The Harvard Graduate School of Design's Harvard Design Magazine (HDM) has released its 45th issue, entitled “Into the Woods” (Spring/Summer 2018), taking up “the woods” as a natural and a cultural habitat, a physical resource, a site of extraction and of myth—and as an opportunity to examine the current moment in society and in design.
“To go ‘into the woods' is to enter both nightmare and wonderment, chaos and serenity,” writes HDM editor in chief Jennifer Sigler in the “Into the Woods” Editor's Note. “The woods are the threatening realm of wolves and witches, yet also a space of peace and introspection. They confound and illuminate, disorient and clarify, endanger and protect. The woods are where we ‘come to our senses,' and where we embrace our wilder selves. They are a space of complex life forms and ecological destruction; of growth and decay; of fantasy and ritual; of secrets and control; of hiding and the hidden.
“As designers,” Sigler continues, “we encounter the woods as building site, as obstacle, and as resource—territory to be cleared, but also to be preserved, cultivated, tamed, or simulated. Wood itself—along with its products like lumber, wood pulp, silvichemicals, and charcoal—fuel the building industry and feed architecture. In a period of accelerated climate change, the planet’s woods are disappearing, burning up, threatening and threatened by human existence. How can we holistically address the woods and its ecosystems, and the life and life-giving power they contain?”
In the spirit of previous HDM releases, “Into the Woods” takes a multi-disciplinary but design-interested approach to the thematic concept at hand. “Into the Woods” offers contributions by noted critics and theorists including Milica Topalovic, Lawrence Buell, T. J. Demos, the GSD's Rosetta Elkin, Jack Halberstam, and Maria Tatar; practitioners Dogma, Alexander Brodsky, Dilip Da Cunha, Eelco Hooftman, and Paulo Tavares; as well as artists Tang Chang, Maria Thereza Alves, Janet Cardiff, and Bas Princen; anthropologists Anna Tsing and Eduardo Kohn; and philosopher Giorgio Agamben.
HDM is edited by Sigler and deputy editor Leah Whitman-Salkin, and published by the GSD. The magazine and other GSD publications are available at select bookshops and newsstands worldwide. To subscribe to Harvard Design Magazine, visit the magazine's subscription page. To browse a complete listing of GSD publications, including past issues of HDM, visit the GSD's 2018 publications catalog.