Loeb Fellowship announces incoming Class of 2023

Loeb Fellowship Class of 2023

From left to right: Mariana Alegre, Dario Calmese, Pamela Conrad, Claudia Dobles Camargo, Natalia Dopazo, Badruun Gardi, Shamichael Hallman, Rebecca McMackin, Derwin Sisnett

Harvard Graduate School of Design’s (Harvard GSD) Loeb Fellowship is pleased to announce its Class of 2023, a group of nine innovators who work across activism, horticulture, real estate development, technology, architecture, visual arts, and other fields that engage with the built environment and social outcomes. The Loeb Fellowship will continue its collaboration with the ArtLab at Harvard University to create a working studio space for a second annual Loeb/ArtLab Fellow to network, gain access to intellectual resources, and engage with the ArtLab community.

Harvard GSD’s Loeb Fellowship program welcomes a cohort of accomplished mid-career practitioners every academic year, each of whom is involved in shaping the built environment, for a year of research, dialogue, and innovation. The Fellowship includes a one-year residency on the GSD’s campus, where fellows engage in research, audit courses, convene workshops, and attend and participate on panels and at conferences as a way of furthering knowledge-sharing and expanding their work through social engagement. The Fellows also interface with GSD faculty, students, and collaborate with their peers—all in a united effort to join a growing network of colleagues passionately committed to revitalizing communities and advancing positive social outcomes in the US and around the world.

The nine 2023 Loeb Fellows were selected from among 131 candidates and join a powerful worldwide network of over 450 lifelong Loeb Fellows with alumni including Laurie Beckelman, Jean Brownhill , Deanna Van Buren, Robin Chase, Maurice Cox,  Janet Echelman, Alejandro Echeverri, Washington Fajardo, Theaster Gates, Toni L. Griffin, Anna Heringer, Brent Leggs, Steven Lewis, Rick Lowe, and Glenn LaRue Smith.

“For more than 50 years, Loeb Fellows have made lasting contributions to the experiences of students and the creative community at Harvard GSD. The Fellows’ diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives and their pursuit of social change through practice both inspire the GSD and influence the scope and scale of our ambitions,” says Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture.

“Activism is in Loeb Fellows’ DNA. The 2023 Fellows have been addressing social migration and housing, gender and resource equity, and environmental justice, along with a host of other societal challenges that manifest in the built and natural environment,” observes Loeb Fellowship Curator John Peterson. “Their intelligence, creativity, and commitment further the Fellowship’s legacy of social engagement through practice.”

The incoming cohort of 2023 Loeb Fellows are:

Mariana Alegre, Lima, Perú; Founder, Ocupa Tu Calle and Sistema Urbano

Dario Calmese, New York, NY; Artist and Founder, The Institute of Black Imagination

Pamela Conrad, San Francisco, CA; Principal, CMG Landscape Architecture and Founder, Climate Positive Design

Claudia Dobles Camargo, San José, Costa Rica;  First Lady of the Republic of Costa Rica 2018-2022

Natalia Dopazo, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Coordinator at the Care Infrastructure Program (Centers Against Gender Violence and Community Infrastructure), National Ministry of Infrastructure

Badruun Gardi, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Co-Founder and Chairman, GerHub

Shamichael Hallman, Memphis, TN; Former Senior Library Manager, Memphis Public Libraries

Rebecca McMackin, Brooklyn, NY; Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Derwin Sisnett, Memphis, TN; Co-Founder and Partner, Maslow Development Inc.

Dario Calmese is the Class of 2023 Loeb/ArtLab Fellow. “The ArtLab at Harvard University is an experimental workspace for artists, scholars, and creative processes,” emphasizes Director Bree Edwards. “Dario’s exploration of history, race, class, and humanity through his own cross-disciplinary creative practice will engage all aspects of the ArtLab community in meaningful discourse and artistic development.”

Loeb Fellows immerse themselves in the academic environment, auditing courses across vast offerings at Harvard and MIT, challenging their ideas and processes, and expanding their professional networks, through practice within, across, and beyond the design disciplines. The Loeb Fellowship traces its roots to the late 1960s, when John L. Loeb was directing a Harvard GSD campaign themed around “Crisis.” Loeb saw the American city in disarray and believed Harvard could help. He imagined bringing highly promising innovators of the built and natural environment to Harvard GSD for a year, challenging them to do more and do better, convinced they would return to their work with new ideas and energy.

John and Frances Loeb endowed the Loeb Fellowship as part of their gift to the “Crisis” campaign. They worked closely with William A. Doebele, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design (now Emeritus), the program’s founding curator, who guided the program from the Class of 1971 through its first 27 years and shaped an experience that has had a powerful impact on generations of urban, rural, and environmental practitioners.

Today, the Loeb Fellowship is led by Curator John Peterson, architect, activist, and founder of Public Architecture, a national nonprofit organization, and himself a program alumnus.