Harvard magazine “thinks about space” with feature on Undergraduate Architecture Studies track

Studio participants in the HILT Room. Image courtesy of Megan Panzano.

Since its launch in 2012, Harvard’s Undergraduate Architecture Studies track has become a popular option for Harvard College students, regularly oversubscribing its two annual studio courses with design enthusiasts from a range of concentrations. Jointly administered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ History of Art and Architecture department and the Graduate School of Design, the program steeps undergraduates in the language of architecture, providing hands-on learning through studio-based courses taught by GSD faculty and held in Gund Hall.

The September/October 2018 issue of Harvard magazine takes a close look at the program, particularly its two studio offerings, “Connections” and “Transformations.”

“These courses are not about learning to fill up cities with livable or workable infrastructure: rather, they are rigorous training in how to think about space by handling materials, how to think through making,” writes author Lily Scherlis.

The article gives a brief history of undergraduate architectural education at Harvard and includes an insider look at the studio critiques and assignments meant to “give architectural-studies concentrators their sea legs.” Student work from the two studios, including paper models and a topographical map, is also featured.

Last fall, the the program’s studios were highlighted in an exhibition on the GSD’s Experiment’s Wall, co-curated by studio instructors Megan Panzano (MArch ’10), who is program director of the Undergraduate Architecture Studies track, and Lisa Haber-Thomson (AB ’02, MArch ’09). The show coincided with the 10th anniversary of Harvard University President Drew Faust’s Task Force on the Arts, which helped to inspire the creation of the track.

Harvard magazine previously wrote about the Undergraduate Architecture Studies track in a 2015 feature, “Architecture as Liberal Art.”

Read the full Harvard magazine feature, “Thinking about Space.”