Megan Panzano

Senior Director of Early Design Education

Lecturer in Architecture

Megan Panzano is Program Director of the Harvard Undergraduate Architecture Studies Track and Assistant Professor of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) where she coordinates and teaches design studios and representation courses in the graduate and undergraduate programs.

The design research and built work of her independent practice, studioPM, addresses architectures across a range of scales that are progressive through their interplay of images, objects, and space in the production of more inclusive, open-ended forms of subjectivity.

Panzano has taught architecture studio, concurrent with practice, for the past ten years.  She is the recipient of a variety of awards for her architectural and pedagogical work including a ‘Best Parks’ honor for her design of a perceptual playground for unscripted play built on the roof of a preschool, a solo exhibition of her project ‘Architectural Artifacts’ at Boston’s pinkcomma gallery, a HILT Spark grant supporting new forms of learning through making, a pair of Harvard GSD Dean’s Junior Faculty Grants for original design research projects, and four sequential Harvard Excellence in Teaching awards.  Her design work has been published in Mark Magazine, Wallpaper, BauweltArchitect, PLATArch Daily, Domus, the Boston Globe, the Harvard Gazette, and Harvard Design Magazine and has been exhibited in numerous domestic and international academies and galleries.

As GSD faculty, Panzano has authored original core studio briefs and design courses within both the graduate and undergraduate programs.  In 2018, she advised MArch II GSD Thesis Prize winner, Scarlet Ziwei Song, for her project, “Not so skin deep: vernacularism in XL.” In the spring of 2020, Megan’s original Core IV housing studio brief, “Collected Company,” supported the winning project of the Harvard 2020 Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design, “A House is Not a Home,” by Qin Ye Chen (MArch I 2022) and Yiwen Wang (MArch I AP 2022).   She has also served as an invited design critic at UCLA, USC, Columbia, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Wesleyan, Temple University, RISD, Northeastern University, Wellesley, Boston Architectural College, and MIT.

Prior to joining the GSD, Panzano taught studio at Northeastern University.  She has practiced in Boston as a Senior Designer and Project Manager at Utile, Inc. and in Philadelphia at Venturi, Scott Brown + Associates, where she worked closely with both Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi.  She holds a B.A. in Architecture with honors from Yale University and a Master of Architecture with distinction from the GSD, where she was the recipient of the John E. Thayer Award for outstanding academic achievement and the 2010 winner of the GSD’s James Templeton Kelley Thesis Prize for her thesis design of a new architectural type that explored the home as an inhabitable archive – an integral site of object collection and collective living.

Panzano is the mother of two boisterous boys, whose energies she and her husband, Vince, direct as often as possible to involved, collaborative renovation projects of their 1929 home in Arlington, MA, just west of Cambridge.