Talking Practice: Practice in an Uncertain World

Image of roundtable discussion participants for the Practice in an Unknown World Pandemic episode

In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La moderates a special roundtable, Practice in an Uncertain World. This informal event was recorded over zoom in May 2020, after the Harvard GSD evacuated its campus due to the COVID pandemic. The occasion gathered thirteen prominent architectural practitioners, who assembled on an early Saturday morning to share candid thoughts on the complexities of practice at this unprecedented moment. Featuring GSD faculty and alums, and representing different ages, geographic regions, and architectural practice type, the roundtable speakers include:  Jeffry Burchard, Elizabeth Christoforetti, Scott Cohen, Jeanne Gang, Eric Howeler, Grace La, Mark Lee, Rahul Mehrotra, Toshiko Mori, Paul Nakazawa, Lyndon Neri, Jacob Reidel, and Mack Scogin.

The conversation reveals a broad spectrum of insights and experiences. From the structuring of a fledgling office to the value of diversifying project type, the guests communicate the means by which they survived past recessions.  They also discuss the importance of educating oneself outside the academy, acquiring “fitness” in new modes of thinking, and developing networks based on values and priorities. Spanning topics from the philosophical to the practical, they share their unique stories, advice, and reflections.

About the Show

Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.

About the Host

Grace LaGrace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites.

Show Credits

This special episode of Talking Practice is recorded and edited by Maggie Janik. Research, organization, and support for this episode is provided by John Wang. 


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