Announcing faculty appointments and promotions in urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design is pleased to announce the following faculty appointments and promotions effective July 1, 2020:

Photo of Charlotte Malterre BarthesCharlotte Malterre-Barthes appointed Assistant Professor of Urban Design. Malterre-Barthes was previously guest professor in the Architecture Department of TU Berlin, Malterre-Barthes has directed, managed, and taught the post-graduate Master of Advanced Studies in Urban Design at ETH Zurich over the last six years. She is also co-founder of OMNIBUS, an urban design laboratory focused on interdisciplinary exploration of community-building factors in various metropolitans contexts. Charlotte’s teaching and research interests are related to how struggling communities can gain greater access to resources, the mainstream economy, better governance, and ecological/social justice. She believes that educators and universities have an obligation to be responsive to the challenges of our urbanizing world, equipping young practitioners and researchers with both critical skills and design tools to address them. Her pedagogy is built on a research-based design approach for identifying urgent aspects of contemporary urbanization. Charlotte holds a PhD in Architecture from ETH Zurich, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in architecture from the National School of Architecture of Marseille (ENSAM).

Photo of Yasmin VobisYasmin Vobis appointed Assistant Professor of Architecture. Vobis currently serves as visiting professor of architecture at The Cooper Union, and has previously taught at Princeton University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She sees the academy as an experimental platform for testing and exchanging ideas about architecture; rather than retreat from the issues of today’s political, social, and environmental context, her teaching aims to foster curiosity in these complexities and foster dialogue through design. Yasmin is co-principal of Ultramoderne, an award-winning architecture and design firm located in Providence, Rhode Island; the office is committed to creating architecture and public spaces that are at once modern, playful, and generous. Their view that architecture is not a boutique luxury, but plays an important role in all aspects of urban life, has driven them to mine the rich possibilities for contact between the discipline and the everyday. Yasmin received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her master’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Architecture.

Photo of Sara ZewdeSara Zewde appointed Assistant Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture. Zewde is a founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm practicing at the intersection of landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art. Sara’s practice and research start from her contention that the discipline of landscape architecture is tightly bound by precedents and typologies rooted in specific traditions that must be challenged. Sara most recently was Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s GSAPP, and prior to that, she held an appointment as Race and Gender in the Built Environment Fellow at the University of Texas School of Architecture. She offers curriculum that is expressly connected to current sociopolitical debates, giving students an opportunity to actively take part in forming the links between their design education and the movements shaping the world they live in. Sara is a GSD alumna, specifically of the Department of Landscape Architecture; she also holds a master’s degree in city planning from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and statistics from Boston University.

Photo of Stephen Gray

Stephen Gray promoted to Associate Professor of Urban Design. Gray has served as Assistant Professor of Urban Design since July 1, 2015. In addition to his role as Assistant Professor, Gray serves as the Co-Chair of the GSD Diversity Council. Gray also serves on the GSD Review Board, and is a coordinating faculty member for the GSD’s Design Discovery program.

Gray’s interests center on understanding political and cultural contexts of urban design; socio-ecological urban design approaches to resilience; and the intersectionality of humanitarian aid and urban design. His research and practice interrogate design’s contribution to, and complicity with, structural and infrastructural racism, and develop research and design methodologies that address issues of equity, access, social justice, and precarity at the scales of infrastructure, communities, metropolitans, and the globe.

Gray focuses his teaching primarily on the American city, and often on Boston and the Boston region. Gray’s courses include Elements of Urban Design and Cities by Design II, both of which Gray has been instrumental in re-orienting more explicitly toward questions of social equity, affordability, access, and socio-ecological resilience, as well as the political and procedural realities of urban design implementation. In Urban Design and the Color-Line, Gray interrogates urban design’s role in the production and elimination of structural racism and racial segregation in American cities. In 2015, he founded Grayscale Collaborative to further expand thinking and work at the intersection of urban design research and practice.

Gray earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) from the GSD, where he received the Thesis Prize for Urban Design and the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design. He has been tapped to serve on several Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory panels, and has been nationally recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his contributions to urban design thinking in the U.S. context with the National AIA Honor Award, the highest honor given to individual associate AIA members.

Photo of Holly Samuelson

Holly Samuelson promoted to Associate Professor of Architecture. Samuelson has served as Assistant Professor of Architecture since July 30, 2013. In addition to her role as Assistant Professor, Samuelson serves as Co-Head of the Master in Design Studies in Energy and Environment. Samuelson also serves as one of the core faculty members for the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, and is a faculty advisor for the GSD’s Executive Education programs.

Samuelson’s research focuses on energy conservation and occupant behavior and health, utilizing computerized simulation to help the building industry mitigate and adapt to climate change while providing healthier spaces for occupants. Her work is characterized by a broad interdisciplinary lens and deep technical capacity on building performance simulation and its application/implication for architectural design and real estate. Samuelson’s courses include Environmental Systems in Architecture; Energy Simulation; Daylighting; and Environment, Economics, & Enterprise.

Prior to joining Harvard, Samuelson practiced full-time as a licensed architect and sustainable design consultant. As an architect, her work ranged in scale from a small museum for interactive art to a 100 acre master plan for Boston’s Fort Point Channel area with a primary focus on large-scale commercial buildings. She has worked on dozens of LEED projects and taught LEED workshops nationally and abroad. Her collaborative design work has been featured in the Boston Globe and honored by the Boston Society of Architects.

Samuelson earned a Doctor of Design and Master in Design Studies with distinction from the GSD, where she was awarded the Gerald M. McCue medal. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from Carnegie Mellon where she was awarded the American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Gold Medal. She has contributed articles to Building and Environment, The Journal of Building Performance Simulation, and The Journal of Environmental Management.