Women in Design





re-imagining the intersection between identity and design. We hope that this event can be the start of a wide-spread dialogue about the importance of identity-based discourse in the practice and pedagogy of design of the built environment.

This convergence marks the formation of a regional network of equity-focused design student groups. We have a chance to grow and merge the many individual conversations happening in our departments and in our schools. The SAM list did not tell us anything we did not already know; however, it did spark broad conversation where there had been uneasy silence. We must not return to that silence. We must engage in a collective restructuring of the design disciplines and actively question the nature of design work and how that work intersects with gender and other personal identities.

We reject the notion of ‘objective’ design. We must embrace a diverse spectrum of identities and acknowledge systemic practices of privileging or disadvantaging communities. Critically engaging with our own identities and the way we can or cannot move through the world is a fundamental part of any practice, especially design.

Among the things we learn in design school is how to engage in a design practice—how to think and produce design. The conditions in which we learn become the conditions we practice and reproduce. This is one reason why we must so urgently work to transform the culture of design education.

The intention of the Convergence is to engage in the work of this transformation, acknowledging our shared participation in the existing culture, and agreeing that this must be a collective effort.



Diane E. Davis, Chair of Harvard GSD Urban Planning and Design, supporting this initiative
on behalf and for the benefit of faculty and students in our department and beyond.
Harvard GSD Department of Architecture
Harvard GSD Department of Landscape Architecture
Harvard GSD Development and Alumni Relations Office
Harvard GSD Human Resources Office
Harvard GSD Master in Design Studies Program
Harvard GSD Office of Faculty Affairs
Harvard GSD Office of Student Services
Harvard GSD Office of the Dean
Harvard GSD Urban Planning Program
Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies
Jaya Kader, AIA, LEED AP, Founding Principal KZ Architecture
Rhode Island School of Design NOMAS
Women’s Leadership Initiative – Robert. A.M. Stern Architects


supporters / participants

Student groups at the following schools have signed our mission statement in solidarity with the goals of the Convergence:

Boston Architectural College
City College New York
Columbia University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Northeastern University
Parsons School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design
Tufts University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Yale University



We would like to acknowledge and thank the many collaborators who traveled to the GSD to participate in the Convergence.
These organizations will be giving short presentations on their work:

Architecture Lobby
Columbia University GSAPPXX
Georgia Institute of Technology Women in Architecture
Harvard University GSD AASU
Harvard University GSD Womxn in Design
Harvard University GSD LatinGSD
Madame Architect
Massachusetts Institute of Technology NOMAS
Rhode Island School of Design NOMAS
University of Pennsylvania PennDesign Women in Design
University of Virginia MANIFESTA
Yale School of Architecture Equality in Design



Program Design: Edward Wang, Tessa Crespo, and Sinan Goral
Website Design: Fiona Kenney