Dennis L. Johnson

University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '54, B.Arch '58

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Thorough math, physics, and structures education since architecture was then in the Institute of Technology with engineers. Basic design and public presentation skills as well.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
George Jones, Ralph Rapson, Professor Walter Vivrett, Oskar Stonorov who was a visiting critic, and Professor Kessler who taught History of Architecture.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Meeting my wife of 58 years, LaVonne (Macalester, '55), studio friends and fellow students, and the team project senior year (see below).

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
My most memorable project was a proposed plan for Central Minneapolis in Fall '57 that was an all-studio team project with 6 sub-groups, and presentation to faculty and Civic Leaders on completion. The thesis was "A Proposed Civic Affairs Center."

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
Frank Lloyd Wright visiting lecture, Oskar Stonorov, a visiting critic from Philadelphia, Louis Kahn at Penn, and Walter Vivrett.

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 almost constant participation in community and non-profit institutions as a Board Member, Chair, and/or pro-bono services to help them grow and better serve their constituencies.

Leave a comment