Campus & Community

GSD names 2001-02 Loeb Fellows

8 min read

The Loeb Fellowship at the Design School (GSD) announced 11 individuals who have been awarded fellowships to participate in one year of independent study using the curriculum and programs of GSD as well as other resources at the University. The Loeb Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for nurturing the leadership potential and professional development of accomplished midcareer individuals in design and other fields related to the built and natural environment.

The Loeb Fellowships are awarded to highly motivated individuals who can create independent study programs that make effective use of Harvard’s resources, and who will use their studies to benefit society at large. Established and endowed in 1970 by John L. Loeb ’24, the fellowships have been awarded to more than 300 individuals. In 1988, the fellowship was recognized by an honor award from the American Institute of Architects “for improving the quality of the built environment through the education of the practitioners who affect that environment.”

Loeb Fellows come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds in both the public and private sectors – from traditional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, to others whose work also concerns the urban and natural environment, such as journalists, artists, housing specialists, public officials, and community advocates. The interplay among such a wide range of professionals provides a uniquely fertile learning environment. In addition to faculty and curriculum at GSD, Loeb Fellows also have access to curriculum at Harvard College and Harvard’s other graduate schools, including the schools of government, business, education, law, public health, and arts and sciences.

Fellows pursue their interests through course work, writing, research, and joint projects. They also serve as a resource for GSD and other parts of Harvard University, bringing their experience and observations to the classroom, the studio, and special interest groups, and sharing with students the trends and challenges facing today’s practicing design professionals.

The 2001-02 Loeb Fellows

Kathy Dorgan, an architect and planner from Storrs, Conn., works in the areas of affordable housing and community development. She previously served as the executive director of the Capitol Hill Improvement Corporation, a community design center in Albany, N.Y., that renovated over 1,500 buildings during her tenure. She recently completed a two-year term as a Community Builders Fellow at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Dorgan will study the best current practices and new technologies that can enhance community design projects in poor communities.

Clair Enlow is a journalist from Seattle, where she reports on architecture and the built environment. She is a columnist for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, and an editor and contributor for several professional publications. She is interested in defining the value of design in the context of the regional environment, history, and the economy. Enlow views journalism as an important tool in helping designers and the public come together in their shaping of the environment. While at GSD, she will study design and also convene formal and informal dialogues among students, faculty, and practitioners to explore various means for enlarging the audience concerned about design, and strengthening the appreciation for good architecture in U.S. cities.

Kathy Fox is the executive director of the Ohio Arts and Sports Facilities Commission located in Columbus, Ohio. She oversees the expenditure of $300 million annually in capital funds for the construction, expansion, and improvement of state cultural facilities and sports venues. She has directed more than 100 capital projects in her eight-year tenure as the founding director of the commission. At GSD, Fox will work on the development of improved processes for the effective creation of cultural and sports facilities in the context of good urban planning and design principles. She is particularly interested in how such institutions can be instrumental in urban revitalization and community building.

James Grauley is the president of the Bank of America Community Development Corporation (BACDC). He oversees the nation’s largest bank-owned Community Development Corporation (CDC) from its headquarters in Atlanta. BACDC operates in 17 cities and has developed over 20,000 units of affordable housing, frequently working in joint ventures with local community-based organizations. Increasingly, Grauley’s work also involves economic development efforts to stimulate neighborhood retail growth and assist with the startup of minority-owned businesses. Grauley plans to use the Loeb Fellowship to study urban planning techniques for neighborhood revitalization, reuse of environmentally troubled inner-city sites, and implications of the new Smart Growth thinking for community development.

Seitu Jones is an artist, community development activist, and a horticulturist. In his art he attempts to create environmental works that honor, communicate to, and inspire communities. Jones sees both his art and his “gardening” as tools for social, environmental, and cultural development. His sculptures are prominent parts of many public spaces in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and his scenic designs have graced a number of stages in the Midwest and New York. Jones will spend his fellowship year exploring both real and perceived African-American cultural landscapes and the relationship of those landscapes to community development.

Rick Lowe lives in Houston where he is an artist and community development activist. Over the years, his artwork has migrated from a studio- and gallery-based practice, to sculptural installations in urban venues, to work with community organizations on the rebuilding of their neighborhoods. Lowe’s work is increasingly collaborative in both the art and community development worlds. Project Row Houses, created by the community organization that he founded, was a Silver Medallist in the Rudy Bruner Awards for Urban Excellence of 1997. Lowe will spend his time at GSD increasing his understanding of the fundamentals of community development, especially in the areas of neighborhood planning, historic preservation, affordable housing, and real estate development.

Ruben Martinez is a journalist, poet, playwright, and performer in Los Angeles. In all of his work, the central issue has been immigration. He has written extensively about the intersection of culture and economy and the meeting of “native” and “foreigner” in American urban neighborhoods. Martinez is an associate editor with Pacific News Service, and a contributing essayist to such National Public Radio (NPR) shows as “All Things Considered.” His book, “The Hearts of Strangers: A Mexican Family’s Journey from the Highlands of Michoacan to the Heartland of America,” will be published by Metropolitan/Holt this fall. As a Loeb Fellow, Martinez will study immigration history and policy in the United States, focusing on the impact of this phenomenon on the American city and its neighborhoods.

Julio Cesar Perez is a practicing architect in Havana. His work has been broad, including private homes, public buildings, and master planning. He is a founding member of the Union of Architects and Engineers of Cuba, as well as the Cuban section of DOCOMOMO (Documentation and Conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement). He is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Havana, and his book, “The Island,” a comprehensive essay about the history and evolution of the architecture of Cuba, will be published this fall by Editorial Samper of Vancouver, British Columbia. He has been honored with admission to the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. Perez will use his fellowship to study urban design, with special attention to issues of historic preservation.

Virginia Prescott is the director of interactive media for WNYC Radio, the largest NPR station in New York City. She is responsible for the Web sites maintained by the station, and she designs the content and interactive features. Prescott also oversees editorial projects and community-based Web/radio series such as the Harlem Radio and Photography Project, Radio Rookies, and “The Soapbox,” an online community forum connecting people from the neighborhoods of New York with each other. As a Loeb Fellow, Prescott will explore ways in which radio and the Internet can be used by planners and designers to inform their work by creating dialogue with people locally and nationally.

Rick St. John is the executive director of the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh. Over the past eight years, he has raised and distributed $500,000 in design fund grants to more than 100 community development projects involving $22 million in neighborhood investments. In addition, he has created such innovative programs as Pedal Pittsburgh, the Renovation Information Network, the Coalition for Parks, and Greenspace, each of which has led to important conversations about major issues in the city and to a higher profile for community development in the neighborhoods. St. John is also a published poet. He will spend his time at GSD exploring the types of public discussions, civic institutions, and policy interventions that hold the most promise for raising the level of investment in the “common wealth” of the shared public spaces within America’s cities.

Marina Stankovic has maintained her own architectural practice in Berlin for the past 15 years. She has designed the renovation of the former Prussian Parliament building, a historic landmark, into the House of Deputies for the cty of Berlin. She has also completed the residence of the Canadian ambassador to Germany and several social housing developments. Stankovic has served as a guest lecturer and critic at universities in Germany and the United Kingdom, and she has won a number of competitions in Germany. She will use her fellowship to study ways in which architects can increase their civic responsibility and help the public understand more completely the relationship between architecture and the city.

For more information about the 2001-02 Loeb Fellows, call the Loeb Fellowship office at the Design School at (617) 495-9345.