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Harvard GSD students launch month-long Design Yard Sale for racial justice

Yard Sard

Harvard GSD students launch month-long Design Yard Sale for racial justice

(Courtesy Harvard GSD Design Yard Sale)

Because nothing says summer like an old-fashioned yard/tag/stoop/rummage sale, a group of students and alumni from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) has launched an online variation of the seasonal cash-raising enterprise in support of anti-racist causes. All net proceeds generated from the sale of creative works during the month-long inaugural Design Yard Sale will, per a press release, go toward “organizations engaged in dismantling the racism that has been designed into the built environment in the United States and abroad.” These beneficiaries include the Bail Project and nonprofit architecture and design justice practice Colloqate Design.

As for what exactly is up for grabs, the Design Yard Sale’s wide range of offerings include a number of student-designed works—some were created specifically for the sale and others were produced at Harvard GSD’s studios during the course of the academic year—including original prints, drawings, photography, sculptures, and furniture, as well as books, clothing, and other items. In addition to student-produced works, a number of established designers, artists and, architects—Billie Tsien, Jeanne Gang, Snarkitecture, Toshiko Mori, Oana Stanescu, Rachel Israela, and Jerome Byron to name just a few—have donated sale items as well.



Judging on early sales, rare and signed books are selling particularly fast.

In addition to fixed-price items, a number of rare and special Design Yard Sale offerings will be also available via online auction. These items include a Virgil Abloh x IKEA MARKERAD Chair that will be “illustrated on and signed by Virgil Abloh with the purchaser’s name;” an out-of-print, signed copy of African Modernism by Iwan Baan; an original painting by Sam Jacob; and a signed Gravitational Cutting Mat by Benjamin Edgar. Keep an eye out for bidding information on those items and more as new lots are announced every Friday through the end of the month.

“Design and architecture are what we’re good at,” said Yaxuan Liu, a third-year student at the Harvard GSD and one of the event’s organizers, in a statement. “But right now we need to get resources into the hands of activists and organizers on the front lines of the movement. Design Yard Sale lets us use our skills to make that happen.”

The student and alumni organizers, which include Liu alongside Tessa Crespo, Grace Chee, Edward Han, and Izzy Kornblatt, will continue to accept relevant donations through mid-July. The organizers are also accepting donations in the form of manual labor to help with (social distanced) shipping and logistics in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area.