Faculty, alumni awarded 2021 Graham Foundation grants

People walking through an archway created by a tree.

Wenger and Àkànjí, “The Arch of the Flying Tortoise,” ca. 1968, Osogbo, Nigeria. Photo: Adolphus Opara; Part of Professor Gareth Doherty's Graham Foundation funded publication Landscape Fieldwork.

Members of the Harvard Graduate School of Design community are among recipients of 71 new project grants exploring ideas that expand contemporary understanding of architecture from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In its second major grant announcement of the year, the Graham Foundation awarded funds in support of projects that “engage original ideas in architecture.”

The GSD awardees and their projects include:

Gareth Doherty (DDes ’10), associate professor of landscape architecture and director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Program, for the publication Landscape Fieldwork, demonstrating how people-centered fieldwork inspires landscape architectural innovations.

Elisa Silva (MArch ’02), for the program titled Nothing Out of the Ordinary: a space for art, celebration, acknowledgement and sancocho in the barrio La Palomera. In partnership with Enlace Foundation, Silva will engage the community to collaborate on renovating an abandoned structure, using art, culture, and events to guide the transformation.

Pablo Escudero (MDes ’18) and Pierre Bélanger (MLA ’00) for The Quino Treaty: Renewing Territorial Relations with the Cinchona Plant at the Center of the World by Decolonizing Quinine and the Global Discourse on Conservation.The book charts the 497-year global history of the cinchona plant from South America, whose bark offers a key contribution to contemporary civilization as it contains the only known cure for malaria: quinine.

Peter H. Christensen (MDes ’09/PhD ’14) for Materialized: German Steel in Global Ecology. This new study provides a touchstone in a material-centered approach to the history of architecture, linking architectural history and critical ecological studies.

Pedro Gadanho (Loeb Fellow ’20) for Climax Change! Architecture’s Paradigm Shift After the Ecological Crisis. The publication offers an overview of how the current environmental emergency will affect the practice of architecture, both in terms of its day-to-day design responses, and in opportunities to innovate and transform the discipline’s current aesthetic, ethical, and professional drives.

Kersten Geers, design critic in architecture and co-holder of the Kenzo Tange chair with David Van Severen, in collaboration with Jelena Pancevac, Stefano Graziani, and Joris Kritis for the publication The Urban Fact: A Reference Book on Aldo Rossi, which examines Aldo Rossi’s formulation of a theory of the city.

Mindy Seu (MDes ’19) for Cyberfeminism Catalog, a sourcebook of radical techno-critical activism from 1990 to 2020. The catalog gathers hackers, scholars, artists, and activists who reimagine the history of the internet and guide its future

Meredith J. Gaglio (MDes ’10) for Life Arks: Science, Spirituality, and Survival in the Work of the New Alchemy Institute, a research project that considers the ways in which members of the NAI integrated scientific innovation, mysticism, and left-libertarian values into their sustainable bioshelter designs..

Sara Jacobs (MLA ’12) for Landscapes of Racial Formation: Warren Manning in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama. The research project examines how landscape architect Warren Manning’s white supremacist atlas, “A National Plan,” reified racial formation in Birmingham and Atlanta through city plans implemented by Manning for those cities in 1919 and 1922, respectively. It illuminates how racialized spatial logics are enacted through the making of urban space.

Wanda Katja Liebermann (DDes ’13) for the research project Architecture’s Problem with Disability, which critically analyzes the complex relationship between architecture and disability rights in the United States. Cutting across pedagogy, policy, and practice, it seeks to understand the discipline’s narrow response to disabled access, and to explore creative alternatives.

The Graham Foundation will announce grants to organizations, as well as winners of the 2021 Carter Manny Award, later this year.