Monday, July 2, 2007

The Architects Collaborative: 1945-1965

So it's back to work today. We spent a lovely weekend in Portland at a friend's wedding, but I have to say that I was anxious to continue my writing. It has been coming along very well these days. Last week I spent a couple of days refining my argument and laying out my plan of attack. In essence, at the moment I am dutifully explaining why I am engaging with the particular texts that I include and how they will tie in to my overall argument.

Today I am feverishly taking notes on two books that are overdue from the library. I know that I could check them out again, and I probably will, but in the meantime I need them to work through the chapter. It is of utmost importance.

The Architects Collaborative: 1945-1965

This is an architecture firm started by Walter Gropius and friends in 1945. Interestingly, Halprin was one of Gropius' students at the Harvard School of Design; however, as far as I can tell he was not involved directly with this firm. The Architects Collaborative asserts their difference from other architectural practices because the main partners and associates are considered equals and not, as is traditionally done, considered to be a group of individual specialists. The objective of the firm is collaboration and design ingenuity. It is, I think very obvious that Halprin was at last indirectly influenced by their objectives, goals and strategies of design.

The major difference is that Halprin's ideal of collective creativity is one that moves outside of the firm more broadly includes non-specialists -such as community members and city officials. Another important addition that Halprin makes to this experiment is to very carefully structure the process by which collaborative design is to take place. While this happens in TAC in some sense, it is nowhere near the kind of study and structural organization that Halprin develops with the RSVP cycles.

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