J-Term is an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to hone skills, learn new ones, or just have fun. Workshops are non-credited courses held during the first two weeks in January and is taught by the GSD community for the GSD community. We are updating courses daily and encourage you to visit the site frequently for additions.

Feminist Urban Planning, Natalia Dopazo
Urban ethnographies: techniques to bring territorial counter-narratives in design, Natalia Dopazo
Creating a Simple Book, Irina Gorstein
Gardens/Archives/Stories: Plants in Place, Thaisa Way
Representationalism, Kian Hosseinnia
Ephemeral Architecture: learning to design through making, Manuel Bouzas
Postcards from Around the World, Robin Albrecht
(Counter)Mapping Realities, Areti Kotsoni
Color Fields: Painting Place, Uncovering Chromatic Histories and Futures, Yasmine El Alaoui El Abdallaoui
OffCUT(s), Marya Demetra Kanakis and CoCo Tin
Dynamic Mutations GSD V7.0, Pedro Venegas-Rodríguez and Carlos Navarro
Why did I draw that? Construction Document Philosophy, Marcel Merwin
Hauntings of the Suburb: Constructing the American Dream in Cinema, Marcel Merwin
Climate Positive Design Workshop, Pamela Conrad
Legal Design, Marco Imperiale
The Future of Architectural Education, Dr. Kendall A. Nicholson
Applied ArcGIS Pro 3, Bruce Boucek
The Urban Process Under Capitalism: histories, theories, methodologies, William Conroy
bλiquE rEalities, Areti Kotsoni and Christina Strantzali
Questioning Pedagogy: alternative modes of design-oriented pedagogies, Sonya Falkovskaia
Memorabilia in the Public Domain, Enrique Cavelier
Doing More with 3d Printing and Laser Cutting, Harris Rosenblum
Notetaking Strategies, Alison Pasinella and Nicole Santiago
Academic Reading Skills, Alison Pasinella and Nicole Santiago

Courses are added and updated on a daily basis.


Feminist Urban Planning

Instructors: Natalia Dopazo, Loeb ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 50

Which are the scales of urban planning? How can we reframe the city’s agenda from a feminist and decolonial perspective? What does “put life in the center” means when we address our territories? The course aims to bring some of the actual conversations around the territorial agenda of social movements in Latin America and popular feminist thoughts to open new conversations for our disciplines.

Date: Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 2 – 3:30 pm 2 – 3:30 pm

Prerequisites: N/A

Cost/Materials: $20 per student

Enrollment Link


Urban Ethnographies: techniques to bring territorial counter-narratives in design

Instructors: Natalia Dopazo, Loeb ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment:
30

We already know the future agenda of cities has a big focus on marginalized urban communities. We know the climate and justice agenda has to be transversality in our projects. But how can we address all of these realities when we are talking about life experiences that are different from ours? How can we design addressing diversity in a multiscalar and multitemporal frame? Urban ethnography applied to design can be helpful to develop a position in relation to power dynamics and our role as designers. Being able to question our assumptions about what people need, want, desire, and do and also have inputs that can help us broaden our projects. The course proposal is based on three types of dimensions: urban dynamics urban esthetics urban justice The materials that will be given as support are films, texts, and references to internet projects that are developed by non-traditional voices (people identified from feminist or LGBTQ+ communities, working class, or racial diversity). The final outcome of the workshop is a one-page creative production.

Date: Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 10 am – 12:30 pm 10 am – 12:30 pm

Prerequisites: N/A

Cost/Materials: $20 per student

Enrollment Link


Creating a Simple Book

Instructors: Irina Gorstein, Conservator, Frances Loeb Library
Location: Frances Loeb Library Conservation Lab, Gund Hall, L01
Max Enrollment: 6

Weissman Preservation Center offers a two-day workshop on bookmaking for the GSD J-Term. The workshop is limited to 6 participants and will be held at the Frances Loeb Library Conservation Laboratory (Gund Hall, L01) on January 10 – 11, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The seminar will focus on four non-adhesive structures based on historic bindings. The skills learnt during the workshop can be used for creating attractive portfolios and notebooks.

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Gardens/Archives/Stories: Plants in Place

Instructors: Thaisa Way
Location: Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.
Max Enrollment: 8

This J-Term course will explore how we read histories of designed landscape and place through plants, planting, and gardening. We will explore archives of plants including herbaria, manuscript and printed illustrations, architectural drawings, and works of art in the Dumbarton Oaks collection and elsewhere in the Washington DC region, including the Smithsonian Gardens as well as the National Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Alongside guest speakers, we will consider how plants have been used to shape place, how they serve as elements in the making and transforming the land and how historically they helped express regional, national, social, and religious identities. Discussions will engage questions of horticulture, medicinal use, food production, and ritual alongside those of place design and definition.

Travel to and from DC as well as lodging at Dumbarton Oaks will be provided. Lunch with the community of Fellows at Dumbarton Oaks is offered Monday-Friday.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 4, Wed Jan. 5, Thurs Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 12 – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: Meals outside of lunch

Enrollment Link


Representationalism

Instructor(s): Kian Hosseinnia, M. Arch I ‘24
Location:
Gund TBA
Max Enrollment:
12

Representationalism assumes the divisibility of the world into distinct objects with qualities to be represented by the subject through words, drawings, models, and images. The metaphysics of representationalism – which has its genesis in the western tradition of atomism – obscures the primacy of matters, processes, and apparatuses. In short, representationalism flattens the world’s dynamism into static depictions.

The recent shifts in the discipline of architecture have either emphasized the object’s primacy or embraced the production of better representations to address contemporary political issues. This course takes a different route. Instead of emphasizing objects or their representations, we will interrogate the metaphysics of representationalism as the mechanism for the co-production of both objects and representations.

In architecture, representationalism operates in three domains. First, the modern, professionalized figure of the architect is commonly used as a representation of the agents and processes involved in the production of the built environment. The division of labor between those who author buildings and those who construct them is a boundary-making practice that, through producing systemic disinterestedness, allows for the proliferation of the built environment at a scale damaging both the earth’s climate and its populations. Second, the architect’s labor bound to the production of representations as static depictions of buildings as distinct fetishized objects is incapable of capturing the dynamic global process of material circulation and labor that go into their production. Lastly, buildings are often conceptualized as representations themselves – we can think of Ledoux’s speaking architecture and contemporary greenwashing practices.

In all these domains, representationalism misses an understanding of labor processes, networks of material extraction, production, and movement, and the techniques and technologies used by architectural workers to produce the built environment. To politicize the role of architecture in the contemporary moment and to address its role in the production of climate change, inequality, and exploitation is to critique the role of representationalism in shaping the modern discipline.

This course provides the foundations for a critical approach toward representationalism using theoretical tools borrowed from Science and Technology Studies. The goal is to foreground processes instead of objects in architecture.

Full Syllabus

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 11 am – 1 pm 11 am – 1 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 11 am – 1 pm 11 am – 1 pm


Prerequisites:
N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link 


Ephemeral Architecture: learning to design through making

Instructor(s): Manuel Bouzas, MDes ‘24
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment:
12

This project-based seminar will introduce students to the fundamentals of Ephemeral Architecture and its potential to explore radically innovative and experimental ideas within design disciplines. Over the past few decades, this emerging field has contributed to temporary urban transformations by increasing social awareness, activating public spaces, and engaging communities. During the two-week course, we will examine various international study cases in multiple spatial configurations, scales, materials, techniques, structural typologies, and urban contexts.

This is a virtual hands-on course in which students will work by groups (2-3) and will submit a design proposal for a real ephemeral architecture competition located in Spain. The winning proposals will be built in mid-2023. This experience is intended to contribute directly to students’ careers as practitioners. Feedback on each project will be provided in every class. The course is particularly suitable for those who want to understand how artistic installations, pop-up configurations, and temporary urban installations are designed, fabricated, and installed. The instructor will draw upon his professional experience in designing ephemeral architecture projects across different cities in Spain. Guest design critics will be invited to the final review. During the first half of the class, a lecture will explore the following five topics: 01) Public Spaces, 02) Experimental Structures, 03) Material Ecologies, 04) Design-Through-Making, and 05) Ephemeral Footprints. The second half will consist of critical sessions discussing the students’ projects.

Deliverables: Two vertical DIN A2 panels containing all the information required for the proposal, including plans, images, diagrams, models, texts, or any other graphic expression defining the intervention.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 4, Wed Jan. 5, Thurs Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 10 – 11:15 am 10 – 11:15 am 10 – 11:15 am 10 – 11:15 am

Week 2

Date: Jan. 9, Mon
Time: 10 – 11:15 am

Prerequisites: Students are encouraged to consider the course’s time limitations and prepare documents in advance for review. By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of this course to its full potential and submit a highly developed proposal on time.
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Postcards from Around the World

Instructor(s): Robin Albrecht, M. Arch I ‘25
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 12

In Postcards from Around the World, we create, write, and send postcards to each other. Offered virtually in two sessions and targeted at students outside Cambridge during J-Term, we will re-discover the environments we displaced ourselves into by creating and writing a postcard.

In our first session, students will be introduced to communication through postcards. In this session, students will share where they are and what is around them (spaces, activities, objects, sounds, smells). When attending this session, one should not be at their desk but wherever else one is at that moment in their day: a café, their garden, in a market, on a mountain, or even on a train. After this session, one week of creating (i.e., photographing, sketching, painting, or finding) will be kickstarted.

After one week, the class will reconvene for a second session to share their postcards. Following in-class discussions, students will send their postcard to another class member.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 9 – 10:30 am

Week 2

Date: Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 9 – 10:30 am

Prerequisites: Targeted at students outside Cambridge during J-Term.
Cost/Materials: $5 for postcards

Enrollment Link


(Counter)Mapping Realities

Instructor(s): Areti Kotsoni, MDes ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 7

Maps can both showcase and synthesize reality; they are political tools with influence over socio-spatial decisions. Mapmaking can produce a distorted worldview, juxtaposing disparate knowledge and claims. The process of mapping can be explorative and even propositional.

On the one hand, maps should convey knowledge based on specific data, measurements, representations, and symbols. On the other hand, maps should also include more intuitive and personal understanding accessed through qualitative research such as interviews, bodily experience, psychogeographic experience of a space, and memories. Given this view, maps lack qualities of materiality, the body, whose perspective is included, and whose voice is heard. Finally, maps can illustrate social relations or networks beyond spatial proximity.

In the context above, this workshop presents the first principles of mapping and visualization. In this workshop, we will experiment with the creation of mapping as a way to open the imagination to other possible futures; to offer both criticality and agency in thinking in novel ways. We will approach maps and the mapmaking activity as a situated, experiential, and social practice. Over the workshop, students will learn to embed several (counter)mapping techniques, including their positionality and personal narratives.

Full Syllabus

Date: Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 12 – 2 pm 12 – 2 pm 12 – 2 pm

Prerequisites: Suggested but not required knowledge of Adobe Suite and ArcGIS pro. All readings will be uploaded to a shared folder.
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Color Fields: Painting Place, Uncovering Chromatic Histories and Futures

Instructor(s): Yasmine El Alaoui El Abdallaoui, M. Arch II ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 20

The scope of this course highlights the tangled histories that exist between pigment, art, land, and architecture. Students will be encouraged to uncover chromatic histories and their intrinsic complexities. The goal of this course is to lead towards a renewed understanding of color–one which enmeshes our perception of space by critically relating color spectrums to its presence, sourcing, cultural ideological context, and use. Together we will challenge the overwhelming disregard for polychromy in space, as well as in representations of place. A variety of practice-based and critical approaches will be encouraged, provided they relate to the languages of painting.

This course is for those seeking to develop a conceptual stance regarding their landscapes of interest—the natural, imagined, built, social, political, or digital—specifically through the lens of color. Landscape painters have conventionally depicted natural scenery, especially where the main subject is in wide view, with its elements arranged coherently. Architects borrow this perspective, centralizing their projects and setting their surrounding contexts as background. We, on the other hand, will foreground diverse environments in our compositions, and reorganize our sceneries to recalibrate elements/information into blocks of color, we will ask ourselves: How has color given meaning to our spaces of interest? How can we disrupt our perceptions of place by isolating a color story as a pin hole for posing larger questions related to material, history, geography, and climate?

Full Syllabus

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 10 – 12 pm 10 – 12 pm 10 – 12 pm 10 – 12 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


OffCUT(s)

Instructor(s): Marya Demetra Kanakis, MDes ‘23 and CoCo Tin, MDes ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 30

OffCUT(s) is a provocation in designing with forgotten remnants of the construction industry. By bringing new life to offcuts, students will metamorphose these remnants into objects, intervening prior to their imminent fate of ending up in landfills. Internationally, the built environment generates nearly 50% of annual global emissions, and interior finishes can account for up to 50% of a building’s carbon footprint. The course borrows frameworks of circular economies from fashion [see Marrine Serre Autumn/Winter ‘18] and product design [see NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center c/o Virgil Abloh] and applies them to architecture.

Building off recent discourses at Harvard Graduate School of Design, this J-term focuses on the scale of an object as a rapid case study. Together we will establish more responsible models of practice in this age of ecological sensitivity and networks of material systems.

This course is separated into three parts

[Part I_Background] Students will be introduced to a range of material reuse endeavors spanning disciplines from history to fashion and product design. Instructors will coordinate lectures among invited guest speakers. Details are to be shared here as guests confirm.

[Part II_Ecological Evaluation] Collectively, we will discuss and agree upon a carbon metric for evaluation and investigate the product’s relationship to design and the environment.

[Part III_Metamorphosis] Instructors will have pre-selected and 3D-scanned a collection of building material offcuts [see Appendix B]. Each student will choose one piece of ‘material’ and design an object within the carbon metric [see Part II]. The output will be digital for the J-Term duration. During the Spring semester, students will have the opportunity to physically construct the piece and potentially showcase it in a group show at Kirkland Gallery.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 10:30 am – 12 pm 10:30 am – 12 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 10:30 am – 12 pm 10:30 am – 12 pm

Prerequisites: Basic 3D modeling in Rhino and rendering skills
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Dynamic Mutations GSD V7.0

Instructor(s): Pedro Venegas-Rodríguez and Carlos Navarro, members of DesignMorphine
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: N/A

Dynamic Mutations GSD V7.0 will introduce a set of studies through a dynamic workflow between SideFX Houdini and Autodesk Maya with Arnold. Through nodal design students will learn how to create models based on procedural and manual work. During this workshop students will get knowledge of how to obtain several outputs based on procedural workflows. Students will get introduced into the world of SOPs (Geometry Operators) & VOPs (VEX Operators) mostly, and some basic concepts of VEX will also be taught. Thanks to the procedural logic, students will have the possibility to model high-detailed and complex objects with the possibility to iterate, to change and mutate freely and non-destructively, this workshop will focus mostly on human habitable scale. Students will have control over the whole models and details iterations and how to control Loops to generate several outputs or iterations. Through the workshop students will be introduced to ABC’s of Alembics, Procedural Rendering and Compositing using Solaris with Karma inside of Houdini. Some of these tools are included within the Houdini Indie License. In case students cannot get Indie License, they’ll have the opportunity to compose and render in Maya by using Arnold Render. For the final of this workshop, students will use mainly Autodesk Maya for Composition, Lighting and Shading using Autodesk Arnold, which is included in Maya.

Date: Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 12 – 5 pm 12 – 5 pm 12 – 5 pm

Prerequisites: SideFX Houdini Apprentice and Autodesk Maya (both free with university email addresses)
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link 


Why did I draw that? Construction Document Philosophy

Instructor(s): Marcel Merwin, MDes ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 20

The construction document drawing set is the main tangible product that an Architect produces. This set is designed to allow any contractor to construct the building designed and drawn by the architect. What makes a good drawing set? Why are certain drawings included? What drives a section versus a detail versus a plan? These questions seem simple, but they require an understanding of complex systems and philosophical drawing perspectives to understand the full document. This class will investigate construction drawing sets and discuss the whys and why nots of each drawing. In addition to precedent discussions, each participant will have the opportunity to present their own work and as a class work through what is successful, unsuccessful, and necessary for a complete and comprehensive drawing set.

This workshop will help designers interested in practice, offering a look at real, completed projects at different scales, working on fundamental questions for project implementation.

The course is taught by Marcel Merwin AIA, MDes ’23, licensed Architect.

Date: Jan. 5, Thurs Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 1 – 2:30 pm 1 – 2:30 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Hauntings of the Suburb: Constructing the American Dream in Cinema

Instructor(s): Marcel Merwin, MDes ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 12

Blue skies, a white picket fence, red roses. These symbols appear as the entry sequence of David Lynch’s film Blue Velvet, depicting the idyll life of the suburban American Dream. Rows of single-family homes and children crossing the street from school fill a scene of dreamy potential, safety, and health. Yet, below the surface lies a darker side, the uncomfortable truths of the Dream. Segregationist policies, racism, and discriminatory practices have long hindered the rights of minorities to participate in the American Dream. Cinema grew alongside the American Dream, providing for many the only medium to portray this constructed reality.

In this workshop, we will watch films that render the American Dream on screen and evaluate the intricacies of media portrayals of an ideology that has shaped major planning developments across the country. Films from different eras will be analyzed and critiqued, with a focus on how filmmakers utilize architecture and scenography to support or critique urban planning and cultural theories of discrimination.

The goal of this workshop is to question and critique cinema’s position in permeating urban planning agendas to the general public, as well as understanding our role as designers in shifting our built landscape. Fear, anxiety, and othering can be created through architecture, and we will attempt to extract how filmmakers take advantage of the formal aspects of design to extend these potentials in the cinematic frame.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 3 – 4:30 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 3 – 4:30 pm 3 – 4:30 pm

Prerequisites: Watch 3 films; TBA at enrollment
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Climate Positive Design Workshop

Instructor(s): Pamela Conrad, Loeb ‘23
Location: Gund TBD
Max Enrollment: 12

As the climate and biodiversity crises escalate, our world faces unprecedented times. It is now more critical than ever for designers, planners, and advocates to lead a climate positive response through the built and natural environment. Through a series of workshop modules, learn how to measure and improve the carbon footprint of a site design project. Students will gain an understanding of how to reduce embodied carbon emissions of materials and operations, increase biogenic carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions, and support co-benefits such as biodiversity, equity, human health, and resilience. Strategies will be outlined in daily lectures and followed by hands-on exercises using the Climate Positive Design Pathfinder application: https://climatepositivedesign.com/pathfinder/

The course will be taught by Pamela Conrad, ALSA, PLA, LEED AP, a 2023 Loeb Fellow of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Founder of Climate Positive Design, Architecture 2030 Senior Fellow, ASLA Climate Action Plan Chair, and IFLA Climate Change Working Group Vice-Chair. Materials disseminated will include those recently presented at the UN Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Module Structure and Deliverables  

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am

Prerequisites: Basic site design knowledge, ability to develop a concept sketch of a site plan and incorporate it into a program that can calculate area takeoffs (AutoCAD, Sketch-Up etc.).
Cost/Materials: Student to bring preferred supplies for developing site plan (drawing utensils, computer with software etc.)

Enrollment Link


Instructor(s): Marco Imperiale, LL.M. ‘16
Location: Gund TBD
Max Enrollment: 30

Legal Design is a discipline for the design of human-centric legal documents, policies, and contracts.

In the last few years, we noticed a constant growth of legal design projects all around the world. From companies to institutions, from law firms to legal departments, there is the common perception that legal design could represent “the next big thing” in order to develop a different relationship with consumers, clients, and citizens.

In the course, the students will learn theoretical and practical foundations of the discipline, taking into account the reasons behind its success, its purpose, and the potential implications for all the stakeholders involved.

The first part of the course will be devoted to the theoretical foundations of legal design, and to its principles. What is legal design? Why legal design thinking is different than design thinking? What does it mean to be a legal designer? During this part of the course, renowned international practitioners will show to the class different ways of conveying legal messages in a clear, and transparent way.

In the second part, students will start to re-design, following the principles and the techniques of legal design, a document that they will choose during the course.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 4, Wed Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 3 – 5 pm 3 – 5 pm 3 – 5 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 3 – 5 pm 3 – 5 pm 3 – 5 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


The Future of Architectural Education

Instructor(s): Dr. Kendall A. Nicholson, MDes ‘23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 30

Architectural education has long held a framework that perpetuates inequity and exclusion that is derived from the École des Beaux-Arts. This course will uncover the larger landscape of architectural education in the United States in an effort to build a more equitable pedagogy. It will feature round table discussion by more than 10 educators leading schools of architecture and design. Course topics include teaching practice, course development, understanding the professoriate, and tools for encouraging student autonomy in the design disciplines. Students will discuss current standards of student expectation and will work to collectively chart a new path based on the tools learned in the course.

The class will meet on January 10th and 12th from 3-5pm and course discussion will be supported by reading, video, and audio resources.

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 3-5 pm 3-5 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Applied ArcGIS Pro 3

Instructor(s): Bruce Boucek, GIS, Data, and Research Librarian
Location: Gund TBA
Max Enrollment: 20

This course will provide instruction on practical geographic information system project management and workflows for architects, landscape architects, urban designers and planners, and others hoping to do design work with Esri’s ArcGIS Pro 3 software.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 2-4 pm 2-4 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 2-4 pm 2-4 pm 2-4 pm

Prerequisites: Familiarity and curiosity with working with data on computers. Have ArcGIS Pro 3.x (Windows only) installed prior to workshop. Instructions here: https://gis.harvard.edu/arcgis-pro

Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


The Urban Process Under Capitalism: histories, theories, methodologies

Instructor(s): William Conroy, PhD ‘25
Location: Gund TBD
Max Enrollment: 20

This course provides a critical introduction to the urban process under capitalism. It takes as its point of departure the classic theoretical work of David Harvey – and the literature on capitalist urbanization pioneered by Marxist geographers in the 1970s and 1980s, more broadly – before turning to a host of emergent questions in critical urban theory. This course is specifically aimed at those students that have been exposed to critical – and Marxist – frameworks for urban analysis in their coursework at the GSD, and who desire a more focused engagement with those ideas. At the broadest level, we will ask: what is the relationship between capitalism and urbanization? How might we narrate the history of that relationship? And what epistemological and methodological tenets should ground such an endeavor?

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 3:30 – 5 pm 3:30 – 5 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 3:30 – 5 pm 3:30 – 5 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Navigating the Politics of Design

Instructor(s): Claudia Dobles, Loeb ‘23
Location: Gund TBA
Max Enrollment: N/A

Design, whether in the public space or private practice and the intersection of both its intrinsically embedded in a political context and rotted in political decisions, biases and even politics.

This short course is meant as a provocative brief exploration of the boundaries of Design practice within complex political scenarios. The course acknowledges that the practice of Design stands for a set of values, and by them, it takes a political dimension, moreover when pursuing a social transformation for a more sustainable, equitable future.

The course pursues an introductory approach to analyzing actors and resources that must be identified and understood, as well as the relationship between them, to navigate the planning and design processes.

We will explore the reality of the implementation of public policies and projects, and how technical proposals are permeated by political views, beliefs, and decisions.

Course Contents: The discussion will focus on the following topics.

  • Assessing and understanding the Political Landscape of a given project
  • Mapping Actors and Resources
  • The Distribution of Power
  • Articulating differences to create common ground
  • Political Risk Assessment
  • The Art of the Possible

Course methodology: Seminar format based on readings and case studies with an in-class discussion.

Deliverable: Map the political ecosystem of a project or program and create a political strategy to achieve the expected outcome.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


bλiquE rEalities

Instructor(s): Areti Kotsoni, MDes ‘22 and Christina Strantzali, MDes ‘22
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 15

ObλiquE rEalities will create a common, constantly shifting pandemic reality for all participants. Daily official rules are expected to be followed aiming to create survival guides and artworks as an archive for potential infected communities in the future. The main workshop goals are to revitalize creativity, strengthen the coherence between perception (through “lógos”) and depiction (through “praxis”), and enhance the feeling of caring for a community.

The participants will be asked to create a narrative of their pandemic day, as partially restricted bo@ flâneu@, in whichever form of dissemination they choose. They are free to work on either one project that navigates through each respective reality (recommended), or multiple ones.

We as tutors will constantly provide feedback through tangible examples and theories of depiction and representation to help in the advancement of the projects. At the end of the workshop, we aim to create a collective platform (e.g., an online diary) to showcase all individual and collective work.

ObλiquE rEalities is an ongoing ever-evolving workshop with slight alterations throughout the years. The aim is to collect a variety of survival guides and store them in the cloud, thus exploring the creative ways humankind adapts to new realities, and sharing them as online infrastructure.

instagram, past edition: @obliquerealities

Full Syllabus

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 3-5 pm

Prerequisites: Creativity. (And analog and/or digital tools for depiction purposes.)
Cost/Materials
: N/A

Enrollment Link


Questioning Pedagogy: alternative modes of design-oriented pedagogies

Instructor(s): Sonya Falkovskaia, M. Arch I ‘23
Zoom Link: TBA
Max Enrollment: N/A

This course – divided into three parts – will explore a series of alternative approaches to pedagogy within design education. The course is designed to start us thinking about why we learn the way we do, what is the history of that approach, who it serves, and how should it change. First, we will learn about these alternative approaches. We will learn about The Cambridge School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (1915-1942), alongside other alternative approaches to pedagogy. It was the first school to award women degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture and paved the way for new approaches in pedagogy. Second, we will critique the current status quo of pedagogy. Third, we will generate our own alternative solutions to these critiques via a collective discussion.

Deliverables: Produce 1 diagram/drawing/text following the Tuesday session for collective discussion in the Wednesday session.

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 10 am – 12 pm 10 am – 12 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Memorabilia in the Public Domain

Instructor(s): Enrique Cavelier, MLA AP I ’23
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: 6

In the last decade, the world has experienced an effervescent examination of the fate of monuments in the public domain. This debate has rendered statues into political targets and the spaces around them into areas of civil discussion. From Charlottesville (US) to Bristol (UK) to Cali (Colombia), we have seen how political actors have activated previously invisible objects in the urban landscape.

Despite this renewed activation of monuments, these objects in the public domain have always been surrounded by the mundanity of urban life. How many of us have stopped, driven around, or respited at a monument and have not been bothered to question its existence? Away from special occasions and activations, how much do memorials matter more than benches or stop signs in the public domain?

Starting with Andrew M. Shaken’s “The Everyday Life of Memorials” as a foundation argument, the course aims to explore and discuss the plasticity of memorials in public spaces. Varying from active political spaces of contestation to mere decor of the urban landscape, we will examine the role of memorials in the public domain.
During five days in January, the course will ask us to become fieldworkers to explore, experience, and record a memorial physically. By studying its historical context, physical site, material conditions, spatial relationship, and everydayness- to borrow Shaken’s term- we will debate and question the role each site plays in its specific public setting. Throughout the course, we will learn to create a fieldwork journal, take and examine photographs, record video and sound in public spaces and develop a platform of discussion to share our findings with a general audience.

Full Syllabus

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs Jan. 13, Fri
Time: 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am 9 – 11 am

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Design Learning

Instructor(s): Ramzi Naja, M. Arch ‘16
Location: Gund TBD
Max Enrollment: 10

Looking beyond architecture school, this course is an introduction to the world of design-based learning for young minds. Exploring the realm of innovative education through the lens of NuVu’s experience (https://www.nuvuschool.org/), the class will dive into the methods and techniques behind this approach to teaching and learning. Studio themes, research processes, assignments and critique will be covered in an attempt to answer the question: how can design learning equip and empower youth to become future leaders?

The course will include a visit to NuVu: The Innovation School to see this model in action, as well as discussions on the challenges, impacts, and opportunities that this form of learning engages with. Course participants will design a studio brief based on a topic of personal interest, optimized for younger age groups.

Date: Jan. 9, Mon Jan. 11, Wed Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 1 – 3 pm 1 – 3 pm 1 – 3 pm

Prerequisites: N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link


Doing More with 3d Printing and Laser Cutting

Instructors: Harris Rosenblum
Location: Gund Hall, FabLab
Max Enrollment: 20

In this project-based course, we will delve into the nuts and bolts of the FabLab’s self-serve digital machines. The goal of this course is for participants to understand 3d printers and laser cutters in a similar way to how they understand an Exacto knife or a jig. Their operation can be broken down into simple steps. By understanding and pressing at how these steps combine into a workflow, we can forge new pipelines that represent our ideas in newer and better ways.

In small groups, participants will focus on one lesser-known workflow for one of the FabLab’s self-serve machines. Areas for probing include, but are not limited to, 3d laser engraving, printed joinery, jig making, multi-material jetting, print in place mechanisms, parametric g-code generation, embossing, and mold-making. For the end of the course students will present an object that employs their technique and will briefly formalize their findings with a couple paragraph write up of their process.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues Jan. 12, Thurs
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Prerequisites:  N/A
Materials/Cost:
Cost for the course is dependent on what participants decide to make. A rough estimate is between $20-$100 tending towards the lower end.

Enrollment Link


Notetaking Strategies

Instructor(s): Alison Pasinella, Frances Loeb Writing Services Specialist and Nicole Santiago, Frances Loeb Librarian
Location Link: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: n/A

This course will introduce you to various popular systems for capturing, synthesizing, and organizing information. You will learn strategies for recognizing citation-worthy information and practice creating ethical summaries and paraphrases. You will also learn strategies for actively engaging with information to develop your own voice and thesis arguments. Coursework will include peer work and hands-on practice creating paraphrases, summaries, and citations. The course will be led by professional staff from GSD Writing Services.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 4, Wed Jan. 6, Fri
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Week 2

Date: Jan. 11, Wed
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Prerequisites:  N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link (TBA)


Academic Reading Skills

Instructor(s): Alison Pasinella, Frances Loeb Writing Services Specialist and Nicole Santiago, Frances Loeb Librarian
Location: Zoom TBA
Max Enrollment: N/A

As a student at the GSD, you will perform independent research and complete lengthy reading assignments for your classes. In this course, you’ll learn how to find information efficiently and maximize your understanding and retention. You will practice applying strategies for pre-reading, skimming, scanning, and annotating for situations where time is limited and readings are extensive. You will also learn strategies for extracting essential information from dense and difficult texts. Coursework will include peer work on practice readings and reflections about time management, optimal learning conditions, and which reading strategies work best for you. The course will be led by professional staff from the GSD Writing Services.

Week 1

Date: Jan. 3, Tues Jan. 5, Thurs
Time: 10 – 11:00 am 10 – 11:00 am

Week 2

Date: Jan. 10, Tues
Time: 10 – 11:00 am

Prerequisites:  N/A
Cost/Materials: N/A

Enrollment Link (TBA)