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March 5, 2019
Talking Practice: Gary Hilderbrand
In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La interviews Gary Hilderbrand, founding principal and partner at Reed Hilderbrand, and Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the GSD. Discussing his deep engagement with living systems, Gary describes the intrinsic properties of landscape architecture that differentiate it from the other design disciplines, and the significance of treating temporality as a medium for design. Commenting on the trajectory of landscape urbanism, he highlights the ways in which new modes of representation have impacted the scope and capacity of landscape architecture to imagine larger systems, and to engage with pressing problems of equity and climate change. Gary also reflects on the organization of his own firm as a cultural practice, its benchmarks, periods of stability, and growth, as well as the need for flexibility within the practice of negotiated boundaries. Gary asserts the importance of trust in practice and the ways in which the pressing questions found in practice inform his efforts in the academy. For more information about Gary’s work with landscape urbanism and living systems, check out his Fall 2018 option studio, Now Arriving: A Manhattan Transit Landscape. Gary Hilderbrand is the founding principal and partner of Reed Hilderbrand, and the Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the GSD.  As a practitioner, academic, and writer, Gary works at the confluence of landscape architecture, infrastructural design, and sustainable urbanism. His projects range from university campus design, to the intimate landscapes of residences, and to the prominent landscape renewal and design for major cultural institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Clark Art Institute, as well as the Harvard Business School, the sculpture park at the Storm King Art Center, and the expansion of the Boston Public Library. Gary is the recipient of the 2017 ASLA Design Medal, and is currently teaching a studio at the GSD entitled “Now Arriving: A Manhattan Transit Landscape,” which focuses on the redesign of New York City’s Penn Station. About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Jihyun Ro and John Wang.  The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jerry MacDonald. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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42 min
October 30, 2018
Talking Practice: Anna Heringer
In this episode, Anna Heringer, founder and principal of Anna Heringer Architects, and honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development reflects on her days as a scout during her youth and discusses her commitment to rural development and mud/bamboo as raw materials, outlining both the practical and poetic aspects of building mud architecture. Stating the importance of manual work and intuitive learning, she highlights the benefits of working with local communities in Bangladesh in projects such as the METI School, and the challenges of refining and elevating mud architecture through public outreach. By embracing the vulnerability of mud as a material, Heringer asserts her belief in the necessity of local and culturally-sensitive projects in the face of architecture that is increasingly flattened by the forces of globalization. Heringer presents an inside glimpse into the kinds of techniques and strategies that are necessary to implement her philosophical values within the profession, as well as managing doubt in the face of adversity. For more information about Anna’s humanitarian outlook and work with mud architecture, check out her Fall 2018 options studio and lecture at the GSD. Anna Heringer is the founder and principal of Anna Heringer architects, based in Laufen, Germany, and is the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.  As UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development, Anna is known internationally for her mud and bamboo projects and humanitarian architecture, with projects in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Anna is currently the Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and teaches an options studio on a day care center for Rohingya children in Bangladesh. About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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38 min
September 24, 2018
Talking Practice: Shohei Shigematsu
In this episode, Talking Practice host Grace La interviews Shohei Shigematsu, partner at Office of Metropolitan Architects (OMA) and head of the New York office. Tracing his career from the suburbs of Japan to OMA’s Rotterdam headquarters in 1998, and his later transition to partner at the firm’s New York office in 2006, Shigematsu discusses the evolving ethos of practice at OMA, and what it means specifically to lead OMA New York. With OMA currently maintaining multiple international branches, Shigematsu outlines the independent architectural and social agenda for OMA New York. He also addresses questions of collaboration within the firm, his dream projects, opinions on AMO (OMA’s research division), architectural “turbulence,” and OMA progenies such as Bjarke Ingels (BIG Architects). Shigematsu provides an inside glimpse into the management structure of this influential architecture practice and considers what happens next for OMA, the New York office, and architectural thinking in the profession.  For more of his thoughts on practice, watch the roundtable discussion, "Emergence of a Modern Practice," from the 2017 symposium "Rethinking Pei."     Shohei Shigematsu is a partner at the Office of Metropolitan Architects since 2008, and the head of OMA’s New York branch, leading several projects across North America including Milstein Hall, in Cornell, Ithaca, the Faena Forum in Miami Beach, the Quebec National Beaux Arts Museum in Canada, and the Costume Institute Exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His current projects include, among others, the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, a Facebook campus masterplan in Menlo Park, and a new addition to the New Museum in New York City. About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Julia Roberts. Practice Platform Support is provided by Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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46 min
September 22, 2018
Talking Practice: Paul Nakazawa
In this episode, Talking Practice host Grace La interviews Paul Nakazawa, Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, whose career as a consultant includes managing several international design practices in the fields of strategy and business development. Having taught practice classes for over twenty years, Nakazawa shares his belief in the importance of fostering personal relationships and a collaborative attitude during the course of a designer’s education, and the necessity of adapting to a changing cultural enterprise as we consider the future of architecture and design. With cities increasingly adapting to parametric operations as the driver of real estate development, Nakazawa discusses the tension between humanism and the algorithm, and what kinds of techniques design practices must employ to survive—and thrive—in today’s changing landscape. Nakazawa reflects on the role of mentorship in architecture and reflects on his own experience mentoring leaders across the design professions, highlighting the value of social capital that lies at the heart of practice. For more information about Nakazawa’s work and teaching, check out his latest course, “Elements of the Urban Stack.”     Paul Nakazawa is Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he teaches Frameworks of Practice, the longest running professional practice class at the GSD. He currently serves as a Director and Vice Chairman of MASS Design Group, Boston, and as Chairman of Snøhetta, New York. Nakazawa's career spans four decades as an architect and 25 years as a practice strategy consultant to leading firms in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. He has lectured and taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles; Architectural Association, London; Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City; and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago (BA, MBA) and Harvard University (MArch). About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Julia Roberts. Practice Platform Support is provided by Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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41 min
September 21, 2018
Talking Practice: Jeanne Gang
In this episode, Talking Practice host Grace La interviews Jeanne Gang, founder and principal of Studio Gang, Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and 2011 MacArthur Fellow. Gang describes the beginnings of Studio Gang and her desire to differ from traditional modes of practice, stating the importance of a supportive work environment and describing the role of design management within her studio. With the aim of creating better social and environmental relationships through projects like the Montparnasse Tower in Paris and the extension to the American Museum of National History in New York City, she discusses the emphasis on tectonic culture in her architectural and urban projects, and the essential combination of technology, craft, and material for her design practice. Gang gives her thoughts on the future of practice, highlighting the importance of trans-disciplinary and non-traditional practices in architecture, the benefits of collaboration, and her belief in the power of public engagement as a design strategy. For more on about Gang's commitment to the environment and comments on practice, check out her Spring 2018 studio "After the Storm: Restructuring an Island Ecosystem" and her open house lecture, “Thinking Through Practice and Research.”     Jeanne Gang is founder and principal of Studio Gang, an architecture and urban design practice based in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, and a 2011 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. As one of the leading contemporary American architects, Jeanne’s projects include the Aqua Tower in Chicago, the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, and the Royal College of Art Battersea Campus in London. Jeanne is currently Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has most recently taught an options studio on post-hurricane restructuring in the Caribbean. About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Julia Roberts. Practice Platform Support is provided by Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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39 min
September 20, 2018
Talking Practice: Reinier de Graaf
In this episode, Talking Practice host Grace La interviews Reinier de Graaf, the longest non-founding partner at the Office of Metropolitan Architects and co-founder of AMO, the think tank of OMA. He describes in detail the role of AMO and its relationship with OMA, the desire for architecture to be an intellectual pursuit, and the method of approaching projects as conceptual vehicles. Illuminating the bottom-up hierarchy of OMA’s design process, de Graaf shares his thoughts on its studio culture and lack of a “signature” style. As both a designer and academic, de Graaf’s work spans multiple mediums. In this episode, he discusses his newest book, Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession and the option studio he taught at the GSD, “Phantom Urbanism.” De Graaf presents the facet of practice that engages with architectural discourse. Stating that he is a “product of the mainstream,” de Graaf argues for the necessity of architecture to become self-aware of its external forces in order to work more towards the contextual. For more information about de Graaf’s thoughts on architecture and urbanism, check out his 2018 lecture on "Phantom Urbanism." Reinier de Graaf  (1964, Schiedam, the Netherlands) is a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and writer. He is a partner in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where he leads projects in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. De Graaf is co-founder of OMA’s think tank AMO, has taught and lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is currently Sir Arthur Marshall Visiting Professor of Urban Design at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the book Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession, named best books of 2017 by both the Financial Times and the Guardian. About the Show Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today. About the Host Grace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites. Show Credits Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Julia Roberts. Practice Platform Support is provided by Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University's Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade. Contact For all inquiries, please email practicepodcast@gsd.harvard.edu.
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39 min
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