Many courses and other activities at the GSD, in each of the professional degree programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, and design studies require or benefit from substantial computer use well beyond basic word-processing, spreadsheets, and social media… Advanced design computing skills– including familiarity with 2D and 3D computer aided design (CAD) modeling software, animation, video, multi-media, image processing, geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial data, structural, thermal, financial and other analysis packages, and programming, parametric, and algorithmic approaches– are increasingly demanded of students and professionals in all design and planning disciplines.

The Computer Resources Group (CRG) maintains an environment in which information technology is available and easily accessible to serve all the members of the GSD community. We manage a complex computer network, supporting primarily Windows and Macintosh operating systems, providing a variety of services to students for required course work and independent study, as well as staff, faculty, and visitors for work and research. Most of the GSD (and Harvard ) campus is bathed in high-bandwidth wireless (WiFi) infrastructure, every student desk in the studio area is provided with a high speed network connection to enable student-owned computers to be hooked-up into the GSD network, and each GSD student is assigned a network account that enables use of state-of-the-art software provided over the network, as well as email and access to the Internet and World Wide Web. This account also provides access to sophisticated input and output devices including large format digitizers, flat bed scanners, large format color plotters, high quality color printers, video and multimedia equipment, and CAD/CAM fabrication equipment.

Our goal is to provide a robust, heterogeneous, multi-platform, ubiquitous, distributed computing environment to support design computing at every level — from survival and literacy, on through productive exploration, and into advanced mastery of the media. Coursework throughout the school is enabled by the on-line Canvas system which brings web enabled computer-aided learning to every course at the GSD that chooses to employ it.

The professional staff of the Computer Resources Group are dedicated to our mission. We believe in — and want to share — the fun and learning that comes with design computing (along with the occasional agony and confusion! : )

I personally welcome all forms of questions, comments, and suggestions on our mission and our performance. E-Mail me at [email protected].

Stephen M Ervin

Director of Computer Resources
Assistant Dean for Information Technology

Lecturer in Landscape Architecture