We work with clients and communities to take on complex urban challenges, reconcile competing interests, forge new and ongoing relationships, and work collaboratively towards better designed and more inclusive built environments.

Designers often operate with either formal or social-impact imperatives. Grayscale Collaborative LLC (“Grayscale”) engages this problematic binary by acknowledging the intersectionality of race, class, and the production of urban space. In 2015, Stephen Gray founded Grayscale and joined the faculty of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design to work at the intersection of urban design practice and research. Previously a senior urban designer at Sasaki, he brings more than a decade of experience working with municipal agencies, colleges and universities, private developers, non-profits, multinational NGOs, and the public. Stephen’s personal background directly influences his work and allows him to make meaningful contributions in culturally dynamic and sometimes contentious urban settings.

Stephen has been a lecturer in urban design at MIT School of Architecture + Planning and Northeastern University School of Architecture, Associate Director on the Board of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), and he has been tapped to serve on several Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory panels. He holds a B. Arch. Degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) Degree with distinction from Harvard University where he received the Thesis Prize for Urban Design and the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design. Having successfully collaborated on or led more than 20 high-quality and community-engaged design projects around the country and the globe, Stephen has been nationally recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his contributions to urban design thinking in the U.S. context with the National AIA Honor Award, the highest honor given to individual associate AIA members.



Affiliations, Advisory Roles & Appointments


Harvard Graduate School of Design, Assistant Professor

Harvard Asia Center Council on Asian Studies, Member

Sasaki Foundation, Advisory Council

National American Institute of Architects (AIA), Member

National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA), Member

Boston Society of Architects (BSA), Member


Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Board, Associate Director

Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design, Selection Committee

Clark Green City, The Philippines, International Design Competition Jury

Boston’s 100 Resilient Cities, Cochairman & Design Team Lead

South Boston Dorchester Ave Planning Initiative, BPDA Advisory Group

Urban Land Institute (ULI), Advisory Panelist (Fremont and Detroit)

Sasaki, Senior Urban Designer

MIT School of Architecture + Planning DUSP, Lecturer

Northeastern University School of Architecture, Lecturer

University of Cincinnati DAAP, Instructor