Foundations for Contemporary Pluralism

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Foundations

September 7, 2017

DEBORAH BERKE (Dean, Yale School of Architecture)

I studied architecture within the context of an art school. That environment helped shape my view of architecture in relation to other artistic disciplines. It honed my interest in materials and the process of making, and my appreciation of found spaces and overlooked objects and places. It also exposed me to the work of painters, photographers, graphic designers, sculptors, fashion designers, film makers, and other creative people, many of whom became life-long friends. Some became collaborators, and a few became clients. Their presence and their work influenced mine. Art and artists are part of the foundation of my work and my thinking.

Here at Yale, we are privileged to exist not only within the context of a world-class research university, but a great liberal arts university that embraces the arts. Our intellectual and human resources are nearly boundless. I believe architects must draw on architecture’s own disciplinary strengths, but must also look to other disciplines in the arts, the natural and social sciences, and the new technologies that cross all disciplines. This expansive view of architecture’s place within a broad cultural, intellectual, and social landscape is necessary for the discipline to accomplish all that it must. We need to expand who has access to architects and architectural thinking. One way this can be accomplished is by confronting the profession’s traditional demographic limitations. Let’s be influenced by the artists.

 

Thursday, September 7, 2017