Academic

Academic

Teaching Experience

In various capacities, I have been teaching at the University of Oregon School of Architecture since 1986. Since 1989, I have been on the adjunct faculty. I have instructed over 50 terms of design studio (introductory, intermediate, third and fourth year level studios, and fifth year terminal studio), as well as having instructed seven years of Architecture 201,the required introduction to architecture theory class. Recently, I was asked to create an architecture class exclusively for non-majors, Architecture 399: Great Architecture, and have taught that class for the last several years.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Architecture Adjunct Faculty, University of Oregon, Eugene. Current position, 1989 – present.
  • Instructor, Department of Architecture Adjunct Faculty, University of Oregon, Eugene. Fall 1986 – 1988.
  • Summer Architecture Academy, Design Studio Instructor, Department of Architecture, University of Oregon, Eugene. June-August, 1986, 1987, & 1988.

Courses Taught

  • Arch 201 Introduction to Architecture
  • Arch 283,284 Introductory Architectural Design I & II
  • Arch 383, 384 Intermediate Undergraduate Architectural Design I & II
  • Arch 484/584 Intermediate Architectural Design Studio
  • Arch 485/585 Advanced Architectural Design Terminal Studio
  • Arch 399 Great Architecture
  • Arch 410/510 Contemporary Architecture Theory and History
  • Arch 611 Graduate Design Media
  • Arch 680, 681, 682 Introductory Graduate Design

On Learning

“You are so young, so before all beginning and I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Resolve to be always beginning – to be a beginner.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

On Teaching

I believe, as Ellis Lawrence has so eloquently stated, that “education should be made the great romance of life”. In architecture, this maxim may be characterized as a call for generalists, not specialists. More inclusiveness; less preoccupation. More of what is fundamental, archetypal and shared; less of what is private, obscure and esoteric. I believe that the generalist is in a better position to survey the entire field, as it were, and to provide just that thing which is lacking and in need. As Aldo Van Eyck has said: “The concientious architect is freer than the fool who does whatever he likes or whatever enters his head.” I view the specifics of architecture which we must teach (design process, theory, construction and practice) as gateways that link us at any turn with that great gathering body of literature, history, art and science.

Research

My current research is focused on a book, tentatively entitled The Luminous Room. This book investigates six houses for the depth of feeling and beauty that they possess. It centers on how rooms with great feeling are designed and how the sensual reality of materials manifest those feelings. The houses themselves are geographically and chronologically diverse. They demonstrate an equally diverse approach to design, and yet they all possess qualities that make them evocative and memorable. The following houses are studied:

  • Hill House, Helensburgh Scotland, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
  • Fonthill, Doylestown Pennsylvania, by Henry Mercer
  • The Tower, Bollingen, Switzerland, by Carl Jung
  • Can Lis, Porto Petro, Mallorca (Spain), by Jorn Utzon
  • Medlock/Graham house, Whidbey Is. WA, by Christoper Alexander
  • Serbu Residence, Eugene, OR, by James Givens Design

Houses are probably one of the most trivialized, certainly one of the most commodified, forms of building done on a massive scale today. Most are not designed by architects or other design professionals. Most are hopelessly ill-fitted to their sites and lack even one good room inside. While I do not intend to champion a particular kind of housing, my hope is that with this study, I might at least begin to describe, vividly and concretely, why this modest collection of houses have in them rooms and experiences that ring true. This research began in the summer of 1996 when I visited the first five places as a 1995 Ion Lewis Traveling Scholar. My most recent field research was in the summer of 2003, when I traveled to Doylestown, Pennsylvania to photo document Fonthill by Henry Mercer, and engage in archival research with the staff of the Mercer Museum.

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