Harvard GSD Fall 2019 Option Studios
Please click the studio title for full descriptions of each studio.
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE
POST-SHAKER – Preston Scott Cohen
The studio’s hypothesis is that the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village in New York is to be converted into an art colony that reawakens the historic site as a living tradition in the present but one that extends and transforms many of the cultural and artistic practices of the Shakers.
HABITAT KASHGAR – Zhang Ke
Students in this studio undertake the challenge of designing a series of projects related to the subject of habitat, either as a single-family house, multifamily housing, or as community service programs (a school, a library, or an art center) in Kashgar, the ancient oasis city situated in between the great desert of Taklimakan and snow mountains of the Pamirs.
TYPE VS. DIFFERENCE: THE FUNCTION OF A 21st CENTURY RESIDENTIAL BLOCK – Farshid Moussavi
Exploring the rooted politics of architecture and its agency in everyday life students in this studio address the subject of housing in relation to the individualized society of the 21st century. The project site is located in a dense historic area of Paris and each student will be asked to design a large-scale housing project that responds to the needs of our individualized and ever-changing society.
ADAPTING MIAMI – HOUSING ON THE TRANSECT – Eric Howeler, Corey Zehngebot
In this studio, students will explore housing types along an urban transect, cutting from the high-density coastline and following the primary commercial corridor of Calle Ocho (Eight Street) through Little Havana and out to the Florida everglades.
AN AMERICAN SECTION – Kersten Geers, David Van Severen
This is the second studio of American Architecture. In parallel to our previous endeavors, students will work on the university campus. The course will investigate the idea of American corporate education, perhaps best embodied in the image of the Mies van der Rohe’s Armour Institute. Students will look into Mittel Amerika, the Midwest, and the Great Lakes megalopolis, where the sheer economic expansion most apparently instigated this ambiguity between the idea and its mass production.
LABORATORY SCHOOL, STACKING, PRAGMATISM – Hilary Sample
On rethinking the scope and scale of the specific educational program, the laboratory school, students will reimagine a new type of primary public school for Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus, while drawing on historic precedents including pragmatist John and Alice Chipman Dewey’s Laboratory School (1896–1903) at the University of Chicago.
GROUNDLESS – Andrew Zago
The studio project is the new International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. The museum has three physical components: the ground, which acts as a memorial garden; the interior exhibition; and the architecture.
CROSS RHYTHM (NEW HOUSE IN NEW ORLEANS) – Go Hasegawa
“Cross rhythm” is a term used to describe a composition made of different rhythms. This studio tries to deal with the building typology in positive way. How can we design a new house in New Orleans as a building of cross rhythm?
REFLECTIVE NOSTALGIA: ALTERNATIVE FUTURES FOR SHANGHAI’S SHIKUMEN HERITAGE – Lyndon Neri, Rossana Hu
This studio will explore how reflective nostalgia may offer a new model for adaptive reuse in the context of China, where the erosion of cultural identity and local heritage have come as a consequence of rapid urbanization.
A TYPOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGES – Eric Lapierre
Reconsidering the types and spaces of institutions that are dedicated to the classification and transmission of knowledge—schools of architecture, libraries, and museums—student will imagine how they can improve not only the society at large, but also their neighborhoods, at different scales and in different ways.
DOMESTIC ORBITS – Frida Escobedo, Xavier Nueno
How can architectural interventions help recognize, reduce, and redistribute the problems faced by domestic workers? This studio proposes to visualize and understand how space is articulated according to specific gendered, classist, and racist configurations of the social. The aim is to provide narratives of Mexico City that foreground the conflicts faced by the workforce onto which domestic labor is unloaded.
DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
ADRIFT AND INDETERMINATE: DESIGNING FOR PERPETUAL MIGRATION ON VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE – Gary R. Hilderbrand
Virginia’s Eastern Shore is confronting sea level rise at a rate 40 percent faster than the global average. What can design offer in the face of this calamity? Students will examine a migratory phenomenon rooted in perpetual adaptation, one that has been in motion for far longer than the recent arc of concern for climate instability. The studio will pursue adaptive processes, land use strategies, and the design of landscapes and structures that extend the life of a challenged community.
In tiny Switzerland, landscape is regarded as a resource that serves lobbies from agriculture and speculation, to infrastructure, ecology, tourism, and recreation, each with a voice of its own except one–the landscape itself. This studio explores the potential of these spaces to develop a strong landscape voice and experience of their own, to imbue them with what Alistair Bonnet refers to as “geographical reenchantment”.
MANIFESTOS FOR BUILDING THE UTOPIA – Loreta Castro, Gabriela Carrillo
The continuous ground movements that happen in Mexico City, specifically those that have occurred during the last 40 years, demonstrate the territory’s frailty due to its radical landscape transformation. The focus will be ground-cracks, products of excessive water extraction, ground subsidence, and earthquakes. We are interested in their effects on the landscape and the urban fabric, and the possibilities they enable when considered as intrinsic elements that will shape the contemporary Mexico City. Participants will express their positions toward these extreme conditions through a space manifesto.
SOCIAL OPERATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE: SUSTAINABLE WATER MODELS IN CHILE – Eugenio Simonetti, Tomas Folch
As a way to start a discussion about networks beyond monofunctional operation, with the goal of bringing social, environmental, and functional upgrades to the city, students will explore the operative water infrastructure in Chile.
THE IMMEASURABLE ENCLOSURE – Segio Lopez-Pineiro
Single-space environments—outdoors, indoors, or in-between—are defined by enclosing and containing only a small part of the world. Precisely because of this condition, they have traditionally been perceived as the means for designing coherent singular identities. This studio aims to reframe the discrete space as the mechanism for containing and expressing the world. Through the design of a single-space environment, this studio proposes reframing the design technique of the enclosure and infusing landscape and architecture’s primordial roots with the ambition of holding the immeasurable.
FALLOWSCAPES, TERRITORIAL RECONFIGURATION STRATEGIES FOR ARLES, FRANCE – Anita Berrizbeitia, Marc Armengaud, Matthais Armengaud
On a promontory on the left bank of the lower Rhone River, the city of Arles presides over vast plains that, until fairly recently, were characterized as wastelands destined to remain permanently uncultivated. This studio will reconsider the interactions between systems and landscapes according to different scales, limits, time, and material, advocating for territorial reconfiguration strategies that investigate the existing and the potential, in order to face dramatic ecological threats and an enduring social crisis.
DEPARTMENT OF URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGN
HOUSING & INFRASTRUCTURE IN YUCATAN: BEYOND THE MAYAN TRAIN – Jose Castillo
The Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico is a place where urbanization and environmental preservation have always been in delicate balance due to its particular geological conditions: a medium to low tropical rainforest on water-soluble limestone. This studio looks at the region in its historical and contemporary shifts and develop more productive, sustainable, and inclusive models for territorial transformation.
AFFORDABILITY NOW! – Dan D’Oca
The United States is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. This interdisciplinary studio, offered in conjunction with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, invites students from all departments to examine bold new affordable housing initiatives. The site is the Los Angeles region, where the affordability crisis is particularly dire. Students will work with tenants, community-based organizations, and city officials to imagine how we might creatively deploy cooperative developments, community land trusts, low-cost housing prototypes, and other weapons to help build a more equitable region.
The main objective in this studio is to critically explore Novi Sad, Serbia, the European Capital of Culture 2021. In this studio, students have researched future spatial scenarios for upgrading a series of defunct factory complexes into “civic social districts”. The challenge is to explore future civic design for these complexes via visionary urbanism, art, and design culture; finding a balance between government ownership and that of the private or informal sectors.
FEEDING BOSTON – Eulàlia Gómez Escoda
The development of postindustrial food supply systems parallels the explosion of the modern city. This studio deals with an ordinary matter whose future impacts every one of the world’s citizens. Focusing on Greater Boston, the studio will analyze temporal, spatial, and relational patterns of food production, transportation, storage, and sale.