Stephen Gray is Assistant Professor of Urban Design with experience working in complex urban environments with municipal agencies, colleges and universities, private developers, non-profits, and the public. His interests center on the intersection of design and engagement as tools for empowerment as well as drivers for the production of progressive urbanism, and his research focuses on (1) humanist approaches to urban design at the intersection of politics, power, race, and place; (2) socioecological urban design approaches to urban resilience; (3) urban peacescapes that integrate peacebuilding, development, and urban design; and (4) implementation strategies for urban design projects across social, political, spatial, temporal, and geographic scales. Current projects includes the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative where his team is revisiting well-known places in Boston through graphic collage and digital animation of archival sources to highlight the collision of racially biased policies and civil disobedience; and the design and implementation of child-focused public space facilities to improve the quality of life for Syrian refugee families in Lebanon.
Stephen is cochairman of Boston’s 100 Resilient Cities Resilience Collaborative providing thought leadership for “Resilient Boston: An Equitable and Connected City” as Boston works to adopt a resilience lens for all planning, policies, and practice. Prior to joining the GSD, Stephen collaborated with and led cross-disciplinary teams at Sasaki Associates on projects ranging broadly from strategic reinvestment in downtown Wichita, to parks planning for the City of Bridgeport, advanced online engagement for the GoBoston 2030 mobility master plan, urban design visions for downtown Raleigh and uptown Cincinnati, and resilience planning for South Shore Long Island in post-Sandy New York.
Stephen has been a lecturer at MIT School of Architecture and Planning and Northeastern University School of Architecture, Associate Director on the Board of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), and he has been tapped to serve on several Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory panels. He holds a B. Arch. Degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) Degree with distinction from Harvard University where he received the Thesis Prize for Urban Design and the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design. In 2015, Stephen was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his contributions to urban design thinking in the U.S. context with the National AIA Honor Award, the highest honor given to individual associate AIA members.