The three-day Harvard Graduate School of Design conference “Voices and Visions of St. Louis: Past, Present, Future” opens tonight at 6:30 p.m. with a keynote panel featuring Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and the New School's Joseph Heathcott. Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, will offer introductory remarks, and Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, will moderate.
Davis organized the conference in partnership with the Mellon-funded Divided City Initiative, a joint project of Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design. The event kicks off a multi-year transdisciplinary conversation on questions of injustice, inequality, and racial exclusion in urban America.
Thursday's program comprises a series of panels moderated by members of the GSD's Urban Planning and Design faculty and featuring a range of participants from the GSD, Washington University, and elsewhere across the country. Topics include how design has shaped the character of the city and its spaces, the issue of exclusion, and possible next steps and interventions, among others.
Friday's program will highlight ongoing student work at the GSD that explores issues of equity, race, and social justice. The works-in-progress will deal with themes such as gentrification, displacement, mobility, access, education, informality, policing, and political agency.
All portions of the conference will be held in the GSD's Piper Auditorium, and all are free and open to the public.