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Obama Awards Everett Fly with National Humanities Medal

US President Barack Obama has awarded San Antonio architect and landscape architect Everett Fly with the 2014 National Humanities Medal. Harvard GSD's first African-American graduate, Fly is being recognized for his work in "preserving the integrity of African-American places and landmarks." 

Erik L’Heureux Wins Harvard GSD's $100,000 Wheelwright Prize

Singapore-based American architect Erik L’Heureux has been selected over two other finalists and 200 applicants to receive the Harvard University Graduate School of Design's (GSD) 2015 Wheelwright Prize. The $100,000 travel grant, now in its third year, was awarded to L’Heureux for his proposal Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere, which focuses on the "architecture of five dense cities in the equatorial zone - Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Pondicherry, India; Lagos, Nigeria; São Paulo, Brazil - where he will examine traditional and modern building strategies that mediate extreme climate conditions while addressing the mounting pressures of rapid urbanization and climate change."

Richard Rogers Donates His Parents' Home To Harvard GSD

Richard Rogers has announced that the home he built for his parents in Wimbledon, London, will be gifted to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) for the training of doctorates in the field of architecture. The home, which will be donated by his charity, the Richard Rogers Charitable Settlement, was completed between 1967 and 1968 by Richard and his then wife Su Rogers. Originally designed for his parents, Dr. William Nino and Dada Rogers, the Grade II* listed pre-fabrictated single storey dwelling was later adapted for Rogers' son Ab and his family, before being put on the market in 2013 for £3.2million ($4.8million).

Harvard GSD Shortlists 3 Architects for 2015 Wheelwright Prize

Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced three architects shortlisted for this year's prestigious Wheelwright Prize. The $100,000 grant, which is awarded annually to a single architect to support travel-based architectural research, is “intended to spur innovative research during the early stage of an architect’s professional career” and “foster new forms of research informed by cross-cultural engagement.” 

Similarly to previous years, the shortlisted applicants were chosen from nearly 200 submitters spanning 51 countries. Each finalist will be invited to speak at Harvard GSD on April 16 (starting at noon) to present their work and research proposals. The event will be free and open to the public. A winner will be announced at the end of April.

“The strength and diversity of the applications are growing each year, making the jury’s job increasingly difficult,” said K. Michael Hays, Wheelwright Prize organizing committee member and 2015 jury chair. “It’s gratifying to see so many young architects approach their work as part of larger intellectual projects.”

The shortlisted architects are...

"Data Across Scales: Reshaping Design" at Harvard GSD

On April 17, Harvard GSD will host this year's annual interdisciplinary Doctoral Conference, "Data Across Scales: Reshaping Design." The conference invites design reachers and practitioners to examine the role and potential of data in design. Particularly apt for the technology-centric times of present, "Data Across Scales" focuses on the proliferation of information technologies within personal and professional contexts.

Harvard GSD Talk and Exhibition "Housing in Extreme Environments: Alpine Shelter" Opens Tomorrow

The extreme climatic conditions of the North introduce a design paradox for architects. The fragile environmental conditions require incisive designs that respond to irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. The studio investigated a prototypical design: a unit with sleeping and cooking space for up to eight people, on a mountain site in Slovenia. The talk (on Friday, February 13th) serves as an opening for the exhibition on this project, curated by Spela Videcnik, John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Housing and Urban Development, with Rok Oman, featuring the work of her Fall 2014 studio, displayed on the Experiments Wall (in Gund Hall). Construction of the shelter is planned for summer 2015. 

Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring 'Dualisms' In Architecture

A new exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by Iñaki Ábalos and Renata Sentkiewicz (Ábalos+Sentkiewicz) will explore Dualisms in architecture: the notion that most historic architecture takes its "composite tension from two theoretically incompatible morphological organisations that correspond to different disciplines or languages." Suggesting that these organisations can possess elements of "compatibility and incompatibility" simultaneously, the appearance of "a kind of hybrid 'Frankenstein's monster'" is characterized by dualism in architecture. For the curators, Dualisms act not only performatively, but also in a creative and composite way. "They are, at once, constraints and formative opportunities."

© Justin Knight © Justin Knight © Justin Knight © Justin Knight

Harvard GSD To Host Exhibition Exploring The Architecture And Symbolism Of National Libraries

National libraries, often monumental in scale and "dominated by nationalistic ambitions and overwhelming architectural details," will be the subject of a new exhibition opening later this month at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries seeks to examine why national libraries are amongst the most symbolic icons of modern day countries. In the global milieu of the "rapid digitisation of print," this exhibition aims to shed light on why nations are "vehemently investing resources in the construction of buildings that will project their cultural legacy and house the most precious treasures of their written history."

2015 Wheelwright Prize

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the third edition of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards $100,000 to a talented early-career architect to support travel-based research. The 2015 Wheelwright Prize will begin accepting applications online on January 5; the deadline for submissions is January 30. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.

Video: Harvard Art Museums Construction Time-Lapse

Harvard Art Museums have released this time-lapse video of their recently completed four-year renovation and expansion project carried out by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Payette. Filmed from June 2010 – November 2014, the video shows the amount of work that went into renovating, expanding and uniting the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum under the same roof. Watch as snow falls (and then melts) on the construction site in the full video above and learn more about the project here

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas' earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

13 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Asia Pacific

Teams from Thailand and New York have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Asia Pacific, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winners are the “Protective Wing” bird sanctuary and a locally-adapted orphanage and library in Nepal. 

The 13 recognized projects will share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Asia Pacific winners, after the break…

AD Interviews: Mohsen Mostafavi / Harvard GSD

During his recent trip to Chile, organized by the Harvard David Rockefeller Center For Latin American Studies, we caught up with the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), Mohsen Mostafavi, to see what challenges he thinks are facing the future of architecture education and to learn more about his work on ecological urbanism.

 “[Architecture is] both a singular discipline, but at the same time it needs to be a collaborative discipline. It’s at once focusing on disciplinary knowledge but at the same time trans-disciplinary practicing; therefore it means that architectural education has to find new venues for collaboration,” he said. 

"I think the GSD is very well-positioned to address key societal issues today because first, we’re a very multidisciplinary school in the sense that we believe strongly both in the focus of individual disciplines like architecture, but also on the inter-relationship between architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and urban design. "

Watch the full interview above to see what else Mostafavi had to say about architecture school, the role of architecture in society and ecological urbanism. 

Weiss/Manfredi and Charles Renfro Among Those Honored as National Academy Academician

Each year, a select group of prominent artists and architects is elected into the National Academy. As a National Academy Academician, distinguished practitioners are recognized for their “exceptional creative work and contribution to the arts.” This year’s inductees include: Ida Applebroog, Peter Bohlin, Jane Dickson, Preston Scott Cohen, Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss, Eric Owen Moss, Antoine Predock, Martin Puryear, Charles Renfro, Edward Ruscha, and Joan Semmel.

David Adjaye to Receive Du Bois Medal at Harvard

On September 30, Mohsen Mostafavi will present David Adjaye with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard University’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies, at the Hutchins Center Honors. Since 2000, the Du Bois Medal has been awarded to individuals from across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Adjaye is one of nine luminaries receiving this year’s award, including Oprah Winfrey and the late Maya Angelou. More information about the ceremony can be found here.

Harvard Design Magazine No. 38 / Do You Read Me?

The following is a re-print from the newly relaunched Harvard Design Magazine. The new approach to the 17-year-old publication is the vision of recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman- Salkin, in collaboration with creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.). “Do You Read Me?” invites “reading” across disciplinary boundaries, and stakes out an expanded arena for architecture and design dialogue. In her Editor's Note, Sigler explores "When Walls Are Doors." Read on to find out how you can win a subscription to HDM.

My favorite book as a child was called Story Number 2. Written by the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, it tells the tale of the logical Josette and her enigmatic father, who gives her a lesson in “the real meaning of words”:

“The ceiling is called floor. The floor is called ceiling. The wall is called a door,” Papa explains matter-of-factly.

“A chair is a window. The window is a penholder. A pillow is a piece of bread. Bread is a bedside rug.”

Four Ways to Learn About Architecture for Free

Learning doesn't necessarily need to be formal – or expensive for that matter. Thanks to the Internet and some generous benefactors, you can further your education for free from the comfort of your own home. Top schools such as MIT and Harvard University are affiliated with free online learning resources, allowing people from all over the globe to connect and audit courses at their own pace. In some cases, these services even provide self-educators with proof for having completed courses. Keep reading after the break to check out our round-up of four free online learning resources.

Holcim Foundation Announces Jury for 2015 Global Award

The Holcim Foundation has announced the global jury for the 2015 Holcim Awards, its triennial prize which encourages architects, planners, engineers, project owners and students to share their projects and visions that "go beyond conventional notions of sustainable construction."

The 2015 prize is the Holcim Foundation's fourth cycle, and this year will feature a total prize fund of $2 million - a significant increase on their 2012 prize fund of $300,000. To oversee the awards, they have recruited independent experts of international stature, including the Deans of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and ETH Zurich, and Alejandro Aravena of Chilean practice Elemental.

Read on after the break for the full list of jurors and more on the prize