Harvard Design Magazine reveals “Harvard Design Magazine #48: America”

2-page spread from Harvard Design Magazine. On the left is the back of a person wearing a purple jacket. Long black hair is visible against the jacket. The person is leaning against a plush red surface. On the right is an image of a table with a blue tablecloth surrounded by 6 dining room chairs each with a red seat cushion. A red plush wall surrounds the table and chairs.

Photography: Marianne Mueller for Harvard Design Magazine #48, America

The GSD’s Spring 2021 Public Programs are all virtual and require registration.

Scroll down to find complete registration instructions and additional information about accessing the GSD’s programs.

Event Description

“A terrible mechanism [is] on the march, its gears multiplying.” So begins the first essay of the 48th issue of Harvard Design Magazine, guest edited by Mark Lee, chair of the department of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Florencia Rodriguez, editorial director of -Ness Magazine. The issue takes as its theme the slippery and ambiguous figure of “America,” seen through the lens of the built and unbuilt environment. Americanization—once the “terrible mechanism” bent on pressing capitalist values on emerging economies everywhere—is now in retreat, eclipsed by the more urgent domestic concerns of pandemic and climate change, racial injustice and domestic radicalization. The very notion of what constitutes America is ripe for redefinition.


Headshot of Paul Anderson, who wears a green sweater over a white collared shirt and stands in front of a black dark gray background.Paul Andersen is founder of Independent Architecture, a Denver-based office with projects around the United States. He was appointed a Fulbright Specialist in Architecture, teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has previously been on the architecture faculties of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Cornell University. He has been a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Biennial of the Americas.

Image of Neeraj Bhatia, who stands with his hands in his pockets and wears a white shirt and black pants.Neeraj Bhatia is a licensed architect and urban designer whose work resides at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism. He is an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts where he also Directs the urbanism research lab, the Urban Works Agency. Bhatia has also held teaching positions at UC Berkeley (as the visiting Esherick Professor), UT Arlington (as the visiting Ralph Hawkins Professor), Cornell University, Rice University, and the University of Toronto. Neeraj is founder of The Open Workshop, a transcalar design-research office examining the negotiation between architecture and its territorial environment. Select distinctions include the Architectural League Young Architects Prize, Emerging Leaders Award from Design Intelligence, and the Canadian Prix de Rome. He is co-editor of books Bracket [Takes Action]The Petropolis of TomorrowBracket [Goes Soft]Arium: Weather + Architecture, and co-author of Pamphlet Architecture 30: Coupling — Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism and New Investigations in Collective Form. Neeraj has a Master degree in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.

Portrait photo of Maite Borjabad Lopez-Pastor, who sits on a stool in front of a blue backdrop and wears a bright pink coat, grey pants, and white sneakers.Maite Borjabad Lòpez-Pastor is an architect and curator whose work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art and performance. As Associate Curator of Architecture & Design at the Art Institute of Chicago she takes care of the contemporary collection leading research initiatives and acquisitions and has curated a number of significant installations and exhibitions including PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society (2019), My Building, Your Design: Seven Portraits by David Hartt (2018), Past Forward (2017-ongoing) and Designs for Different Futures (2019-2021) co-curated with the PMA and the Walker Art Center. Other projects as independent curator include the exhibition and book Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017) at La Casa Encendida, Madrid or Wet Protocols (2018) at MAO, Slovenia. She is currently Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and has previously taught at Columbia University, and UIC. Maite holds a Bachelor and Master of Architecture by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and a MS. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture by Columbia University, New York. Her upcoming exhibition with artist duo Basel&Ruanne will be opening at The Art Institute of Chicago in July 2021.

Black-and-white headshot of Mark Lee, who wears glasses and a suit and tie.Mark Lee is the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a principal and founding partner of the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized internationally with over 50 major honors and 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, and monographs include 2G N. 67 (2014) and El Croquis N. 198 (2019). 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. The firm’s work spans thirteen countries and resides in the permanent collections of several museums. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, in Houston, Texas; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the new UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios in Culver City, California. Together with partner Sharon Johnston, Mark served as Co-Artistic Director for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Headshot of Marc Norman, who wheres a sweater and shirt with a white collar.Marc Norman, LF ’15, is the founder of consulting firm Ideas and Action and associate professor of practice at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Teaching courses in real estate finance and economic development, he also advises municipal, private, and nonprofit clients on housing and development.


Black-and-white headshot of Florencia Rodriguez.

Florencia Rodriguez is an architect, and has dedicated her career to writing and editing. In 2014 she received the Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 2010, she founded PLOT magazine, which continued to direct until 2017. Under her stewardship, PLOT quickly became one of the leading publications in the region. In early 2017 Florencia embarked on a new project with Pablo Gerson, the editorial platform Lots of architecture -publishers, which main product is the periodical publication –NESS. On Architecture, Life and Urban Culture.

Rodriguez was curated several exhibitions and organized international symposia. She was a Professor of Landscape Theory and Technology Theory in the Torcuato Di Tella University graduate programs and has taught theory courses at other universities such as Universidad del Litoral and The Boston Architectural College.

She has received awards for her editorial work and published a number of articles in books and specialized media like Domus, Oris, summa +, Arquine, a+u, or Uncube, among others. She has been invited to guest edit the next issue of the Harvard Design Magazine, together with Mark Lee.

How to Join

Register to attend the event here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.

The event will also be live streamed to the GSD’s YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. If you would like to submit questions for the speakers in advance of the event, please click here.

Live captioning will be provided during this event. A transcript will be available roughly two weeks after the event, upon request.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].