Nexus Podcast | November 25, 2020

Toni Griffin

Season 1, Episode 6: Urbanist, architect, and GSD Professor Toni Griffin shares her experiences transitioning from working in the private sector to the public sector and starting her own design research initiative.

Image of Toni Griffin

Photo by Naima Green


In this episode, we talk to urbanist, architect, and GSD professor Toni L. Griffin about different modes of authorship at the intersection of plan-making, place-making, and publication. Professor Griffin also shares some insights on her career trajectory, from architecture to urban design to working in the public sector, recent research and publications from the Just City Lab, and the necessity for designers to forge interdisciplinary partnerships in order to dismantle injustice.

Full Transcript

About Toni Griffin

Toni Griffin is Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City or Urban AC, based in New York City. Professor Griffin was recently a Professor of Architecture and the founding Director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. She currently leads the Just City Lab at the GSD, which investigates the definition of urban justice and the just city and examines how design and planning contribute to conditions of justice and injustice in cities, neighborhoods and the public realm. The lab has produced The Just City Index, Just City Indicators for the Public Realm, The Just City Essays, tools for civic engagement, design case studies and offer masterclasses and workshops on designing for justice.

How to Listen

You can listen to all available episodes and find program notes here on our website, or subscribe to the series via one of these providers: iTunes, GoogleSpotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher.

About the Show

Developed by the African American Design Nexus at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, The Nexus is a podcast that explores the intersection of design, identity, and practice through conversations with Black designers, writers and educators. The Nexus is produced in conjunction with a commitment by the Frances Loeb Library to acquire and create an open-access bibliography of various media suggested by the GSD community on the intersection between race and design.

Show Credits

The Nexus Season 1 is hosted by Caleb Negash and Tara Oluwafemi, students in the Master of Architecture program at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Our show is recorded and edited by Maggie Janik, and our theme music is produced by DJ Eway.


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