The Harvard University Graduate School of Design brings together the most talented students to study, investigate, and address complex design challenges at all levels—from housing shortages and community development in Boston to the effects of climate change and rapid urbanization around the world. Through practice, research, and teaching, our extraordinary faculty and staff guide students as they engage in local action, global thinking, and the pursuit of a better tomorrow.

Your donation to the GSD Fund will provide immediate access to the activities and experiences that are hallmarks of a GSD education. Empower our students to join the ranks of GSD alumni who are design leaders practicing in multiple fields.

The GSD is dedicated to allocating a quarter of its operating budget to student financial aid, yet this figure remains well below the full cost of providing the GSD’s unparalleled educational experience. We invite you to support today’s GSD students—your gift will give them the opportunity to freely imagine and create in the global classroom and the local community.

Design education is expensive. In addition to tuition, 3D printing and making models are quite costly. Financial aid allows for a level playing field.
— Dana McKinney MArch ’17, MUP ’17

Local Action

HarvardGSD_AlumniMailing_F17_Card_11-9-17we allCommunity-Driven Public Art
Harvard University engaged the GSD as a partner in the planning, design, and execution of a new public art installation in neighboring Allston. The “WE ALL” student design team responded best to the core competition ideal: merging art, design, and interaction within the context of the neighborhood and its residents.

Civic Engagement
Eight students received funding through the GSD to pursue internships with local organizations serving the greater Boston area last summer. Their work included mentoring young people with YouthBuild Boston, developing an open-source app to increase civic engagement with the City of Cambridge, and helping to increase access to affordable housing in Boston with the Department of Neighborhood Development.

Teaching the Next Generation of Students
Project Link is an intensive summer program developed by GSD alumni and run by students that immerses Boston-area high school students in the world of design. The program strives to foster skills in local teens not previously exposed to art or architecture training and put students on track to explore design at the collegiate level.


Global Thinking

Investigating Kuala Lumpur’s Urban Landscape
With a focus on alternative methods of planning, this studio asked students to rethink a complex area inside the dense urban core of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Proposals aimed to make quality-of-life improvements by merging private and public spaces and developing an urban plan with architectural forms, connections, and programming.

HarvardGSD_AlumniMailing_F17_Card_11-9-17african water citiesBuilding Industries in African Water Cities
Led by 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic Kunlé Adeyemi, this studio looked at the city of Durban, South Africa, as a way of examining the challenges and opportunities presented by the impacts of urbanization in Africa.

São Paulo: Rescaling of Rail Infrastructure and New Models of Domestic Life
Students in this studio considered how changes to transportation infrastructure in São Paulo, Brazil, bring the potential for new models of collective urban life.

Financial aid is a key component of the GSD remaining a diverse institution. It allows us to bring students from many different backgrounds, many different places in the world, and to really create an environment in which we can have impact and influence in those places but also benefit from the knowledge of all the people who become part of the GSD community.
— Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design



In this final year of the Grounded Visionaries campaign, financial aid remains an area of critical need for the GSD. With your gift to the GSD Fund, you will help ensure that the next generation of design leaders has access to the School’s transformative pedagogy and unrivaled academic opportunities.


Make a Gift