Plimpton–Poorvu Design Prize to recognize students who exemplify excellence, innovation, and enhancement through their work at the GSD.

Mohsen Mostafavi is honored to announce the establishment of the Plimpton–Poorvu Design Prize at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). Established with a gift by longtime friends, business partners, and GSD advocates Samuel J. Plimpton MBA ’77, MArch ’80 and William J. Poorvu MBA ’58, the Prize will recognize students who exemplify excellence and innovation through their work in any degree program at the GSD.

Plimpton is delighted to create this gift with his friend and mentor William J. Poorvu, stating that “Bill wrote the book on real estate. He is responsible for many of the cases that are used to teach the subject at both the University and throughout the United States. I was lucky to study with him at HBS, and am excited for our continued work together.”

The Plimpton–Poorvu Design Prize, an award of approximately $20,000 annually, will be distributed to an individual or team who develops a commercially viable real estate project as part of the their curricular work at the GSD. A GSD faculty committee with representation from the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning & Design will select a winning candidate in consultation with the Dean. The recipient(s) will be selected on the basis of the project’s feasibility in regards to design, construction, and economics, and in fulfillment of market, user, and community needs.

“This prize is intended to honor innovative thinking applied to realistic constraints,” Poorvu says. He explains that “[s]uccessful developments depend on far more than good design or a good location—the real estate game is complex. We hope to encourage collaborative work, bringing together a broad spectrum of experiences to create an informed plan.”

Poorvu is MBA Class of 1961 Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship Emeritus at HBS and was a lecturer in the department of city and regional planning at the GSD in the early and mid-1970s. He is the author of many books and articles on real estate, including The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision-Making and Investing (Free Press, 1999). Poorvu also has served as managing partner in a number of real estate companies and is a trustee of several major cultural institutions.

Plimpton has been an innovator since his time at Harvard, where he earned concurrent degrees in business and architecture. At The Baupost Group, L.L.C, Plimpton was Co-Head of Private Investments and a member of the Management Committee and is today Partner Emeritus and Senior Advisor. Prior to joining Baupost, he was a partner in independent real estate ventures and held a research appointment at HBS. Together with his wife, Wendy Shattuck, he has been a generous supporter of the GSD, and of a broad network of civic and cultural institutions across Boston.

Dean Mostafavi acknowledges the value of this gift. “This prize recognizes the great contributions of these real estate icons and ensures that their names live in posterity at the GSD. Our students produce a broad spectrum of superior work on an annual basis. This gift will celebrate the innovative and responsive projects that are created in the context of our inspiring curriculum.”

The School will begin the prize nomination process at the end of the 2016 spring semester. Students and teams from all GSD programs are eligible to enter.