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Sunil Amrith, Kate Orff, and Damon Rich Awarded MacArthur Grants

10.11.17

Sunil Amrith

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Sunil Amrith

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family professor of South Asian studies and professor of history, has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (better known as the “genius grant”), a no-strings-attached award of $625,000 paid out over five years. The fellowship is awarded annually to 24 “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”; the recipients include academics, artists, activists, and others.

Amrith, who joined Harvard’s South Asian studies department in 2015, has written on the history of migration, colonialism, and the movement of ideas and institutions in South Asia. He is one of several recipients this year who work on global migration. He tweeted this morning: 

Two affiliates of the Graduate School of Design are members of the MacArthur class of 2017 as well. Landscape architect Kate Orff, M.L.A.’97, is honored for “Designing adaptive and resilient urban habitats and encouraging residents to be active stewards of the ecological systems underlying our built environment.” An associate professor at Columbia, she is the founder of and a partner at Scape, where she “focuses on retooling the practice of landscape architecture relative to uncertainty of climate change and fostering social life which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects.”

Designer and urban planner Damon Rich, a Loeb Fellow at the GSD in 2007, is recognized for “Creating vivid and witty strategies to design and build places that are more democratic and accountable to their residents.” He is co-founder of and a partner at Hector, an “urban design planning, & civic arts studio” that makes “make architecture, public spaces, plans, exhibitions & publications that use design to help things happen.”

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