The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce Everett Fly MLA ’77, Deanna Van Buren Loeb Fellow ’13, and Jack Dangermond MLA ’69 as the inaugural recipients of the 2021 Harvard GSD Alumni Award. The award honors outstanding leadership by GSD alumni, underscoring the essential role GSD graduates play in leading change around the world. The award recognizes and celebrates the diversity, range, and impact of GSD alumni within their communities and across their areas of practice, celebrating and honoring design leadership by GSD Alumni.

  • Everett Fly MLA ’77 – As the first African-American graduate of the Master in Landscape Architecture program, Everett Fly witnessed first-hand the lack of architectural scholarship centered on the African American experience. In response, Fly began the “Black Settlements in America Research Project,” setting in motion decades of groundbreaking design research focused on the history of black settlements across the United States. Fly is the recipient of the 2014 National Endowment for the Humanities National Humanities Medal and is recognized as a national leader whose work has transformed our collective understanding of the significance of black places and spaces across America.
  • Deanna Van Buren LF ’13 – Deanna Van Buren is a nationally recognized activist architect leading the research, formulation, and advocacy of restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of the criminal justice system. Deanna sits on the national board of Architects Designs and Planners for Social Responsibility and is the co-founder and design director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, based in Oakland, California. Designing Justice + Designing Space is an innovative architecture and real estate development firm that designs restorative justice centers instead of prisons with the goal of ending the age of mass incarceration. Van Buren’s recent social impact work includes Restore, a multi-use hub for restorative justice and workforce development, The Pop-up Village—a mobile site activation tool and The Reem’s Re-entry Campus. Van Buren’s work has been featured at TED Women and the Women in Architecture Awards Honoring Pioneering Professionals. She received her BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, M. Arch from Columbia University, and is an alumna of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • Jack Dangermond MLA ’69 – Jack Dangermond is the founder and president of Esri. With a background in landscape architecture and urban design, he and his wife, Laura, founded Esri in 1969 on the idea that computer-based mapping and analysis could make significant contributions to geographic planning and environmental science. Since then, Esri has become the global market leader in GIS and location intelligence, with 49 offices worldwide, 11 dedicated research centers, and a user base of about 350,000 organizations around the world. Dangermond completed his undergraduate degree in landscape architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He then earned a Master in Urban Planning from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His early work in the school’s Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis (LCGSA) led directly to the development of Esri’s ARC/INFO GIS software. Dangermond has received many acknowledgments and awards for his contributions to the fields of geography, environmental science, planning, and GIS, including 13 honorary degrees and the Order of Orange- Nassau from the Dutch Government.

The GSD Alumni Award underscores the urgent relevance of the GDS’s design education to a broad range of stakeholders, including peers, practitioners, students, and clients. Through their work and practice, GSD Alumni Award recipients demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration as stated in the GSD Alumni Council Community Statement and GSD Alumni Council Mission Statements. Nominations for the 2021-2022 GSD Alumni Award will open soon.