Recently in 1970-1979 Category

I wish to congratulate the University of Minnesota School of Architecture on the Centennial Anniversary. During my time studying under Dean Ralph Rapson, I have had fond memories of the school and still cherish the friendship with my classmates.


Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the celebration due to prior commitments. It is very disappointing not to see my Professors and friends that I truly miss again.


I wish you all the success with the Centennial Celebration and the fabulous events and activities. Once again, Congratulations to the University of Minnesota School of Architecture.


Respectfully yours


Sathirut Nui Tandanand, Class 79
President Elect, Architects Regional Council of Asia (ARCASIA)

University of Minnesota - B.Arch '73

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
The design process and the importance of drawing.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Dennis Grebner. He had a clear headed and logical approach to the design process.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Foam cor chair competition.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Thesis.

University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '71

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
How to handle a large number of architectural variables at once and come up with an appropriate design.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Clare Cooper Marcus, Amos Rapoport, John Zeisel, Oscar Newman, Irving Altman and the other guests in the seminar on housing organized by Roger Clemence and Evelyn Franklin in 1975, I believe. I participated in this several years after graduating and it led to my study of anthropology and all the later research I have done on such topics as architectural programming and housing.
University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '70, B.Arch '70
MIT - MCP '77

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Organized thinking and problem solving in a creative way, and communicating that thinking.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Ralph Rapson for his leadership of the school and open minded approach to design, Dewy Thorbeck for his introduction to creative collaborative interdisciplinary practice, Roger Clemence for his leadership of the community outreach studio and mentorship of us as first participants in a new and mind expanding experiment, and his quiet and supportive personality. Also, Professor Iskander opened my eyes to "planning," Dennis Grebner for his attention to drawing and design, and Milo Thompson for his focus on design.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Our late night (mid-morning 3am) marches and antics around the upper level of the main courtyard to break up a long over-nighter. Everyone spray gluing tissue to boards in the hallways 30 minutes before final presentations and the sounds of Janus Joplin and Creedance wafting through the studio late at night.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
A master plan and urban housing for the island in the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul, 
an interdisciplinary regional commercial development master plan for the suburb of Hopkins, the Europe study tour showcase of Spain (our location that year), various projects for the Minneapolis Model City Program in our outreach studio including my thesis for a Communications System and Coordinating Center for the Program

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
My experience in the studio seeing the rendering and sketching work of Ralph Rapson and older students inspired me to master my own technique. My trip to Spain with our class was the beginning of a monumental summer travel and personal growth experience that has influenced the rest of my career and life. My experiences in the outreach studio led me to help found and work in a Community Design Center in Denver and has influenced my entire career in working with clients, neighborhoods, and larger communities.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
I see my education as having prepared me to not just design buildings, but to influence the creation of great neighborhoods, villages, and entire planned communities both as a designer and a client for creative community solutions. These have opened the opportunities for richer lives in the places I have helped create in Kingwood, TX; Memphis, TN; and Las Vegas, NV.

University of Minnesota - B.LArch '73, BED '74, B.Arch '76
Harvard University - M.Arch '79
New York University - MBA '85

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
The most important learned skill was the development of a process oriented approach to solving design problems and identifying solutions. I applied this process orientation to many different types of non-design problems to generate rational alternatives and optimal solutions.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Design critics as a group. Their focus was to develop the ideas and concepts that you were working on, however rudimentary and poorly conceived, into a rational and well-developed design.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
All-nighters. Fun at the time, but realizing today how productivity drops exponentially during all night. Design charrettes helped me develop a more result-oriented work discipline so I could avoid all-nighters during my career.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Architectural thesis on the Coca-Cola site on the riverfront in Minneapolis. It has been fun to see the riverfront develop over the past 30 years.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Working in a studio setting. The role of collaborative work and exchange of ideas in a studio setting fosters new concepts and improved strategies for implementation. I have used this experience to my benefit many times throughout my career.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
I developed the methodology and analysis that enabled the administration of the Minneapolis Public Schools, after 40 years of trying, to confirm to the Board and the taxpayers of Minneapolis that it was more cost effective to build a new headquarters facility than remain in the four locations that were being used to house HQ functions.

University of Minnesota - B.Arch '77, BED '77

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Design organization and process.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Third year design studio of building methodology and how to approach and resolve design problems.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
My thesis project, which was good and bad. The many hours in the studio on hot June days and nights with someone installing a "through the door" AC unit in the studio space.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Working on the "green" house before sustainable design was an advertising buzz word in an environmental design class.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Our study abroad trip to Italy in our 4th year design studio in '76, chaperoned by Ralph Rapson. What a memorable opportunity that was to have personal time with the head of the school and learn a little more about his personal career, his quick wit, hearing stories of his escapades at Cranbrook, meeting some of his previous graduates in Rome, and always his sketches. I appreciate it more now on reflection than when we were actually there.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
In some small way, and some bigger than others, I think every project I have done had a positive impact on our community. We learned to design, not just take the first solution, and work to the best solution possible.

University of Minnesota - B.Arch '73

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Creative analytic problem solving.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Tom Hodne saw some potential in me that he encouraged.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
I made life long friends there.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
The Spring quarter study abroad in Europe was an eye-opener for me. It was by far the most memorable activity from my school days.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Ralph Rapson was a giant influence on the school and my development as an architect.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
My career focused upon the design and planning of hospitals which wasn't a glamorous building type, at least when beginning in 1973. Eventually, evidence based design studies verified that attention to architectural features, such as clear organizational planning, daylighting, artwork, plant materials, etc., will crate a positive physical environment that can positively impact a patient's recovery and well being! The benefits to staff are also well accepted now. It's all that an architect wants to hear!

University of Minnesota - B.Arch '76

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
The importance of quality design, the abstract beauty of the plan, teamwork, quality, interdisciplinary teamwork, and Friday night at "The Mixers."

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
My classmates, Ralph Rapson's inspirational leadership, and an excellent broad cross-section of fine Minneapolis architects on the faculty such as David Bennet, Thomas Hodne, Joe Blair, John Rauma, Milo Thompson, Leonard Parker, and Carl Graffunder. Also, committed professors John Myers, George Winterowd, Walter Vivrett, and Gunter Dittmar. They taught me knowledge, design, style, and quality.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Charrettes, teamwork, and camaraderie.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Student housing replacement facility on the East Bank of the U of M and 
Architectonic projects.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Being taught to draw and letter, which is a lost art that architects still need to be able to do despite the development of BIM and even if it is mastering the art of drawing well on an iPad. Ralph Rapson's drawing ability was our inspiration. Alonso Hauser told us, "If Ralph can draw so well, you all can learn to draw, just like Ralph did." Although I did not work as a "project designer," three years into my career the ability to plan, draw, and render a plan and section made it easy for me to become a licensed architect (pass the exam in the days of a 12 hour design and draw exam design exercise) and to illustrate the principles of the technology of architecture for which I have become most valued. My appreciation for design made me an integral contributor to the projects on which I worked in the aesthetic development of the details and technology of well executed projects.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
I have spent most of my career working on large teams and developing large scale projects in detail. That has transcended into the detection of the technical development of projects and leadership of younger architects in several firms. My impact on this world has been in trying to influence as many architects as possible to understand the importance of the abstract beauty of everything we do in the technical execution of projects, all qualities of design which I learned at Minnesota. As our profession has transitioned from drawings into building information modeling of highly sustainable energy efficient buildings, I have managed to remain a leader of our transition and a trainer of young architects who are producing good buildings. Many of my contemporaries who did not have the advantage of the design, process, and team training which I learned at Minnesota have faded or are fading from relevance in our industry. We as American trained architects remain the leaders of high quality design and performance buildings throughout the world. Based on what I learned at the School of Architecture I understood why Rem Koolhaus wanted to express the user program and interrelationships which generated the shape of the CCTV tower in Beijing. When my firm was hired as a consultant to Rem to develop the vertical transportation systems (elevators) within the CCTV tower, we understood the aesthetic parameters in fitting the required number of elevators within the tower space available, but this was no small challenge. I understood the design requirements of this technical challenge and in my small part, a radical new building form resulted. On the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I understood the importance of the design statement which Richard Meier was making in my work developing the design and details of the enclosure system for this historic landmark museum which will perform for 50+ years.

University of Minnesota - B.Arch '72

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Problem solving, which included thinking outside of the box.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
This is a toss up between Ralph Rapson due to the depth and breadth of his experience as a modernist architect and Roger Clemence due to his commitments to students and the community through his involvement in the Urban Education Center/Community Design Center.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Being in the second floor studio space above the Steak House at Oak and Washington Avenues that included many late nights or all nighters. It was a small studio group and close to each other.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
I was on a team and perhaps became the defacto team leader for the small group one summer who won an AISC design competition. During the summer, we had to execute the steel lattice structure we designed. We were unsuccessful in completing it due to our design not accommodating all the intersections that had to occur. In spite of an unsuccessful completion, I still found this to be a significant and meaningful learning experience.

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
I was in awe with many students who had much better free-hand sketching and rendering skills than I did. It drove me to strive to improve my own skills. Without a doubt the social turmoil of 1968-1970 disrupted the learning experience, but in itself was a learning experience. It had a huge impact on where I thought design skills needed to be used.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
Immediately after graduation, I worked for 2 years at the Community Design Center and provided design services to many inner city and some rural MN clients who would not have received such service without the CDC. For the last 15 years I have been heavily involved in delivery of multi-family housing projects including many in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. These help build communities and families.

University of Minnesota - M.Arch '79, MBA '80

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Organizing ideas, project management, and understanding that careless mistakes in the details can ruin the effect of the whole project.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Kay Lockhart forced me to be organized. 

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
A semester of receiving a new project every Monday and submitting every Friday.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
Re-imagining Hennepin Avenue.