New Podcast Looks to Build Optimism for an Uncertain World

Feb 24, 2023 / Updated Mar 10, 2023

Painting of snowy rocks and a night sky with stars
Image Caption
Watercolor by Julie Gabrielli, after a photograph by George Balog.

When Clinical Associate Professor Julie Gabrielli landed her first job out of graduate school, she was eager to put the big, sustainably minded ideas cultivated during school into practice. But the practice had other plans.

“Firm life is intensely practical, and client focused,” she said. “Back then, people weren’t thinking about sustainability the way they are now. And I had so much to learn about the basics.”

After five years on the other side of the studio desk at UMD, Gabrielli began wondering if, in the face of rising sea levels, the professional tide had shifted. Could the bold, imaginative and environmentally-focused design spirit she sees in her students today survive—and even grow—in practice to meet the needs of a radically changing planet?

Her new podcast, “Building Hope,” looks for answers by examining the innovative and inspiring final thesis projects of University of Maryland’s architecture students and graduates. Developed with support from UMD’s Graduate School, Office of Sustainability and School of Architecture, Planning and Presentation, “Building Hope” offers candid and enlightening conversations on topics from community resilience to biophilic design, shares the stories and inspiration that guided their design proposals and illuminates the practical resistance that goes beyond the status quo to offer hope for a more beautiful future.

The production team includes two Architecture grad students, Vincenza Perla and Maisha Islam, plus two journalism students, Gabriella Feinberg and Hannah Zozobrado. “Building Hope” debuts in time for Earth Day 2023. Get a sneak peek of what’s in store each Friday in the podcast’s e-newsletter.

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