The GSD Announces 2024–2025 Faculty Promotions

The Harvard Graduate School of Design announces three faculty promotions: Michelle Chang to associate professor of architecture, Eric Höweler to professor of architecture, and Carole Voulgaris to associate professor of urban planning, effective July 1, 2024.

Headshot of Michelle Change.Michelle Chang joined the GSD as assistant professor of architecture from Rice University in 2019 and has taught architecture core studios, lecture courses on digital media, and seminars tied to her research. Two concerns recur in her syllabi: an inquiry into “vagueness” or indetermination as a counterbalance to the positivistic specificity required by many architectural design activities, and an exploration of how the conceptual structures underlying everyday design tools—especially, yet not exclusively, digital software programs—subtly inflect how design concepts translate into built forms, and how these tools’ structures inevitably affect us all. Chang researches the techniques and histories of architectural representation, investigating how optics, digital media, and modes of cultural production influence translations between design and building. In her practice, similarly, she goes beyond conventional building projects to work through ideas by curating exhibitions, creating installations that include performative elements, and producing video and sound recordings. Chang also writes in various genres, from the scholarly exposition to the evocative aphorism. Her teaching draws skillfully upon her many types of practice and is enriched by her understanding of how all aspects of the design process—including mundane and media-specific details that are often neglected—contribute to the built environment and can be engaged with creativity. She earned a Master of Architecture degree from the GSD and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations (now called “International Studies”) from Johns Hopkins University, where she also completed a minor in French. This wide-ranging educational base makes her especially responsive to the concerns of architecture graduate students entering the discipline from other fields.

Head shot of Eric Howeler

Eric Höweler, who first taught at the GSD in 2005 and was appointed assistant professor of architecture in 2011 and promoted to associate professor of architecture in 2017, has consistently taught foundational courses, including the Core 3 INTEGRATE studio, which guides students to integrate a building’s systems, envelope, program, and spatial concerns. This “comprehensive building” design studio plays to Höweler’s interest in creating designs that respond to many competing forces, programmatic as well as practical. Höweler completed his architectural training at Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture. Along with partner Meejin Yoon, he founded Höweler + Yoon (H+Y) in 2005. He has designed buildings across a wide variety of types—housing, institutional, memorials, civic space. What underlies all of them is his focus on new material uses and an interest in forging identities that connect cultural heritage and contexts. H+Y’s recent projects include the MIT Collier Memorial, a milled granite compression structure that commemorates the life of Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in action after the Boston Marathon Bombing; the UVA Memorial, a landform structure dedicated to enslaved laborers at the University of Virginia; 212 Stuart Street, a multi-family residential tower in Boston; and the new MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA. H+Y’s work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the 2006 Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and has been published and reviewed broadly. Additionally, Höweler and Yoon have co-authored two monographs: Verify in Field: Projects and Conversations | Höweler + Yoon (Park Books, 2021) and Expanded Practice (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009). Höweler’s receptivity to differences among audiences and users, his ability to expand on vernacular construction techniques and materials, and his generous capacity for inclusivity all respond to vital needs in today’s global professional and pedagogical practice. He looks backward, forward, and all around, to discover new ways to make buildings, generating novel and robust outcomes through his inventive use of materials, innovative building assemblies, and collaboration with non-traditional stakeholders. At a time when so many variables impact design, Höweler demonstrates the interconnectedness of issues, from tectonic and sustainable considerations to inclusive and participatory practice.

Photo of Carole VoulgarisCarole Voulgaris joined the Department of Urban Planning and Design as assistant professor of urban planning in 2019. Her scholarship focuses on the use and misuse of data in transportation and travel planning, with a specialized interest in forecasting and measurement. Voulgaris has a critical perspective on how popular transportation metrics are defined and analyzed to predict the future and address, or ignore, issues of equity. Deeply skeptical about the forecasts that transportation agencies provide to funding agencies and the public, she demonstrates through specific examples how forecasts are reliably unreliable and convincingly speculates that all the incentives push toward forecasts of greater, rather than lesser, use of transportation modes. The greater the forecast of demand, the greater the ability to get the project approved and secure more funding. In this way, she extends work by other analysts, who have identified that such overestimation occurs, by examining how it happens and whether changes in programs and regulations can make a difference. Voulgaris’s prolific publication record since coming to the GSD includes articles that directly and insightfully examine the forecasting issue, including “What Is a Forecast for? Motivations for Transit Ridership Forecast Accuracy in the Federal New Starts Program,” published in 2020 in the Journal of the American Planning Association, and “Crystal Balls and Black Boxes: What Makes a Good Forecast,” published in 2019 in the Journal of Planning Literature. Voulgaris teaches transportation courses for the department, playing to her research focus, as well as teaching three courses that are part of the urban planning core curriculum, including the modules on quantitative analysis for planners and spatial analysis for planners. A testament to her teaching, Voulgaris received the 2021 Student Forum Faculty Award. Previously, she was an assistant professor of civil engineering at California Polytechnic State University where she taught courses on sustainable mobility, public transportation, transportation system planning, and intelligent transportation systems. Voulgaris holds a PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA, a Master of Business Administration from University of Notre Dame, and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University.