About Design Impact 

Design Impact is a global design leadership speaker series sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council. These virtual events bring together outstanding rosters of global leaders to share their work and vision, challenging us as a global community to use design as a tool for actionable, transformative change, and healing. Design Impact is co-sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association, the Harvard Alumni Architectural and Urban Society and AIA Los Angeles. This ongoing series is free and open to all.

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Design Impact Organizing Committee


MDes (Energy and Environment) '20

An architect and building scientist, Aditi is a Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research interests include energy efficiency and thermal comfort in the built environment, particularly in building design optimization and heat vulnerability. Her work as a practicing architect, freelance designer, and educator has enabled her to participate in projects of varying scales.


Alpa Nawre is Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Florida, and Executive Director of Critical Places. Alpa serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education, and is a recipient of the Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies, Landscape Architecture Foundation Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership, and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Award for Excellence in Design Studio Teaching.



MArch '22 WiD Leadership

An Hoang is an architectural designer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is involved with GSD Womxn in Design as the Career Development team lead.


MDes'05, GSD Alumni Council Member

Ana Pinto da Silva is a designer leader, technologist and community servant dedicated to creating products that define new landscapes of opportunity for people world-wide. As co-founder & CEO of Minka, she creates homes and communities that provide a radical alternative to traditional senior housing, building intergenerational communities that seek to strengthen connections, improve health and increase wellbeing.


MLA '90

David A. Rubin, FASLA, FAAR is the founding principal of DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, a landscape architecture, urban design, and planning studio committed to practicing with an emphasis on socially-purposeful design strategies. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. David founded Land Collective to devote himself to crafting landscapes that affect positive social change through empathy-driven design.


MDes '20

Francisco Brown is an architectural designer, a creative consultant, and a Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A non-traditional design leader with thirteen years of professional experience in commercial and humanitarian design. He previously worked in New York as a senior architectural designer and as a correspondent for Arquine Magazine. Prior, he was an International Architect for the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is a 2020 Fellow for  Ideas City Festival organized  by the New Museum in New York; and for the Latin X Leadership Initiative by the Harvard Kennedy School.


MArch '00

Hunter Tura is the Founder and CEO of Syndicate x Design, a global strategic brand consultancy with offices in New York, Madrid and Liverpool. He is a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute and a member of the Design Council at IE School of Architecture and Design.


BA in Art History + Architecture '19

Kaitlin is a Harvard College graduate with a degree in History of Art and Architecture, Design Studies, interested in epistemology and equity - as they relate to the built environment. 

Her academic work explores how design restores standards of justice and citizenship. By sophomore year, Kaitlin's work was exhibited in the Vision & Justice Project curated by Sarah E. Lewis, nominated for publication in Platform and Aperture Magazine. 


MArch '88, GSD Alumni Council Member

Originally from Costa Rica, Jaya Kader is an architect with over 30 years of experience and  the founding principal of KZ Architecture, a full service design studio based in Miami. The practice’s current work is widely focused on sustainability, resilience, and  the potential of design to effect much needed healing in the world.



MAUD '22

Naksha Satish is an architect and an urban practitioner, currently pursuing a Master of Architecture in Urban Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. After her undergrad at the School of Architecture, CEPT University, she pursued an urban fellowship program at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore. Her interests and work lie at the intersection of technology, housing, and the design of cities. She engages with the urban through an interdisciplinary lens that shapes processes and methods rather than just built form. She loves to sketch (charcoal on brown paper) and that is the tool she uses to capture and perceive the world around her. 



Master in Design Engineering, MDE’21, Harvard GSD/SEAS

Nupur sees design as a multi-dimensional entity. She worked on multiple projects as an architect and forayed into design research and ethnography at Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre, CEPT University, India on vernacular furniture of North-West India. Currently a candidate for the Master in Design Engineering at Harvard, she is keen to enhance her abilities as a creative thinker, problem-solver, explorer, and imaginative dreamer. She is interested in issues such as Climigration, and designing for Humanitarian responses. Being a trained classical dancer and a vocalist has helped her maintain a creative balance.



MArch '88, GSD Alumni Council Member

Peter Coombe AIA LEED AP is a founding partner of Sage and Coombe Architects and the chair of the GSD Alumni Council.



 MAUD '03, GSD Alumni Council Member

Riki is a Principal at Populous, a global architectural design firm specializing in creating environments and venues that draw communities and people together. He is an architect and urban designer/strategist specializing in the future of cities with a focus on the psychology of spaces, repairing cities, future-proofing, and solving complex intertwined design issues through urban strategies.



MUP'97, PhD'02, KSGEE'13, GSD Alumni Council Member

Sameh Wahba is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, based in Washington, D.C.  The Global Practice, which also covers territorial development, geospatial and results-based financing, has a $30 billion portfolio of lending commitments and over 400 staff. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2004, he worked for the Rotterdam-based Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies and the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies.


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