The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announced today that it has received a $15 million gift from Ronald M. Druker, Loeb Fellow ’76, and the Bertram A. and Ronald M. Druker Charitable Foundation. The gift provides the necessary seed funding for the GSD to launch an ambitious renewal and new building expansion of its main facility, Gund Hall, to support focused work in design innovation. In recognition of the gift — the largest made to date to the GSD’s current Grounded Visionaries campaign as well as the largest single gift from an individual in the school’s history — the GSD will name its primary exhibition gallery the Druker Design Gallery.

Druker’s gift provides the foundation for the school’s effort to reimagine the role and ambitions of design education in the twenty-first century and in the context of a leading research university, beginning with the school’s physical plant. The success of the Grounded Visionaries campaign — the GSD’s portion of the university-wide Harvard Campaign — has put the school in a position to think openly and fundamentally about future practices of design pedagogy, their integration into research in the sciences and the arts, and their capacity to have an impact on practitioners working at all scales of the built environment.

Toward that end, for the past several years, Druker has worked closely alongside Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the GSD, to help define and develop a strategy for the future spatial and facility needs of the school, taking into account the school’s increasing focus on design innovation. Druker’s gift will carry forward planning for a new building expansion of Gund Hall.

The Druker Design Gallery features the work of faculty, students, and researchers and scholars from across the design fields. Located at Gund Hall, the gallery serves as a site for experimentation and explication of ideas and plays a fundamental role in the pedagogical life of the school. The gallery is open to the public, and has a long and rich history of exhibitions that engage the historical and contemporary conditions of design discourse across physical, digital, and spatial media.

“I am delighted that this generous gift from Ron, one of the GSD’s most prominent, committed, and long-standing advocates and supporters, will provide resources crucial to helping us move forward our plans to build new, innovative spaces of research and learning,” said Mostafavi. “It is equally meaningful and fitting for the school to be able to name its primary exhibition space in his honor.”

“For more than four decades, the GSD has played an integral role in both my professional and personal life. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to serve as a catalyst in creating the environment that fosters innovative design education,” said Druker. “This gift reflects my admiration and respect for the school, Dean Mostafavi, and his vision for the future.”

Read more via the Graduate School of Design.

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