|Office Hours||TR 1-2pm|
|Fall Courses 2012||ARCH 341 Architectural Practice 3.1
ARCH 351 Architectural Design 3.1
ARCH 241 Architectural Practice 2.1
|Winter Courses 2013||
ARCH 242 Architectural Practice 2.2
|Spring Courses 2013||TBD|
• I grew up in the Midwest, went to college on the east coast and have lived most of my life in California.
• I earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and worked for ten years as a journalist before turning to architecture.
• When I went to architecture school, I envisioned a life-long office practice, and never dreamed I’d become a teacher; life happens.
• I started teaching at Cal Poly in 1986. I’ve taught first and second year architecture classes and architectural history, and also taught second and third year classes in the CRP department.
• I believe public service is important, and have served on many volunteer city and civic committees for more than 20 years, including 8 as a city-planning commissioner.
Teaching Approach and Class Activity
• Second year is when the panorama of architecture opens up before us. There’s so much to explore, and so little time to explore it in.
• I ask my students to become fluent with classical principles of architectural design before launching out in revolutionary directions. If what one’s revolting against isn’t thoroughly understood, revolution is mere rhetoric, and architecture is already amply supplied with that.
• I encourage students to explore their own interests as they do class assignments, and to work those interests into my project requirements.
• Second year students are encouraged to find their own voice and work process. Just as some are right handed and others left handed, one design process does not fit all. Louis Kahn’s life illustrates this; he was taught to be a modernist, but he couldn’t do it, and only after finding his own path via study of ancient buildings with their non-modern construction technologies did his work mature.
• Every substantive project must contain sustainability components. To do otherwise is unethical. I emphasize day lighting because of its inherent space and form making qualities, but increasingly graft additional expectations that shape design thinking onto major project requirements. Its also important students understand the difference between “sustainability” as a substantive societal issue and as a brand name used to promote commerce.
• The division between “design” and “practice” is artificial and counterproductive; one can’t exist without the other, so I seek to integrate the two.
• Everything has the potential to be an interesting architectural material.
• Some of the best architectural ideas come from outside architecture. The Roman architect Vitruvius said of the architect: “Let him be educated, skilful with the pencil, instructed in geometry, know much about history, have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of medicine, know the opinions of the jurists, be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of the heavens.” To be good at our work, we need to understand a lot about the world.
• Architecture is a social dance, with many constituents besides ourselves and the people who pay us; it’s not about us and what we like, but about what serves society.
B.Arch Cal Poly;
MA Washington University;
B.A Haverford College.
Lecturer, Architecture Department, since 1986. In the Architecture Department, Richard has taught architectural history, graphic communication, and second year design and practice. For a decade, he developed, and taught, a holistic architectural design course sequence for ARCE majors. He has also taught first, second and third year graphics and design courses in the City and Regional Planning department. Previous college-level teaching was at Washington University and Cuesta College. He has also taught courses in California architectural history to Elderhostel students.
State of California