Spaces for the Arts at Harvard

The aim of this workshop/seminar is to study the existing spaces for the arts on the Harvard campus and to imagine alternative ways in which new spaces could be added and existing ones redistributed to enhance the role of the arts in the university. In 2007, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust formed a Task Force for the Arts to examine \”the role of the arts in a research university, in a liberal arts education, and at Harvard specifically. It will explore the role of arts both within and beyond the curriculum, as well as how Harvard can encourage connections between arts activities and science, technology, humanities, and other related fields.\”Since 1956, when the Brown Report was issued, and the Visual and Environmental Studies and the Carpenter Center consequently created, there has been no comprehensive study of the arts on campus nor has there been space added that addressed the role of the arts campus wide. As a member of the Task Force and head of the space sub-committee, I thought that it would be important to bring this discussion into the GSD and to the GSD students and to link the space sub-committee\’s recommendations to concrete, albeit-visionary, alternatives that the students could help imagine and articulate by design.Practically the workshop aims to:- examine education in the arts and the spaces associated with it- look back at the evolution of the arts programs on the Harvard campus and the related spaces – map the spaces for the arts on campus with the help of the University Planning Office (UPO)- assess them from the point of their usefulness, educational and extracurricular significance (also with the help of UPO)- examine the spaces of other institutions particularly those that have recently undergone major program revisions and parallel building initiatives. – propose different planning and design alternatives based on different models of the arts on campus (centralized, decentralized, networked, etc.)The workshop will meet once every week around one of the above themes and a related assignment. The workshop will include visits to other universities and their arts facilities as well as guest presentations by members of the University Planning Office and members of the Task Force. The final outcome of the class will be a report that combines the students\’ studies and suggestions and that will be submitted to the Arts Task Force for its consideration. The course is conducted in collaboration with the UPO and with the Arts Task Force.