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Louise Harpman

Louise Harpman

Associate Professor of Practice
A.B. East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987
M.Phil. Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 1988
M.Arch. Architecture, Yale University, 1993

Louise Harpman is a founding partner in the architecture and urban design firm Specht Harpman | Architecture (http://www.spechtharpman.com). A small company with rigorous standards for modern design, the firm’s award-winning work includes commercial, institutional and residential projects, as well as custom furniture. Specht Harpman was recognized in Wallpaper * magazine’s Architects’ Directory as one of the “top 50 up and coming architectural practices from around the world.” The firm has received multiple Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and was named “Emerging Voices” by the Architectural League of New York. The firm's designs have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art, the Municipal Art Society, the Van Alen Institute, and in three solo gallery shows. Specht Harpman was named “Tastemakers” by House and Garden magazine and included as one of New York City’s “Top 100” architects by New York magazine. The firm’s solar-powered, off-the-grid modular house, zeroHouse, has won a number of design awards and has been published in over 40 international books and magazines. Louise Harpman maintains a commitment to teaching as well as practice. She taught at the Yale School of Architecture for eight years, where she was the Studio Coordinator for the hallmark Yale Building Project and the Chair of the Admissions Committee. She left Yale to become Associate Dean at the University of Texas at Austin, where she held the Harwell Hamilton Harris fellowship in architecture and served as the Director of the school's Professional Residency Program. While at Texas, she founded the DesignBuildTexas studio program, though which her students designed and built an affordable, energy-efficient house prototype, which was featured at the United States Green Building Conference and the AIA National Convention. At Gallatin, she teaches an advanced Architecture and Urban Design LAB course, an introductory design course called Good Design, and an arts workshop on Mapping. She teaches a graduate course in urban design at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, where she is an Associated Faculty member. She is the author of a number of academic and popular articles, the co-editor of Perspecta: Settlement Patterns (MIT Press, 1999) and the co-editor of Global Design (forthcoming from Prestel, 2014).


Professor Harpman, along with Peter Anker and Mitchell Joachim, published Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned (Prestel 2014), a showcase of design research as it relates to visionary architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and ecological planning.

An exhibition at the Goethe-Institut, "Weltstadt: Who Creates the City?" ran from October 2-9 and featured work from Peder Anker, Louise Harpman, and Mitchell Joachim. Materials were drawn from the Spring 2014 Conference, Cities and Citizenship, co-organized by Anker, Harpman, and Joachim along with Global Design NYU, the Goethe-Institut, and Parsons New School for Design.  

Her coffee lid collection was exhibited at the MMuseumm in New York, New York, in April 2015. In March 2015, she attended and delivered a paper at the Gallatin faculty symposium The Material Archive, held in Florence, Italy.

Professor Harpman’s architecture firm, Specht Harpman, received a 2014 Best of Houzz Award for Design from Houzz, a leading platform in home design and remodeling. In 2014, Specht Harpman was named as one of New York's top architects by New York Magazine.

She co-organized and served as the architectural consultant for the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy’s Retrofit Solutions Workshop in January 2014. Professor Harpman delivered the lecture “No Known Cure,” in conjunction with the show “Collective Invention: Photographs at Play,” The Morgan Library and Museum in April 2014.  


Contact Information

Louise Harpman

Associate Professor of Practice
1 Wash Pl, Room 607
(212) 992-6810
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Office Hours
Tuesday 2:30-4:30
Thursday 10:30-12:30


2015 Spring

Architecture and Urban Design Lab II
Tue 9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Fri 12:00 PM - 1:50 PM

2015 Fall

Good Design: Scale
Tue,Thu 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

2014 Fall

Good Design: Scale
Tue,Thu 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

2013 Spring

Architecture and Urban Design Lab I
Tue 9:30 AM - 12:15 PM

2013 Fall

Good Design: Scale
Tue,Thu 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Research and Teaching Interests

architecture, urban design, sustainability and mapping

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 998-7370