Wednesday, November 11th @ 6 p.m.
Virtual Conversation | Register here

Full Size Poster

This event brings two Harvard GSD communities, APIA and AASU, with the two artists in conversation about their work.

The role of posters as protest has acquired renewed urgency in the midst of a global pandemic and continuous protests movements surrounding social justice initiatives across myriad landscapes. Activism-based visual arts have been paramount to coalition building and personal expression. As artists of color, Monyee Chau and Lo Harris respond to conventional depictions of Asian-American and African-American communities respectively, using their artwork to sublimate stereotypes and empower underrepresented voices. This event brings together two Harvard GSD communities, APIA and AASU, with the two artists in conversation about how their works champion a more-equitable and just world.

Lauren (Lo) Harris is an Alabama-raised, Brooklyn-based, self-taught digital artist who specializes in illustration and motion design, and is currently an associate Animator at NBC News Digital. Her vibrant work aims to illustrate a more just and kind world through bright palettes, strong figures, and relational compositions showcasing confidence, humanity, and joy. Her designs centered on editorial projects, campaigns and environmental designs for lifestyle, technology, and beauty brands, as well as social justice initiatives. Lo has produced work for a number of clients including Amazon, Cosmopolitan, The Black Curriculum, Adobe, and The Ellen Show, and has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Marie Claire, and HuffPost.

Instagram: @loharris_art


Monyee Chau is a Seattle-based, Taiwanese-Chinese-American artist exploring their own cultural roots through sculptures, paintings, photography and poster-making. She received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2018 and her work is far reaching: not only are they exhibited at various museums, such as Wing Luke Museum and Bellevue Arts Museum, they are plastered across American Chinatowns and popularized on social media. Chau’s work on Chinatown resilience responds to the resurface of racism with Covid-19, with her illustration, ‘Yellow Peril Supports Black Power’ becoming a powerful representation of racial solidarity.

Instagram: @monyeeart


Meet the 2020-2021 Executive Board!

Jaline McPherson

GSD Program: Master of Landscape Architecture 2021
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Architecture | University of Virginia 2015
Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Hobbies/Research Interests: Painting, writing, and crushing the patriarchy, along with landscapes of erasure
Fun/ Weird Fact: I wish I had my own comedy show
Damian Bolden

GSD Program: Master of Architecture II 2021
Undergraduate Degree: Architecture and Interior Architecture | Auburn University 2013
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Hobbies/Research Interests: Competing, Designing, Basketball, Roller Skating, Biking / COLOR, Cities, Graphic Design
Fun/ Weird Fact: I find people falling or tripping absolutely hilarious
Caleb Negash

GSD Program: Master of Architecture I 2022
Undergraduate Degree: Architecture | Princeton University 2015
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Hobbies/Research Interests: I’m interested in examining the structural impacts of race on modern architecture, decolonizing representations of Blackness, and studying African diasporic building practices on their own terms. When I’m not counting duckets for AASU, I also spend my time here writing about Black designers and co-hosting a podcast for the African American Design Nexus, a library initiative that launched last year.
Fun/ Weird Fact: Outside of school and work, I’m also an illustrator, steadfast Megan Thee Stallion disciple, and DJ (hire me!)
Taelor Malcolm
Internal Relations Chair

GSD Program: Master of Urban Planning 2021
Undergraduate Degree: Economics and International Business | University of North Carolina Charlotte 2019
Hometown: Fayetteville, GA
Hobbies/Research Interests: Reading, Scuba Diving, Tennis/Affordable Housing, International Development, Economic Development
Fun/Weird Fact: My high school graduating class had four people, including me.
Oluwatosin Alliyu
External Relations

GSD Program: Master in Design Engineering 2021
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Computer Science w/ Peace Justice and Human Rights | Haverford College 2018
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Research interests: Urban development, smart cities & digital government in West Africa
Hobbies: listening to music (everything between Afro-beats, neo-soul, r&b, etc.), cooking (&eating), baking cookies

Fun/ Weird Fact: I road tripped to all 10 (now 16) regions of Ghana in 2 weeks.
Tara Oluwafemi
Media Chair

GSD Program: Master of Architecture I | 2022
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and French | Amherst College 2018
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Hobbies/Research Interests: I am very serious about my naps. I also watch a lot of cartoons and love candles and pillows.
Fun/ Weird Fact: I shaved off my eyebrows the day before fifth grade because I wanted a new look.
Cecley Hill
Social Chair

GSD Program: Master of Urban Planning 2021
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University 2019
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Hobbies: I’ve trained as a dancer and drummer for as long as I can remember, though I’ve recently expanded on my hobbies by taking up watercolors (big quarantine energy).
Research Interests: At the GSD, I’ve centered most of my research around urban design in low-income communities across the US and East Africa. I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to complete remote work for a joint research project focused on infrastructure conditions in Zanzibar, Tanzania with a fellow MUP!

Fun/ Weird Fact: I’ve flown a plane ✈️

AASU Presents “House Party: Black History Month at 50”

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Black History Month in the US, the AASU organized a series of events.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Piper Auditorium
Description: Black History Month at 50 – Design in the Diaspora

The focus of this conversation will be taking stock of the legacy of Black History Month (BHM) fifty years after its founding at Kent State University in 1970, especially as it pertains to the arts and design. Celebration of BHM in the United States has tended toward uncritical praise of a select group of African-American historical figures. While the achievements and contributions of monumental individuals like Harriet Tubman, Langston Hughes, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others cannot be overstated, these figures are often framed quite narrowly, without acknowledging their connection to global movements in the arts and activism in their own times and beyond. 

Kobena Mercer has described diaspora as a cultural force that manifests a “dialogical doubleness,” critiquing modernism’s dependence on purity. Given the significance of the concept of diaspora to the formation of Blackness, how have Black activists, artists, and designers historically forged connections across national and ethnic lines? What impacts have Black cultural movements had across these national and ethnic lines (and vice versa)? How has this interconnectivity been significant to the development of modern art and architecture?

Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm
Location: Gund 510
Description: Navigating Multidisciplinary Spaces with Fitgi Saint-Louis

Join Fitgi Saint-Louis from Gensler for a workshop on working in a multidisciplinary design environment. 

Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Time:  6:30 pm
Location: Gund 517
Description: Movie Night with QueersinDesign: Pariah

Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity–sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.

Snacks will be provided.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Time: 6:30
Location: 42 K
Description: Pray Daddy, A Multimedia Performance

In Pray Daddy, father, son and spirit commune at the crossroads of the body, to exchange letters of love and becoming.
Made in community with Omotara Oluwafemi, scored by Tomal Hossain with the support of the Immersive Realities Lab for the Humanities.

Friday, February 21, 2020
Time: 8:30
Location: 42 K
Description: Pray Daddy, A Multimedia Installation and Afterparty

Black in Design 2019: Black Futurism | Creating a More Equitable Future

Check out highlights from the 2019 Black in Design conference here.

The Black in Design Conference, organized by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design African American Student Union (GSD AASU) recognizes the contributions of the African diaspora to the design fields and promotes discourse around the agency of the design profession to address and dismantle the institutional barriers faced by our communities.

The 2019 Black in Design conference, “Black Futurism: Creating a More Equitable Future” explores pathways to liberation through a design lens, considering the historical past and present structural oppression of black and brown communities locally and internationally. The conference will demonstrate how designers, creatives, organizers, educators, and policymakers are imagining more sustainable and equitable futures for black and brown bodies. The conference will lead discussions and exhibitions on the intersection of black futurism and design, contending with the role of the radical imagination as we tackle complex urban problems of social and economic injustice. We seek to create a learning environment where participants collaborate, grappling with questions of equity and possibility, while also sharing visions for the future of black communities across the world. This environment gives agency to black and brown voices to define what a more sustainable future looks like and how we can collectively realize this vision.

Black In Design 2017

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The Black in Design Conference recognizes the contributions of the African diaspora to the design fields and promotes discourse around the agency of the design profession to address and dismantle the institutional barriers faced by our communities.

Building upon the inaugural Black in Design Conference in 2015, which focused on various scales of design, we are framing the upcoming Conference across the forms of design, to unearth our agency as designers to envision more radical and equitable futures.
Early bird tickets go on sale August 1, 2017.

October 6-8, 2017
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
48 Quincy Street | Cambridge, MA 02138

Black in Design 2015

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Black in Design Website

The Black in Design Conference, organized by the African American Student Union (AASU) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), seeks to simultaneously recognize the contributions of African Descendants to the design fields and to broaden our definition of what it means to be a designer. We believe that initial steps towards addressing social injustice through design are to reclaim the histories of underrepresented groups in design pedagogy and to implicate designers as having a role in repairing our broken built environment.

Dedicated to the pursuit of just and equitable spaces across all scales, this conference will broach conversations in increasing orders of magnitude: the building, the neighborhood, the city, the region, and the globe. We hope that this conference will serve to ingrain compassion for human beings into the ethos of design more broadly, as well as to serve  as a call to action for the GSD to instill within each and every person who passes through its doors the responsibility to build just and equitable spaces at every scale.

On March 4, LSU College of Art and Design will host a satellite exhibition and lecture with Craig Wilkins and Sara Zewede

GSD AASU #BlackLivesMatter Installation

In the week after protests erupted in Baltimore, the AASU and friends, with funding from Dean Laura Snowden’s office, erected an installation to commemorate 100 of the 500+ reported murders by police from Michael Brown to Freddie Gray. The installation aimed to bring more awareness about events on the ground to a school whose students can and should play an important role in changing American landscapes of injustice.

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Special thanks to the AASU and Friends, including Laura Snowden, Dana McKinney, Cara Michell, Megan Echols, Broderick Spencer,  Katherine Curiel, Lindsay Woodson, Leo Miller, Shani Carter,  John McCartin, Tamara Jafar, Verose Smith, Marcus Mello, Sam LaTronica, Warren Hagist, Paul Lillehaugen, Adam Tanaka, and Farhad Mirza for helping to make this installation possible.