Mohsen Mostafavi has announced that he will end his nearly 11-year tenure as dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) at the end of this academic year. Over the past decade, the Iranian-born architect and longtime educator—who has written and lectured about topics such as the ethics and ecology of urban life—has overseen a period of growth resulting in a 50 percent increase in the student body, a larger and more robust faculty, as well as the expansion of several degree programs, and new concentrations in energy and the environment, urbanism, and risk and resilience.
“In recent years we have...built on and expanded our collaborative ethos. These collaborations, whether between the School’s various departments and programs or with other parts of the university, have shaped new domains of knowledge that have promoted the role and value of design within the context of a research university and the wider world,” Mostafavi said in a statement. Among his accomplishments are the newly established Master in Design Engineering program with the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the joint degree program with the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.
Mostafavi’s retirement comes at the heels of GSD’s announcement that Gund Hall, its main architecture building, will be renovated and expanded by Herzog & de Meuron and Beyer Blinder Belle. “I am grateful to our campaign leadership and everyone involved for making it such a success. The launch of our plans for an addition to Gund Hall will complement our academic plans by providing extraordinary facilities for design creativity at the intersection of different fields at Harvard,” he said.
After a sabbatical, Mostafavi plans to return to GSD as a teacher and researcher.