Art + Culture: Inspiring through Transformative Design

By way of pedagogy, exhibitions, lectures, research, and the act of making, the GSD is championing the vital role of the arts and culture in Gund Hall and beyond. Art’s purpose lies deeper than aesthetic delight; it has the
power to question, unite, and change cultures.

The broader GSD community is increasingly supportive of the School’s role as convener and active promoter of the capacity of art and culture to enrich lives and enhance the built environment. Through existing funds like the Rouse Visiting Artist Fund, which provides ongoing support for the GSD’s artist in residence program, and through one-off collaborations like the 2015 entry pavilion competition with DesignMiami/, the GSD is leading the conversation on art and culture in the built environment.

Calvin Klein speaking at the GSD as part of the Rouse Visiting Artist Program.

Calvin Klein speaking at the GSD as part of the Rouse Visiting Artist Program.

The GSD’s Rouse Visiting Artist Program brings new perspectives to bear on a broad range of issues. By inviting a wide array of artists—filmmakers, writers, visual artists, and musicians—to campus to share their creative process and worldview, the School broadens the student experience and addresses the gap between artists and designers of public space. Featured artists this year included renowned painter and artist Richard Tuttle and global design icon Calvin Klein.

Some of the more experimental art projects developed at the GSD have been seen across campus thanks to the generous support of University partners. The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) hosted Pneuma(tic) Bodies, a collaborative installation by GSD professor Silvia Benedito MAUD ’04 and Harvard’s director of dance Jill Johnson. Also, Daniel Rauchwerger MDesS ’15 and Noam Dvir MAUD ’14 curated an exhibition, Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries, that premiered in the Loeb Library, and made its way to Massachusetts Hall, beside President Faust’s office.

The art and design project that received the most attention in 2015–2016 happened further afield. DesignMiami/ hosted a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the GSD, inviting GSD students to compete to design the fair’s entry pavilion. The chosen design, titled UNBUILT, was selected in May 2015 through a GSD-wide competition that drew 32 teams comprising 100 GSD students. “It is a privilege to partner with Harvard GSD, one of the most amazing sources of creative thinking in the world of design,” said GSD friend, supporter, and DesignMiami/ founder Craig Robins.

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The winning student team of the UNBUILT pavilion at DesignMiami/: Joanne Cheung MArch ’18, Steven Meyer MArch ’18, Jenny Shen MArch ’18, Yiliu Shen-Burke MArch ’19, and Doug Harsevoort MArch ’18. The team was advised by Luis Callejas, Lecturer in Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Hanif Kara, Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology; and Dan Borelli MDesS ’12, Director of Exhibitions.

UNBUILT was ultimately constructed with support from a team of GSD students and staff, including GSD Director of Exhibitions Dan Borelli MDesS ’12. “Beyond the unparalleled real-world experience for our students, and the unprecedented recognition for our team of generous supporters, the buzz around the project has generated and created opportunities to have members of the GSD community curate and design similar exhibitions specific to their mission,” Borelli said.“This is a great opportunity to extend our influence through design.”

The GSD is in a unique position to build on our rich creative history through the Grounded Visionaries campaign. Our partners recognize the value of philanthropic investments in collaborative innovation that educates and inspires our greater community about the ability of the arts and culture to enrich our world.


UNBUILT received support from the following generous contributors:
• DesignMiami/
• Duane and Dalia Stiller
• Modelo
• Roger Ferris + Partners
• Owens Corning
• Bil Ehrlich BArch ’67 and Ruth Ehrlich
• Joseph B. Thomas IV
• HEM
• Coastal Construction

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