GSD Faculty, Alum, and Student Win 2023 Graham Foundation Grants

Members of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) community are among recipients of new project grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Announced in late May, the Foundation’s 2023 grants present nearly $560,000 in funding to support 64 projects by 93 individuals and collaborators who are “working to realize innovative and interdisciplinary ideas that contribute critical perspectives on architecture and design.” The funded projects include publications, research programs, exhibitions, films, podcasts, digital initiatives, public programs, and other formats that further ideas, dialogues, and new understandings of architecture.

The GSD awardees and their projects are:

Yun Fu, Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design, for the publication Thinking and Building on Shaky Ground. Building with earthquakes is a familiar yet persistent design problem for resilient construction on all continents. The book elaborates on various factors for earthquake-resilient architecture in six thematic chapters that explore the design strategies of lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity, and consistency. These factors allow designers to develop contextual solutions that marry technical know-how with social and cultural understanding, ranging in scale from buildings to furniture and urban master plans.

Dana McKinney, Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design, for Black—Still, an installation that offers an accessible entry point into architecture. Situated within the Craft Contemporary’s courtyard in Los Angeles, the reverential volumes are responsive to various obstacles beneath the surface, on the ground, and above. The prism’s glossy black finish evokes the tar running below the ground’s surface—the use of the color black frames an introspective space. Black is celebrated as “clean,” “pure,” and “good,” and is a source of collective healing. Its blackness subverts traditional and modernist notions of whiteness, presenting novel and diverse expressions of architecture.

Anna Bokov (MArch ’04) for the publication From Method to Style: Elements of Spatial Composition and Architectural Pedagogy after Vkhutemas. The publication centers on Elements of Spatial Composition, a textbook published in 1934 by a group of former Vkhutemas faculty who sought to salvage the pedagogical methods of that avant-garde school at the onset of Stalin’s stylistic mandates in the Soviet Union.

Curry J. Hackett (MAUD ’24) for Drylongso: Imaging the Black Landscape, a research project that incorporates oral histories and archival material to inform installations, writing, craft, and drawings that collectively render everyday life of Black lands in the American South. Drylongso (a Gullah-derived word meaning “ordinary” or “same old”) is an indexing and speculation of the geographies and landscapes shaped by Black cultural production. Hackett was a finalist for the 2022 Wheelwright Prize for his proposal “Drylongso: Sociospatial Tropes of the African Diaspora.”

Nahyun Hwang (MArch ’01) David Eugin Moon (MArch ’01), of N H D M Architects, present Migrating Futures, an ongoing project that investigates the historical and contemporary geographies of diverse diaspora communities and transnational migrant workers within Korea and across Asia. While subjected to the enduring colonial legacy of subjugated and racialized laboring bodies and extremely precarious work and living conditions, the ostensibly transient global subjects shape and embody emergent and hyper-local spatial typologies, new socialities, and potently intersectional cultural and agentive capacities.

The Graham Foundation will announce grants to organizations, as well as winners of the 2023 Carter Manny Award, later this year.