Revolt and Reform in Architecture's Academy: Columbia and Yale in the 1960s

Richards IV, William Charles, Department of Art and Architectural history, University of Virginia
Wilson, Richard, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Crane, Sheila, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Meyer, Elizabeth, Dean's Office, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Upton, Dell, Department of Architecture, University of Virginia Librar

A critical reassessment of the scope and mission of architecture and planning education in the United States occurred between 1950 and 1970. In this period, a small but significant number of students and faculty at Columbia University and Yale University perceived design's dominant pedagogies to be outmoded and inflexible legacies of the Bauhaus and Beaux-Arts institutions. They identified campus expansion, race, and the "urban crisis" as the principle, if unexplored, concerns facing architectural practice by the late-1960s, which pedagogy and practice were loath to address. Through protests and curricular reform, students and faculty members ultimately founded an advocacy model for design practice, which engaged the contemporary and contextual issues that have become central to its academy today. Among urban universities, Columbia and Yale represented compelling cases of how urban history and architectural education intersected. The theory and practice of urban renewal took a specific form that students analyzed-first to replicate and then to critique. As urban violence peaked and riots transformed neighborhoods across the United States, it did not take long for even the most sheltered student to feel the effects. Ultimately, calls for reform in city planning, matched calls for reform in architectural education against social injustice, university "imperialism," and the irrelevance of outmoded ideas about design.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
architecture, Columbia University, Yale University, architecture and planning education 1950-1970
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