17 Harvard GSD Alumni from Puerto Rico have assembled as a group to protest the limited civic engagement and transparency in the reviewal process behind the adoption of significant and potentially detrimental changes to the island’s Zoning Maps, led by the Planning Board of Puerto Rico. Together, they wrote an open letter to María del C. Gordillo Pérez, chairwoman of the Planning Board.
The group is made up of the following alumni:
Pedro Manuel Cardona Roig MAUD ’91
Hugo Colón MLA ’13
Manuel Antonio Colón Amador MLA ’14
Irene Figueroa-Ortiz MUP & March I ’15
Nataniel Fúster MAUD ’96 & DDes ’99
Fabiola Guzmán Rivera March I ’18
Yanick Lay Fumero MLA ’18
Eduardo M. Llinás Messeguer MAUD ’13
Maria Victoria Mateo MLA ’11
Oscar Oliver Didier MAUD ’06
Judith Rodríguez MLA & MAUD ’13
Gabriella S. Rodríguez MLA & MAUD ’16
Ángel Y. Rodríguez Colón MAUD ’11
Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola MArch I ’14
Héctor Tarrido-Picart MAUD & MLA ’15
José Juan Terrasa Soler MLA ’07
Emmanuel Torres MAUD ’14
In the past months there was a recent upsurge in democratic mobilization to demand transparency and democracy in the way politics and business are conducted in Puerto Rico. This led to the recent resignation of Governor Ricardo Roselló and will likely lead to fundamental changes to the political and institutional structures of the Caribbean island.
While these mass civil protests were taking place, the Planning Board of Puerto Rico conducted most of the public hearings for first-time proposed major revisions to the Zoning Maps. In addition, the Planning Board failed to provide key information and a suitable timeline for a comprehensive examination by all the parties affected by the zoning changes, including the island’s 78 municipalities. Some of these zoning changes go against the interest of vulnerable communities, the ones most affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
posted August, 2019
Five GSD alumni have been elevated by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) as fellows for their exceptional contributions to the landscape architecture profession and society at large. Election to the ASLA Council of Fellows is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and is based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service.
ASLA will formally recognize its 2019 Fellows at the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, November 15-18, in San Diego.
Michael Boucher MLA ’85
Allyson Mendenhall MLA ’99
Kate Orff MLA ’97
David D. Jung MLA ’93
Cheri Ruane MLA ’01
For the full list of 2019 Fellows, click here.
posted July, 2019
Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15 Co-Edit “From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory”
Four GSD graduates—Flavio Sciaraffia MLA ’15, Sourav Kumar Biswas MLA ’16, Thomas Niderost MLA ’16, and Hannes Zander MLA ’15—have co-edited the book From the South: Global Perspectives on Landscape and Territory, published by the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD), Santiago in March. The volume of 18 essays includes a foreword from Pablo Allard MAUD ’99, DDes ’03, and features the writing of young practitioners and academics (many of whom are GSD alums) based in eight different nations and five continents. Their essays offer a diversity of perspectives on contemporary models of landscape planning, management, and design across scales
The book came about as part of the team’s effort to form a multi-disciplinary group called the International Landscape Collaborative. It began as a group of planners and designers at the GSD interested in developing a landscape approach to tackle socio-ecological issues at multiple scale. Rather than viewing the landscape through the lens of a singular discipline, the book promotes an interdisciplinary approach that uses the landscape as a medium to understand and create urban form, infrastructures, and territorial systems. Since its online release, the publication has been read in more than 100 countries.
Read the publication online.
posted June, 2019
GSD Alumni Involved in Resilent Home Challenge: Jaya Kader MArch ’88; Sameh Wahba MUP ’97, PhD ’02, KSGEE ’13; Ivan Shumkov MArch ’08; and Pablo Allard MAUD ’99, DDes ’03.
Over 23 million people lost their homes to natural disasters in the past 10 years. On December 14, the international Resilient Homes Design Challenge, a project organized by the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb, GFDRR and UN-Habitat, successfully concluded. Over 3,000 professionals from over 120 countries participated in the Challenge, resulting in over 300 team submissions. A jury of international experts selected three winning designs for each of the three scenarios.
Winning designs will be published and winners will be invited to exhibit at the World Bank, and flown into Washington DC, and other selected global venues. Winning designs could also eventually inform resilient housing or reconstruction work for World Bank-funded projects in places like the Caribbean, South and East Asia, etc. View the list of winners here and the press release here.
Several GSD alumni were involved with the Challenge. Head of Jury was GSD Alumni Council member Sameh Wahba MUP ’97, PhD ’02, KSGEE ’13, who serves as the Director for Urban Territorial Development and Disaster Risk Management for The World Bank Group. Pablo Allard MAUD ’99, DDes ’03, the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at the GSD, was also a member of the Jury. Additionally, Ivan Shumkov MArch ’08 is CEO and Founder of Build Academy.
GSD Alumni Council member Jaya Kader MArch ’88, founder and principal of KZ architecture, and her team at KZ architecture were named a winner. The proposed dwelling by KZ architecture is fabricated in its majority out of bamboo, a low cost, highly sustainable and renewable building material, widely available worldwide, lightweight, durable, flexible, easily cultivated and harvested. Its quick growth and easy handling make it an ideal material for beautiful low-cost housing. The criteria for selection included pragmatic designs that suited the local cultural context and whose construction process would use local materials and enable local employment rather than requiring significant external expertise and materials. Resilience and cost-effectiveness aside, sustainability, simplicity, cultural adequacy, and the creation of a sense of ownership through community involvement were accordingly major considerations and a common theme in the final selection process.
posted January, 2019
Two recently completed buildings designed by Emre Erkal MArch ’99, of Erkal Architects in Turkey, have been shortlisted for World Architecture Festival Awards in 2018. Both projects are located on university campuses in Ankara, Turkey. Çankaya University Sports Center has been shortlisted in the Sport – Completed Buildings category. The Sports Center is located within Çankaya University’s new campus, which has been planned and designed by Erkal Architects, since 2008. Her other building, the Museum and Center for Biodiversity at Hacettepe University, has been shortlisted in the Higher Education and Research – Completed Building category.
The buildings will compete for the best building award in their respective categories from around the world representing 57 countries. The winners will be selected by an international jury during the World Architecture Festival (WAF 2018) between the 28th and the 30th of November in Amsterdam.
Learn more about the Festival.
Image: Museum and Center for Biodiversity at Hacettepe University (provided)
posted November, 2018
Lecture by Samantha Harris MLA ’99 on Plant Blindness and Landscape in the Age of Instagram Featured on The Landscape Architecture Podcast
A talk by Samantha Harris MLA ’99, part of Cal Poly Pomona’s On Site lecture series, was recently featured on The Landscape Architecture Podcast. Delivered on September 26, 2018, the lecture focused on plant blindness and landscape in the age of Instagram. She begins her talk looking back on an assignment from one of her first classes at the GSD that asked students, what makes a garden? The Cal Poly Pomona lecture series features female speakers reflecting on issues, questions, and opportunities pertaining to ‘site.’
Harris is currently the Director of Culture Horticulture, a “a lab for artists, landscape designers, gardeners and other urban biophiliacs whose work explores the intertwined experience at the intersection of Culture (community/art/society/economics) and Horticulture (plants/gardens/environmental) issues and focuses on the consideration of beauty in the evolution of urban wildness and resilience in the post-wild anthropocene world.” She previously worked at Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCHS) as a licensed Landscape Architect and Principal.
Listen to Harris on The Landscape Architecture Podcast website or wherever you get your podcasts.
posted October, 2018
The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis has named Barcelona-based architect Mónica Rivera MArch ’99 its next chair of graduate architecture. Rivera, who currently serves as a professor of practice at Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, first joined the faculty as a visiting professor in 2015. She has since served as co-coordinator of the school’s international housing studio. She previously taught at the Elisava Escola de Disseny i Enginyeria in Barcelona and the University of Texas at Austin.
Rivera will remain a partner at Emiliano López Mónica Rivera Arquitectos, the firm she launched in 2001.
Another GSD alumna, Heather Woofter MArch ’98, was recently named director of Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design.
Learn more about Rivera’s appointment.
Photo by Joe Angeles/Washington University, courtesy of Washington University.
posted October, 2018
Christian Dagg MArch ’99, head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, has been selected as a Fellow in the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program. The competitive fellowship program “seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond,” according to its website.
A professor at Auburn University for almost twenty years, Dagg is also co-founder and principal of Hinson+Dagg Architects in Auburn, Alabama. He previously worked in the Boston offices of Machado and Silvetti Associates and Kallmann, McKinnell and Wood Architects.
posted October, 2018
Projects by three alumni have been honored with 2018 MASterworks Awards from the The Municipal Art Society of New York. The awards celebrate designs that make a significant contribution to the built environment of New York City. DLANDstudio, the firm founded by Susannah Drake MArch ’95, MLA ’95, won “Best Urban Landscape” for the project Gowanus Canal Sponge Park; ARO, the firm of Stephen Cassell MArch ’92, won “Best New Building” for their Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse; and WORKac, the firm of Amale Andraos MArch ’99, won “Best New Urban Amenity” for the Kew Gardens Hills Library project. Recipients will be honored at an event on April 11 that will also toast to MAS’s 125th Anniversary.
Image: Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, courtesy of MAS.
posted March, 2018
Brennan Cox MLA ’05 and Sara Peschel MLA ’99 Firm Shortlisted in Harvey Milk Memorial and Plaza Design Competition
Groundworks Office, led by partners Brennan Cox MLA ’05 and Sara Peschel MLA ’99, has been shortlisted as one of three finalists for the Harvey Milk Memorial and Plaza Design Competition. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, the plaza was dedicated in 1985 as a place to honor politician and human rights leader Harvey Milk. The Memorial and Plaza Design Competition was launched in the spring of 2017 by the Friends of Harvey Milk in collaboration with SF MTA’s accessibility and elevator improvement project. Groundworks Office’s design proposes lifting the plaza towards street level through a complete reorganization of the Muni Station in order to create an “inspiring, vibrant and heroic public space.”
Learn more about the project, view renderings, and give feedback on the competition’s website.
Image courtesy of Groundworks Office.
posted September, 2017
Nate Cormier MLA ’99 has joined the leadership of Los Angeles-based Rios Clementi Hale Studios as a Principal. He previously spent two decades working on parks, nature preserves, transit station areas, educational and research facilities, and public spaces for large and small firms in Seattle and Los Angeles, including SvR Design Company and AECOM.
“As a new principal landscape architect, Nate brings incredible energy and depth to our team,” firm founder Mark Rios MArch ’82, MLA ’82 said in a press release. “His divergent interests—from Japanese gardens to the future of urbanism—will expand our practice and lead us in new directions.”
Samantha Harris MLA ’99, who attended the GSD with Cormier and serves as a Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios added, “I was always impressed by Nate’s career path, dedication, design talent, and deep involvement in the profession. This remarkable ability has allowed him—within only two years of moving to Los Angeles—to internalize the complex nuances of practicing in LA.”
Read the full press release.
Image courtesy of Rios Clementi Hale Studios.
posted May, 2017
Rios Clementi Hale Studios, the design firm founded in part by Mark Rios MArch ’82, MLA ’82, will release its first monograph in May 2017. Not Neutral: For Every Place, Its Story explores design, location, and memory through a variety of projects undertaken by the L.A.-based firm over the past three decades. It includes a series of essays by the firm’s leadership on their design philosophy, as well as photographs and renderings of Rios Clementi Hale Studios designs.
In March, Samantha Harris MLA ’99, Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios, and Andy Lantz MArch ’10, Senior Associate at Rios Clementi Hale Studios, visited the GSD for a spring career fair during which they donated an advance copy of Not Neutral to the Frances Loeb Library.
posted April, 2017
Karen M’Closkey MLA ’99 Book Receives John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize; Firm Receives PEW Fellowship
Karen M’Closkey’s MLA ’99 book Unearthed: the Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) received a John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, awarded by the Foundation for Landscape Studies for “recently published books that have made significant contributions to the study and understanding of garden history and landscape studies.” Additionally, PEG office of landscape + architecture, the firm where she is a principal along with co-founder Keith VanDerSys, received a 2013 PEW fellowship in the arts. PEG is the first landscape architecture office to be awarded the fellowship since its inception in 1991. PEG was also named one of Metropolis Magazine‘s “Select Ten,” which identifies the next generation of thought leaders in the field of design.
posted December, 2016
Williamson Chong, the Toronto-based architecture and design firm of Shane Williamson MArch ’99, Betsy Williamson MArch ’97, prinicpals, and their partner Donald Chong, announces it has been selected by the Architectural League of New York for its Emerging Voices Award. They will present their work in a lecture on Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7 p.m., at the Scholastic Auditorium in New York. Each year the Architectural League selects eight emerging practitioners through a juried, invited portfolio competition. The Emerging Voices Award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design and urbanism. The jury reviews significant bodies of realized work and considers accomplishments within the design and academic communities. View the complete list of past winners where there are many GSD graduates represented.
posted December, 2016
Dennis Pieprz MAUD ’85, Martin Zogran MAUD ’99, and Ming-Jen Hsueh MLA ’09, MLAUD ’09 Receive Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Excellence Award
A team from Sasaki Associates—featuring GSD alums Dennis Pieprz MAUD ’85, Martin Zogran MAUD ’99, and Ming-Jen Hsueh MLA ’09, MLAUD ’09—was honored with the Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Excellence Award for their work on the Songzhuang Arts and Agriculture City master plan in Beijing, China. The award was presented during the 2014 APA National Planning Conference.
posted December, 2016
Takashi Yanai MArch ’99 and Patricia Rhee MArch ’98 are both Partners at Ehrlich Architects. The firm has recently received the AIA’s highest honor, the 2015 National AIA Firm Award. Recognized for sustained design excellence, as well as exemplary firm culture, this honor will be officially bestowed at the AIA National Convention in Atlanta this May.
posted December, 2016
Samantha J. Harris, ASLA, LEED AP MLA ’99 has been promoted to Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles, CA. She joined the firm in 1999 and plays an integral role in many prominent landscape architecture commissions, moving easily from commercial, retail, institutional, and municipal installations to high-end residential projects. She has led water conservation efforts with the internal Slow Landscape Initiative to address California’s drought issues. She is an active member of both the American Society of Landscape Architects and the United States Green Building Council. Rios Clementi Hale Studios has earned an international reputation for its collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach, establishing an award-winning tradition across an unprecedented range of design disciplines. Since 1985, the architects, landscape architects, planners, and urban, interior, exhibit, graphic, and product designers at Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been creating buildings, places, and products that are thoughtful, effective, and beautiful.
posted December, 2016
Eric J. Jenkins, AIA, MDes ’99 was promoted to Full Professor at The Catholic University of America this summer. He continues to direct the graduate Urban Practice concentration which looks at the interplay of architecture and urban design at multiple scales.
posted December, 2016
Becoming Jane Jacobs (University of Pennsylvania Press), a new book by Dr. Peter L. Laurence MArch ’99, was featured in the November issue of The Atlantic. Nathaniel Rich described it as “a close, vivid study of Jacobs’s intellectual development.” In September, economist Tyler Cowen wrote that Becoming Jane Jacobs was “definitely one of the best books of the year.” In addition to press coverage, Peter has recently spoken and been invited to speak about his book and research, and to participate in symposia and master-classes, at the Technological University of Delft; Cooper Union; UC Berkeley Center for New Media; San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association; the Eldridge Street Museum in NYC; the Boston College Carroll School of Management; University of Virginia School of Architecture; and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Becoming Jane Jacobs, which highlights the great urbanist’s debut at the 1956 Harvard Urban Design Conference, started as Peter’s Master’s thesis at the GSD in 1999. For more information visit becomingjanejacobs.com. Peter is now the Robert Mills Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Clemson University School of Architecture.
posted December, 2016