The development of Harvard campus in Allston is an incredible opportunity because it raises the question “What is the university of the future?” How is the formation of this new place also part of rethinking the concept of the university because we are not simply adding space, we are also using that to rethink how we relate to each other institutionally. That is a very interesting phenomenon.This is an interesting question, and I'm not sure I ever heard it asked or answered by the Harvard planners and architects during all the meetings about the Science Complex.
We could also rethink how the institution relates to its neighbors, but the we heard more during those meetings about re-creating the Harvard Yard and the tradition of institutional buildings surrounding an institutional courtyard, than any new or interesting.
The whole scenario is very exciting. All of the things that you have said would not have been on the agenda only two or three years ago for the known reasons. Have you been involved in the Allston expansion as an advisor?Experimental? Radical? I wonder what he has in mind.
I am involved as a dean, with the other deans, but we ourselves have also been involved quite directly at a number of levels with the designers, giving them feedback about their design. One of the interesting possibilities for Allston is whether there could not be some things that are long-term master planning issues and some things that are shorter-term interventions, that are part of a more temporary, more experimental approach. Sometimes with those temporary things, you can afford to do more radical interventions.