University of Minnesota - B.Arch '72
What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
See the individual building design task as a neighborhood design problem. Ask yourself why some things work better than others. Why do some places steal our hearts? Can we capture that essence in what we design.
Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Leonard Parker. I always respected him as an architect and teacher and he was great to argue with - I always learned something. Years later, I would look at a design I was working on and think "Parker would hate this" and know it still needed work.
What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Learning that you did C work if you worked at home and A work if you spent your time in the Studio. We modelled Thacher and Thompson Architects on the 12 person studio system. We called our bi-weekly office critiques and training sessions "studio chats."
Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
My thesis project- an urban design plan and mixed-use building for Seven Corners. The corner has changed beyond recognition in the last 40 years.
What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
The late '60s was a time when many of us were also 'urban homesteaders.' We moved into condemned buildings and forgotten neighborhoods, and started to create neighborhood places by restoring buildings and cleaning up corners of the city that others had written off. We found our laboratory for learning urbanism in the field. And, we learned we could build stuff, even if we didn't always have someone's permission.
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.
A team project in a studio at the School of Architecture may be the best way to learn the leadership skills required for large, multi-team member projects. I draw from those experiences as a leader on non-profit boards and civic commissions. I don't know of any other discipline that teaches leadership and teamwork as explicitly as the School of Architecture does.