News & Stories


News Updates

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…

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…

The 2020 Unsung Hero Book Prize

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Alumni Council is pleased to honor four students with the 2020 Unsung Hero Book Prize. This year’s honorees are Yonghui Chen MDes ’18, DDes ’21, Sydney Fang MUP ’20, MPP ’20, Brittany Giunchigliani MLA ’21, and Kyle Miller MUP ’21, MPH ’21.   The Unsung Hero Book Prize celebrates GSD students who act in selfless ways…

GSD Podcast Roundup

The GSD presents two podcast series featuring in-depth interviews with leading design practitioners from around the world.

Alumni Q&A: Megan Panzano MArch ’10

In this Q&A, Panzano shares insights into the Undergraduate Architecture Studies program, what makes the GSD MArch I model distinctive, and how she keeps busy outside of the GSD.

The Affordability Crisis: What are the Greatest Challenges to Affordable Housing Today?

At the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), affordable housing is an urgent concern in the pursuit of healthy, equitable cities. In this video—the first in a series of brief looks at the ways in which topical issues are explored at the GSD—Rahul Mehrotra MAUD ’87, Daniel D’Oca MUP ’02, and Farshid Moussavi MArch…

MDE Alumni Inaugural Annual Newsletter: January 2020

Dear MDE Alumni, Greetings from Cambridge! As the fourth year of the program progresses, it is a pleasure to have two cohorts of graduates out in the world. We have enjoyed hearing about your new careers and activities, and as always, we wish to keep you informed with news from the program side as well….

Call for Applications: Daniel Urban Kiley Teaching Fellowship 2020-2021

The Daniel Urban Kiley Teaching Fellowship is awarded annually to an emerging designer whose work articulates the potential for landscape as a medium of design in the public realm. The Kiley Teaching Fellow will be appointed Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for the 2020-21 academic year, and is…

Alumni Q&A with Mark Lee MArch ’95, Chair of the Department of Architecture

Mark Lee MArch ’95 assumed the role of Chair of the Department of Architecture and Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) on July 1, 2018. He is a principal and founding partner of Johnston Marklee, which since its establishment in 1998 has been recognized nationally and internationally with over thirty…

Advancing GSD Urban Economics with Generous Gift from Samuel Plimpton MBA ’77, MArch ’80

In December 2018, a gift from Samuel Plimpton MBA ’77, MArch ’80 and his wife, Wendy Shattuck, established the Plimpton Professorship of Planning and Urban Economics. The professorship will advance the GSD in the field of urban economics, fundamental for understanding the economics of cities, as well as land use, planning, and real estate decisions in…

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…

An Interview: Peter Coombe MArch ’88

1. Tell us about your background and early education? I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I left Cincinnati in 1979 to attend college, and I spent the summer following my freshman year back in Cincinnati, but have not spent much time there since. It is, though, a remarkable place with a number of…

Greetings from Dept. of Landscape Architecture

Dear Landscape Architecture Alumni,Before I share news and updates from my fifth year as Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, I would like to invite you to the upcoming GSD reception at the ASLA Annual Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego. One of the great satisfactions for me as Chair has been to reconnect with alumni…

A Welcome From Dean Sarah M. Whiting

Dear Alumni of the GSD, When I began my position as dean of the GSD this July, I shared with you how thrilled I was to be joining the School in this role. That sense of adventure, coupled with responsibility, has only grown with time. Thank you for your support and engagement in my first months…

Greetings from Department of Architecture Chair Mark Lee MArch ’95

Dear Architecture Alumni,It’s a privilege to write to fellow architecture alumni as Chair of the Department of Architecture. It’s been a year of enormous transitions for me, moving from sunny Los Angeles to the more variable climate of Cambridge, opening a satellite office here, and embarking on a new leadership role at the Graduate School…

Greetings from Doctor of Design Program (DDes) at the GSD

Dear DDes Alumni,I hope this note finds you all well! I am reaching out to highlight some of the changes that started last spring and some new activities this year. Last spring we inaugurated a new DDes networking event, DDes Alumni Encounters. In April 2018, we hosted Carlos Cardenas DDes ’07 and GSD Alumni Council member Zenovia…

Greetings from the Department of Urban Planning and Design (UPD) at the GSD

Dear UPD Alumni,It’s been my great pleasure to connect with so many of you at various GSD alumni gatherings and planning events over the course of the last few years. I am grateful for the support and vitality of our robust alumni community; the GSD is a better place because of your engagement. Despite our global…

Greetings from the Master in Design Studies (MDes) Program at the GSD

Dear MDes Alumni,It’s a privilege to write to Master of Design Studies (MDes) alumni as Program Director. These are exciting times to be leading the program—this has been a year of productive change for the advanced studies program, which has evolved and grown considerably over its 30-year history. With 170 students enrolled, 76 of those…

Alumni Q&A / Kotchakorn Voraakhom MLA ’06

To help save her hometown of Bangkok, Thailand from rising sea levels and climate change, Kotchakorn Voraakhom MLA ’06 founded the landscape architecture design firm Landprocess and a social enterprise called Porous City Network, a landscape architecture social enterprise working to increase urban resilience. Through Porous City Network, Voraakhom works with communities throughout Southeast Asia…

Kay O’Neil MCRP ’78 and David Nelson MCRP ’78 Find Love, Give Back at the GSD

Statistical analysis and love don’t usually go together, but Kay O’Neil MCRP ’78 and David Nelson MCRP ’78 have found success with this unique pairing. The couple, who met at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), have been together for 42 years. They are thankful to the GSD both for the foundational skills…