Designing a Multidisciplinary Future at the GSD
Bart Voorsanger MArch ’64 sees a future in which architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and design studies increasingly intermingle. To ensure that students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) are at the forefront of these intersections, Voorsanger established the Voorsanger Fellowship Fund through a trust designed to stimulate the connections between these design disciplines.
Voorsanger, the founding partner and principal of Voorsanger Architects PC in New York City, understands the value of connected multidisciplinary design. His firm works on projects ranging from small residential interiors to multimillion-dollar residential and institutional buildings, many of which involve collaborations within other design disciplines.
“The future of design is this absolute multidimensional world of integrating design disciplines. We’re all overlapping, and there are fewer barriers between them,” he says. “Harvard has an ambitious, kaleidoscopic mix of professional talent at the Graduate School of Design that will not only contribute to the quality of the students’ educational experience but will also sustain a level of excellence and reputation to assure the future of significant design contributions in the public realm.”
The Voorsanger Fellowship Fund will support four top-performing students, one from each of the GSD’s disciplines—architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and design studies—who hold “great promise for making a significant contribution to these fields.”
“I want to give the dean the capacity to identify four superb future professionals in these four areas of design and design scholarship and to enrich the experience for the fellows and the School,” says Voorsanger. “I want to give him or her the ability to assemble a team that will have a deep influence on those around them.”
Voorsanger believes that creating synergies and producing outcomes across disciplines is vital to the mission of the GSD. A stipulation of the fellowships is that the four Voorsanger Fellows come together annually to present to the GSD community in the connected fields of their study.
Voorsanger’s ultimate wish is that the fellows be able to focus on their passion for their work unhindered by concerns about student loan debt. “The GSD has continued to excel in both the art and practice of architecture, which are two very different things, keeping them in a state of colloidal excellence,” he says. “It’s really extraordinary, and I hope my gift will inspire other architects and those who love design to support the GSD and encourage the best to come to Harvard.”
Contact University Planned Giving to learn more about establishing trusts.