Harvard GSD recently announced the Loeb Fellowship Class of 2019. From architects to journalists to public policy makers, the fellowship invites a group of outstanding mid-career practitioners for a year of independent study at the school.
The latest group of Loeb Fellows were selected for their focus on creating positive social change and “supporting a more equitable collective future” through their work. Read on for more about the 2019 Fellows:
Stephen Burks - Principal, Stephen Burks Man Made | New York & Barcelona
Stephen Burks believes in a pluralistic vision of design inclusive of all cultural perspectives. For his efforts with artisan groups around the world, he has been called a design activist. His ongoing Man Made project bridges the gap between authentic developing world production, industrial manufacturing, and contemporary design. Independently and through association with the nonprofits Aid To Artisans, Artesanias de Colombia, the Clinton Global Initiative, Design Network Africa, and the Nature Conservancy, Burks has consulted on product development with artisan communities throughout the world. In addition, leading, design-driven manufacturers have commissioned him to develop lifestyle collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation. Burks received the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Professional Achievement Award, the Brooklyn Museum Modernism Young Designer Award, the Architektur and Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize, the 2008 United States Artists Target Fellowship, and the 2015 Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Product Design.
Maria Cabildo - President, Fireflower Partners | Los Angeles, California
Maria G. Cabildo is an urban planner who became an affordable housing developer through her desire to stabilize and revitalize Los Angeles’ disinvested communities. She believes that community residents most impacted by historic disinvestment must be significant players in land use and development decision making. In 1995 Cabildo cofounded the East LA Community Corporation and served as president and CEO from 1999-2015. During her tenure, ELACC reshaped the Boyle Heights community through community organizing and affordable housing development, leveraging and investing more than $200 million. Cabildo worked in county government from 2015 until 2017, when she ran for Congress in a special election to represent California’s 34th district. She came in third, having earned the Los Angeles Times’ endorsement. She has served on state and local boards, including Los Angeles’ Planning Commission. Her consulting firm, Fireflower Partners, works with clients to spark changes for a more just and equitable world.
Jeana Dunlap - Director of Redevelopment Strategies, Louisville Metro Government | Louisville, Kentucky
Jeana Dunlap has engaged with public and private interests to direct multi-million dollar federal initiatives supporting community development, sustainability, and historic preservation since 2004. She currently leads Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Redevelopment Strategies. She appreciates the need for multidisciplinary approaches when tackling disruptive redevelopment efforts to improve quality of life and place for residents. While facilitating change through the built environment is critical, she also believes that changing mindsets is paramount to achieving vibrant communities. Dunlap is a woman of color in municipal government, and she has the unique ability to find common ground and facilitate effective communication for greater understanding between disparate sectors of the community. With projects like Redlining Louisville: The History of Race, Class and Real Estate, she is promoting equitable investment practices and distribution of digital infrastructure, while instilling confidence and building capacity among those living in and personally vested in distressed neighborhoods.
Washington Fajardo - Principal, Desenho Brasileiro Arquitetura e Design | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As president of the Rio World Heritage Institute and the Mayor’s Special Advisor for Urban Issues from 2009 to 2016, Washington Fajardo created policies and finance solutions to preserve heritage, regenerate buildings and places, and improve public services in Rio de Janeiro. His innovative initiatives revived cultural heritage in the city’s waterfront renewal and supported private owners to rehabilitate historic buildings. Now, as he pursues architectural design and planning activities in his studio DEBR, he is developing a new “urban agency,” a mix of “do-tank” and investigation and problem solving lab at the intersection of academia, city government, and community. Fajardo created the Carioca Design Center and organized the African Heritage Historical and Archaeological Trail. He has won awards for the Ver-O-Peso urban renewal in Belém in the Amazon Region, the Pavuna Carioca Arena, and the New Imperator, an old movie theater converted to a multipurpose cultural center. His weekly column about urban issues appears in O Globo newspaper.
Bryna Lipper - Senior Vice President, Chief Resilience Advisor, and Co-Founder, 100 Resilient Cities, Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation | New York, New York
Bryna Lipper has held leadership roles in government, nonprofit, and private sector organizations dedicated to advancing the quality of urban life. As co-founder and senior vice president for 100 Resilient Cities, she led the formation of its urban resilience practice and global network to enable cities to adapt to 21st century challenges. During her tenure this work reshaped the policies, governance, and politics of cities within 47 nations. Prior to that, Lipper directed Philanthropic Research and Initiatives for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, leading strategies to spur philanthropic partnerships, promote policy innovation, and increase aligned investments. She was vice president for Marketing, Communications, and Government Affairs at the National Building Museum and cofounder of the Global Studio—a nonprofit encouraging design students and building professionals to serve in vulnerable communities. Lipper has spoken and consulted widely and has won numerous honors, including a PLACES Fellowship from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.
Andrea Reimer - City Councilor, City of Vancouver | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In spite of her abbreviated formal education, Andrea Reimer has run advocacy organizations and businesses, organized in communities, and served as an elected official, pursuing her passions for environmental justice and supporting the empowerment of indigenous and marginalized communities. She served 3 terms on the Vancouver City Council from 2008-2018, where she was the city’s first permanent Deputy Mayor, and spearheaded initiatives that included the first comprehensive urban plan for the Downtown Eastside, a nationally significant municipal framework for reconciliation with indigenous peoples, the largest municipal childcare program expansion in Canada, and award-winning environmental and open government policies. Prior to being on the city council, Reimer served on the school board and ran the Western Canada Wilderness Committee–the largest membership-based environment organization in Canada. She led the Organizing for Change initiative; was president of a credit union and the Canadian Women’s Voter’s Congress; ran a small business; worked in service, retail, and manufacturing; and survived a street-involved youth.
Michael Smith - Masis Principal, Entre Nos Atelier | San Jose, Costa Rica
The architecture of Entre Nos Atelier, codirected by Michael Smith Masis in San Jose, Costa Rica, encourages participation, collaboration, cooperation, and ownership by low income residents, rural and indigenous communities, and informal settlements, the true protagonists in the city. Smith has facilitated projects from housing to public space, guided by principles of replicability, efficiency, functionality, feasibility, and environmental sustainability. His work has received significant awards and honors, including the 2017 CICA Award for Young Architects Practice and the 2015 International Architecture Award at the Buenos Aires Biennial of Architecture. He also won the 2016 Grand Biennial Prize and the 2016 and 2014 Icomadera Prize at the International Biennial of Architecture in San Jose, Costa Rica, and the 2015 Sustainable Construction Award from the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction, among others. Alongside his architectural practice, Smith has taught and lectured worldwide to build capacity for transformation processes within distressed communities.
Katie Swenson - V.P. Design and Sustainability, Enterprise Community Partners | Boston, Massachusetts
Katherine W. Swenson is a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer, and educator. She is vice president of Design at Enterprise Community Partners, where her work investigates how critical design practice promotes economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities. A member of the second class of the Enterprise Rose Fellowship, Swenson has led the program since 2007 and nurtured a diverse network of design leaders fostering community revitalization and affordable housing development and supporting the healing of diverse communities throughout the US. The fellowship has been showcased at the Museum of Modern Art, the CooperHewitt National Design Museum, the New York Center for Architecture, and the National Building Museum and been recognized by the American Institute of Architects for its groundbreaking work. Swenson founded the Charlottesville Community Design Center, is on the board of MASS Design Group, and has received numerous design and social innovation awards. She has written extensively about design activism and community design.
Michiel Van Iersel - Co-Founder, Member, Non-Fiction and Failed Architecture | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Michiel van Iersel works as an independent urbanist, curator, writer and teacher at the intersection of the arts, architecture, (urban) design and heritage to support cities and places that are socially inclusive and sustainable. He cofounded Non-fiction, an Amsterdam-based collective interested in the creation of public values and engagement through artistic means and new rituals. The collective’s exhibitions and publications, research, projects, and events bring people and ideas closer together around such diverse topics as the future of heritage and the Post-Fossil City. Van Iersel is a tutor at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy/Sandberg Institute and research fellow at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. Van Iersel cofounded De Verdieping, a temporary project space for experimental culture, and the ongoing research project Failed Architecture, about architectural and urban failures around the world. He was curator of the 2016 International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and recently co-curated Places of Hope, an exhibition for Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018.
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