“Beyond the Surface: Race, Violence, and Design”

Mass Design,

Mass Design, "Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery Alabama"

This half-day symposium will explore design and its problematic relationship with violence, from war to racism. Speakers will address how design may become complicit in violence, and how it can, alternatively, engage with and confront a site’s conflicted past.


Anita Berrizbeitia MLA '87 is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her research focuses on design theories of modern and contemporary landscape architecture, the productive aspects of landscapes, and Latin American cities and landscapes. She was awarded the 2005/2006 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, she studied architecture at the Universidad Simon Bolivar before receiving a BA from Wellesley College and an MLA from the GSD.

Berrizbeitia has taught design theory and studio, most recently at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where she was Associate Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her studios investigate innovative approaches to the conceptualization of public space, especially on sites where urbanism, globalization, and local cultural conditions intersect. She also leads seminars that focus on significant transformations in landscape discourse over the last three decades. From 1987 to 1993, she practiced with Child Associates, Inc., in Boston, where she collaborated on many award-winning projects.

She is co-author, with Linda Pollak, of Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape (Rockport, 1999), which won an ASLA Merit Award; author of Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas: Parque del Este, 1956-1961 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), awarded the J.B. Jackson Book Prize in 2007 from the Foundation for Landscape Studies; and editor of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates: Reconstructing Urban Landscapes (Yale University Press, 2009), which received an ASLA Honor Award. Her essays have been published in Daniel Urban Kiley: The Early Gardens (Princeton Architectural Press), Recovering Landscape (Princeton Architectural Press), Roberto Burle Marx: Landscapes Reflected (Princeton Architectural Press), CASE: Downsview Park Toronto (Prestel), Large Parks (Princeton Architectural Press), Retorno al Paisaje (Evren), and Hargreaves Associates: Landscape Alchemy (ORO Publishers), as well as in magazines such as A+U.


Eve Blau is Adjunct Professor of the History of Urban Form in the Department of Urban Planning and Design. She teaches courses in the history and theory of urban formation and design including the Urban Design Proseminar, Urban Form: History and Theory, PhD Proseminar, and Cities by Design. In recent years she has taught a series of research seminars: Berlin as Laboratory, Baku: Oil and Urbanism, and Mapping Cultural Space Across Eurasia.

She is Co-Principal Investigator of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, an interdisciplinary cross-school initiative supported by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It brings together scholars and resources from across Harvard to foster interdisciplinary urban study through collaborative research and teaching, and by developing innovative cross-disciplinary methodologies that integrate digital technologies to bring together the perspectives of the design disciplines, the humanities, and the social sciences.

Before coming to Harvard, Blau was Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and Editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Her research engages a range of issues in urban and architectural history and theory and the productive intersection of urbanism and media. A major concern is with transitional post-socialist and post-industrial urban conditions that are reorganizing urban environments in ways that challenge the fixed categories by which we have traditionally understood the urban. Current research projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the United States examine these transitional conditions historically and comparatively across geographies and cultures. In her published work Blau has developed new methodologies for understanding the dynamics of transition. Her books include Baku: Oil and Urbanism (2017); The Architecture of Red Vienna, 1919-1934 (1999; German edition, 2014), which was awarded the 2015 Victor Adler State Prize of the Republic of Austria, the 2001 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award and the 2000 Spiro Kostof Book Award by the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Austrian Cultural Institute Book Prize 1999-2000; Project Zagreb: Transition as Condition, Strategy, Practice (2007); Urban Form. Städtebau in der postfordistischen Gesellschaft/Urban Form: City Building in post-Fordist Society (2003); Shaping the Great City: Modern Architecture in Central Europe 1890-1937 (1999/2000) which was also an exhibition that travelled to the Obecni Dum in Prague, Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and Kunstforum in Vienna in 2000-2001. She is also the editor of Harvard Design Magazine 37: Urbanism’s Core (2014) and Architectural History 1999/2000: A Special Issue of JSAH (1999).

In addition to her work on urbanism, Blau has published widely on intersections between art and architecture, transparency, and other issues in representation. Her books include Architecture and Cubism (1997), Architecture and Its Image: Four Centuries of Architectural Representation (1989) awarded the 1991 Society of Architectural Historians’ Exhibition Catalogue Award, and the 1990 AIA Citation for Excellence in International Architectural Book Publishing; Architecture or Revolution: Charles Moore and Yale in the late 1960s(2001); Ruskinian Gothic: The Architecture of Deane and Woodward (1982). Articles include: “Isotype and Architectural Knowledge,” in Alison Clarke, ed., Émigré Design Cultures: Histories of the Social in Design (2017); “Architecture as Instrument,” in Akiko Miki, ed., Insular Insight: Where Art and Architecture Conspire with Nature: Naoshima,Teshima, Inujima (2011); “Curating Architecture with Architecture,” Log 20, (Fall 2010); “The Third Project” in Olafur Eliasson: Your Chance Encounter Kanazawa: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (2010); “Tensions in Transparency. Between Information and Experience: The Dialectical Logic of SANAA’s Architecture,” Harvard Design Magazine (Fall 2008); “Transparency and the Irreconcilable Contradictions of Modernity,” PRAXIS 9 (2007).

In 2015, Blau was awarded the Victor Adler State Prize/Victor Adler-Staatspreis für Geschichte sozialer Bewegungen by the Republic of Austria in recognition of her contributions to the history of social movements, the interdisciplinary breadth, and innovative methods of her scholarship. In 2016, she was the Clarkson Visiting Chair in Architecture at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. She has been a Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna and Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, and recipient of the J. Paul Getty Trust Senior Research Fellowship.

She is President of the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, past Vice President of the International Scholarly Advisory Board of the IFK_Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften/Vienna, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies, the Advisory Board of Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts of the Columbia University Press, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Planning History.


Julian Bonder MDes '96


An expert on 20th-century American social and political history, Lizabeth Cohen is the author of Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939, which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her next book, A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America, explored how an economy of mass consumption shaped social life, culture, and politics following World War II. Cohen has published widely in top history and urban studies journals, winning numerous awards and distinctions. Her writings have also appeared in edited collections and popular venues including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the American Prospect, and the Boston Herald. She is also coauthor with David Kennedy of a widely used United States history college textbook, The American Pageant.

Cohen’s current book project, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, considers the benefits and costs of rebuilding American cities through the life and career of urban planner Edward J. Logue, who contributed to major redevelopment projects across the Northeast, including the “New Boston” that emerged in the 1960s.

In addition to her scholarship, Cohen has made significant contributions to Harvard’s institutional life since arriving in 1997 from New York University. Cohen has served as chair of the Department of History, director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, and cochair of the Harvard College Curricular Review’s working group on pedagogy, which released its final report in 2004. She served as cochair, with Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Graduate School of Design, of the Common Spaces Steering Committee, and continues to serve on the Advisory Committee for Common Spaces Projects.

Cohen has been a longtime member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Standing Committee on the Status of Women and served on the Harvard Task Force on Women in 2005. She has also been a member of the Tanner Lectures Committee, the Social Sciences Chairs Council, the History Department Planning Committee, the FAS Resources Committee and Faculty Council, and administrative committees for the Charles Warren Center, the History of American Civilization Program, the Center for History and Economics, and the joint PhD program between the Graduate School of Design and FAS, among other assignments.

Among her many honors and awards, Cohen has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Radcliffe Institute. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2001, she served as president of the Urban History Association. During the 2007–2008 academic year, Cohen taught at Oxford as the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History. Cohen received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her master’s and doctorate in American history from the University of California, Berkeley.


John Davis


American Architect Jeanne Gang, FAIA, is the founding principal of Studio Gang, an international architecture and urban design practice based in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Drawing insight from ecological systems, Jeanne is recognized for a research-based design process that foregrounds the relationships between individuals, communities, and environments. Her analytical and creative approach has produced projects across scales and typologies, from cultural and public buildings to urban parks and high-rise towers. These include Writers Theatre, a professional theater for a company north of Chicago; the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and the 82-story Aqua Tower in downtown Chicago. Intertwined with their built work, Jeanne and the Studio also develop research and related projects such as publications and exhibitions that push design’s ability to create public awareness and give rise to change—a practice they call “actionable idealism.”

Jeanne and Studio Gang are currently designing major projects throughout the Americas and Europe. These include the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; the new United States Embassy in Brasília, Brazil; a unified campus for the California College of the Arts in San Francisco; Civic Commons, a multi-city project reimagining public spaces across the United States; and mixed-use towers in Toronto, Chicago, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles.

The recipient of the 2017 Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award, Jeanne is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named the 2016 Architect of the Year by the Architectural Review. She is the author of three books on architecture and the work of Studio Gang has been honored and exhibited widely, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Chicago Architecture Biennial, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

An alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (M.Arch with Distinction 1993), Jeanne also studied urban design at ETH Zürich as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has taught architecture at the GSD since 2011 through studios exploring the multi-faceted potential of materiality, and served as the John Portman Design Critic in Architecture in 2017.


Mark Lee MArch '95 is a principal and founding partner of the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 30 major awards. A book on the work of the firm, entitled HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. This followed a monograph on the firm’s work, published in 2014 by 2G.

Mark has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Technical University of Berlin, and ETH Zurich. He has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.

Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning seven countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, on the campus of the Menil Collection, scheduled to open in 2018; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, completed in September 2017; and the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California.

The firm’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich.

Together with partner Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee was the Artistic Director for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Erika Naginski is Professor of Architectural History. Her research interests include Baroque and Enlightenment architecture, early modern aesthetic philosophy, theories of public space, and the critical traditions of architectural history. In addition to teaching modules in the Building Texts Contexts sequence, she offers seminars and lecture courses in architectural history and theory includingThe Shapes of Utopia, The Piranesi Effect, Versailles to the Visionaries and The Ruin Aesthetic: Episodes in the History of Architectural Idea.

Naginskis books and edited volumes include Sculpture and Enlightenment (2009), which traces the transformation of public art and architecture in an age of secular rationalism and revolutionary politics; Polemical Objects (2004), a special issue of Res co-edited with Stephen Melville, which explores the philosophy of medium in Hegel, Heidegger and others; and Writing on Drawing (2000) for the journal Representations, with essays addressing the collision of semiotics and mimesis in drawing practices as they emerge in art, architecture and science. In 2007, Naginski was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for her current book project on the intersections of architecture, archaeology and the conception of history in the eighteenth century.

Before joining the GSD faculty, Naginski taught in the architecture department at MIT and in the art history department at the University of Michigan. She has been a junior fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University as well as a research fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and the Deutsches Forum fr Kunstgeschichte. She serves on the editorial board of Res.


Finola O’Kane


Antoine Picon is the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology and Director of Research at the GSD. He teaches courses in the history and theory of architecture and technology. Trained as an engineer, architect, and historian, Picon works on the history of architectural and urban technologies from the eighteenth century to the present. His French Architects and Engineers in the Age of Enlightenment (1988; English translation, 1992) is a synthetic study of the disciplinary “deep structures” of architecture, garden design, and engineering in the eighteenth century, and their transformations as new issues of territorial management and infrastructure-systems planning were confronted. Whereas Claude Perrault (1613-1688) ou la Curiosité d'un classique (1988) traces the origin of these changes at the end of the seventeenth century, L'Invention de l’Ingénieur Moderne, L'Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées 1747-1851 (1992) envisages their full development from the mid-eighteenth century to the 1850s. Picon has also worked on the relations between society, technology and utopia. This is in particular the theme of Les Saint-Simoniens: Raison, Imaginaire, et Utopie (2002), a detailed study of the Saint-Simonian movement that played a seminal role in the emergence of industrial modernity. Picon’s most recent books offer a comprehensive overview of the changes brought by the computer and digital culture to the theory and practice of architecture as well as to the planning and experience of the city. He has published in particular Digital Culture in Architecture: An Introduction for the Design Profession (2010), Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity (2013), Smart Cities: Théorie et Critique d'un Idéal Autoréalisateur (2013), and Smart Cities: A Spatialised Intelligence (2015).

Picon has received a number of awards for his writings, including the Médaille de la Ville de Paris and twice the Prix du Livre d'Architecture de la Ville de Briey, a well as the Georges Sarton Medal of the University of Gand. In 2010, he was elected a member of the French Académie des Technologies. He is Chevalier des Arts et Lettres since 2014. He is also Chairman of the Fondation Le Corbusier.

Picon received science and engineering degrees from the Ecole Polytechnique and from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, an architecture degree from the Ecole d'Architecture de Paris-Villemin, and a PhD in history from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.


Delia Duong Ba Wendel is an Assistant Professor at M.I.T.’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her research explores how communities recover and rebuild after conflict. Delia approaches this work from an interdisciplinary perspective and training in Urban Planning, Cultural Geography, Architectural History, and Anthropology. She is working on two book projects that draw from historical and ethnographic research in central Africa. The first, Rwanda’s Genocide Heritage, focuses on the production of a visual and material memory of mass violence that was propelled by both state interests and human rights practice. The second book, The Ethics of Stability, explores the Rwandan government’s approach to building peace through architecture and planning and the related challenges faced by residents.

Delia received a PhD in Urban Planning from Harvard University in 2016 and holds degrees in Architecture (BArch, Rice University), Cultural Geography (MSc, University College London) and Architectural History and Theory (MDes '07, Harvard GSD). During 2017-18, Delia was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania's Humanities Center. During 2014-16, she taught in the Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning departments at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. She was an Assistant Professor in Architectural Studies at University of Edinburgh from 2008-11. Publications include the 2015 book, Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place, which Delia co-edited with Fallon Samuels Aidoo. Spatializing Politics was funded in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.