Teaching Architecture in PENN
A possible method for the teaching of Architectural Design
I don’t know about you, but I spend my time tidying papers. My books spend their time talking to one another, and I dare say they have plenty to talk about! My papers, however, without a word, reproduce at a dizzying speed. And they always grow in horizontal piles. I think that they try to play hide-and-seek with me. But I always end up finding them.
Among my recent finds is a pile of pages, tidily arranged inside a thick transparent envelope, which is a collection of drawings from my Architectural Design classes at the prestigious PennDesign School of Architecture of the University of Pennsylvania. They are all neatly organized, numbered and classified.
The PennDesign School of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania is where Louis Kahn taught. I was Visiting Professor there in the spring of 1999. At the time Gary Hack was Dean, and Richard Wesley was Chairman. Both were extremely generous toward me. Classes in Architectural Design were given in the new School of Architecture building built by Kahn during his tenure as professor, although he was never commissioned to do it. Kahn never wanted to enter the building, and continued giving his classes in the old Library. In honor of the maestro, I requested that I might give my end of term reviews in the Louis Kahn Hall.
The document I unearthed consists in a collection of drawings, each complete with annotations and corrections, done for each of my students, with all kinds of details. They were so beautiful that on seeing them, Julia Moore Converse, the very efficient Library Director, asked me if I would donate them to the Architectural Archives. I was delighted to oblige and added another collection of drawings for a competition for a Cultural Center in Granada that I was working on at the time and didn’t win. I always say that to win a competition you have to lose many more. I must also add that I have always put heart and soul into every competition I entered and so have all my team.
Alberto Campo Baeza