It’s coming. The 3rd Annual Harvard African Development Conference, the only Africa-related conference that is organized by all the schools of Harvard University. This year’s theme is Rethinking Development in Africa: From Strategy to Implementation. The conference will feature the latest information on an emerging continent. The keynote speaker this year is Tito Mboweni, former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. Find out more and register here.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a group of Africans somewhere in Africa speculating the future of the United States. “1st Annual Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology United States Technological Development Conference.” Just putting it out there.
In the past few years, under the new dean, Mohsen Mostafavi, the GSD has seen some pretty progressive steps towards responding to the growing interest in the public sector and urbanized development in the third world. Catching up to the other Harvard schools such HBS, HKS, and HLS, I’m seeing more and more courses offered to set the stage for discussions of issues of class, race, and gender in developing countries.
Here are a few course descriptions of courses I found interesting today at the course presentations.
The studio will engage with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) as its site for enquiry, research, and design propositions. The pedagogical thrust of the studio is to explore the potential for urban design and planning as well as landscape, architecture, and real estate as instruments for spatial imaginations at the metropolitan scale. This studio will be the first of a three-year thematic exploration of the Mumbai region which will range from looking at infrastructure and ecology, to questions of housing, urban systems and form. The studio will have both research and design components that will focus on a menu of predetermined questions with regional implications. Project formulation will be an important component of the studio. The studio will explore issues of extreme urbanism in the form of social, cultural, and economic disparities and how these manifest themselves in the MMR. Social interactions, public space and the broader issue of how design and planning can facilitate new imaginations for the metropolitan region will be central to the discussions. The intent will be to evolve new understandings of the contemporary potential of the MMR and to position urban design and planning as well as landscape, architecture, and real estate as instruments for a broader strategy plan that is more nuanced in terms of the ecologies that it recognizes and socially inclusive in its propositionary dimension. The studio is open to all departments at the GSD, and will collaborate with the Loeb Fellowship and MDesS programs as well as students and faculty from Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Law School. Continue reading →