Faculty from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) lead and provide core instruction in the MDE program. Additional instructors and guest critics are routinely incorporated into MDE courses to provide area expertise and experience from professional practice.

  • SCI6463 project review by Martin Bechthold
  • Sawako Kaijima reviews student work
  • Joanna Aizenberg in lab
  • Studio review by Heather Boesch
  • Fawwaz Habbal in studio review

Program Co-Directors


Martin BechtholdMartin Bechthold

Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology, GSD

Martin's research, related publications, and teaching focus on innovative material systems, structural design, and robotic fabrication. Recent projects have developed structural applications for architectural ceramics and have advanced multi-material 3D printing technology. Martin's research broadly looks at material and fabrication technology as a catalyst of innovation for design practice. In 2010, he founded the GSD’s Design Robotics Group, which merged it into the Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) Group.

Joanna Profile PhotoJoanna Aizenberg 

Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Material Science; Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, SEAS

Joanna is a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University. She pursues a broad range of research interests that include biomineralization, biomimetics, self-assembly, crystal engineering, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, biomaterials, biomechanics, and biooptics. She is a pioneer of the rapidly developing field of biomimetic inorganic materials synthesis, and oversees the Biomineralization and Biomimetics Lab.

Program Faculty 

Kipp BradfordKipp Bradford

Preceptor in Engineering Sciences, SEAS; Chief Technology Officer, Gradient

Kipp is an entrepreneur, technology consultant, and educator with a passion for making things. He is the founder or cofounder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices—including Revolution By Design, Inc, a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to empowerment through technology, as well as the Bionica Corporation, where he led the research, development, and intellectual property work for a novel hearing-aid system as CTO. He holds numerous patents for his inventions, and some of his more interesting projects have turned into kippkitts.

Elizabeth Bowie ChristoforettiElizabeth Bowie Christoforetti

Assistant Professor in Practice of Architecture, GSD; Founding Principal, Supernormal

Elizabeth is founding principal at Supernormal, an architecture, urban design, and research practice focused on the design of form and processes that balance contextual relevance with the contemporary imperative to scale beyond a single instance, and to reach more people and urban places. Her research on urban form, spatial analysis, and process design explores the deep cultural, typological, and process-based implications of scalable urban systems in the real world.

Luba GreenwoodLuba Greenwood

Visiting Lecturer in Engineering Sciences, SEAS; CEO at Kojin Therapeutics

Luba is an investor and company builder in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and digital health space. Luba has led Strategic Business Development and Corporate Ventures at Google Life Sciences, an Alphabet company at the intersection of technology and healthcare. She has held leadership roles at Roche and Pfizer and serves on the boards of MassBio and numerous biotechnology and tech companies. A former lawyer at WilmerHale, Luba currently advises the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Wyss Center For Bio And Neuroengineering.

Jonathan GrinhamJonathan Grinham

Lecturer in Architecture and Senior Research Associate, GSD

Jonathan's research asks how the design of conventional and emerging material technologies combats climate change through the draw-down of operational and embodied carbon emissions in buildings and society. This question has sparked the development of novel technologies, publications, and patents that address low-carbon building solutions. Highlighted research includes translating emerging technologies from the sciences to thin-film cooling systems and nano-scale thermal tuning for evaporative cooling in buildings.


Fawwaz HabbalFawwaz Habbal

Executive Dean for Education and Research, SEAS

Prior to Harvard, Fawwaz was the Corporate Vice President responsible for research and product design at Polaroid Corporation, and also served as a Senior Research and Engineering Fellow.  At Polaroid, he led teams that created over 20 products per year, and after leaving Polaroid, he initiated three start-ups related to imaging electronics.  His current research interests include semiconductors and nanophotonics, and he is interested in a holistic engineering education that integrates multi-disciplinary learning, practical reasoning, and integrative thinking.

Jock HerronJock Herron 

Design Critic in Design Engineering, GSD

Jock is an instructor focused on food systems and health. He co-led the Smart Cities and Wellness project sponsored by the Humana Corporation and the Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab at the GSD. He has served on the Steering Committee of the Worcester County Food Hub Initiative, and was an early supporter of a rotational grazing business in Central Massachusetts. Co-manager of family farms in southern Ohio (grains, gravel, lumber, solar) and a former chairman of the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research, he has a longstanding view that food systems are at the nexus of population and habitat health.

Julia LeeJulia C Lee

Executive Director for Education and Research, SEAS
Executive Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia, Peru

Julia’s efforts at the Universidad de Ingenieria y Tecnologia have focused on designing an undergraduate curriculum that integrates science and technology with the humanities and business-management tools. Her research within the Harvard astronomy department (2005-2014) focused on plasma in extreme conditions, and she has served on numerous advisory and working group committees to inform science and instrument needs. Over the past years, she has focused most of her efforts on education and advance learning.  She also has great interest in the art-science connection.

Allen SayeghAllen Sayegh

Associate Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology, GSD; President and Co-Founder, Invivia

Allen Sayegh is an architect, designer, an educator and the principal of INVIVIA – an award winning global design firm. He is an Associate Professor in Practice at Harvard GSD and the director of REAL, the Responsive Environment and Artifacts Lab. His academic research and professional practice span a period of two decades working on projects of varied scales, and he has taught at different institutions and has worked on many different projects  throughout the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His work is characterized as the synthesis of architecture, digital art, and design.

Mary TolikasMary Tolikas

Lecturer on Engineering Sciences, SEAS; Chief Executive Officer, Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering

As an engineer, Mary has designed and built products for a number of diverse industries, such as automotive, IT, medical, and aerospace. Mary joined the Wyss Center as Chief Executive Officer in June 2019. She was previously instrumental in the launching and growth of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University where she spent almost ten years in the leadership team as Operations Director.

James WeaverJames Weaver

Senior Scientist, SEAS

Dr. James C. Weaver received his bachelor's degree in aquatic biology and Ph.D. in marine science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and went on to pursue postdoctoral studies in molecular biology, chemical engineering, physics, and earth history. Working at the interface between zoology, materials science, biomedical engineering, and multi-material 3D printing, his main research interests focus on investigating structure function relationships in hierarchically ordered biological composites and the fabrication of their synthetic analogs.

Andrew WittAndrew Witt

Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture, GSD; Co-Founder, Certain Measures

Andrew’s teaching and research focus on the relationship of geometry and machines to perception, design, assembly, and culture. Trained as both an architect and mathematician, he is the co-founder (with Tobias Nolte) of Certain Measures, a Boston/Berlin-based design futures and technology incubator. He has experience with large-scale construction automation, fabrication machine development, and commercial software development, including web-based 3D concurrent design systems, urban simulation of autonomous mobility systems, and history of technology and science in design.

Siqi ZhuSiqi Zhu

Preceptor in Engineering Sciences, SEAS; Director, Planning & Delivery, Google Sidewalk Labs

Siqi is Director of Planning & Delivery for Sidewalk Labs, where his work imagines how technology transforms the design and implementation of urban streets and public realm. Before Sidewalk, Siqi headed up product design at Envelope, a NYC-based startup that visualizes development opportunities under NYC zoning. Siqi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University GSD, and has led research projects at MIT Senseable City Lab.


Affiliated Faculty


Diane Davis Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism,  GSD
Trained as a sociologist, Diane's research interests include the relations between urbanization and national development, comparative urban governance, socio-spatial practice in conflict cities, and new territorial manifestations of sovereignty. Her research initiatives include a project funded by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF), which focused on the role of political leadership in transforming urban transport, and a project funded by Mexico’s national workers’ housing agency (INFONAVIT).

Jill Desimini Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, GSD
Jill is trained in landscape architecture and architecture, and has practiced professionally in both fields. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at the GSD, she taught in the second term core studio of the MLA Program at the GSD and at Northeastern University's School of Architecture. She was formerly Senior Associate at Stoss Landscape Urbanism, where she managed the firm's efforts on the Lower Don Lands in Toronto, the Bass River Park on Cape Cod, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Krzysztof Z Gajos – Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, SEAS 
In July of 2009, Krzysztof joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in Computer Science. His research interests are in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and applied machine learning. The phrase "intelligent interactive systems" describes many of Gajos's interests: understanding how intelligent technologies can enable novel ways of interacting with computation, and in the new challenges that human abilities, limitations, and preferences create for machine learning algorithms embedded in interactive systems.

Chuck Hoberman Pierce Anderson Lecturer in Design Engineering, GSD 
Chuck has an extensive background in design and the manufacturing of transformable structures with demonstrated use as consumer products, deployable shelters, stage sets, and architectural facades. Wider intellectual interests include the process of invention, design automation methods, transformable systems in nature, and creative synergies between the arts and sciences.

Hanif Kara – Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology, GSD 
Hanif is a design-led structural engineer with particular expertise in complex structures, advanced analysis tools, innovative forms, and materials for building structures. His numerous publications include Design Engineering, 2008, Actar. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK Institution of Structural Engineers, and of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and winner of many design awards, including the UK Sterling Prize in 2000 and 2012.

Ali Malkawi – Professor of Architectural Technology, GSD
Ali is the Founding Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, and teaches and conducts research in the areas of computational simulation, building performance evaluation, decision support systems, and advanced visualization. He received a PhD in Architectural Technology and Artificial Intelligence from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master in Architecture degree from the University of Colorado, and a BS in Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design from Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Kevin Kit Parker – Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics, SEAS
Kit is a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and Technology at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and has an extensive technical background in biological systems, medical devices, and bio-inspired design. He has over 20 years of experience as an officer in the United States Army, with extensive experience in combat operations, training, and the adaptation of novel technologies to and from the battlefield.

Antoine Picon – G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology Director of Research, GSD 
Antoine teaches courses in the history and theory of architecture and technology. Trained as an engineer, architect, and historian, he works on the history of architectural and urban technologies from the eighteenth century to the present. His most recent books offer a comprehensive overview of the changes brought by the computer and digital culture to the theory and practice of architecture, as well as to the planning and experience of the city.

Robert Pietrusko – Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, GSD 
Robert's teaching and research focus on geospatial representation, simulation, narrative + critical cartography, and spatial taxonomies. Pietrusko is also a co-founder of the metaLAB(at)Harvard, where he develops data-rich tools and environments for the communication of scholarly work. His design work has been exhibited at the MoMA, SFMOMA, The Foundation Cartier, and the Venice Architecture Biennale, among others, and has been featured in Metropolis, Architectural Record, and Domus.

Holly Samuelson – Assistant Professor of Architecture, GSD
Holly teaches architectural technology courses, specializing in the energy and environmental performance of buildings. Her research focuses on energy conservation, computerized simulation, occupant behavior, and the future of building practice as it relates to these topics. Prior to joining Harvard, Samuelson practiced full-time as an architect (2000-2007) and sustainable design consultant (2007-2008). As a licensed architect, her collaborative work has been recognized for design and ecological excellence.

Pia Sörensen Senior Preceptor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Materials, SEAS 
Pia co-teaches and manages the General Education course "Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science." Her research interests range from science and engineering education — with an emphasis on online education and creative ways of teaching science and engineering in a liberal arts setting — to chemical biology, stemming from her doctoral work on small molecule natural products and their effects on cell division and other cellular processes.

Joost Vlassak – Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Materials Engineering, SEAS
Joost has an intellectual interest in the mechanical and thermal behavior of a broad range of engineering materials, with a focus on experimental techniques. Recent projects include degradation of electrodes in lithium ion batteries, development of structural and functional hydrogels, and combinatorial techniques for the development of complex materials systems, including metallic glasses, ultra-high temperature ceramic coatings, and high-temperature shape memory alloys.

David WeitzMallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, SEAS
Weitz and his group study the physics of soft condensed matter, materials easily deformed by external stresses, electric, magnetic or gravitational fields, and even thermal fluctuations. Weitz and his group also have extensive interactions with industry, with some of their work motivated by the science that directly addresses technologically important problems.  In addition, some research in the group has led to promising new technologies, and several start-up companies have emerged from the research. 

Rob Wood – Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, SEAS 
Rob is a founding, core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He is founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, which focuses on mechanics, materials, manufacturing, and design for novel small-scale, biologically-inspired, and soft-bodied robots.

Woodward Yang - Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, SEAS, and HBS University Fellow, Woodward Yang has extensive technical background in microelectronic systems and semiconductor manufacturing, and wider intellectual interests, including technology transfer, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, innovation, and engineering design. His innovative and pioneering research results were highly recognized through the prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator and Army Young Investigator awards and as IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.  Dr. Yang was also the founder and CEO of a DRAM design company for many years in Korea and Taiwan, which designed and manufactured special purpose memory products.