The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) launched its $110-million-plus fundraising campaign on September 12 and 13 with a series of events highlighting the school’s “grounded visionaries”: architects, planners, and designers who are at once free to dream of inventive solutions for—and intensely concerned with the practical challenges of—building a better world. Part of the University’s $6.5-billion capital campaign, the GSD campaign will support expanded international research and studio programs; new spaces for research and teaching, including proposals for a new research building to augment Gund Hall; and financial aid for students. Campaign co-chair John K.F. Irving ’83, M.B.A. ’89, whose $10-million gift kicked off the campaign last year, announced on Saturday that the school has already raised $69.23 million, or 63 percent of its total goal.

Speeches by two of the school’s most distinguished affiliates—both recipients of the field’s top honor, the Pritzker Prize —bookended the weekend. On Friday night, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, professor in practice of architecture and urban design, set the tone for the events to follow with a speech in Sanders Theatre. Speaking of the challenges and opportunities that rapid urbanization and even more rapid technological advancement pose for designers, he showcased the exhibit, a reexamination of the fundamental elements of architecture and design, that he designed for this year’s Venice Biennale with the help of GSD students. The following evening in Piper Auditorium in Gund Hall, Fumihiko Maki, M.Arch. ’54, G ’56 provided retrospective reflections on his six-decade-long architectural career, offering reminiscences on his work with many of the school’s earliest leaders in the 1950s.

To read more, visit Harvard Magazine’s full length article on the campaign and design weekend.