Four Native Americans make history at the GSD

Monday, June 1, 2020 - 15:50 in Mathematics & Economics

For the first time in its history, Harvard Graduate School of Design (HGSD) has four Native American students enrolled. Design and architecture schools across the country have historically had few Native students, with no more than a handful at a particular school at any given time. And out of over 90,000 working architects in this country, only a small percentage are Native American, notes GSD student Elsa Hoover. (A 2015 American Institute of Architects diversity report listed American Indian or Alaska native at 1 percent, based on survey responses.) Hoover, Zoë Toledo, Heidi Brandow, and Jaz Bonnin are the four at Harvard, and together they have formed the Harvard Indigenous Design Collective, to address some of the architectural issues that are unique to Native American communities. These GSD students are all here for their own personal reasons, but they share a racial and cultural bond that informs their design goals and aspirations. ...

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