Design Arts and Architecture
At the beginning of the academic year 1997–98, the Department of Architecture, under the auspices of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, launched the Design Arts Initiative, intending to broaden our academic involvement with the allied arts—such as industrial and product design, interior design, graphic design, and the decorative arts—that are not part of the School’s curriculum and programs that, since its foundation more than half a century ago, have canonized the alliances between architecture, physical planning, urbanism, and landscape architecture. We aim to respond, on the one hand, to our obligation to comply with the ample intellectual mission of the School and its traditions, and on the other, to the new territory that professional practice, the market, industry, art and popular culture have been remapping in the last decades and that inevitably has challenged from the outside some of the ideological, methodological, and theoretical boundaries that defined the field of action of architectural education. We celebrate the closing of this year of the Design Arts at Harvard with this special issue of the Harvard Design Magazine.
— Jorge S. Silvetti, guest editor (excerpted from the introduction)