News & Stories

Photo of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander BLA ’47 in a small group

Alumni Updates

In Memoriam: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander BLA ’47

The GSD remembers Cornelia Hahn Oberlander BLA ’47 who passed away at age 99 on May 22, 2021. Oberlander was a pioneer in the field of sustainable design, an early proponent of green roofs, and a champion of collaboration. She once said that her dream is “green cities with green buildings where rural and urban…

In the Grounded Visionaries Campaign, Fellowships and Financial Aid Funds Finish Strong

In its final year, the Grounded Visionaries campaign showed its global reach, most notably in the area of fellowships and financial aid. Thanks to the generosity of donors from all over the world, students from Canada, China, India, Israel, Palestine, and various Asian countries now have greater access to top-tier opportunities in design education and can learn alongside peers pursuing particular GSD programs.

Your Generosity Drives Imagination, Drives Change

Your donation to the GSD works immediately to help students study the design solutions for global challenges facing society. Thanks to your essential contributions, the School can invest in the world’s next generation of designers as they explore, analyze, and confront these urgent issues.

Reunion 2019 Survey

Thank you for completing the survey! Photos will be available via Facebook and through email in the next few weeks. If you have additional feedback or questions, please email Brad Quigley, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. Join the Sert Council as a leader in support of the School.

Harvard GSD Launches New Podcast Series “Talking Practice”

The Practice Platform at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) presents “Talking Practice,” the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading design practitioners from around the world on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.

Message to GSD Alumni and Friends

I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to serve the Graduate School of Design and Harvard as dean for the past decade, and am now writing to let you know of my intention to conclude my term at the end of this academic year and to return to teaching and research after a sabbatical.

Grounded Visionaries Campaign Impact Video

Over the past four years, the Grounded Visionaries campaign has brought together people from around the world who care deeply about the GSD, including students, faculty, alumni, donors, collaborators, and friends. Our Campaign goal of $110 million was, by far, the largest fundraising goal in the School’s history—an audacious goal. In this video, we are…

A Fall 2018 Update from the GSD

As the GSD embarks on another academic year, 966 students, including 361 new students, have settled in at Gund Hall ready to engage in an array of core and option studios; public lectures and events; exhibitions; and travel opportunities.

Andres Sevtsuk Talks Autonomous Vehicles, Future of Streets Research

As a researcher, the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Andres Sevtsuk has been immersed in questions of urban mobility. His work as assistant professor of urban planning and as principal investigator at the City Form Lab covers topics involving urban design and spatial analysis, real estate economics, transit, and pedestrian-oriented development, and spatial adaptability, among others

The GSD Remembers Bill Saunders, Founding Editor of Harvard Design Magazine

It is with great sadness that the GSD shares that our former colleague and good friend, Bill Saunders, passed away earlier this week. Bill worked with many of us over the course of his 29-year career here at the GSD, where he most recently served as the founding editor of the Harvard Design Magazine (2002 – 2011)….

Campaign Thank You from Dean Mohsen Mostafavi

Dear Alumni and Friends, I wish to offer my sincere gratitude for your support of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as part of our Grounded Visionaries campaign. Through your generosity, the GSD is empowering students, expanding our global reach, and building our future through leading-edge faculty and transformative facilities. Please view the following video…

Thank You from Dean Mohsen Mostafavi

I wish to offer my sincere gratitude for your support of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Over the past year, through your generosity we raised over $800,000 toward annual funds, marking a strong end to our Grounded Visionaries campaign. Your continued support helps to empower the next generation of design leaders and innovators to design outside the lines. Please view the following video message in appreciation of your generosity.

Grounded Visionaries Campaign Update: We Did It!

Over the past four years, the Grounded Visionaries campaign has brought together people from around the world who care deeply about the GSD, including students, faculty, alumni, donors, collaborators, and friends. Our Campaign goal of $110 million was, by far, the largest fund raising goal in the School’s history—an audacious goal.

Student Portrait: Caroline Chao MArch ’19

Caroline Chao MArch ’19 talks about her experience as an architecture student at the GSD, collaborating across Harvard, and the importance of financial aid.   Make a Gift.  

The Impact of the GSD Alumni Community: Key Findings from the 2018 Alumni Research Initiative

GSD alumni are using the knowledge and skills they developed at the School to make contributions to the built environment and society in impactful ways. Key findings from the Alumni Research Initiative, a comprehensive survey of its alumni, sheds light on alumni career paths and their social impact spanning a range of areas including transportation, sustainable cities, resilience, food systems, housing, and water, which are topics of inquiry and research that align with GSD priorities.

A Letter from Beth Kramer / Thank You and Farewell to Alumni and Friends

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that I will be stepping down from my role of Associate Dean for Development & Alumni Relations aligning with the successful conclusion of the Grounded Visionaries campaign on June 30. Over the past seven years of working with the alumni community and great friends of the school, I am exceedingly proud of what we have accomplished together and find this be the opportune moment for my transition and for reflection.

Alumni Q&A: Sameh Wahba MUP ’97, PhD ’02, KSGEE ’13

Alumni Council member Sameh Wahba MUP ’97, PhD ’02, KSGEE ’13 is a true Harvard citizen with his Master in Urban Planning (MUP) degree from the Graduate School of Design (GSD), his PhD from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and completion of the Kennedy School of Government Executive Education’s International Finance Corporation Infrastructure Executive Program.

Dean’s Year in Review: Highlights from 2017–2018

The end of each year invites the opportunity both to reflect on our community’s accomplishments and to look ahead to future potentials. This year involved several major milestones for the GSD and for Harvard, including an energetic final year of our Grounded Visionaries campaign and the University’s capital campaign.

Student Portrait: William Baumgardner MLA ’18

William Baumgardner MLA ’18 talks about his Community Service Fellowship in Albania, traveling to Bangladesh with Marina Tabassum’s “$2000 Home” studio, and the impact of the GSD’s alumni network on the student experience.   Make a Gift.  

Empower Students to Design Outside the Lines

Through a transdisciplinary course of study with global reach, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is training the next generation of design leaders to think collaboratively, cultivate creativity, and design outside the lines.

Thomas Holtz MArch ’77: A Lasting and Significant Impact at the GSD

Thomas Holtz MArch ’77 made his first mark on the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) library as an architectural draftsman. Holtz’s drawings in the Frances Loeb Library’s Special Collections trace the arc of his life and design career: the Cologne and Munich cathedrals in Germany, a country where Holtz studied as a Fulbright…

Alumni Council Honors Students with 2018 Unsung Hero Book Prize

On April 12, the GSD Alumni Council honored current students with the 2018 Unsung Hero Book Prize during a celebration in the Frances Loeb Library. Sarah Diamond MLA ’19, Tim Webster MLA ’19, Ernest Haines MLA ’18, and Jasmine Roberts MDes ’18 were this year’s recipients.

Nippon Paint Establishes the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship at the GSD

The GSD along with Japanese paint manufacturer NIPSEA Group – known throughout Asia as Nippon Paint – announces the establishment of the Gennosuke Obata Fellowship Fund at the GSD. The Gennosuke Obata Fellowship Fund, initiated during the GSD’s Grounded Visionaries campaign, will provide financial aid to GSD students from Asian countries, helping to attract, enroll, and support talented design scholars from the region as they work to become leaders in transforming the social and built environment.

Alumni Q&A: Jungyoon Kim MLA ’00 and Yoonjin Park MLA ’00 of PARKKIM

Jungyoon (Yuni) Kim MLA ’00 and Yoonjin Park MLA ’00 are Founding Principals of PARKKIM. This Spring, they are Design Critics in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) co-teaching the option studio “Korea Remade: Alternative Nature, DMZ, and Hinterlands” with Professor Niall Kirkwood.

Mark Lee MArch ’95 Appointed Chair of Department of Architecture

Harvard University Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) announces the appointment of Mark Lee MArch ’95as Chair of the Department of Architecture, effective July 1, 2018. Lee has taught at Harvard GSD since 2013 and currently serves as Professor in Practice of Architecture. Lee is a principal and founding partner of Johnston Marklee, established in 1998.

Alumni Q&A / Dan Borelli MDes ’12, GSD Director of Exhibitions

Today, art and design find a natural home in the GSD exhibition galleries—in the course of a single year, GSD Director of Exhibitions Dan Borelli MDes ’12 and his team stage five major exhibitions and twelve smaller exhibitions featuring a wide variety of work.

The GSD honors the life, legacy, and inspiration of John Portman (1924-2017)

Last October the GSD’s Dean Mohsen Mostafavi sat down with Metropolis Magazine and Mr. Portman’s son, Jack MArch ’73, to discuss the architect’s impact and the 2017 book “Portman’s America & Other Speculations” (Harvard University GSD and Lars Müller Publishers), edited by Mostafavi.

Alumni Q&A / Ed Meng MUP ’14

Ed Meng MUP ’14 is a Senior Program Coordinator, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco Bay Area). Hear from him about his time at the GSD and his career path.

Loyalty Giving: A Tradition of Support

The cohort of alumni who provide unwavering annual support to the GSD Fund for student financial aid is growing, and their total contribution has almost doubled in the last five years. Among these loyal donors are established professionals, as well as recent graduates, who understand the power of design, value a quality design education, and remain committed to the tradition of giving back.

Global Thinking. Local Action.

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design brings together the most talented students to study, investigate, and address complex design challenges at all levels—from housing shortages and community development in Boston to the effects of climate change and rapid urbanization around the world. Through practice, research, and teaching, our extraordinary faculty and staff guide students…

Knoll Empowers GSD Students to Envision the Future of the Workplace

During the 2016–2017 academic year, the Harvard Graduate School of Design concluded a three-part studio series in collaboration with Knoll, Inc., that imagined the future of the “workplace,” or the environments in which people and industries conduct work.

Alumni Q&A / Brenda Levin MArch ’76

Architect Brenda A. Levin, FAIA, MArch ’76 is known for revitalizing Los Angeles’ urban, historic, and cultural form. For over 30 years, her architecture and urban design firm, Levin & Associates Architects, has pioneered the preservation and redefinition of significant and iconic landmarks in Los Angeles

The Enduring Legacy of Professor Eduard Sekler

When Eduard Franz Sekler, Harvard University’s Osgood Hooker Professor of Visual Art Emeritus and Professor of Architecture Emeritus at the Graduate School of Design, passed away last spring at the age of 96, the GSD community responded with an outpouring of letters in remembrance of the beloved educator, architect, scholar, and friend.

Alumni Q&A / John Taylor MUP ’06

John Taylor MUP ’06 is International Project Manager, National Urban Poverty Reduction Programme (NUPRP), UNDP Bangladesh. Hear from him about his time at the GSD and his career path.

Alumni Q&A / Jared Katseff MUP ’15

Jared Katseff MUP ’15 is Senior Associate, McKinsey & Company, Capital Projects & Infrastructure Practice. Hear from him about his time at the GSD and his career path.