In early 2008, President Faust assembled the Steering Committee on Common Spaces and charged the group with guiding a planning initiative that would lead to the transformation of certain physical spaces so they support and enhance our sense of engagement and community with a goal to provide spaces that draw people together for work or pleasure in a spontaneous and informal way.

The committee's feasibility study explored ways to develop campus gathering places, program the spaces, complement existing activities, encourage people to meet and linger, and ensure that improvements were accessible, visible, and memorable. A number of key opportunities from the study were developed to create a more welcoming and integrated campus including the introduction of the Luxembourg Garden chairs in Harvard Yard in 2009, a seating and shade structure at Dudley House, The Porch at Memorial Church, and the Plaza in 2013.

The Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center opened in the fall of 2018 as a dynamic center of University life, enabling the greater Harvard community to come together in new exciting ways.

Common Spaces oversees these spaces, programming events with partners from across the University, and facilitating activities that foster connection, nourish a sense of place, and inspire new encounters.


Steering Committee on Common Spaces, 2008-2010

Lizabeth Cohen (Co-Chair) Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies
Mohsen Mostafavi (Co-Chair) Dean of the Graduate School of Design and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design
Homi Bhabha Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Director of the Humanities Center, Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost at Harvard University
Allan Brandt Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of the History of Science
William Fitzsimmons Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Harvard College
Andrea R. Flores* Undergraduate Representative, Currier House, Class of 2010
Gerald Frug Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Howard Georgi Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Harvard College; Master of Leverett House
Brian Goldstein* GSAS Representative
Evelynn Hammonds Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard College
Jerold Kayden Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Graduate School of Design
Alex Krieger Professor in Practice of Urban Design, Graduate School of Design
Michele Lamont Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Silvia Lizarraga* Graduate Student Representative
Jason McCoy* 2008-2009 Fellow for Campus Life
Jackie O’Neill University Marshall
Robert Scalise John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Brett Sweet* Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Pallas Snider* Undergraduate Representative, Leverett/Dunster, Class of 2010
Diana Sorensen James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Peter Tufano* Former Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Financial Management, Harvard Business School
Clayton Spencer* (ex officio) Vice President for Policy
Sally Zeckhauser* (ex officio) Vice President for Administratoin
Tanya Iatridis (Project Director)  Senior Director of University Planning

*No longer at Harvard University