Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival—what’s built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra MAUD ’87 explores the benefits of building impermanent cities that can travel, adapt or even disappear, leaving the lightest possible footprint on the planet. His focus while working in India is working on institutional buildings and conservation of historic places.
Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and educator who is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects and is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the GSD. His work covers a range of buildings, from houses to institutional to office buildings. A recent project was a housing estate for 100 elephants and their caretakers in Jaipur, India. Mehrotra is passionate about writing. He’s written several books on the history and architecture of Mumbai, including Architecture In India Since 1990. He’s also written on urbanism in India and is currently working on a book on his experiences as a practitioner in India.
This talk was presented at an official TED conference and was featured by the editors on the home page.
posted August, 2019
Janet Echelman AB ’87, LF ’08 has been voted onto the Harvard Board of Overseers and will complete the remaining four years of the term of Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar ’93, who has been elected to the Harvard Corporation. She is an artist who defies categorization. Combining ancient craft with material science and engineering, her experiential sculptures at the scale of buildings have become inviting focal points for civic life on five continents. Named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban space,” she has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.
As a visiting professor at MIT, Echelman led a collaboration of engineering, computer science, and architecture graduate students. Next year she will teach at Princeton. Beyond academia, she seeks to address wider audiences. Her work was ranked first on Oprah’s list of “50 Things That Will Make You Say ‘Wow!’” Her TED talk, “Taking Imagination Seriously,” has more than two million views and has been translated into 37 languages
The Board of Overseers is one of Harvard’s two governing boards, the other being the President and Fellows, also known as the Corporation. The primary function of the Board of Overseers is to encourage the University to maintain the highest attainable standards as a place of learning. The new Overseers were elected from a slate of nine candidates who were nominated by an HAA committee as prescribed by the election rules.
For her bio click here
posted June, 2019
Professor of Urban Design and Planning Rahul Mehrotra’s MAUD ’87 library project in India at the School of architecture in Abad was featured in Architectural Record. RMA’s library is the first building on the CEPT campus not designed by Balkrishna Doshi, the school’s founder. It defers to the earlier brick-and-concrete- buildings but distinguishes itself with a much lighter facade made up primarily of operable wood louvers. For more click here and here for a video.
He has been invited to give a presentation at the Venice Biennale “Freespace” Exhibition. “Freespace”—the event will feature the main exhibition in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini and the Arsenale featuring work by 71 participants, while two Special Sections will feature a total of 29 further participants. Elsewhere, 65 national pavilions will present contributions from around the world. For a full list of architects participating click here.
Also, he is curating exhibition “State of Housing – Aspirations, Imaginaries, and Realities in India” in Mumbai. The exhibition will bring together the varied interests and perspectives as well as a spectrum of stakeholders and actors that are all critical in understanding Housing in India. For more click here. In addition, Rahul is curating conference in Mumbai “Housing in the Emerging Urban India,” this conference is related to the exhibition he is curating in Mumbai “State of Housing – Aspirations, Imaginaries and Realities in India.” Click here for more.
posted March, 2018
The work of Harvard University Graduate School of Design alumni is well represented in this year’s American Society of Landscape Architects Professional Awards, which recognize the best of landscape architecture from the United States and around the world. Winners received their awards at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles last October. Those honored include:
GENERAL DESIGN CATEGORY
Andrea Cochran MLA ’79, Megumi Aihara MLA ’07 (Windhover Contemplative Center)
Mikyoung Kim MLA ’92 (Chicago Botanic Garden: The Regenstein Learning Campus)
RESIDENTIAL DESIGN CATEGORY
Award of Excellence
Andrea Cochran MLA ’79, Lin Peng MLA ’12 (Birmingham Residence)
Andrea Cochran MLA ’79 (Telegraph Hill Residence)
Stephen Stimson MLA ’87 (Northeast Harbor, a Restoration on Mount Desert Island)
Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture, led by by Principals Gary Hilderbrand MLA ’85 and Douglas Reed MLA ’81 (Proving Grounds – A 20-Year Education in American Horticulture; Agrarian Modern – The Recovery and Renewal of Manatuck Farm)
Bruce Jett MLA ’92 (Northpoint Apartments)
ANALYSIS AND PLANNING CATEGORY
Charlotte Barrows MLA ’06 (The Olana Strategic Landscape Design Plan: Restoring an American Masterpiece)
Leo Alvarez MLA ’81, Ralph Johnson MArch ’73 (Waterfront Botanical Gardens)
Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture, led by by Principals Gary Hilderbrand MLA ’85 and Douglas Reed MLA ’81 (Conservation at the Edge – Prototyping low-intervention conservation in the Patagonian wilderness)
Gordon Gill MArch ’93 (Positioning Pullman)
Katharyn Leah Hurd MLAUD ’12 (Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan)
Charles Birnbaum LF ’98 (The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin)
More information, including the full list of 2017 winners.
Photo: Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.
posted November, 2017
Thomas “Tom” Sutherland MArch ’87, architect and firm managing principal at DIALOG, passed away in a ski accident on April 2, 2015 at the age of 54. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Sutherland studied at the University of Manitoba where he received the gold medal for highest standing in an undergraduate faculty. After graduating from the GSD, he practiced in Boston and Toronto for 10 years before returning home and joining DIALOG. His work can be seen around Edmonton and Alberta, including at the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Robbins Pavilion and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s HP and Spartan and Petro-Canada Centres. Sutherland is also remembered for his work to develop Edmonton’s Capital City Downtown Plan. Read more from DIALOG.
Image courtesy of DIALOG.
posted December, 2016
Allison Williams LF ’87 was honored with a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. Read more about the award and about Williams here.
posted December, 2016
Margaret McCurry, FAIA LF ’87, of Tigerman McCurry Architects, designed this Lincoln Park Residence spotlighted by Architectural Record. “Working with the long, shallow site and the grid of the eight lots (which sit atop two levels of underground parking for the condominiums), McCurry envisioned a Palladian plan. An 8,000-square-foot central volume serves as the heart of the house, containing a gracious double-height entry and stair, the living room, a sprawling open kitchen that spills into a dining area, and a modestly scaled bedroom zone on the top level. This structure is flanked by courtyards and wings to the east and west— connected by glazed bridges screened with zinc louvers—that hold ancillary areas: guest quarters, his and hers studies, a lap pool and fitness center, and playrooms” wrote Architectural Record.
posted December, 2016
Susan Rademacher LF ’87, Parks Curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, has been named honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The honor is bestowed by the ASLA on individuals whose achievements of national or international significance or influence have provided notable service to the profession of landscape architecture.
posted December, 2016