Urbanist Michiel van Iersel received a fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
Earlier this year, the Harvard Graduate School of Design selected Michiel van Iersel as Loeb Fellow, a year-long research position at the Graduate School. This position started this August, and Michiel gave his introductory speech on September 11th. This blog will keep you up to date with all of Michiel’s events during his time as a Fellow.
Each year the Fellowship selects a group of exceptional mid-career practitioners who influence the shaping of the built and natural environment, for a year of independent study at Harvard University.
The fellows receive financial support and virtually unlimited access to the educational resources of Harvard and MIT. Representing a broad spectrum of expertise–architects, public artists, urban planners, journalists, landscape architects, civic leaders, policy makers–they come from around the world with a common purpose: to strengthen their ability to advance positive social outcomes and support a more equitable collective future. After stepping away from their professional lives for a transformative year of learning in residence, they join a powerful worldwide network of over 450 lifelong Loeb fellows.
Michiel van Iersel works as an independent urbanist, curator, writer and teacher at the intersection of the arts, architecture, (urban) design, and heritage to support cities and places that are socially inclusive and sustainable.
He cofounded Non-fiction, an Amsterdam-based collective interested in the creation of public values and engagement through artistic means and new rituals. The collective’s exhibitions and publications, research, projects, and events bring people and ideas closer together around such diverse topics as the future of heritage and the Post-Fossil City.
Van Iersel is a tutor at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy/Sandberg Institute and research fellow at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. He co-founded De Verdieping, a temporary project space for experimental culture, and the ongoing research project Failed Architecture, about architectural and urban failures around the world. He was curator of the 2016 International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and recently co-curated Places of Hope, an exhibition for Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018.
The lecture will take place in the framework of the course: Spaces of Solidarity. The course aims at examining community-driven spaces and spatial processes that pool and share resources to build social cohesion in times of crisis or absence of government, at a variety of scales, places, and contexts. It also attempts to explore environments of community formation and open up a dialogue on the agency of design in enacting and facilitating actions of solidarity.