Campus & Community

GSD names Loeb Fellows for independent study

8 min read

The Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design recently announced that 11 individuals 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. Loeb Fellowships provide 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.

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 the University, bringing their experience and observations to the classroom.

Established and endowed in 1970 by John L. Loeb, 1924 graduate of Harvard College, Loeb Fellowships have been awarded to more than 300 individuals from a diverse range of professional backgrounds in both the public and private sectors.

The following will be in residence as Loeb Fellows at HDS for the 2004-05 academic year:

Heather Boyer is an editor with Island Press. She acquires and edits books in the areas of land use planning, sustainable architecture, landscape architecture, and environmental health. Over the past 12 years she has been largely responsible for the rise of this nonprofit company into the top ranks of publishers in these fields. Boyer has published works by Peter Calthorpe, Carl Steinitz, and Richard T.T. Forman. She particularly enjoys putting together practitioners and writers to effectively tell the story of important best practices, and publishing books that cross boundary lines between fields. As a Loeb Fellow, Boyer will study urban policy development, affordable housing, community health issues, and the economics of green building.

Robin Chase is the founder and former CEO of Zipcar, one of the nation’s premier organizations offering car rentals by the hour. Zipcar makes use of technological innovations to make reservations and car pickup extremely convenient. These strategies have led to a dramatic growth in membership and an increasing impact on transportation choices in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Research shows that every Zipcar is responsible for a reduction in private car ownership by eight to 10 vehicles. Chase is particularly interested in the impact of urban and infrastructure planning and building on long-term transportation choices in the United States and other nations. As a Loeb Fellow, she will study transportation policy, urban design, and city planning.

Maurice Cox is a partner in RBGC Architecture, Research and Urbanism, and also teaches at the University of Virginia. He has just completed eight years on the Charlottesville City Council and the past two as mayor. He believes strongly in the need for professionals in the design fields to step into the civic arena and help shape public decisions. In his architectural practice, Cox particularly seeks clients in underserved communities and is especially proud of the service his firm has provided for the community of Bayview, Va., as the community has rebuilt its rural sustainable village. As a Loeb Fellow, Cox will study the importance of leadership roles of the citizen-architect in shaping today’s cities.

Mary Eysenbach directs the City Parks Forum for the American Planning Association. In this role, she has convened the mayors of more than 25 cities to discuss the various functions parks play in their cities, and to help them plan for the further development of parks and open spaces for their cities. Eysenbach is interested in exploring further the wide range of benefits parks and open space have in cities and has begun to develop the idea of a “Green-line” standard by which urban areas can measure the adequacy of their green spaces and natural elements. As a Loeb Fellow, she plans to explore this concept further, and will also study landscape architecture, urban design, and city policy-making processes.

Klaus Mayer is a partner in the multidisciplinary design firm of mayer sattler-smith in Anchorage, Alaska. His design work has the goal to find an appropriate response to local climate, culture, and technology. He has also been instrumental in the growth of the Alaska Design Forum (ADF), a nonprofit organization of architects, artists, and designers formed to broaden the range of discussion of the design of the built environment. Known for its lecture series, ADF has played a significant role in expanding the conversation about architecture and design in Alaska. Because of the isolation of his city, and the resulting need to make resources go as far as possible, he is particularly interested in integrating architecture and engineering, landscape architecture, art, public health, and environmental sciences. As a fellow, Mayer plans to study design and the environment and work on the process for establishing a school of architecture in Anchorage.

Cara McCarty is the curator of decorative arts and design at the Saint Louis Art Museum. This field is broad and includes the objects, places, and cities that people use and live in. She sees her role as helping to educate a public that is increasingly engaged in the individual and corporate processes of making design decisions. She is particularly dedicated to the outreach activities of the museum where she works to bring designers into direct contact with youth and adults throughout St. Louis. Her exhibits have ranged from Japanese textiles to masks to an extensive examination of the architecture of Tadao Ando. As a Loeb Fellow, McCarty will study the theory and practice of architecture and urbanism.

Mario Navarro is the housing policy director in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in Chile. During his three years as director, he has dramatically revised the housing policy of Chile, bringing the private banking community into the process, getting the federal bureaucracy out of the construction business, and more than doubling the percentage of housing subsidies directed toward the poorest citizens of the nation. In addition to developing a process through which existing policies could be studied and compared with other alternatives, Navarro was responsible for mobilizing federal agencies, the banking industry, and the nation’s private contractors to successfully implement the new policies. As a Loeb Fellow, he plans to study housing policy in the United States and Brazil to further refine Chile’s strategies.

Dan Pitera is the director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, which is affiliated with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. The center provides architectural and other design services for community organizations and other nonprofit organizations. The work of the center focuses on design processes that empower the communities with which they work, and the production of excellent design for the buildings and art installations they create. Pitera is particularly interested in the phenomenon of shrinking cities and has been involved with international efforts to study conditions in various cities sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. As a Loeb Fellow, he will examine the interaction of issues for shrinking cities, including race, urban economics, cultural histories, and urban planning policies, and the ways in which design and planning can respond to those issues. His investigations will focus on the Detroit metropolitan area as a case study.

Carlos Romero is the executive director of Mission Housing Development Corp., one of San Francisco’s leading CDCs. During his six-year tenure, he helped lead a massive participatory planning process in the Mission neighborhood, has overseen the development of nearly 600 affordable housing units, and expanded community organizing efforts through an extensive program of social services. Romero has focused on emerging problems including an increase in an older population with diverse housing needs, the impact of gentrification resulting from the resurgence of interest in city living, and the current crisis produced by the high cost of housing in the city. He will use his time at Harvard to study urban planning, housing policy, and real estate development.

Sue Zielinski works for the City of Toronto directing a program called Moving the Economy. She is a transportation planner engaged in defining and bringing into reality a “new mobility” that integrates numerous forms of transportation to produce highly efficient movement of people and goods. She describes Moving the Economy as a think tank bringing together the Canadian private, public, and academic sectors along with community representatives to spark innovation in transportation. Zielinski, who is involved with the Green Tourism Association that promotes ecotourism in the city, believes in the integration of many sectors within the planning process. As a Loeb Fellow, she will study transportation innovations in other parts of the world, as well as city planning and urban design.