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Louise Harpman is a founding partner in the architecture and urban design firm Specht Harpman. 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 and is frequently listed 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. Harpman has been a full-time Gallatin faculty member since 2010, and is an associated faculty member in the Department of Environmental Studies and at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her teaching career began in 1995 and she has taught at the Yale School of Architecture, the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. 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 and Data Visualization. She teaches a graduate course in urban design at the Wagner School. With Gallatin professors Peder Anker and Mitchell Joachim, she is an author of Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned (Prestel, 2014), a showcase of design research as it relates to visionary architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and ecological planning. With Evan Supcoff, she is the co-editor of Perspecta 30: Settlement Patterns (MIT Press, 1999); and has authored many academic and popular articles.
A.B. East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987 M.Phil. Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 1988 M.Arch. Architecture, Yale University, 1993
An exhibition at the Goethe-Institut, "Weltstadt: Who Creates the City?" ran from October 2-9, 2014, 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.