This past Friday, in nine straight hours of intense work, my graduate architecture students at Notre Dame completed their first esquisse, en loge, designing a hypothetical urban residence which they will develop over the next four weeks. Being well-taught by Professor Richard Economakis and the other dedicated Notre Dame faculty, these first year graduate students with only a semester of architectural education under their belts, performed admirably! What a rare joy it is to have an architecture school that teaches students architecture, instead of abstract, incomprehensible, inconsequential, personal expression. Hope you enjoy these pictures of my delightful students hard at work creating beautiful, meaningful, appropriate architecture.
New Classic American Houses: The Architecture of Albert, Righter & Tittmann by Dan Cooper, with foreword by Robert A. M. Stern
The Vendome Press, New York, NY; 2009
224 pages; hardcover; 200 color and b&w illustrations; $50ISBN 978-0-86565-253-8
Reviewed by Christine G. H. Franck for Clem Labine’s Period Homes Magazine. JANUARY 2010
A History of Invention
In “The Burden of the Past and the English Poet” W. Jackson Bate questions whether the best way to address the history of modern English poetry, and the arts in general, might be to examine the anxiety felt by the artist in the face of past achievements as the artist asks himself: “What is there left to do?” From the diverse work beautifully presented in New Classic American Houses it is abundantly clear that Boston, MA-based Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects (AR&T) suffers not from any burden of the past. Rather, AR&T respects and revels in tradition, converses knowingly with it, quotes from it, questions it, adds to it and in turn creates work equaling the tradition the firm’s principals clearly admire.
Experiencing diverse points of view elucidates the strengths and weaknesses of each, reveals their common ground and allows one to discover how each may be improved. In recent years I’ve had just such an experience teaching design studios in two schools of architecture influenced by different traditions: one Modernist, the other Classical.(1) Teaching the same design problem in different settings, I have found students with quite varied knowledge, skills and deficits. From this I am certain that the future will be best served if architectural education draws from both the wisdom of tradition and the lessons of Modernism.