Campus & Community

GSD names 11 new fellows:

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Loeb Fellowship offers unique opportunity for independent study

The Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) has 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 only program of its kind in the nation, 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.

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, Loeb Fellowships have been awarded to more than 300 individuals. In 1988, an honor award from the American Institute of Architects recognized the fellowship “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 æ 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 the 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 the University, bringing their experience and observations to the classroom, the studio, and special interest groups, while sharing with students the trends and challenges facing today’s practicing design professionals.

The following midcareer professionals, dedicated to the improvement of the built and natural environment, will be in residence as Loeb Fellows at GSD for the 2003-04 academic year.

Ann Coulter is the executive vice president of the RiverCity Company, a private, nonprofit, downtown development firm that executes plans produced by the public sector for Chattanooga, Tenn. For five years before she came to RiverCity, she directed the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency. In these and other roles she has been a leader in the dramatic revitalization of downtown Chattanooga and the building of a broad and responsible participatory planning process within the city. Coulter will study urban planning at GSD and explore the links between participatory processes and the building of a progressive civic realm that expects and supports great urban design.

Stephan Fairfield is the CEO of Covenant Community Capital, which provides financial products and development services to low-income residents of Houston. He was previously the founding director of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corp., Houston’s leading community development corporation. During his 12 years at Fifth Ward, the organization built more than 700 housing units and several small retail centers, created nearly 600 jobs, successfully advocated for 500 blocks of street paving, 13 miles of sidewalk, and generally set one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods on the path to stability. As a fellow, Fairfield will seek to broaden his knowledge of land use planning and design at Harvard in order to further contribute to the improvement of his own and other neighborhoods in Houston and throughout Texas.

Gerald Green is the director of Planning for the City of San Francisco. He has spent the past 20 years working in various positions in San Francisco city government with a focus on planning and development. During his tenure as director, planning has played a more prominent role in the city, balancing the focus on development that held sway earlier. Green has turned the efforts of the department more toward the neighborhoods, while still exerting a strong influence on such signature projects as the downtown Pacific Bell Baseball Park, the Mission Bay Redevelopment Plan, and the new De Young Museum. Green will use his fellowship to study the ways in which the new urban economic and technological realities are impacting the urban design of cities for the next century.

Mike Houck serves as both the founding director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute and as an Urban Naturalist for the Audubon Society of Portland, Ore. During the past 20 years, his work has shifted from an almost exclusive focus on environmental issues to a broader advocacy for a wide range of important urban and natural resources for the Portland region. Houck has advocated for affordable housing, a rational metropolitan transportation system, the restoration of urban waterways, and a strong urban wilds system. He helped to found the Coalition for a Livable Future, now a 60-member organization of groups working for a sustainable metropolitan region. In continued pursuit of the knowledge necessary for cross-discipline dialogue, Houck will use his fellowship to increase his knowledge of urban planning, and landscape architecture and design, and to ensure that natural resource protection and restoration is integrated into the smart growth agenda.

Yan Huang is the deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Planning Commission. A trained architect, she coordinates all planning-related agencies of the city of Beijing and oversees the development of both short-range and long-range plans. She also supervises research efforts within her office. Huang served as the director of the Planning & Construction Department for the successful Beijing 2008 Olympic Bid Committee. At present, she is deputy director of the Olympic Venue Development Coordination Commission, which coordinates Olympic venue planning and design for game and post-game use. Beijing is experiencing a peak in urban development, and is facing many problems with which other cities have dealt. As a fellow, Huang will spend her time examining Western methods of urban growth control, historic preservation, transportation planning, environmental protection, and city management.

Cheryl Hughes is the director of program development for the mayor’s office of special events for the city of Chicago. In this role, she plans, organizes, and implements the city’s celebrations, festivals, and events every year. Prior to taking on this role, she was the executive director of Gallery 37, Chicago’s highly innovative and much replicated job – training program in the arts for youth. This year, she will bring 30 Tall Ships to Chicago, the largest such festival in Chicago’s history, docking many of the vessels on the Chicago River for the first time in 100 years. While at the GSD, Cheryl plans to study urban design and architecture in an effort to improve the dialogue between the designers of great urban spaces and the planners of the activities that will animate those spaces.

Matthew Jelacic is an architect with the firm of Gans and Jelacic in New York City. His work has focused on housing, with a particular interest in situations of great urgency and few resources. He has explored innovative solutions for disaster relief and refugee housing in Kosovo and the Middle East, as well as the construction of more substantial private spaces for individuals in homeless shelters. He is interested in technology and new materials as an element of creative solutions to these difficult human problems. While at the GSD, Jelacic wants to extend his exploration of new materials that will aid in the mission of providing housing in dire circumstances. He also hopes to understand more completely the factors involved in getting innovative design solutions implemented in the international context.

Ofer Manor has served for the past five years as the chief architect of the city of Jerusalem. He has led the development of the Jerusalem City Center Regeneration Plan and coordinated over 75 other planning efforts for projects from the scale of a single building to the entire region. In a city of rich cultural diversity and frequent tension, he has led participatory processes sensitive to the values and processes of all the citizens to whom he is responsible. As a fellow, Manor will study processes and strategies that deal with some of the current underlying issues of urban planning, such as the varieties of preferences in design, the differences in the way various cultures use urban spaces, and the impact that new fears regarding acts of terror have had on civic dialogue and urban design.

David Perkes is the director of the Jackson Community Design Center (JCDC) in Jackson, Miss. Attached to Mississippi State University School of Architecture, the JCDC makes architectural services available to low-income individuals and community groups at affordable prices. Most of the “staff” of the JCDC are architectural students working under Perkes’ direction. The work of the center has included individual homes, neighborhood improvement plans, and community facilities. While at the GSD, Perkes plans to concentrate on land use planning and sustainable building, with a special interest in providing high-quality design services in environments where financial resources are scarce.

Rodolpho Ramina is a private consultant and research director of the environmental nongovernmental organization Fundacao Angelo Creta in Brazil’s Parana state. Prior to this work, he was technical director for the Curitiba City Industrial Development Company, working to build up the industrial sector as Curitiba grew rapidly in the 1980s. During recent years, Ramina has been particularly interested in the environmental and human impact of large public works projects and has worked to mitigate the negative ramifications of those projects. He will spend his time at the GSD exploring the technical, design, and procedural innovations that can support sustainable communities within a regional context.

Harriet Tregoning is the executive director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute. Prior to that, she was the secretary of the Office of Smart Growth for the state of Maryland. She has been a leading thinker and advocate for the smart growth movement for over 10 years. In her work in Maryland, she coordinated key Smart Growth initiatives such as revitalizing inner-city neighborhoods, historic preservation, increasing transit-oriented development, promoting walkable communities, and preserving open space. Tregoning is interested in exploring how to bring design and planning professionals, practitioners, and academics together with civic, business, and political leaders to reframe planning and design issues as leadership challenges. The desired result of these collaborations is to find better ways of managing change within communities. As a fellow, Tregoning plans to learn more about real estate development, game theory, affordable housing, and drawing.