Kanye West meets with GSD’s African American Student Union, gives impromptu talk

News Release

Harvard University
Graduate School of Design

November 18, 2013

Cambridge, MA—Upon invitation by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union, Musician/Artist Kanye West came to the School on the afternoon of Sunday, November 17. West met with students and then toured the School. While visiting the “trays”—the central student workspace at Harvard Graduate School of Design—West addressed the students who had gathered. After his remarks, West distributed tickets to his concert in Boston that evening to the students who were present.

The following statement was put out by Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union: 

“The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union wrote Kanye West a personal letter in response to a series of interviews Kanye delivered referencing his growing interest in design and his experiences with race as an artist in the United States. Very recently, we received word from Kanye West and his team stating that he would be in town for a concert on Sunday evening and that he wanted to meet with a very small core of our group’s leaders with his security personnel and closest advisors in tow. Kanye led a very thoughtful conversation regarding the trajectory of design discourse and practice as well as the under-representation of minorities in design disciplines.” 

Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design, commented on the visit:

We are thrilled that Kanye West decided to visit Harvard Graduate School of Design and has taken such interest in our students, their work and design in general. I share Mr. West’s concern that minorities are underrepresented in design disciplines. We hope that Mr. West’s visit will raise awareness of design education among students of color and will inspire others to recognize the important role of designers in re-imagining and improving the spaces in which we live.”

For more information:
Benjamin Prosky
Assistant Dean for Communications
Harvard Graduate School of Design
(617) 496-1069
[email protected]

Photo: Noam Dvir