All Academic Programs
Horizon House

Energy and Environments

The existing discourse on “sustainable” design inadequately frames questions of energy and environment. Whether you consider the narrowly defined system boundaries of buildings or landscapes, incomplete interpretations of the thermodynamics that support life today, or the externalities of contemporary “sustainability,” a more ambitious and totalizing praxis for energy and environments is necessary today. The Energy and Environments concentration focuses on buildings and landscapes as both small and large-scale thermodynamic systems that aim to maximize energy intake, use, and feedback, achieving broad design and ecological impacts. For instance, the design of urban wood buildings has far-reaching effects on forestry practices, global carbon cycles, as well as minute thermal phenomena. Rather than focusing on the constrained principles of efficiency, conservation, and optimization, we examine the capacities and propensities of material/energy systems along with their historical and socio-ecological entanglements. This approach is necessary for a more thermodynamically cogent, ecologically exuberant, and vitally civilizing method of practice for the 21st century.

Energy and Environments allows students to examine material and energy issues – broadly defined, from the molecular to the territorial – across disciplines and scales, taking full advantage of courses and initiatives throughout the GSD and Harvard University. It is closely associated with the Energy, Environments, and Design Research Lab, a way to couple theory with applied research. The curriculum is diverse: from short workshops, half-semester module courses, regular seminars and lectures, and to year-long thesis projects and multi-year lab projects.

Area Coordinators
Jane Hutton, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Kiel Moe
, Associate Professor of Architecture and Energy


Martin Bechthold, Professor of Architectural Technology
Bradley Cantrell, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Sal Craig, Assistant Professor in Architectural Technology
Peter Del Tredici, Associate Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture
Richard T. T. Forman, Research Professor of Advanced Environmental Studies
Ali Malkawi, Professor of Architectural Technology
Benjamin Markham, Lecturer in Architecture
Alejandra Menchaca, Lecturer in Architecture
Panagiotis Michalatos, Assistant Professor in Architectural Technology 
Holly Samuelson, Assistant Professor in Architectural Technology 
Matthias Schuler, Transsolar, Lecturer in Architecture

Research Affiliation

Energy| Environments | Design Lab

Content is loading...
Parent Page