Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Symposium Overview

Our Communities: FuturePresent
Harvard Graduate School of Design
3 April 2008


The FuturePresent symposium and initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Design serves to amplify discussion of the interrelationship between marginalized cultural environments, (schools of) architecture, and renewed leadership of minority architects. FuturePresent seeks to energize a network of students, professionals and academics to think critically across the design disciplines and to proactively and in collaboration work to increase diversity within landscape/architecture, urban planning and design.

Our Communities » Too often design discourse foregrounds a generic “urban” over the more political “community” or “neighborhood,” and ignores the significance of culturally-loaded territories linked to terminology such as “Our.” Can we make design more relevant to marginalized communities through advocacy and design?

FuturePresent » What can today’s new generation of young designers do now to increase underrepresented minority presence in academia and practice?


Symposium begins at 9am on 3 April 2008. Free registration required to attend the three panels/workshops; evening lecture and reception are open to the public. Panels address topics of Design Education, Professional Practice and Minority Recruiting.

Confirmed panelists include Maurice Cox, Director of Design, National Endowment of the Arts; Toni Griffin, Director of Community Development, Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development; David Lee, FAIA, Principal, Stull and Lee, Adjunct Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Steve Lewis, President-Elect, National Organization of Minority Architects; Craig Barton, Chair, Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia; Derek Ham, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Florida Agricultural and Technical University

Registration and more information: www.gsd.harvard.edu/soca

Note: Limited funds are available to assist students with cost of travel and accommodation.
FuturePresent is organized together with the Systems for Inclusion 8 conference 4-6 April 2008 at the GSD. The theme of the SFI conference is design + social action, and more information as well as information on hotels can be found at: www.designcorps.org/sfi

On Social Responsibility

On 1 December 2005, SoCA held an Open Dialog at the GSD on Social Responsibility. Over 100 students and a half dozen faculty packed the Stubbins room to discuss what many felt was the GSD's bias toward formalism at the expense of any larger social agenda.

If individually we support social and economic justice, why as a profession have we remained indifferent? Are we independent agents for change, or the pawns of clients, competition juries, approval boards and building code? Can we make what we do in studio matter in the real world?

A symposium and initiative to increase diversity in the design professions.
Download registration form ∙ studentfaculty/professional

Harvard GSD and Design Corps host the latest offering of the annual SFI conference series on design and social action. SFI8 conference website ∙ designcorps.org/sfi

Call for Papers and Media: Students and professionals are encouraged to submit papers, media and projects that engage this year's SFI theme of design agency and "systems" for inclusion. Selected papers will be published in the online GSD student-run journal, re: