Industry Giving: Advancing the Global Discourse on Design

Leading global design firms recognize the value in investing in the future of design education. As the premier design school, regularly leading rankings in our core disciplines, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design has a history of leadership and innovation that sets the standard for design education. Our alumni become principals at some the most respected firms, directing innovative work around the globe.

Grounded Visionaries Fellowship Reception, GSD

Philip L. Harrison AB ’86, MArch ’93, Grounded Visionaries Campaign Co-Chair and Perkins+Will CEO on left with GSD students.

Perkins+Will pledged a multi-year gift that will total $300,000 over the course of the Grounded Visionaries Campaign to advance the design professions through innovative design education and encourage a culture of giving to the School among other firms, large and small. According to Philip L. Harrison AB ’86, MArch ’93, Grounded Visionaries Campaign Co-Chair and Perkins+Will CEO, “Industry philanthropy at the GSD is an impactful mechanism to engage both organizations and individuals who share a passion for the global discourse on design while providing essential resources necessary to push the boundaries of what is possible in the built environment.”

The GSD is actively seeking the commitment of industry leaders to invest in design education by providing funding for the School’s growing research agenda and need for student financial aid. Design firms understand the value of championing the next generation of leaders through philanthropic support of the GSD. Following the lead of Perkins+Will, Elkus Manfredi Architects and Hickok Cole have contributed annual gifts of $25,000 and $10,000 respectively, to provide unrestricted support to the School. Additional recent multi-year investments in the School’s pedagogy and research by AECOM and Knoll of $900,000 and $300,000, respectively, will bolster access to unique opportunities in our multi-year studio research model. The AECOM studios are focusing on emerging cities in Southeast Asia, while the Knoll studios are considering the impact of the shifting nature of exploration on work spaces. GSD and LG Hausys America, Inc. gift agreement ceremony at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities

Recognizing the impact the GSD is making on the future of our built environment transcends architecture and design firms, industry leaders, like Autodesk, Beijing Capital Land, LG Hausys America, Inc., and Merck KGaA, are buoying the GSD’s capacity for research through generous philanthropy. A $50,000 gift from the Autodesk BUILD Grant has sustained two research projects this year, exploring robotics applications and researching dynamic prismatic structures, both for the AEC industry. Similarly, LG Hausys America, Inc. has invested in the GSD’s Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities with $300,000 over three years for research related to energy-saving and ecofriendly products, materials, and construction, specifically  targeted towards the Center’s net-zero headquarters research project.

Chicago_Merck (1)_webFurther underscoring industry’s belief in the value of innovation through design, Merck KGaA, underwrote for the first of a two-part symposium on smart materials at Harvard Design: Chicago, Smart Materials and Adaptive Architectures. Reinforcing the School’s commitment to real estate studies, Beijing Capital Land has pledged $300,000 over five years to advance the MDes Real Estate and the Built Environment concentration—this gift will provide financial aid funding to students and further expand  the program.

Honoring the School’s remarkable legacy, we are committed to enhancing innovative thinking and creative excellence. With support from our friends at firms, companies, and foundations, we can actively guide our ambitious research inquiries to advance the global discourse on design.