Harvard GSD has introduced digital platform GSD Now to its community of students, faculty, and staff, offering a new space intended to show (and provide access to) the full breadth of activity happening across the school at any given time—course and studio activities, events, and public programs, alongside other kinds of activities open to the general GSD audience. A primary intention behind GSD Now is to connect the Harvard GSD community via shared interests through a digital platform that is responsive to individual and collective user activity. GSD Now is currently available to any currently enrolled Harvard GSD students, as well as staff and faculty; HarvardKey log-in credentials are required.
Within GSD Now, users can overview the scope of school-wide activity taking place during a given day or moment, and can register for and join school events. GSD Now conveys information about and access to public events—the lectures and symposia that are part of the school’s public program—but also course workshops, student group meetings, and other activities. While standard course sessions are made available only to those enrolled in a given course, any user an elect to “follow” a course, so that GSD Now highlights ongoing information and new updates about courses within the user’s dashboard.
GSD Now users can also create digital “Trays,” collaborative spaces shared by at least two people and up to as many people as desired. Within the Trays—an allusion to Gund Hall’s interior studio space of the same name—users can share and discuss their work, course readings, or other dialogue. Each Tray is made visible within GSD Now to the rest of the school, in the spirit of Gund’s open studio space, though users can elect to set a Tray as private.
Throughout GSD Now, a running message ticker scrolls across the bottom of the user’s screen, sharing general notes about user activity with the intention of fostering serendipitous discovery—helping users become aware of a course that they might find interesting but didn’t know about, or reminding them that a Tray they are interested in has been updated. Like GSD Now’s virtual Trays, this user-activity ticker can be made private.
GSD Now is among the features Harvard GSD has created in order to explore fresh means of dialogue and engagement. Harvard GSD has organized its entire series of public programs as virtual events, open and accessible to anyone in the world. This term, the school has converted its exhibitions program into a series of projections cast on the façade of Gund Hall; the exhibitions series, entitled “Inside Out,” rotating through a weekly roster of visual shows that exhibit some recent preoccupations among Harvard GSD faculty and students, as selected and curated from among an open call last November. Harvard GSD’s Innovation Task Force also continues to innovate and share findings around new approaches to virtual learning and dialogue.