GSD announces April 2020 virtual events series

Impressions of a tables and armchairs on the wall of a room with a table and stools on the floor

Impressions of a tables and armchairs on the wall of a room with a table and stools on the floor; image by French 2D, who present "Together Again" on April 17

Harvard Graduate School of Design has organized a series of virtual public lectures across the month of April, an effort toward sharing and stoking design discourse amid today’s almost-entirely digital context. GSD faculty including Dan D’Oca, Oana Stănescu, Jenny French, and David Moreno Mateos will offer looks into their ongoing and upcoming design preoccupations, while voices from outside the school bring welcomed insights and dialogue.

The GSD’s series of talks and webinars will be broadcast to our audiences via Zoom and live-streamed to the GSD’s Facebook page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. Zoom viewers must register to attend each lecture via the respective lecture’s webpage, available below; once registered, guests will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom.

The April 2020 virtual events series includes:

Tuesday, April 7, 12:00 pm EST
Daniel D’Oca, “Who What Where

D’Oca is Associate Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Principal and Co-Founder of Interboro Partners, a New York City-based architecture, urban design, and urban planning firm. Designers and planners do community engagement for all kinds of reasons, D’Oca argues; for some, it’s a scope requirement that results in empty evening meetings and obligatory “dotmocracy” activities. At worst, it’s an act of coercion: an opportunity to sell a predetermined, independently-generated idea to an unwilling public whose support is needed for approval. Increasingly, community engagement events are PR platforms—photo ops staged to showcase a designer’s willingness to work with “the community.” Rarely is community engagement what it should be, namely, an open-ended, inclusive, and meaningful (and fun!) dialogue that generates something unique and site-specific. In this talk, Dan will talk about some of Interboro’s recent and not-so-recent adventures in community co-design, in which they have deployed engagement, close observation, and learning tools to create regional, citywide, and neighborhood plans, parks and open spaces, public art installations, and other co-authored urban environments..

Friday, April 10, 12:00 pm EST
Oana Stănescu, “Breather

Stănescu is a Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard GSD and runs her eponymous design studio from New York. In this lecture, she will discuss the design process seen through the lens of a range of projects in progress. Stănescu’s projects include the collaborative +POOL, a floating, water filtering swimming pool, as well as a wide range of collaborations with Nike, Virgil Abloh, The Office of PlayLab, 2×4, Arup, New Museum, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, Need Supply, Fool’s Gold, and many more. Stănescu’s work has been celebrated in publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, Madame Figaro, Architect magazine, New York magazine, Mark, Time magazine, and Cultured, to name a few. Prior to establishing her own studio she was a co-founder of the New York-based practice Family.

Monday, April 13, 12:00 pm EST
Aga Khan Program Lecture: Laleh Khalili, “Tankers, Tycoons, and the Making of Modern Regimes of Law, Labor, and Finance

Khalili is a Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, and the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine (Cambridge, 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies(Stanford, 2013). Her Sinews of War and Trade, on the politics of maritime infrastructures, is published by Verso. Focusing on the tanker terminals of the Arabian Peninsula since the 1930s and the subsequent burgeoning of tanker-ships plying the trade between the Peninsula and the rest of the world, Khalili will illuminate the radical changes in political economy, labor, law, and production the specificities of tanker trade has wrought.

Friday, April 17, 12:00 pm EST
French 2D (Anda and Jenny French), “Together Again

French 2D is Boston-based architecture studio founded by Anda and Jenny French. Their intimate knowledge of Boston, where the sisters were born and raised, allows the close practice to be both deeply engaged and work critically with local issues of housing, public space, history and identity. French 2D works on housing and mixed-use projects with a focus on strange housing types that combine familiar ideas of home with radical organizations and typologies, found in their cohousing and micro-housing projects. The practice also works on civic installations and exhibitions that call upon the domestic to bring people together for familiar rituals in unfamiliar spaces, found in serial dinner-parties, fuzzy bartering environments, and out-scaled dresses.

Saturday, April 18, 12:00 pm EST
Heinz Emigholz and Anselm Franke, “Goff in the Desert

A live, online screening of Heinz Emigholz’s Goff in the Desert, a sweeping, cinematic meditation on 62 buildings designed by the American architect Bruce Goff. Apprenticed at age 12 but never formally educated as an architect, Goff’s work followed its own trajectory, apart from most 20th-century architecture. Goff in the Desert is one installment of a series of films Emigholz has made under the title Architecture as Autobiography. The screening will be preceded by a conversation between Emigholz and curator Anselm Franke.

Tuesday, April 21, 12:00 pm EST
David Moreno Mateos

Moreno Mateos is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD and a restoration ecologist interested in understanding the long-term recovery of ecosystems degraded by human development. He is interested in estimating how long it takes for ecosystems to recover their less resilient attributes, like the interactions among soil organisms and plants. Understanding this will allow for the discovery of tools to increase the currently limited performance of ecosystem restoration, and increase our ecological understanding of landscape architecture. To do so, he investigates how the structure of species interactions and the deriving functionality of recovering ecosystems re-assemble over the long term.

Thursday, April 23, 6:30 pm EST
David Joselit, “Heritage and Debt: Art in Globalization

Joselit is Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies in Harvard’s Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies. Globalization has generated a new model of regional museums of modern and contemporary art whose purpose, Joselit argues, is to develop an alternative to the authority of the so-called Encyclopedic Museums of former imperial capitals in the West, such as London, Paris, and Vienna—a type that can no longer be reproduced. In this lecture, he will consider the National Gallery Singapore, The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, M+ Hong Kong, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi as exemplars of a new model in which the universality associated with European encyclopedic museums are replaced by claims of regional representation whose expansive territorial ambitions are grounded by archaeological situatedness in a local site or culture, often literally through the repurposing and reanimation of existing buildings.