News & Stories

Picture of Kongjian Yu witha red button down shirt and greenary in the background

Alumni Updates

Kongjian Yu DDes ’95 Wins Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize

The Oberlander Prize, an initiative of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, includes a $100,000 award and two years of public engagement activities focused on the laureate and landscape architecture The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has named Kongjian Yu DDes ’95 the winner of the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize (Oberlander Prize), a biennial honor that includes…

Student Spotlight: Kendall A. Nicholson MDes ’23

“Financial assistance was what made it possible for me to choose the GSD, and is especially important for students of color, who may not come from financial privilege. Going back to school at age 34 is valuable—because with age comes maturity, and there is always more to learn. This time around, my focus is on…

Student Spotlight: Maggie Musante MArch I ’24

“Winning the Cossutta Prize helped my financial situation immensely, and my work and school performance have benefited. On top of that, I felt like I was affirmed for the work I had done these past two years. It made me much more confident as a designer.”   —Maggie Musante MArch I ’24 _____ In Maggie’s undergraduate…

Student Spotlight: Maya Adachi MArch I ’25

“For people without an architecture background, it can be difficult to even consider pursuing an education in the field. Financial aid plays a crucial role in motivating and supporting nontraditional architecture students such as myself. Many students without an architectural background can bring forth unique perspectives, adding richness and diversity to the future of architecture.”…

Student Spotlight: Kholisile Dhliwayo MDes ’24

“With more financial aid, we could have a greater diversity of students at the GSD. I know many people who would never consider applying because they don’t have the financial means. That could have been me, easily. If I leave the GSD and I end up with the means, I plan to give back because…

Harvard Magazine: Real Estate by Design

Real Estate, as the saying goes, is about location, location, location. But it is also about timing. By one estimate, nearly one-sixth of U.S. commercial office space was vacant this past summer: a greater share than after the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2008-2009—despite an economy so robust that the Federal Reserve Board has been…

Welcome to Fall 2023 from Dean Sarah Whiting

Dear GSD community, It was wonderful to see so many of you last Thursday afternoon for our all-school event to start the semester, and a big thanks again to faculty members Danielle Choi, Toni Griffin, Eric Höweler, Dana McKinney White, and Andrew Witt for their incredibly thought-provoking presentations, and to Student Forum president Cory Page…

A Message to Architecture Alumni from Grace La MArch ’95, Chair of the Department of Architecture and Professor of Architecture

Dear Architecture Alumni, Hello and warm greetings from Cambridge! During my first month as Chair of the Department of Architecture, this summer is a particularly special and exhilarating time—a chance to recharge and imagine all the possibilities for discovery through design. I look forward to working together and I am immensely grateful to Dean Sarah…

Honoring the 2023 GSD Alumni Council Award Winners

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce Edwin “Teddy” Cruz MDes ’97, Shaun Donovan AB ’87, MPA ’95, MArch ’95, William “Bill” Johnson MLA ’57, Frank Christopher Lee MAUD ’79, and Cathy Simon MArch ’69 as the 2023 recipients of the Harvard GSD Alumni Award. In its third year, the award honors…

Student Story: Maggie Musante MArch I ’24

“Winning the Cossutta Prize helped my financial situation immensely, and my work and school performance have benefited. On top of that, I felt like I was affirmed for the work I had done these past two years. It made me much more confident as a designer.” —Maggie Musante MArch I ’24 ________ Maggie’s journey to…

Honoring the GSD’s 2023 Unsung Heroes

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Alumni Council and the GSD’s Frances Loeb Library are pleased to honor four students with the 2023 Unsung Hero Book Prize. This year’s honorees are Alexandra Barnes MDes ’23, Tobi Fagbule MDes ’23, Cory Page MLA ’25, MUP ’25, and Ellie Sheild MUP ’23, MRE ’24. “Each year, I am surprised…

Student Story: Kendall Nicholson MDes ’23

“Financial assistance was what made it possible for me to choose the GSD, and is especially important for students of color, who may not come from a background of financial privilege. Going back to school at age 34 is valuable—because with age comes maturity, and there is always more to learn. This time around, my…

A New Beginning for Trash: Arthur Huang MArch ’04

To most people, trash is just a mixture of discarded things without value. However, to Arthur Huang MArch ’04, trash represents a new beginning. Huang’s Taiwan-based company, MINIWIZ, home of the remarkable TRASHLAB laboratory, revolutionizes the waste and recycling industries through innovation, technology, and design. Essentially, MINIWIZ is on a mission to unlock the upcycling…

Alumni Spotlight: Francisco “Pancho” Brown MDes ’20

“Change will only happen if we include people that don’t come from hegemonic forms of power and influence, yet are disproportionately affected by structural outcomes.” — Francisco “Pancho” Brown MDes ’20 We recently spoke with Francisco “Pancho” Brown MDes ’20. Pancho is a Nicaraguan designer and creative consultant with experience in humanitarian and commercial architecture,…

Alumni Spotlight: Corey Zehngebot MArch ’09

“You can be an ambitious person who’s had a robust professional career, but also be self-aware enough to know when you need to take a break—because of whatever is happening in the world or in your life. The choice was clear to me once I sat down and really thought hard about what the best…

A Present and Passionate Voice: Tosin Odugbemi MArch ’24

Tosin Odugbemi MArch ’24 often inhabits several spaces simultaneously, a skill and perspective that deeply benefits her study of the built environment. A child of two doctors, Tosin moved with her family from South Africa to Canada at a young age. She grew up in the prairies of British Columbia in a predominantly white neighborhood, with…

Alumni Spotlight: Ruben Segovia MArch ’17

“I believe our role as designers is to think more systematically. It’s not just about designing the layout of the house, but understanding the impact of that house. What trees were on the land before? What species lived in those trees? We are beginning to understand that our role is not to design spaces and…

Alumni Spotlight: Kotchakorn Voraakhom MLA ’06

“Nature is changing, the climate is changing, and so we, too, need to change. We must understand that fixed definitions of nature from the past no longer apply in this era of uncertainty we are confronting. Climate change is causing cities to sink, and our current infrastructure is making us even more vulnerable to severe…

Grace La MArch ’95 Appointed Chair of Department of Architecture

Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announces Grace La MArch ’95 as Chair of the Department of Architecture, effective July 1, 2023. La is Professor of Architecture at the GSD and principal of LA DALLMAN, a practice internationally recognized for work that integrates architecture, engineering, and site. La is the second woman to be…

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Shaw MUP ’00

“On our very first day of school, [GSD professor] Jerold S. Kayden [MCRP ’79] said to me, ‘Being a planner can be a curse, because you actually live in your work and decisions.’ As I’ve grown in my position, that’s something I think about often. It helps me to be aware of the responsibilities and…

Alumni Spotlight: Paola Aguirre Serrano MAUD ’11

“My work is multi-layered and multi-disciplinary; sometimes it’s civic art, sometimes it’s planning, sometimes it’s community engagement, sometimes it’s architecture, sometimes it’s landscape design, and sometimes it’s a combination of everything.” — Paola Aguirre Serrano Paola Aguirre Serrano MAUD ’11, is a GSD Alumni Council member and the founder of Borderless Studio, an urban design…

Fall Update—Department of Landscape Architecture

Dear Landscape Architecture Alumni, I bring you greetings from Cambridge, where the autumn weather has been beautiful, and we are already past the midpoint of our fall semester. It’s my great pleasure to report that from where I sit, the mood in the school is positive and upbeat. Our “Back to School” gathering in early…

Toward a New GSD

A Fall 2022 Message from Dean Sarah M. Whiting Dear GSD Alumni and Friends: First and foremost, I welcome students, faculty, staff, and soon alumni and friends, back to the GSD. It’s hard to believe it, but this is the first semester that we are starting fully in person since spring of 2020! Not only…

GSD Alumni Council Award Recipients

The GSD Alumni Council Award honors outstanding leadership by GSD alumni, underscoring the essential role GSD graduates play in leading change around the world. Founded and led by the GSD Alumni Council, the award recognizes and celebrates the diversity, leadership, range, and impact of GSD alumni within their communities and across their areas of practice….

Honoring the 2022 GSD Alumni Council Award Winners

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce Chelina Odbert MUP ’07, Donald Stull MArch ’62 (in memoriam) and David Lee MAUD ’71, and Allyson Mendenhall FASLA, AB ’90, MLA ’99 as the 2022 recipients of the Harvard GSD Alumni Award. The award, in its second year, honors outstanding leadership by GSD alumni, underscoring…

Harvard Design Press Announces Fall 2022 Titles

Following the launch of Harvard Design Press last spring, the Press is pleased to announce the release of three titles this fall: John Andrews: Architect of Uncommon Sense, Frida Escobedo: Split Subject, and Empty Plinths: Monuments, Memorials, and Public Sculpture in Mexico. Documenting John Andrews’ MAUD ’87 path from Australia to the United States and…

Honoring the GSD’s 2022 Unsung Heroes

  The Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Alumni Council and the GSD’s Frances Loeb Library are pleased to honor five students with the 2022 Unsung Hero Book Prize. This year’s honorees are Junainah N. Ahmed MArch ’23, Aeshna Sanjive Prasad MAUD ’21, MDes ’22, Sarah Elizabeth Page MAUD ’23, Naksha Satish MAUD ’22, and Arshaya Sood MDes ’22,…

Concluding 2021-2022

Dear Alumni and Friends, With the end of commencement ceremonies and celebrations held over the past several days, the school year officially has come to a close. Congratulations again to the class of 2022, as well as the graduates from 2020 and 2021, for whom we were, at long last and not a minute too…

The Power of a Worldwide Design Community

During an unprecedented time, the Harvard GSD Alumni Council created Design Impact, a leadership series that emphasized design as a tool for transformative change and healing. Design’s power has always been most potent when its practitioners can come together. In the early days of the pandemic, though, the world was folding into small, quarantined boundaries….

Harvard GSD announces Master in Real Estate Degree

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce a new 12-month degree, the Master in Real Estate (MRE), for individuals seeking to acquire core real estate skills while learning how real estate can advance beneficial spatial, social, and environmental outcomes in cities and metropolitan areas worldwide. The school has received a combined…

Community by Design: Allyson Mendenhall AB ’90, MLA ’99 to Serve as HAA President

First Graduate School of Design alum to serve as HAA president, Allyson Mendenhall is committed to creating inclusive alumni experiences When Allyson Mendenhall AB ’90, MLA ’99, walked past the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Gund Hall as an undergraduate at Harvard College, she never imagined that she would one day step inside as a…

The GSD’s Early Design Education Programs: An Interview with Megan Panzano MArch ’10

  In 2021, the Harvard Graduate School of Design invested in a set of short introductory education programs that are directed at sharing the value of design with the global public. Early Design Education (EDE)—which invites different audiences to “think and make” through design—includes Design Discovery Virtual, Design Discovery in-person, and Design Discovery Youth summer…

A Spotlight on Scott Mead AB ’77: Fine Art Photographer

Mead is a member of the GSD’s Dean’s Leadership Council and Candidate for Board of Overseers. Scott Mead AB ’77 was 13 years old when he received one of his grandfather’s cameras, a gift that sparked a lifelong passion for photography. He captured images around his home and spent hours in his family’s darkroom developing…

Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery

Dear GSD Alumni and Friends, I write to encourage you to pause and take in yesterday’s email from President Bacow sharing the Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery. The report opens with the simple, direct claim that “Harvard’s motto, Veritas, inscribed on gates, doorways, and sculptures all…

Gary R. Hilderbrand MLA ’85 Appointed Chair of the GSD Department of Landscape Architecture

Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) announces Gary R. Hilderbrand MLA ’85 as new chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, effective July 1, 2022. Hilderbrand is the Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor-in-Practice at the GSD, where he has taught since 1990, and Founding Principal and Partner of Reed Hilderbrand. Hilderbrand succeeds Anita Berrizbeitia MLA…

Honoring the Legacy of Urban Design Pioneer Jaqueline Tyrwhitt

The GSD renamed the 50th Anniversary of Urban Design Program Lecture for Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, a GSD associate professor who worked to establish and fortify the urban design program during its founding years. The Jaqueline Tyrwhitt Urban Design Lecture will be delivered each year by a visionary urban planner, designer, scholar, or leader who has opened…

Winter Greetings from GSD Development & Alumni Relations

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Gund Hall, we raise a glass to you and all those who have helped shape the school into what it is today and what it will be in the future. Thank you for being a valuable member of the GSD community. Wishing you and yours a joyful and…

Julie Bargmann MLA’ 87 Wins Inaugural Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize

The Oberlander Prize, an initiative of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, includes a $100,000 award and two years of public engagement activities focused on the laureate and landscape architecture The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has named Julie Bargmann MLA ’87 the winner of the inaugural Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize (Oberlander Prize), a biennial…

Opening of the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Dear Alumni and Friends, With the GSD community together on campus again, we return to a world that needs thoughtful, caring designers more than ever. I recently listened to an interview with George Saunders, one of my favorite writers, and a phrase he said truly resonated with me: “Kindness is the only non-delusional response to…

Honoring the GSD’s 2021 Unsung Heroes

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Alumni Council is pleased to honor four students with the 2021 Unsung Hero Book Prize. This year’s honorees are Bailey Morgan Brown MArch ’22, MDes ’22, Heidi Brandow MDes ’21, Mary Taylor MUP ’21, and Kathlyn Kao MArch ’22. The Unsung Hero Book Prize celebrates GSD students who…

GSD’s Inaugural Alumni Council Award Recipients Announced

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…

Visit the GSD Through Virtual Gund Hall

While GSD students, faculty, and staff have learned and worked virtually for over a year, the GSD’s Fabrication Lab has brought Gund Hall to the 3D virtual world, with Virtual Gund Hall. Digital Fabrication Analyst Christopher Hansen and a team of students designed the immersive GSD campus experience, which enables viewers to visit and engage…

Buckminster Fuller’s Legacy Honored at Harvard GSD with New Chair

The R. Buckminster Fuller Professorship of Design Science will be awarded to an eminent scholar working to advance innovation in design and promote a sustainable future.   The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announces the establishment of the R. Buckminster Fuller Professorship of Design Science, thanks to the generosity of Amy C. Edmondson…

Talking Practice: Practice in an Uncertain World

In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La MArch ’95 moderates a special roundtable, Practice in an Uncertain World. This informal event was recorded over zoom in May 2020, after the Harvard GSD evacuated its campus due to the COVID pandemic. The occasion gathered thirteen prominent architectural practitioners, who assembled on an early Saturday…

GSD Exhibitions Turn “Inside Out”

This spring, Harvard Graduate School of Design has turned its Druker Design Gallery, Experiments Wall, and other exhibition spaces “Inside Out,” with installations shown through a series of exterior projections on the building’s facade. The series, entitled “Inside Out,” will be screened nightly (4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, EST) through March 18, rotating through a…

Perkins&Will and Harvard GSD Announce Mentorship Program to Build Pipeline of Black Design Talent

Perkins&Will and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) today announce the launch of the Black in Design Mentorship Program pilot, an initiative that aims to promote greater representation of Black talent in the design industry. Originally conceived by students and Perkins&Will professionals at the 2019 Black in Design Conference, the mentorship program will…

Dean Whiting’s Greeting for the Lunar New Year

Wishing the GSD’s Alumni & Friends prosperity, happiness, and good health. After such an unfathomable year, I am glad to be welcoming a new year, one that I hope will offer renewal and connect us with the loved ones, communities, and ideas that nourish us. One of the more uplifting moments that came from this…

The Future of Air Travel: Designing a better in-flight experience

Anyone remember air travel? In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and international flights were hurriedly cancelled, the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Laboratory for Design Technologies (LDT) pivoted its three-year focus project, The Future of Air Travel, to respond to new industry conditions in a rapidly changing world. With the…

Harvard GSD Announces Spring 2021 Public Program

Harvard GSD continues its series of virtual public lectures for the Spring 2021 semester, inviting designers and other curious viewers from around the world to join the school’s dialogue. This spring program offers topical observations, as well as launches of two new Harvard GSD publications: its redesigned Harvard Design Magazine, as well as the to-be-revealed student-run journal Pairs. All programs…

Alumni Council Black Lives Matter Statement

Dear GSD Alumni, Covid-19 revealed the impact of structural racism in its starkest terms. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery underscore the pernicious truth that America remains a country marred by rampant racism. The ongoing display of police brutality on Black Americans across our country shows us that we, as a…