Loeb50: Design and Activism Now

The Loeb Fellowship is pleased to present a series of events broadcast to audiences via Zoom.

*This event will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions on how to register.

Event Description

In celebration of our 50th anniversary year, the Loeb Fellowship presents the second in a series of online public programs designed to advance critical conversations on the social consequences of the built environment.

Featuring HECTOR co-founder Damon Rich LF ’07 and Designing Justice + Designing Spaces co-founder Deanna Van Buren LF ’13, and moderated by Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron LF ’12, this conversation—Loeb50: Design and Activism Now—explores how practitioners in the built environment can pursue activism in and through their work, while also balancing the realities of being part of a service profession. This discussion will also touch upon issues of memory, representation, and communication in social and political action.

Through the Loeb50 series, curated by founder and co-editor of Cityscapes magazine Tau Tavengwa LF ’18, the Loeb Fellowship will convene conversations about the critical issues of today, and around our shared commitment to building more just, equitable, and sustainable environments.


Damon Rich, LF ’07, Partner, HECTOR

Damon Rich PP AICP is a partner at HECTOR, an urban design, planning and civic arts studio. His work has been exhibited internationally, and his projects have been recognized by the MacArthur Fellowship, the American Planning Association National Planning Award, Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Damon has taught architecture and planning at schools including Harvard University, Barnard College, Cooper Union, and Syracuse University, and has written about architecture and real estate for PerspectaMetropolisArchitectureDomus, and the Village Voice among other publications.

He has previously served as Planning Director and Chief Urban Designer for the City of Newark, Chief of Staff for Capital Projects for New York City Parks, and is the founder of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses art and design to increase meaningful civic engagement.

Deanna Van Buren, LF ’13, Co-founder, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces & BIG Oakland

Deanna Van Buren is one of the national leaders researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of the criminal justice system.  She currently sits on the national board of Architects Designs and Planners for Social Responsibility and is a co-founding partner of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture, and real estate development firm innovating in the built environment  to end mass incarceration.

Deanna’s professional career spans 16 years as a design lead in the offices of Eric R. Kuhne & Associates London, The Buchan Group Sydney, Michelle Kauffman Designs and Perkins + Will on urban design, domestic, institutional and education projects in the bay area, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Recent social impact work with her practice includes Restore, a multi-use hub for restorative justice and work force development, The Pop-up Village- a mobile site activation tool and The Reem’s Re-entry Campus.  Deanna’s work has been featured at TED Women and the Women in Architecture Awards Honoring Pioneering Professionals. She received her BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, M. Arch from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.


Inga Saffron, LF’ 12, Architecture Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer

Inga Saffron is the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic. She joined the paper in 1984, first working as a suburban reporter before going overseas in the early ‘90s. She spent a year covering the war in Yugoslavia, then moved to the Inquirer’s Moscow bureau in 1994. After returning to Philadelphia in 1999, she began writing a weekly column called “Changing Skyline.” Saffron has won many awards for her insightful and pointed critiques of architecture, planning, and urbanism in her city, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2014. She received the Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in 2018. She is the author of two books: Becoming Philadelphia: How an Old American City Made itself New Again, a selection of her columns, and Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy, a cultural history of the sturgeon.

How to Join

Register to attend the conversation here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the event via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.

Only viewers who are attending the conversation via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. After the event has ended, a transcript will be available upon request.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact the Loeb Fellowship office at (617) 495-9345 or [email protected].

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].