Will and Nan Clarkson Visiting Chair

the clarksons

Will and Nan Clarkson

For more than 25 years, Will and Nan Clarkson have generously supported the Clarkson Chair program, which invites distinguished scholars and professionals to campus for lectures and seminars that engage students, faculty, practitioners and members of the public in knowledge-sharing, scholarship and debate on critical issues in architecture, planning and design. 

The Clarkson Visiting Chair is an endowed visiting position awarded semiannually to a distinguished scholar or professional in the disciplines of architecture, planning and design. This award is in recognition of excellence in the pursuit of scholarship and professional application within these disciplines.

9/3/18
Will Clarkson was many things - a businessman, a teacher and mentor, a community leader, a philanthropist. He was also one of best friends the School of Architecture and Planning has ever had. He died May 1, 2018, at the age of 91. 

Clarkson Chair in Architecture (fall 2018)

Rahul Mehrotra

Rahul Mehrotra

Rahul Mehrotra studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad graduated with a Master’s Degree in Urban Design with distinction from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard (1987). Apart from his engagement with the design of buildings, Mehrotra has been actively involved in civic and urban affairs in Mumbai, having served on commissions for historic preservation and environmental issues, with various neighborhood groups. He was the Executive Director (1994–2004) of the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), where he is now a Trustee and has taught at the University of Michigan (2003–2007) and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT (2007–2010).

Mehrotra has written and lectured extensively on issues to do with architecture, conservation and urban planning in Mumbai and India. His writings include coauthoring Bombay—The Cities Within, which covers the city’s urban history from the 1600s to the present; Conserving an Image Center—The Fort Precinct in Bombay, which was a seminal study, and based on this study and its recommendations the historic Fort area in Mumbai was declared a conservation precinct in 1995—the first such designation in India. In 2000, he edited a book for the UIA that earmarks the end of the century and is titled The Architecture of the 20th Century in the South Asian Region. Mehrotra has also edited the first of the three books that document the 2004 Michigan Debates on Urbanism, and in 2011 wrote Architecture in India – Since 1990, which is a reading of contemporary Indian architecture.

Clarkson Chair in Planning (spring 2018)

Ann Forsyth

Ann Forsyth

We are pleased to welcome Ann Forsyth as the 2018 Will and Nan Clarkson Chair in Planning. Trained as an architect and planner, Ann Forsyth explores the social aspects of physical planning and urban development and has analyzed the success of planned alternatives to sprawl. In particular, her work addresses the tensions between social and ecological values in urban design.

Trained in planning and architecture, Ann Forsyth works mainly on the social aspects of physical planning and urban development. The big issue behind her research and practice is how to make more sustainable and healthy cities. Forsyth's contributions have been to analyze the success of planned alternatives to sprawl, particularly exploring the tensions between social and ecological values in urban design.

Forsyth is also a reflective practitioner/theorist and has created several new ways of understanding social and intellectual diversity in planning and design. Her education includes a B.Sc. in architecture from the University of Sydney, M.A. in urban planning from UCLA, and Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell.

At Harvard Forsyth is  a Senior Faculty Fellow at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, an affiliated Faculty Member, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, a Faculty Associate at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and a Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Previous Clarkson Chairs in Architecture

  • Shohei Shigematsu
  • Alberto Campo Baeza
  • Eve Blau
  • Frank Barkow
  • Guy Nordenson
  • Anne Lacaton
  • Antoine Picon
  • Teddy Cruz
  • Yve-Alain Bois
  • Joan Ockman
  • Michele Addington 
  • Kenneth Frampton
  • Anthony Vidler
  • Glenn Murcutt
  • Peter Zumthor
  • Lars Lerup
  • Mark Wigley
  • Sanford Kwinter
  • K. Michael Hayes
  • Daniel Hoffman
  • M. Christine Boyer
  • Alberto Pérez-Gómez
  • Marco Frascari

Previous Clarkson Chairs in Planning

  • john powell
  • Todd Swanstrom
  • Emily Talen
  • Lewis Hopkins
  • Edward Blakely
  • Thomas Daniels
  • Philip Berke
  • Donald Shoup
  • Michael Teitz
  • Michael Greenberg
  • Michael Batty
  • Lawrence Frank
  • Peter Dreier
  • Michael Kwartler
  • Gerrit-Jan Knaap
  • Alan Artibise
  • Andrew Isserman
  • Michael Storper
  • Robert Yaro
  • Patsy Healey
  • John Forester