Campus & Community

GSD team designs ‘City of the Future’ in History Channel competition

2 min read

Nine students in the master in design studies program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and a master of architecture student were selected to construct a model of their concept of Los Angeles 100 years from now for the national competition “A 22nd Century City of the Future,” sponsored by the History Channel. The competition was inspired by past civilizations featured in the History Channel series “Engineering an Empire.”

The only group of students competing (all other entrants are from architectural firms in the greater Los Angeles area), the GSD team is made up of August de los Reyes, Joris Fach, Elie Gamburg (master of architecture), Vijay Kailas, Michelle Lauterwasser, Ben Llana, Shelagh McCartney, Yunhee Min, Joey Pitt, and Kelvin Xuna. Associate Professor of Architecture Kostas Terzidis is the team’s faculty adviser.

On Dec. 12, team members assembled the model and presented their vision to a jury of architects, designers, and urban planners at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Jurors include GSD graduate Thom Mayne of Morphosis, and Ming Fung, representing the American Institute of Architects.

“We bring the fresh perspective of students coupled with the expertise of seasoned professionals,” said de los Reyes on behalf of his design team. “We also bring to the table a broad diversity of expertise and nationalities. We are architects, engineers, urban planners, and artists, among other professions and backgrounds, and [we] have worked in the offices of pre-eminent architects and designers, including Rem Koolhaas, Santiago Calatrava, Kohn Peterson Fox, and Microsoft.”

The competition is being held in metropolitan areas across the country, with the winners of each city competition to be judged by a national online survey beginning in January at The judging will be led by chief juror Daniel Libeskind, winner of the international competition to design the master plan for Ground Zero in New York City, with the winning team receiving a check for $10,000 from the History Channel.