It is a year unlike any other: a year of intense learning and challenges; a unique time to explore new ways of thinking and challenge assumptions.
Fellows audit courses at Harvard or MIT, use the library systems, and partake in a dizzying array of lectures, symposia, conferences, and exhibitions. In addition fellows sometimes create their own symposia or exhibitions, or pursue other activities they believe will advance their professional growth. Fellows attend weekly forums and dinners, and build a community of fellowship that can last a lifetime.
There are very few requirements; Fellows create schedules based on their goals for their Fellowship year.
Fellows must agree to step away from any significant roles with their employers and other employment responsibilities; to refrain from professional work during the fellowship year, except as approved by the Loeb curator; and to audit a minimum of one course at the GSD per semester. Fellows also must remain in residence in the Cambridge area while classes are in session and participate in all Fellowship programs, most notably weekly forums and trips.
The Work Plan
Each fellow develops an individual work plan with input from program leadership, which is updated periodically. At the end of the year a summary of the results of the plan is included in the final program report.
Fellows are expected to audit at least one course at the GSD each semester and may take additional courses that advance their work plan goals. Fellows may audit courses at Harvard College, any of the 11 Harvard graduate schools, and MIT. Fellows may not take courses for academic credit and may not be enrolled in a degree program.
The weekly seminars, jointly organized by program leaders and the Fellows, are a time to debate ideas and share work. Fellows may organize additional seminars open to the GSD community and the public on subjects of interest, often bringing outside colleagues to the school to discuss and present innovative projects and ideas.
Following longstanding tradition, the class hosts a weekly or biweekly dinner with an invited guest from the professional or academic community. These are opportunities for lively conversation and a deeper examination of the guest’s work and thinking.
Each year fellows participate in two study tours. During the fall semester a study tour to a destination in continental North America typically is organized by Loeb alumni. Site visits, workshops and discussions with local leaders provide an intensive “Loeb’s eye view” of a place. In 2022, we made a shift to online, taking the opportunity to go global and undertake an ambitious itinerary of 4 cities: London, Amsterdam, Rio de Janiero, and Mexico City. Take the tours and follow the discussions.
In the spring the class embarks on an international study tour to exchange ideas with professionals and leaders in other countries. The Loebs typically travel with a GSD studio and engage with the students in that studio throughout the semester.
Photo: Beth Miller
Engagement at the GSD
One of the most rewarding aspects of the Loeb year is engaging with students: collaborating, critiquing, sharing unique experiences and passions, and participating in student life. Fellows participate in reviews for studio courses and engage students in projects that reflect their interests. Fellows often use the GSD’s January Term as an opportunity to test ideas and share expertise with the GSD community by offering J-Term courses ranging from brief workshops to weeklong courses. Loebs have also led exhibits, symposia, and installations and have opened their networks to provide unique opportunities for the academic community.
The Lifelong Fellowship
The Loeb Fellowship is a lifelong connection. When a fellow completes the Fellowship year, he or she joins over 450 alumni in an unparalleled worldwide network of professional colleagues. Fellows are alumni of the Graduate School of Design as well as the Loeb Fellowship and are invited to participate in the GSD alumni community and events.