Charles Davis shines a light on student activism in Harvard Design Magazine

Appeal to protest cover image.

In the spring of 1969, nearly 80 members of Cornell University's Afro-American Society engaged in a 36-hour occupation of the student union to protest Eurocentric bias in the university's curriculum and to make demands to establish an Afro-American Studies program.

Release Date November 20, 2017 This content is archived.


An essay by UB architectural historian Charles Davis, II, published in the latest issue of Harvard Design Magazine, places the recent history of campus protests into historical perspective to speculate on the future role of progressive student movements in reforming American society.

"An Appeal to Protest" provides a spatial interpretation of the mobilization strategies Cornell's Afro-American Society used in the late 1960s before outlining several strategies for contemporary architecture and planning students to translate the youthful optimisms of studio life into practical action in the world. 

Entitled "Seventeen," this themed issue of the Harvard Design Magazine discusses issues related to youth culture in the first 17 years of the millennium. fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning meet those from the realms of art, science, literature, and beyond. 

A space for dialogue, speculation, and surprise: Harvard Design Magazine opens a door onto the applied device of design, and the people, places, and politics it engages. The magazine is published twice yearly by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 

The full PDF is Davis' article can be viewed here, or in the stacks of UB's architecture and planning library in Abbott Hall.