The Architect and the City
This seminar was held at Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1962, under the joint auspices of the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; the proceedings, which are collected in this important new book, deserve the attention of every working architect.
The urban areas of the United States will grow by 90 million persons within the next twenty years, and the architect's role in shaping the character of the American scene will expand enormously. But his influence at the policy-making level of urban planning and his social awareness must be broadened. The contributions frankly admit that architectural education as presently constituted is thoroughly inadequate in providing the necessary background in economics, politics, sociology, and modern technology, which are as essential to today's architect as his creative imagination. In the tightly structured urban regions, his responsibilities go beyond the single building to embrace the total environment. Constructive suggestions for updating and liberalizing his professional education are discussed in detail.
Still, as several contributors point out, for all these other factors which must now be taken into account, the architect's chief concern remains what it has always been” the marriage of usefulness and beauty. As Le Corbusier puts it: “The architect by his arrangement of forms realizes an order which is the pure creation of his spirit.... He determines the various movements of our heart and of our understanding; it is then that we experience the sense of beauty.”