During voting cycles, Gund Hall transforms into the polling station for Ward-Precinct 7-3 in the City of Cambridge. Typically, the Harvard Graduate School of Design sets up a small area within Gund, and voting booths are packed tightly and the life of the school continues as Cambridge residents visit the building to cast their ballots. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a different and safer voting environment was necessary, and so the GSD’s Building Services team worked with Harvard’s Environmental Health and Safety team to redesign how voting happens inside Gund. Now, voters enter Piper Auditorium from Cambridge Street—Piper has been outfitted with generously spaced voting booths—and exit Gund onto Quincy Street.
A graphic loop projected onto the east façade of Gund calls all residents of Ward-Precinct 7-3 to vote in the November 3rd election, and doubles as a wayfinding device that instructs voters where they should enter and exit the building.
This projection highlights Gund as the only Harvard building that doubles as a polling location, but it also makes public a new venue for exhibitions at the GSD. Typically, the doors of Gund are open to the public, and visitors view exhibitions featuring the cultural production of the school in the Druker Design Gallery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the galleries in Gund will be turned ‘inside out,’ and exhibitions will be shown through a series of exterior projections on the building’s façade. This projection, located along Cambridge Street, is one of multiple surfaces on Gund that will be activated in the future weeks and months.