Ecologies is the study of environmental and infrastructural systems and dynamics as they inform and interact with people, cities, and regions across a range of scales. Studies and research will explore the impacts of these interactions on climate, health, equity, culture, economics, politics, and the resultant shape of buildings, landscapes, and metropolitan areas.

MDes students in the Ecologies Domain pursue advanced studies in topics related to contemporary landscape, urbanism, energy systems, geography, territory, and resilience within the broader contexts of global social, natural and built environments. After a series of core courses in climate, social equity, ecology, and sustainable design, candidates are invited to construct their own program of study from among the course offerings at the GSD and across Harvard University.

Candidates in the MDes program’s Ecologies Domain may propose research topics related to the description of contemporary landscape and urban forms; the relation of landscape, ecology, infrastructure, and social spaces; the representation of ecological sites and systems; the simulation of energy production and consumption; indigenous cultures, cultivation practices, and technologies in relationship to landscape; agricultural production and consumption in relation to urbanism; water and waste networks in relation to urbanism; climate and environmental justice; climate displacement and migration; racially and ethnically situated understandings of land, landscape, nature, and culture, and the implications for collective society; large-scale, ultra-rapid development and emergent forms of modernization, and their ecological and economic impacts and possibilities; sustainable building design; healthy cities, buildings, and environments; as well as advanced studies in landscape urbanism, ecological urbanism, and weak urbanism.

Domain Head

Chris Reed, Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture

Research Affiliations

Harvard University Center for the Environment
Just City Lab @ Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard GSD Office for Urbanization
Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities