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 Toloudi DDes ’11 for an evening dinner and discussion. Students who attended were able to talk about their work, network, share experiences regarding doctoral studies and careers, and make valuable connections. 

imageAlso last spring we launched the first round of DDes Research Grants, thanks to generous donations from DDes alumni and matching funds from the Dean’s office. In a highly competitive application process, over $15,000 of grants were awarded to outstanding DDes candidates who were able to focus their time on research, fieldwork, or writing.

With this year’s incoming class of DDes students, we will incorporate some changes to the required DDes curriculum. In the 2018-2019 academic year, we will reverse the order of independent study and proseminar. During the fall students can use the semester to get acclimated to the GSD, get to know their advisor, and review the literature related to their topic. The pro-seminar, now called ‘Discourses and Methods’ is then offered in the spring as the framework for crafting the prospectus. I enjoy teaching it this current spring semester.

With this year’s incoming class of DDes students, we will incorporate some changes to therequired DDes curriculum. In the 2018-2019 academic year, we will reverse the order of independent study and proseminar. During the fall students can use the semester to get acclimated to the GSD, get to know their advisor, and review the literature related to their topic. The pro-seminar, now called ‘Discourses and Methods’ is then offered in the spring as the framework for crafting the prospectus. I enjoy teaching it this current spring semester.

In September, three second-year DDes students-Boya Guo DDes ’20, MDes ’17; Mojdeh Mahdavi DDes ’20; and Liang Wang DDes ’20, MAUD ’17-organized the annual DDes conference, “[RE]FORM: New Investigations in Urban Form.” The conference aimed to provoke new investigations and debates on urban form and its relevance in contemporary urbanization by putting together three panels of distinguished scholars from around the globe. If you were unable to make to campus for the conference, photos are below and please see the links that follow for videos of the sessions.    

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Panel 1: Reconstructing the Agency of Form
Panelists: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Neyran Turan DDes ’09; Moderator: Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture & Director of the Office for Urbanization

Panel 2: Reforming the Discourse
Panelists: Shlomo Angel, Colin McFarlane; Moderator: Neil Brenner, Professor of Urban Theory

Panel 3: Future Transformation of Urban Form
Panelists: Kees Christiaanse, Sarah Williams; Moderator: Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism & Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design

Keynote: Inversion and Subtraction in Urban Design
Speaker: Kees Christiaanse

The 2018 Commencement saw nine DDes graduates join your ranks of “the ancient and universal company of scholars.” You can view their bios at this link.

  • Ali Fard, Class Marshal, “Grounding the Cloud.” Advised by Neil Brenner
  • Nicole Beattie “Understanding Design Responsibility in Human Health: A Case-Study Approach For Evaluating Sunlight Use in Chilean Public Housing and Its Lack of Design Variability.” Advised by Martin Bechthold DDes ’01
  • Wendy Fok “Whose Digital Property.” Advised by Antoine Picon
  • Saira Hashmi “Cultural Design Approach to Conserving Water: A Case Study on the Azraq Oasis.” Advised by Hashim Sarkis
  • Aleksandra Jaeschke “Green Apparatus: Ecology of the American House According to Building Codes.” Advised by Iñaki Abalos
  • Ghazal Jafari “Grounding UPS: An Infrastructural Ethnography of a Logistics Corporation.” Advised by Pierre Belanger
  • Pablo Pérez-Ramos “Forms of Ecology: Towards New Epistemological Binds between Landscape Architecture and Ecology.” Advised by Anita Berrizbeitia MLA ’87
  • Bing Wang “Decision-Making Support in Early Design Stage for High Performance Naturally Ventilated Buildings.” Advised by Ali Malkawi
  • Arta Yazdanseta “Designing Green Walls: An Early-design Tool to Estimate the Cooling Impact of Indirect Green Walls on Buildings in Six Different Climates.” Advised by Ali Malkawi

Finally, please welcome the new class of DDes students.

  • Suleiman Alhadidi, MArch, University of Melbourne; BS, University of Jordan
  • Aleksandar Bauranov, MS, University of California; BS, University of Belgrade
  • Yonghui Chen MDes ’18, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; M.Eng., Tianjin University; B.Eng., Tianjin University
  • Sang-Yong Cho MLA ’14, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; MFA, New York Academy of Art; BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Ellie Han MDes ’18, MDes, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; MS, Carnegie Mellon University; BArch, Korean National University
  • Esesua Ikpefan MDes ’18, MDes, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; BFA, Syracuse University
  • Elitza Koeva, MS, University of Tokyo; MA, Tokyo University; BS, University of National and World Economy
  • Ashley Tannebaum, MArch, Clemson University; BA, Clemson University
  • Daniel Tish, MArch, University of Michigan; BS, Washington University

As alumni of the program, you have seen how the DDes program is essential to understanding critical issues facing the built environment, enhancing transdisciplinary knowledge, and complementing research through a cohort of talented scholars who propel transformative design agendas forward. To ensure that our ambitious doctoral students have the opportunity to study in your footsteps, we hope you will share in our commitment to these extraordinary individuals.

With your support of the DDes program, we can attract the attention of top candidates and support these design scholars on their path to influencing and shaping knowledge of their fields of study.

GIVE TO DDES TODAY

Sincerely,

Martin Bechthold DDes ’01

Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology
Wyss Institute Associate Faculty
Director, Material Processes and Systems Group
Director, Doctor of Design Program
Co-Director, Master in Design Engineering Program
Harvard University Graduate School of Design