Environmental Design/A New Modernism: 50th Anniversary of the College of Environmental Design, 1959-2009

The College of Environmental Design (CED) was conceived of in the 1950s and formally established in 1959. To differentiate their ideas from Modernist dogma, the founders William Wurster, Catherine Bauer Wurster, Jack Kent, and their Bay Area colleagues dubbed their vision “Environmental Design,” or what we might call a “New Modernism.” The CED was unique not only because it was one of the earliest colleges to combine architecture, city planning, landscape architecture, and the decorative arts, but also because it emphasized the important role of the social, natural, and physical sciences in informing teaching, practice, and research. Wurster Hall, completed in 1964, has become the emblem of the founders’ vision where, in 2009, it continues to emerge anew.

The exhibit focuses on seminal moments from 1959 to 2009 in the evolution of the CED founders' vision, whereby teaching, research, and practice were informed by the social and natural sciences and which, in recent decades, has significantly come to include the computer sciences. It features images of drawings, photographs, and documents drawn from the Environmental Design Archives, the Environmental Design Library, the Bancroft Library, the University Archives, IURD and CEDR, and private collections.

Credits

Curated by Professor Raymond Lifchez with the assistance of Carrie McDade.