Issue #64 “Vanguards”


Felicity D. Scott

Issue #64
April 2015

In a 1967 report published in Eye: Magazine of the Yale Arts Association, Charles Moore, chairman of the department of architecture at Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture (A&A), spoke to a “marked shift” then taking place.

Students and faculty have now become involved to an unprecedented extent, in real problems in all their complexity with a concern for social issues and more concern for its form and less concern for the shape of objects in it. To an increasing extent, design solutions are expected to come at least partly from interaction with the user rather than from the imposition of an architect’s formal preconceptions. With the development of these concerns comes of course an interest in new tools which are likely to make design more responsive to the complex needs of the world around us.1

Moore identified two new streams of architectural research and teaching within the school related to this shift: on the one hand, the rising fascination with the computer and techniques it facilitated and, on the other hand, a series of initiatives directed towards poverty in America, projects then focused on Appalachia, New Haven, and Harlem. This nexus of computerization and “a concern for social issues” was then informing vanguard practices within architecture, giving rise to research—along with objects, systems, and spaces—affiliated, knowingly or otherwise, with the complex and multifaceted regulatory apparatus emerging to govern the built environment and populations within it.

While frequently situated as a radical or avant-garde departure from traditional formal and aesthetic concerns in architecture, the late-sixties engagement with information technologies and computerization as well as the rise of the “user” as an object of social scientific knowledge—all under the rubric of “responsiveness”—can also be read as symptomatic of the discipline’s functionalist response to a period of rapid technological transformation and of tumultuous social change, for which it was indeed seeking new tools. In what follows I want to trace some instances from the late 1960s wherein the ambivalence of such “responsive” architectural strategies—resonating between attempts to forge departures from a dominant matrix of power and inscribing architecture more firmly within it—came to the fore at the A&A: at a moment when architects are again engaging the unstable forces of technological and material change while seeking new modes of social engagement, understanding the complex dynamics at work during this earlier period seems to warrant critical attention. Shifting fluidly and at times indistinctly between forging participatory environments and testing social and environmental control mechanisms, these ambiguous experiments remind us of the complicated and politically charged milieu within which architecture necessarily operates and to which it contributes. If these dynamics were evident elsewhere, Yale during the remarkable period under Moore offers a particularly cogent case study of the difficulties of negotiating this milieu, and of the need to take responsibility for one’s position within such a shifting matrix.2

Charles Moore and Felix Drury in collaboration with Kent Bloomer, Project Argus: An Experiment in Light and Sound Environment, Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture, Connecticut, 1968. Photo: Joel Katz.

Complex Needs

At the time of his report, Moore and newly hired faculty member Kent Bloomer were, as Moore noted, launching the famous Yale Building Project (an initiative which continues to this day) with a spring 1967 studio for first-year Masters of Architecture students dedicated to designing, and in turn constructing, the soon-to-be-much-celebrated Community Center in New Zion, Kentucky. Drawing on the precedent (and often the aesthetic) of recent Yale graduates David Sellers and Bill Rienecke of “Prickly Mountain” fame, but redirecting those design-build activities from for-profit speculative housing ventures in rural Vermont to community buildings for low-income communities, students were encouraged to shift their attention from formal concerns to questions of social relevance and political engagement with less privileged persons and hence less familiar ways of life.3 If widely championed as a radical pedagogical initiative, not all Yale students were satisfied that such missionary zeal translated into actually engaging community concerns and participation. When in November 1968 a group of A&A students founded an alternative student publication—a countercultural broadsheet titled Novum Organum—it opened with the dissident headline “Education for Alienation.” Asking “What was Yale Architecture trying to do in Kentucky?” and for whom, it outlined a very different picture of the venture; Novum Organum stressed instead the slippage between the project’s avowed social concerns and its more evident architectural (and formal) ones. Rhetorically asking “Didn’t you ever ask what they wanted?” the editors concluded:

I don’t think so. I can’t say that we ever found out what they wanted, much less needed. And yet for some reason this didn’t worry anyone … Our agreement to accept federal funds within the outline of their program released us from the need to ask basic questions; it let us get on with our work in actualizing the program and making architectural decisions.4

The question of to whom the architect listened and for whom they were working would remain at the forefront of dissident actions at the school.

New Tools

Soon after, when outlining the School’s activities for 1968–69, Dean Howard Sayre Weaver stressed that “relevance” was to be understood not only in social terms but also in technological ones. In this respect too Yale sought to operate at the forefront of contemporary transformations, incorporating classes on “experimental architecture,” film, and video into the curriculum and hosting an early World Game seminar run by R. Buckminster Fuller and faculty member Herbert Matter. As Dean Weaver explained,

The term “relevance,” much maligned and often facilely used these days, has a particular significance for this School. As America develops into a post-industrial, “technetronic” society, the impact of science and technology affects every aspect of the concerns and explorations of those who would aspire to assume responsibility for art and design—for pondering man’s seeing and feeling and moving about, his relationship to his environment, and his conscious ordering of his physical circumstances. The artist, architect, and planner share today in discovering and accommodating to changes brought about by proliferating new capacities in communications and computer techniques. The challenge is not merely to adopt technology nor to inject modern gadgetry into art or practice. It is nothing less than to comprehend the changing nature of experience itself.5

This commitment to investigating the impact of a “technetronic” society on architecture and the arts translated, in the first instance, into hosting an important early conference on computerization in architecture in April 1968, “Computer Graphics and Architecture,” hence returning us to the other pole of Moore’s “marked shift.”6

Produced in conjunction with this event—which included technical and professional considerations of computers as tools for drawing—was an experimental inter-media installation: Project Argus: An Experiment in Light and Sound Environment. Designed by Moore and Felix Drury in collaboration with Bloomer, and constructed by students, Project Argus was, in the first instance, a two-story structure spanning diagonally across the exhibition and jury space in the A&A building. (It took place on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of a US atomic testing operation over the South Atlantic of the same name.) In retrospect Project Argus appears to have been something like a testing ground for Moore’s prescient speculations on the emergent electronic environment, that “aspatial electronic world” which he identified in his contribution to Perspecta 11 of 1967, “Plug it in Ramses, and See if it Lights Up, Because We Aren’t Going to Keep It Unless it Works.”7

Charles Moore and Felix Drury in collaboration with Kent Bloomer, Project Argus: An Experiment in Light and Sound Environment, Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture, Connecticut, 1968. Photo: Joel Katz.

Exemplary of changes in the school, this remarkable issue of Perspecta, edited by Peter de Bretteville and Arthur Golding, also included: “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist” R. Buckminster Fuller, experimental composer John Cage, media theorist Marshall McLuhan, experimental filmmaker Stan Vanderbeek, critic and then director of Fuller’s World Resources Inventory John McHale, experimental collaborative Archigram, and “democratic” planner Paul Davidoff.

“No diagonal drawn in the 1960s was such a clear statement of rebellion against the past as Project Argus,” announced Progressive Architecture critic C. Ray Smith, describing it as “a glittering, ambiguous room-within-a-room.” As Smith reported, acknowledging that it was not simply a countercultural assault but a faculty initiative, it was constructed “to provide an ‘open-ended experimental atmosphere,’ Yale officials said, presumably in contrast to Rudolph’s ‘closed’ exploded-pinwheel-plan structure.”8New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable also read the installation as a frontal attack on former Dean Paul Rudolph.

Yale architecture students agitated until their notably Supermannerist dean, Charles Moore, aided in the temporary destruction of one of the major areas of Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building. They installed a pulsing white light display of fluorescent tubing and silver mylar for a space and mind-bending esthetic experiment and design double-entendre that practically told Mr. Rudolph to get up on the shelf and stay there.9

Forming part of the school’s “Research in Programmed Environments” initiative, the structure served as the infrastructure for a hybrid (analog-digital) computer-controlled, ever-changing light, film, and sound environment programmed by the New Haven artists collective Pulsa.10 To cite Smith again, “Project Argus housed and reflected film clips and an all-white light show, by Pulsa … The pulses, both aural and visual, and flashing superimpositions inflicted a dazzling bombardment.”11

Illustrated by a bird’s-eye view of the control panel driving this machine-enhanced perceptual bombardment, Project Argus was the subject of a front-page article in Yale Daily News that raised doubts not only about the primacy of its physical or architectural infrastructure but also about its liberatory character. The authors, Thomas Hine and John Coots, noted that the “slightly varied electronic hums and … constantly changing patterns of light reflected off the mirror-like mylar walls” produced an assault on the retina and perceptual distortion and went on to cite a series of responses to the encounter that implied the potential of a flip-side inherent to the fluidity of the environment: “I feel as though I am in a sort of trance with the lights and people sort of suspended.” And, “I think it’s dangerous, like the ultimate weapon. In the hands of some very unhip people it could do some dangerous things.”12 Under the heading “Panoptics Fill Yale Gallery,” the New Haven Journal-Courier reported on Pulsa’s performance on opening night, stressing the electricity coursing through the space and through bodies within it. “The electronic sound that came from everywhere, generated by audio oscillators, drove the lights—grasp one of the flickering tubes in your hand; feel it snapping and pinging your flesh in time with the pulse of sound … Even the plastic mylar sheets were wired for sound—with electrostatic oscillators, one of the students said, tremoring to electricity that you could only hear.”13

It was not only on account of the “almost painful flashing” of the strobes, the synesthetic effects, and the ambiguous feeling that something might be about to take place, that this experiment headed into ominous territory. “High above this scene,” Hine and Coots reported, “were two men sitting among the cables and wires, their faces illuminated by the eerie glow of the oscilloscope on the control panel. And they controlled it all.” The two Pulsa members—Paul Fuge and Bill Crosby (a kinopticist)—were in fact experimenting both with shaping space and with crowd behavior, shifting the mixture of lights and sounds, selectively activating speakers and other equipment, to elicit certain effects. Noting that sound as such was not the object of their experiment, Fuge said, “Tonight we’re concerned with what the space is that it’s shaping.” But space as such was not their prime target. As the account continued, turning to questions of subjective control,

[Fuge] changed the sound to a slightly lower intensity. In one alcove, a group carried out a little playlet.

Fuge bent over the oscilloscope and upped the pitch and volume of the sound. Before, the sound had hit the solar plexus. The new high whine hit the throat. People tightened up downstairs. They stopped their humming, their laughing, and their acting. “I’ve got to go,” one said, and all but a few left.
The men continued to play with their lights, their sounds. The pulsa bent over his control panel, “Watch what they do now…”14

With oscilloscopes and other supplies derived from Army surplus warehouses, Project Argus blurs distinctions between experimenting towards spatial liberation and psychedelic experience through inter-media environments and behavioral control. Even if at play within an experimental school of architecture, its mechanisms of transformation and modes of “participation” operated on a razor’s edge.

That such artistic practices harbored the potential of “applied” research was alluded to by Joel Katz in “Pulsa=Light as Truth.” Imagining the future trajectory of their work, Pulsa member David Rumsey explained their departure from a traditional gallery environment:

“Because of the kind of people it [the university] can attract,” says Rumsey, “and because of its connection with the technological and business communities and its accessibility to funds, the university is going to be the place where these things will happen. In fact, members of Pulsa anticipate the day when art will be supported by industry as a joint artistic-commercial venture, based on the premise that artists’ experiments with new materials will suggest new forms of commercial application.”15

Pulsa was not alone in pursuing applied agendas for art, nor was Yale the only institution sponsoring such collaborations. Take, for instance, USCO’s formation of Intermedia Systems Corporation in association with Harvard Business School professor Dr. George Litwin, an initiative profiled in Stewart Kranz’s 1974 anthology, Science and Technology in the Arts. “We are trying to use mixed media—multimedia technology—to create environments that have particular kinds of psychological effects,” Litwin explained to Kranz. “We are talking about man’s environment. It’s been here all along. It’s been influencing us all along. What we are saying is: we can begin to have some control over the environmental influences on our behavior, attitudes, and motivation.”16 USCO member Gerd Stern added: “We perform many experiments. We don’t entirely know the reason why we are doing them.”17 Stern earlier explained of the collaboration, seemingly without apology, “The age of supporting art is over. The distinction between business and art is over. So, now we’ll get better art and better business … Yes, it’s legitimate to say Intermedia represents a blurring of the lines between psychology, business, art and some other things.”18 If Marshall McLuhan had imagined art to have the potential to produce counter-environments that would render lines of force more visible, comprehensible, interruptible, here was work vectored in the opposite direction.19

Manfred Ibel, “Experimental Houses for Squirrels,” in Novum Organum (December 3, 1968): np.

Applied Research

Architecture has long treaded the waters of applied and commercial research, and another initiative at Yale in spring 1968 falls within this rubric: the experimental plastic houses built by Drury and his students from polyurethane foam on the Yale Golf Course (and exhibited soon after in the Museum of Modern Craft’s exhibition “Plastic as Plastic”20). As reported in the New York Times, although the foam houses were still in a “primitive stage,” here was “a serious look into the future.” The three houses were rapidly constructed by inflating balloons of plastic-backed burlap onto which was sprayed a few inches of a quick-drying plastic foam, creating a rigid and waterproof curved surface that could be cut into to create windows and doors. As student Daniel Scully noted, the domes were also easily transformed: “If you were living here and you had another kid, you’d just blow up another balloon for his room and spray the foam on it, all in an hour or so.” The experiment was sponsored by Bemis Company, Inc., which donated burlap, and Union Carbide Corporation, which donated the polyurethane foam and reportedly watched the experiment “with a great deal of interest.” The students were, in effect, interpolated as a research and development arm for the corporation, testing the viability of Union Carbide’s product for application in an imagined market for complex house forms. According to Drury the experiments simply helped participants “get away from the stick mentality—thinking exclusively in terms of the post and beam—so that students after they graduate will feel at ease with a material like this, and with its curved lines.”21

As with the Yale Building Project in Appalachia, the foam plastic houses came under attack in Novum Organum. With $7,500 of foam donated by Union Carbide, they might well have irked students on the Left. But this was not, at least as stated, their main point of contention. Under the title “Experimental Houses for Squirrels,” and accompanied by hilarious photo-collages, Manfred Ibel challenged Drury’s approach of simply “playing with the material to see what can be done with it” and the imagined escape from the post and beam tectonic paradigm. “I think this is quite a naïve statement,” he retorted, pointing out that this was hardly vanguard “in an age of electronic communication where young people are growing up in an environment of mobility, flexibility and change, with jet planes, geodesic domes, air-inflated structures, plywood, plastics, space capsules and rockets, automated machines, prefabrication, epoxy, instant shaving cream and mobile homes.” Additionally he suggested that other cheap techniques were available, such as “the construction methods of the USA-frame-house-suburbia” and that “It seems that architects never want to concern themselves with the people who are going to live in their artifacts.”22

That spring also saw Barbara Staffaucher’s famous supergraphics studio, celebrated by Progressive Architecture and the New York Times.23 As Huxtable reported in the latter,

The students were to “explode” the dull box of the school elevator with color and pattern. Their painted designs were executed, two a week, until the end of the semester. Certainly no one in the building was bored. Designs ranged from a “peace elevator” with stars and stripes inside and the elevator doors sliding together to present the image of a bomber outside, to pure space-expanding experiments in fluorescent paint and flashing light.24

What was “upsetting older professionals” she concluded, pointing to the big, slick, dull work of large corporate firms, was “that the style is an architecture-destroyer—and what is destroyed, or mocked, is their architecture.” To this she added: “What is really happening is that the upcoming generation, full of beans, talent, revolt and defensible disrespect for the tasteful totems of the huge, hack symbols of the establishment, is giving them a highly creative raspberry. You could call it productive protest.”25

Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, elevator design problem given to Yale architecture students, Connecticut, 1968. Photo: James Righter.

Productive Protest

Perhaps on account of their appeal to the rhetoric of the protest movement, the supergraphics experiments do not seem to have invoked similar ire from Novum Organum. There are, furthermore, other avenues of productive protest in New Haven that bear upon this story. For instance, as chronicled by Henry Stone in Novum Organum 1 under the title “Walkout,” Yale students initiated a militant response to the insufficiencies of the American Institute of Architecture’s definition of the profession. In advance of the upcoming 1968 AIA convention, “an act of censorship (the walkout) was planned to repudiate the Institute and its goals, and an alternative conference set up that we might start to redefine the profession for ourselves.” The students stated their concerns and walked out as well as outlining a list of resolutions including, among other clauses, “We will only use our skills as tools for liberating oppressed peoples … The architect’s only responsibility is to the people who use the environment … We will work for equal distribution of economic power, work against such U.S. activities as the war in Southeast Asia, or any imperialist or racist exploitation at home and abroad.”26 The students did not consider Moore’s pedagogical initiatives to have gone far enough and they organized and struggled for input into the school’s transformation, fighting for an increased voice in the administration, choice of coursework, and admissions policies of the school.27 Novum Organum 3 (its cover replete with graffiti collected from the walls of the A&A toilets) also reproduced a list of recommendations to the dean to upgrade the faculty, whom they deemed “of limited diversity, mediocre quality and small and unvoiced activity.”28

Sited in close proximity to poor African American communities in New Haven, Yale remained a bastion of white privilege. Under Mayor Richard Lee, the city was subjected to one of the most violent and racist urban renewal programs in America.29 As Tom Williams recounts,

In August 1967, the city erupted in five days of rioting that caused millions of dollars of damage and marked an early and salient sign of an impending national crisis. This inaugurated an era of “street fighting pluralism” that served as a backdrop for much of the school’s activism and culminated in the turmoil that accompanied the New Haven trial of Bobby Seale and other Black Panthers in 1970.30

Brian Goldstein has detailed the ways in which the university was complicit with the urban renewal programs that proved so devastating to poor, black, inner-city neighborhoods. Like Eero Saarinen’s Morse and Stiles residential colleges and Philip Johnson’s Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health, the A&A building itself, he explains, was constructed within the city’s Dwight Renewal Area, hence forming part of a story of collaboration between the city and the university to facilitate displacement of existing populations. In response, in 1968 ten African American students founded an interdisciplinary group called the Black Workshop as “a radical alternative to the traditional Yale design education.”31 Faced with ongoing injustices, Goldstein writes, students “demanded pedagogical changes that would help foster greater engagement with the people whom architects and planner served,” calling for “greater engagement with their community, racial diversity in their profession, influence in university planning, and increased involvement in university governance.”32

Guerilla Theater

One last episode: in May 1969, A&A students launched a very distinct trajectory of protests, seeking financial equity with other graduate schools. After the failure of an initial petition to President Kingman Brewster, on May 8 they turned to theatrical demonstrations, attempting to enter the Yale Art Gallery en masse, and staging a “live-in” within the A&A building to “dramatize,” as Stone put it, “the seriousness of our situation.”33 The following day students launched acts of “guerrilla theater” on campus: around noon they staged a “mock burial” of a coffin marked “the unknown A&A student.” As reported in Yale Daily News, “with a motorcycle escort, the hearse proceeded to Beinecke Plaza followed by a train of wailing mourners. The students then unloaded the coffin and, with great solemnity, lowered it down gently into the Beinecke sculpture court.”34 Four days later the theater continued with the students staging a mock-auction of paintings in the Yale Art Gallery with sales made in “bogus Brewster bucks.”35 The following week, as announced on the front page of Yale Daily News, the A&A was forced to suspend classes, including those needed for graduation, only weeks away.36 The adjacent story that day was “Beinecke Lipstick,” which recounted that a student group calling themselves the Colossal Keepsake Corporation had commissioned Claes Oldenburg’s monumental sculpture Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Track, which was erected as an act of defiance against Gordon Bunschaft’s Beinecke Library.37

As Tom McDonough and Goldstein have recounted, faced with the failure of democratic transformations, students in the planning department were radicalizing at this time, not in the name of improving levels of financial support for the existing student body but to transform that student body, and hence the institution as such. Seeking to address diversity issues they sought, albeit to different ends than Moore, “to make design more responsive to the complex needs of the world around us.” Attempts to increase the number of African-American students led not to Yale addressing concerns about racial bias but to Brewster’s decision in December 1970 to simply terminate the program.38 “And then in June 1969,” Robert Stern lamented,

fire at the Art and Architecture Building, the nightmare culmination of the protests of students against its strong forms, protests which had been a continuous threat since its opening in 1963. What had begun as an issue of form versus functional accommodation had expanded and matured, frighteningly, into the deepest ideological controversy of our time—to the question of elitism in culture.39

Networks of Power

In retrospect, we might say that what initially might have appeared as a field of vanguard architectural experimentation emerges as a more complicated response to the period’s technological transformations and to rising urban security concerns when our viewpoint is expanded even just a little from the reception of architectural works and events within mainstream publications and historical narratives. What Moore called “real problems in all their complexity” or “the complex needs of the world around us” remind us, moreover, of the discipline’s proximity to such historical forces and the sometimes ambiguous nature of its professional and ethical directive to respond. Whether we take experiments with computer-driven technologies, social-scientific tools for addressing questions of poverty and discontent, or new materials thought to harbor the potential to respond to new or flexible forms of life, each finds complex footholds in, and utility for, a broader matrix of power then fueling, and fueled by, the so-called military-industrial-academic complex and the multinational corporations who served to benefit from such innovation.

Art and Architecture students carry a coffin containing the unknown A & A student on their way to a mock funeral at Beinecke Plaza, Yale University, Connecticut, in Yale Daily News, 1969.

In recalling these stories from the late 1960s, my ambition is in no way to suggest that architecture either simply remains entrapped by its relation to such “complex needs of the world around us,” or that the discipline seek instead to avoid imbrication with emergent techniques of power and the larger apparatus through which they operate. This troubled and at times troubling imbrication is precisely what makes architecture so challenging and interesting and it can set a framework for certain potentials to open up. In contrast to simply celebrating vanguardism or instituting heroic narratives that effectively operate to silence such troubles, my aim is to underscore the importance of working to render more visible, and to critically engage with, those intangible or elusive forces informing architecture’s technological, conceptual, and economic parameters. It is to insist, as I argue elsewhere, that it is precisely on account of being so thoroughly imbricated within this expanded matrix of power that architecture harbors potentials to interrupt, intervene within, or redirect it to other ends.40 Relations of power, as Michel Foucault reminds us, are fluid, mobile, unstable, reversible. The problem, as he puts it, alluding to Jürgen Habermas, “is not to try to dissolve [power relations] in the utopia of completely transparent communication but to acquire the rules of law, the management techniques, and also the morality, the ethos, the practice of the self, that will allow us to play these games of power with as little domination as possible.”41


Charles Moore, “Departmental Reports: Department of Architecture,” Eye: Magazine of the Yale Arts Association, 1967, 29.


When this research was initially undertaken it was not with the idea of writing on the Yale A&A as such, but in the context of understanding the school during the moment when the Australian architect Peter Corrigan was studying there.


See Richard W. Hayes, “Activism in Appalachia: Yale Architecture Students in Kentucky, 1966–69,” in Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures, ed. Florian Kossak, Doina Petrescu, Renata Tyszczuk, Tatjana Schneideer, and Stephen Walker (New York and London: Routledge, 2010), 21–31. Hayes recalls the importance of the initiative of three students—Tom Carey, Steve Edwins, and Robert Swenson—who had spent time in Appalachia and introduced the project in New Zion, Kentucky “as a possible extracurricular project to Moore, who instead decided that he would make it the design project for the Spring 1967 semester of the first-year class,” teaching it along with Kent Bloomer, 26. See also “Out of the Atelier and Into Reality,” Progressive Architecture XLVIII, no. 9 (September 1967): 166.


“Education for Alienation,” Novum Organum 1 (November 14, 1968): np. The editors were Bob Coombs, Mark Ellis, Manfred Ibel, Herb Short, and Stuart Wrede.


Brochure entitled “Yale University School of Art and Architecture,” 1968–69, np.


See “Computer Graphics in Architecture: Proceedings of the Yale Conference on Computer Graphics in Architecture,” ed. Murray Milne, (Computer Graphics and Architecture, Yale University, 1968).


Charles W. Moore, “Plug it in Ramses, and See if it Lights Up, Because We Aren’t Going to Keep It Unless it Works,” Perspecta 11 (Fall 1967): 32–43.


C. Ray Smith, Supermannerism: New Attitudes in Post-Modern Architecture (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977), 108–09.


Ada Louise Huxtable, “Kicked a Building Lately?” New York Times, January 12, 1969, 25, 28.


On Pulsa see Yates McKee, “The Public Sensoriums of Pulsa: Cybernetic Abstraction and the Biopolitics of Urban Survival,” Art Journal 67, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 46–67.


Smith, Supermannerism, 108–109.


Thomas Hine and John Coots, “Light, Sound, People Make ‘Argus’ Happen,” Yale Daily News, April 26, 1968, 1. It is not clear whom they are citing.


William Betsch, “Panoptics Fill Yale Gallery,” New Haven Journal-Courier, April 11, 1968.


Hine and Coots, “Light, Sound, People Make ‘Argus’ Happen,” 1.


Joel Katz, “Pulsa=Light as Truth,” Yale Alumni Magazine XXXI, no. 8 (May 1968): 43.


Cited in Stewart Kranz, Science & Technology in the Arts: A Tour Through the Realm of Science + Art (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1974), 261.


Cited in Kranz, 262.


Gerd Stern, cited in Deckle McLean, “The Multi-Media Thing,” Boston Sunday Globe, February 7 1971.


See Marshall McLuhan, “The Emperor’s Old Clothes,” in The Man-Made Object, ed. Gyorgy Kepes (New York: George Braziller, 1966), 90–95.


See Plastic as Plastic, ed. Sandra R. Zimmerman (New York: Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1968).


William Borders, “Yale Students Mold an Experimental House of Plastic Foam,” New York Times, June 16, 1968, R1. Drury later realized such a foam-plastic structure as a corporate guest house for the West Point Pepperell corporate headquarters in Langdale, Alabama, using a heavy nylon fabric manufactured by the corporation. See Felix Drury, “Foam Home,” Progressive Architecture 52 (May 1971): 100–03.


Manfred Ibel, “Experimental Houses for Squirrels,” Novum Organum (December 3, 1968): np.


See C. Ray Smith, “The New Interiors: Fad or Fact?” Progressive Architecture 49, no. 4 (October 1968): 150-58.


Ada Louise Huxtable, “Kicked a Building Lately?” 28.




Henry Stone, “Walkout,” Novum Organum 1 (1968), np. See also Perspecta 29 and Brian Goldstein, “Planning’s End? Urban Renewal in New Haven, the Yale School of Art and Architecture, and the Fall of the New Deal Spatial Order,” Journal of Urban History 37, no. 3 (2011): 407–08.


Jim Swiss, “A & A School: Problems of Space, Student Power, Grading and Relevance,” Yale Daily News, January 15, 1969, 7.


See “Notes from the Committee of 8,” in Novum Organum 3, January 6, 1969, np.


On Urban Renewal in New Haven see Mandy Isaacs Jackson, Model City Blues: Urban Space and Organized Resistance in New Haven (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008); Anthony Ward, “Resistance or Reaction?: The Cultural Politics of Design,” Architecture and Behavior 9, no. 1 (1993): 48–49; and Goldstein, “Planning’s End?”


Tom Williams, “Lipstick Ascending: Claes Oldenburg in New Haven in 1969,” Grey Room 31 (Spring 2008): 122.


Goldstein, “Planning’s End?” 410. See also Richard Dozier, “The Black Architect at Yale,” Design Quarterly 82/83 (1971): 16.


Goldstein, “Planning’s End?” 402.


Tom Warren, “A & A Students Camp Out to Protest Financial Status,” Yale Daily News, May 8,1969, 1.


Tom Warren, “A&A Protesters Hold Mock Burial,” Yale Daily News, May 9, 1969, 1. That night they “demonstrated at the opening night performance of the Yale Repertory Theater’s ‘Greatshot’ by begging and selling pencils to dramatize their financial situation.”


Tom Warren, “Brewster to Face A & A Demands,” Yale Daily News, May 12, 1969, 1.


Tom Warren, “A & A Faculty Agrees to Suspend Academics,” Yale Daily News, May 16, 1969, 1.


Williams, “Lipstick Ascending,” 121. “The School of Art and Architecture had long been an enclave of activist sentiment in the midst of a conservative campus,” he explains, adding “the monument’s installation marked the culmination of a long period of protest that challenged the structure and administration of the program.”


See Tom McDonough, “The Surface as Stake: A Postscript to Timothy M. Rohan’s Rendering the Surface,” Grey Room 5 (Fall 2001): 102–11; Goldstein, “Planning’s End?”; and Harry Wexler, “The Yale Saga: From Admissions Bust to Final Solution,” Bulletin of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 9, no. 3 (Autumn 1971): 3.


Stern, “Yale, 1950–1965,” 56.


See Felicity D. Scott, Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-insurgency (forthcoming from Zone Books).


Michel Foucault, “The Ethics of the Concern for Self as a Practice of Freedom,” in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: The New Press, 1997): 298.

Architecture, Education, Technology
Protests & Demonstrations
Return to Issue #64

Felicity D. Scott is an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, where she also acts as director of the PhD program in architecture (history and theory) and as co-director of the program in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP). In addition to numerous articles on contemporary art and architecture, she is the author of Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics after Modernism (MIT, 2007), Living Archive 7: Ant Farm (ACTAR Editorial, 2008), and Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-Insurgency, forthcoming on Zone Books. She was also a founding co-editor of Grey Room, a quarterly journal about architecture, art, media and politics published by MIT Press since 2000.


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