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Harvard Design Magazines latest issue explores connections between design, health

Published twice yearly by the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Design Magazine was relaunched in spring 2014. Editor in chief Jennifer Sigler and associate editor Leah Whitman-Salkin conceptualized a scholarly, immersive, and provocative publication. “A space for dialogue, speculation, and surprise,” each issue aims to explore connections between design and fields beyond the established design disciplines.

Themed around health, wellness, and illness, the latest issue, “Well, Well, Well” (No. 40, Spring/Summer 2015), arrived on newsstands over the summer. “Like health itself, our power—as individuals, citizens, and designers—to heal or to harm ourselves and the spaces in which we dwell is full of contradictions,” Sigler writes in her editor’s letter. “‘Well, Well, Well’ explores some of the tensions and transformations of the landscape of health and illness. As both designers and inhabitants, we create this landscape, and in turn, must navigate our own well-being within it.”

Sigler and Whitman-Salkin brought together voices from within the GSD, throughout Harvard, and beyond, including a number of GSD alumni. Recently, Archinect featured the issue, highlighting a piece by Mark Pasnik (MDes ’95) on Paul Rudolph’s Mental Health Building in Boston. Among the issue's other GSD contributors are:

–       Associate professor of architecture and technology Kiel Moe, with “Iatrogenic Architecture: Unreliable Narratives of Sustainability

–       Lecturer in architectural technology Salmaan Craig, with “Messages from Material Reality

–       Michael Murphy (MArch ’11), with “In Search of the Water Pump: Architecture and Cholera

–       Lecturer in architecture and senior research associate Andreas Georgoulias (DDes ’08), professor in practice of architectural technology Hanif Kara, and lecturer in architecture Leire Asensio Villoria, with “The Missing Link: Architecture and Waste Management.” 

From elsewhere at Harvard, Julia Kane Africa (MDes ’11) from Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health contributed “Seeing the Forest for the Trees,” coauthored with Hui Wang (MLA ’16) and Yuko Tsunetsugu. From Harvard Medical School, geneticist George Church spoke with GSD PhD candidate Matthew Allen for the interview “Artificial Natures,” and Nancy Etcoff, director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well-Being at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, penned a column musing on the doctor’s white coat. Harvard Law School’s I. Glenn Cohen also contributed to this issue, offering a tour of the spaces and ethics of medical tourism.

A full listing of the issue’s contributors and Table of Contents is available on the magazine’s website

“Well, Well, Well” follows two previous editions of the relaunched magazine. No. 38 (“Do You Read Me?”) debuted in June 2014 at the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennale and examines the relation among design, communication, and comprehension. No. 39 (“Wet Matter”) profiles the ocean as a contemporary site of material, political, and ecologic significance, with guest editor Pierre Bélanger, associate professor of landscape architecture.

Copies are available for sale in the GSD’s Loeb Library and elsewhere.

Out this winter, the next issue of the magazine is titled “Family Planning.” It will examine how, as family configurations evolve beyond the model of a heteronormative nuclear unit, we need to imagine new, different forms of living together.