alumni and friends attended this symposium to unravel a series of issues that have been central to the firm’s practice and vital to the practice of architecture. GSD participants included Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, K. Michael Hays, Hanif Kara, and Farshid Moussavi MArch ’91, who joined speakers Lord Richard Rogers, Graham Stirk, and Ivan Harbour. Also in March, recent graduates gathered at Interboro Partners in Brooklyn, NY for a lively discussion and networking event hosted by Tobias Armborst MUD ’02, Dan D’Oca MUP ’02, and Georgeen Theodore MAUD ’02.
To honor the meaningful contributions of alumni and friends in support of fellowships and financial aid for students, the GSD hosted our Inaugural Fellowship Reception in April. Alumni and students shared mutually inspirational stories of impact during festive presentations and networking. The student recipients conveyed their tremendous gratitude for the generosity of alumni and donors that enabled them to attend the world’s premier design school.
The GSD’s exceptional scholarship and commitment to transformative research were spotlighted during Your Harvard: Canada in Toronto which featured faculty speaker Rahul Mehrotra MAUD ’87, Professor of Urban Design and Planning. Your Harvard events in Atlanta and Boston rounded out the trio of celebrations for global Harvard alumni community during the academic year. Marking the tenth anniversary of the annual GSD Alumni Council Unsung Hero Book Prize—an award which has been embraced by the GSD to honor students who make a difference in the GSD community without recognition from others—the contributions of current and past award recipients were celebrated with a book exhibition in the Loeb Library.
Plans are well underway for a robust event calendar for 2016–2017 as the GSD looks forward to engaging alumni and friends, near and far, to celebrate the achievement of our community of collaborative alumni as they work to address global challenges across practices and disciplines.