I’m thrilled to be joining you today, July 1st, as your new dean. My excitement has everything to do with the distinction and breadth of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni that make up this School—your intellectual strengths and cultural generosities give me ever more enthusiasm for what lies ahead at the GSD and, more broadly, for the role of design as we steer our way into a now-maturing 21st century.
If the future is daunting—and it’s hard not to see the environmental, social, political, and economic horizons ahead as anything but—I remain steadfast in the belief that our horizon is also exhilarating. And I’m certain that the parts that will make up our new future are alive and well at the School.
Our days and semesters are filled with indispensable tools that live under headings like research, history, theory, policy, and technology. These tools shape, and rattle, our respective pursuits across the field of design. They also connect our departments and programs to each other and, more ambitiously, allow us to assert an elastic constellation signaling our greater ambitions as citizens in a world that has never needed us more…a world that taunts us with its promise even as it shows us its jagged edges.
I relish being part of our collective future and, most importantly, I’m provoked and inspired as I anticipate working with all of you to make it happen.
Sarah M. Whiting
Dean, Harvard University Graduate School of Design