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Design on the Edge:
A Century of Teaching Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, 1903-2003

Edited by Waverly Lowell, Elizabeth Byrne, and Betsy Frederick-Rothwell

An engaging and thoughtful look at first hundred years of teaching Architecture on the UCB Campus. A richly illustrated combination of scholarly essays written by faculty and alumni about their experiences; a timeline/chronology; lists of key people and contributions; a color portfolio of a century of student drawings, illustrate this 320 page monograph.

During the first half-century John Galen Howard and Warren Perry brought the traditional Beaux-Arts architectural education process to “the provinces” of the West Coast. In the second half-century the department became an energetic and innovative force in architectural education under the leadership of William Wurster and Catherine Bauer Wurster, a faculty member in the City and Regional Planning Department. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Berkeley’s Architecture Department was the first to incorporate design methods and processes, developed and taught by internationally-known scholars Horst Rittel and Christopher Alexander; the first include “social factors” in the teaching of architecture and to regard architecture as an applied social science; and possibly the first to establish a building science program. Following Wurster, Charles Moore and subsequently Gerald McCue translated Wurster’s ideas and energy into a practical curriculum like no other.

Renowned architects including Arthur Brown, Jr., Charles Moore, James Ackerman, Vernon DeMars, Ernest Born, William Wurster, Donlyn Lyndon, Spiro Kostoff, Joseph Esherick, Dan Solomon, Roselyn Lindheim, and Stanley Saitowitz, plus visiting faculty Charles Eames and Erich Mendelsohn have been associated with UCB’s Architecture Department as students, faculty, or both. This extraordinary mixture of pioneering architects and their diverse and broad views of design led the Architecture Department to internationally influence the direction of the study and practice of design.

WAVERLY LOWELL, Curator of the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, is active as an archival consultant, historian, and educator.

ELIZABETH BYRNE has been an art, architecture and design librarian for more than 40 years. For the last 25 years she has headed the UC Berkeley Environmental Design Library.

BETSY FREDERICK-ROTH (March ‘02), for many years as an archivist at the Environmental Design Archives, is now a historic preservation specialist with the U.S. General Services Administration.

11.25” x 9.25” cloth, 320 pp., pub. date June 2010