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Harvard Design Magazine is pleased to announce the inaugural issue of its redesign, “Do You Read Me?” Launched at the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, this issue celebrates the magazine’s new orientation carried out by recently appointed editor in chief Jennifer Sigler at the helm, together with associate editor Leah Whitman-Salkin and creative director Jiminie Ha (With Projects, Inc.).

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In an article for Architectural Record, writer Bryony Roberts cites the Critical Conservation program at the GSD as evidence of a trend toward adapting and transforming existing buildings in highly nuanced ways that challenge the user’s experience of the structure and its history. Rick Lowe (LF ’02) and Project Row Houses in Houston are part of the vanguard.

Read “Beyond Gordon Matta-Clark.”

Image courtesy of modpod, a project of Project Row Houses

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Ecosistema Urbano, the firm of Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo (design critics in architecture), has been awarded 1st prize in the international competition for the Master Plan to redefine the historic downtown of the city of Asunción, Paraguay.  Details and photos in ArchDaily and on the Plan CHA website or read a translation of the proposal.

Photo courtesy of la Secretaría Nacional de Cultura

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Rahul Mehrotra (professor of urban design and planning and chair of urban planning and design) views architecture as the expression of the aspirations of society. In his teaching he advocates for design that connects all strata of society and chips away at inequities, and he practices what he preaches. Watch a video interview by ArchDaily.

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Bing Wang (associate professor in practice of real estate and the built environment) was selected a Young Leader by the 2014 World Cities Summit.  WCS Young Leaders are prominent individuals from diverse urban sectors who are committed to actively catalyze change in cities and help shape urban development agendas. They are selected once every two years for a 3-year tenure. The WCS YL initiative provides a platform to carry out intellectual discourse on urban issues and launch initiatives to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Learn more about the World Cities Summit Young Leaders.

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At the GSD, Urban Planning and Design studios often offer students the opportunity to grapple with global issues at the local scale. During spring 2014, students delved into the challenges of the coffee trade in Medellin and land reuse in Barcelona.

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Caroline James (MArch ’14) was at the 2014 Venice Biennale to view the outcome of 2 Rotterdam studios abroad, additional student engagement and her own summer internship with Rem Koolhaas’s (professor in practice of architecture and urban design) AMO studio to put together the “Elements of Architecture” book and exhibition. She found a rigorous presentation of the human relationship to architecture and a wholly new approach to the Biennale itself. Read her post in the LOEBlog.

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GSD alumna Amale Andraos has been appointed dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).

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For students at the GSD, the summer represents a valuable chance to apply their skills and knowledge to challenges outside Gund Hall. Five UPD students–Jon Springfield, Margaret Scott, Jefferson Mao, Joyce Lee (all MUP ’15), and Jean You (MAUD/MDES ‘15)–are doing so through the GSD’s Community Service Fellowship Program.

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A new book, Homeownership Built to Last: Affordability, Access, and Risk after the Housing Crisis, features essays by Eric Belsky, Chris Herbert and Jen Molinsky of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Department of Urban Planning and Design. They offer solutions and strategies to create an affordable, fair, and sustainable future for all Americans.

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