Design Impact Vol. 5: Following the Sun: Design Futures at the Intersection of Health, Equity and Climate Change is a global virtual summit sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council. Launching Thursday, September 23rd, the summit brings together an outstanding roster of global leaders to share their work and vision at the intersection of health, climate change and equity. This inspiring, two-day virtual summit transcends regional and national boundaries to unite our global community of practice, challenging us to use design as a tool for actionable, transformative change, and healing.
This ongoing series is free and open to all.
Ana Pinto Da Silva MDes ’05, Design Impact Chair, Designer Leader, Technologist and Community Servant, based in Seattle, WA
Jaya Kader MArch ’88, Event Curator, Architect, Sustainable Design, based in Miami, FL and Costa Rica
Lindsey Grant LaGrasse, Assistant Director of Events and Special Projects, GSD
Naksha Staish MAUD '22, Architect and Urban Practitioner.
Natasha Hicks MUP '19, Senior Associate at Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Peter Coombe March '88, AIA LEED AP is a founding partner of Sage and Coombe Architects and the chair of the GSD Alumni Council.
Riki Nishimura MAUD '03, AIA, Principal, Populous
Sameh Wahba MUP'97, PHD'02, KSGEE'13, Global Director, World Bank Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.
8:30AM - 9:00AM EST
Design Impact Welcome :
Harvard Graduate School of Design Welcome:
Opening Day Keynote Speaker:
Designing Climate Change: Tough Talk. Ground Truths. Future-Forward Strategies
10:30AM - 11:15AM EST
Featuring a keynote by world-renowned designer and change agent, Professor. Martha Schwartz, Designing Climate Change will center the intrinsic relationship between climate change and the built environment, challenging designers, innovators and leaders in the built environment to deploy leading-edge strategies to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse climate change.
Cathy Deino Blake, Director of Campus Planning and Design, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Disability is Certain, Inclusivity is Not: Rethinking Cities + Design through Policy, Practice, and Innovation
9:00AM - 10:30AM EST
Disability affects more people than is often perceived. Today, over 15% of the world’s population suffers from one or more disabilities, and as global life expectancy lengthens, the experience of disability is not a question of if, but when. The prevailing tendency to conflate an extremely heterogeneous landscape of disability - from mobility to hearing, sightedness to cognitive function - into a single group of “disabled people'' irrespective of their varying needs, results in a world where appropriate accommodations are too easily omitted, superficially added, or simply overlooked. Design Impact’s first session takes these challenges head on at two different scales of body and society by. allowing for the due complexity and dignity that nuance affords, when facing challenges from poverty alleviation to global social justice.
Sameh Wahba, Global Director, World Bank Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice; Washington, DC
Ambika Malhotra, Urban Designer, Architect & Consultant, Delhi, India
Shaina Yang, Architectural Designer, Los Angeles, CA
Panel 1 - Ambika Malhotra, Urban Designer, Architect & Consultant, Delhi, India
Panel 2 - TBD
Panel 1 - Inclusive Cities:
Victor Pineda, President, World Enabled; Founder, Cities4All, Berkeley, CA
Karen Braitmayer, Principal, Studio Pacifica, Seattle, WA
Panel 2 - Inclusive Design:
Shaina Yang, Architectural Designer, Los Angeles, CA
Moeena Das, Chief of Staff, National Organization on Disability
Regenerative Design: An Ecosystemic Approach to Transformative Development
11:15AM - 12:15PM EST
Regenerative Design: Natural Ecosystems and Integrative Approaches for Transformative Development explores policies and design strategies informed by natural ecosystems to remediate and heal our built environment. Our guests will explore how policymakers, designers and custodians of the land can work together to foster development that endorses a more harmonious inter-relational coexistence between humans and nature. The challenges posed by climate change and health pandemics have also brought about a renewed urgency to explore nature base solutions through integrative approaches. These delve deeply into local ecosystems, are driven by clean and renewable technologies and find guidance in nature and indigenous wisdom for a more holistic approach to development.
Sameh Wahba, Global Director, World Bank Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, Washington, D.C.
Walter Meyer, co-founder of Local Office for Landscape and Urban Design, educator, community organizer. New York
Amanda Sturgeon, Regenerative Design Champion. Former CEO of the international Living Building Future.
Sylvanie Burton, permanent minister of Tribal Affairs for the government of Dominica
The vast natural resources of Latin America have served as the environmental underpinning of our global economic engine since the advent of colonialism. The tension between infrastructure and community has framed a centuries-long battle between global, national, regional and community interests and has been exacerbated by the twin challenges presented by climate change and the devastating Coronavirus Pandemic. Global Gardens invites us to reconsider the intersection of community and infrastructure - both how it is conceived and how it is implemented - and its power to deliver a new future for Latin America and the broader world. Drawing from recent historical events and political frameworks, session speakers will present new opportunities for designers to transform infrastructure design through innovative, community-based strategies and cultural adaptation.
Keith Pezzoli, Director director of field research and a lecturer in urban studies and planning at UC San Diego
New Futures: Design & The Future of Childhood
2:00PM - 3:30PM EST
Inspired by the collaboration between Dr. Jonathan Salk and his father, Dr. Jonas Salk on their book, "A New Reality: Human Evolution for a Sustainable Future", New Futures: Design & The Future of Childhood will explore the importance of centering the "quality of care of children, the quality of each child’s experience, and the overall quality of human life" as the central driver of transformational change as we seek to imagine and bring forth a more just, more equitable and healthier world.
Dr. Jonathan Salk, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, Board of Advisors, Population Media Center.
Louis Thomas, Postdoctoral Scholar in the Urbanism Lab at the University of Chicago
Shanna Kohn, Senior Education Manager of Humanitarian Programs at Sesame Workshop, Brooklyn, NY USA
Ninari Chimba, Activist and Role Model
Dr. Zuparee Karutjaiva
Regenerative Design: Systems, Technologies
11:30AM - 12:55PM EDT
This panel brings together different practitioners who will share tools and applications of regenerative design, including: planning, preservation, biomimicry, indigenous activism, regenerative agriculture, and permaculture.
Session Moderator: Adriana Pablos, MDes ’21, Architect and Urbanist, based in Cambridge | Madrid
Walter Meyer, MLAUD '03, Landscape and Urban Designer, Educator and Community Organizer
Atossa Soltani, Indigenous Rights and Rainforest Campaigner
Tom Newmark, Co-founder and Chair of The Carbon Underground
Victoria Kindred Keziah, Biomimicry Specialist and General Manager for Client Engagement at Biomimicry 3.8
Eva Leung, MArch ‘12, Architect, co-founder and CEO of non-profit Terra Cura Inc.
Power, Equity, Memory, Erasure: Memorials and the Making of Historic Narrative
3:30PM - 5:00PM EST
Recent debates on such political and cultural phenomena as Confederate monuments or the erasure of cultural artifacts have put into high relief the role of memorials as a statement of hegemony, raising questions as: Who controls the historic narrative? What is the purpose of commemoration: to mourn, to celebrate, to inspire, to subjugate? Are traditional forms of commemorative inspiration latently coercive? Central to the discussion is the definition of identity at the individual, social group, and national level, and how is this identity reinforced or challenged by a memorial? Are certain memorial typologies or design languages inherently inclusive or hegemonic? And are there new forms of commemoration—digital, ephemeral, changeable—that speak more equitably to a collective experience? Power, Equity, Memory & Erasure: Memorials and the Making of Historical Narratives addresses the possibilities of a more equitable statement of collective consciousness, involving a multiplicity of responses that encourage dialogue rather than fixed statements about the past.
David A. Rubin, FASLA, FAAR, Founding Principal, DAVID RUBIN Land Collective
Thomas Luebke, FAIA, Secretary, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Washington DC
Kristina Yu, Architect, Educator, McClain+Yu Architecture and Design, University of New Mexico
Peter Coombe, AIA, Principal, Sage and Coombe Architects, GSD Alumni Council Chair
Research Assistant: Miranda Coombe
Moderator: Alaa Hamid MDes 2022
C. Brian Rose, James B. Pritchard Professor of Archaeology, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Justin Garrett Moore, Program Officer, Humanities in Place at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Dell Upton, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, UC Berkeley and Professor and Chair of Art History at UCLA
Design Impact Welcome:
Harvard Graduate School of Design Welcome:
Day 2 Opening Keynote:
Day 2 Event Intro
9:30AM - 10:30AM EST
Hard City - Soft City: A South Asian perspective on the dichotomy of physical and operational urban technologies.
10:30AM - 12:00PM EST
This two-panel session aims to discuss more inclusive and integrative ways to update existing infrastructure and technologies, beyond optimizing its performance for efficiency, to create more resilient, equitable, and sustainable neighborhoods and improve their governing systems. The Hard City panel unpacks the discourse of physical infrastructure beyond the top-down modernist visions of efficient engineering solutions. The Soft city panel examines the operational UrbanTech that animates the city with entrepreneurial and civic innovations. The two panels, though set up as antithetical in scope, draw out the dialectic relationship between physical and operational infrastructure that compose and configure the South Asian cities.
Featured Speakers - Panel 1: Hard City
Anthony Acciavatti, Architect, Co-founder and Principal, Somatic Collaborative, New York
Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Landscape Architect, Founder and CEO at Landprocess and Porous City Network, Thailand
Featured Speakers - Panel 2: Soft City
Rohit Aggarwala, Senior Fellow at the Urban Tech Hub at the Jacobs Cornell-Technion Institute at Cornell Tech, New York
Naksha Satish, Architect, Urban Designer, Urban Practitioner, Cambridge
Featured Speakers: Panel 2: Soft City
Dulith Herath, a serial entrepreneur, Founder of Kapruka.com, Sri Lanka
Kalpana Vishwanath, Founder, Safetipin, New Delhi, India
Homelessness is a solvable problem. In fact, several individuals and organizations have already implemented effective strategies that are making significant, measurable progress in assuring that everyone has a dignified place to live - a home that can help provide access to education and jobs, and overall, that enables the full lives all humans deserve, regardless of race, gender, or economic background. The challenge now is to accelerate that progress through broad recognition that: systemic injustices within our culture are at the root of homelessness; that these can be neutralized and reversed if we agree that everyone who is unhoused is deserving of help; that we allocate the necessary funds and resources for effective strategies; and that ultimately, everyone benefits when homelessness as we know it is considered an unacceptable social failure that must be eradicated.
Rosanne Haggerty, President and CEO of Community Solutions, New York, NY,
Shawn Pleasants, Independent advocate for the unhoused in Los Angeles County,
Future Forward: Accelerating the End of Homelessness
12:00PM - 1:30PM EST
Mapping Equity: The Golden Path to Opportunity
1:30PM - 3:00PM EST
Design Impact Closing Keynote - Climate Change: Ed Mazria, Founder & CEO, Architecture 2030: If We Act Together Now, We Change The World!
3:00PM - 4:00PM EST
The time for half measures and outdated targets is over if we are to stop the irreparable destruction of our cities, towns, and natural environments. How difficult is designing to zero carbon? Not difficult at all. I will outline the three steps to a zero-carbon built environment, and call on our industry to take a leadership role.
Mapping Equity reviews the evolution and impact of mapping. The accessibility of mapping tools and processes has provided community mapping opportunities to introduce once voiceless communities to advanced technologies and real-time data gathering. The accessibility of these tools and platforms has uncovered problematic political and societal issues, opening up new avenues for the social justice fight globally.
Riki Nishimura, AIA, Principal, Populous
Francisco Brown, Sage and Coombe Architects
Edward Charles Anderson, Science, Technology and Development, The World Bank
Felipe Correa, Vincent and Eleanor Shea Professor and the chair of Architecture at UVA School of Architecture