Name William Stein
Hometown Norwich, Vermont
Undergraduate school/major Whitman/History
What was your work experience/background before coming to the GSD?
In addition to two planning and relevant research internships, I worked for Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City. It was good experience and gave me some real hands-on experience working alongside planners, architects, and landscape architects.
Why did you decide to pursue planning as a career?
My undergraduate experience didn’t give me any real exposure to planning or design. Similarly, growing up in rural Vermont I was not exactly experienced in citylife. That being said, the more I’ve lived in cities, whether Cape Town, Los Angeles, or New York, the more passionate I am about urban areas in general. I think there is an interesting intersection between rural-ness (from my upbringing) and challenges that face cities today. I want to continue to think about this meaningful relationship and broader issues that similarly affect the rural and the urban. The more I learn about planning here at the GSD, the more relevant I think that intersection is.
What made you decide to come to the GSD?
I was only interested in programs that incorporated design into the heart of the planning curriculum. Access to other departments in the GSD, other Harvard Schools, and MIT was also an important factor.
What are your main interests in planning and concentration area?
I concentrated in environmental planning and sustainable development.
What was your impression of Harvard and the GSD before you came?
I did the Career Discovery summer program at the GSD in 2010. I highly recommend the program. I think it offered a unique and thorough lens into the GSD as well as the specific programs/departments.
Were you involved in any student groups? What have you gained from the experience?
GSD Green Design hosted a series of debates between faculty members from different Harvard schools (i.e. FAS, HBS, HLS, HKS, GSD) on potentially contentious sustainability topics/issues.
Did you write a thesis? What was your topic and why did you choose it?
I didn't, instead opting for additional studios. The focus on the studio pedagogy was one of the most attractive components of the MUP program at the GSD.
What has been the most surprising aspect of the GSD?
How social it is.
What has been your favorite class or project? Why?
The major project of first semester core studio (Fenway, Kenmore Longwood area of Boston) effectively combined a lot of coursework and technical skills gained throughout the semester.