Dear MDE Alumni,

Greetings from Cambridge! Much has happened since the last newsletter, including several notable firsts: our first alumni reunion, the launch of an MDE alumni chapter, and an MDE representative (Zeerak Ahmed MDE ’18) joining the GSD Alumni Council. This is also my first newsletter as an MDE director, and the entire MDE team is energized by the passion and commitment of the program’s exceptional alumni. The pioneering work of MDE is inherently collaborative, and alumni are always a critical part of that. As the fall semester started, twenty-seven of you participated in MDE workshops, career postings, or panels, providing inspiring opportunities to hear from many on recent activities and successes. We are grateful for the good you are making in the world, and for all the ways you continue to support the program and the next generations of MDEers.

As we consider how to strengthen the program further, we look toward future alumni: prospective students who will be a good fit for MDE. In recent years, many of our strongest applicants have come through contacts, discussions, and connections with MDE alumni. You are aspirational role models for these prospective students, and through you, they can see themselves in MDE. With that in mind, we ask for your help in continuing to share the possibilities of MDE. Particularly as we look forward to the upcoming admissions cycle, we invite you to share MDE with promising candidates. Now and in the years ahead, you are an essential bridge that brings the best candidates into our MDE family.

See below for all kinds of program updates, including opportunities to engage. As always, the program values your input and participation. We also appreciate that global events might be impacting you or your families, just as they’ve touched campus life, and we send our heartfelt support to each of you.

We hope to see you all soon!

With warm regards and on behalf of the entire MDE team,

Andrew Witt MArch ’07, MDes ’02
MDE Co-Director, Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture, GSD


MDE Leadership Changes

As previously announced, Professor Woody Yang stepped down from his position as MDE co-director on November 2. We are grateful for his service and substantial contributions to the program over many years, and he leaves the program in a strong position for future growth.

Please know that the program, GSD, and SEAS are actively working together to ensure a smooth transition, and a new SEAS co-director will come onboard for next academic year. We look forward to sharing updates with you as plans come together.


March 22 & 23 — Save the Date!

The next MDE alumni reunion is scheduled for mid-March. This is open to all MDE alumni, with an alumni and faculty dinner on the evening of March 22. We will build opportunities to engage with current students around this dinner on both March 22 and 23, including possible office hours, career discussions, and a look at student projects.

RSVP to the dinner and indicate your interest for various activities via this form.


Alumni Page and Resources

The MDE website now has an alumni page! This page lists resources, submission forms for news and events, and info about alumni chapters. Regarding chapters, we’re on the cusp of forming one in Los Angeles. If you want to join this chapter, use our new registration form, as linked on the site.

Scroll to the website footer on any page and you’ll see the For Alumni link.


Faculty News

The program is thrilled to announce several new faculty members. Read each person’s full profile.

  • Kathleen Brandenburg – Design Critic in Architecture, GSD and co-founder of IA Collaborative
    Kathleen is a leading figure in the field of human-centered design strategy. In 2000, she co-founded the global design innovation consultancy IA Collaborative to bring design processes and methods to a wide range of industries and sectors.
  • Mark F. Coughlin – Lecturer in Engineering Design, SEAS
    Formal training in mechanical and biomedical engineering has given Mark the tools to reframe difficult biological questions into tractable engineering problems. His most recent work focused on engineering novel microphysiological systems.
  • Alexandros Haridis – Lecturer in Engineering Design, SEAS
    Alex is an architect, engineer, and a researcher of computation in its interface with creative domains such as architecture, engineering design, mathematics, and different forms of art.
  • Karen Korellis Reuther – Design Critic in Architecture, GSD
    As global creative director at NIKE, Karen developed major product, merchandising, and brand strategies, solidifying NIKE at the top of its industry. Prior to coming to Harvard, she was vice president of creative direction + future at Reebok. This fall, Karen joined the 78th UN General Assembly as part of a panel on “Building an equitable future through women-centric innovations: introducing the Equity 2030 Alliance.”
Program and Student News

MDE students and alumni continue to impress us with their creativity, criticality, and creations. Here’s a peek at recent activities.

Did we miss something?

Email us! Send an email to [email protected] if you have news for the MDE website or would like to see a specific topic addressed in our next newsletter. You can also submit news through the new alumni page.