Herb Green (b. 1929) was drawn to the University of Oklahoma by the promise of studying architecture with Bruce Goff. Greene left Syracuse University destined for Oklahoma in 1948, where he quickly emerged as one of the most talented designers. Goff, however, did not encourage imitation by his students; rather he challenged each student to develop their own unique identity as designers. Greene embraced this philosophy and developed his own radically creative approach to design evident in projects such as his 1961 Prairie House. Greene also emerged as a gifted teacher known for being able to coax the very best work out of his own students. After graduating and spending time in practice, Greene returned to OU in 1957 to join the faculty. A generation of inspired architects were fortunate to have Greene as their teacher and mentor.

To honor the legacy of Herb Greene, the Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma has created the Herb Greene Teaching Fellowship. The Greene Fellowship invites emerging designers and scholars to spend two years immersed in the creative community of the Division of Architecture. Fellows are required to teach three courses each year as well as develop a creative project or research agenda, which is shared with the OU community through a public lecture or exhibition. Fellows have the time and support to develop their creative activity and research as well as opportunities to grow as teachers. Fellows will have access to the incredible body of work produced by the architects of the American School, now housed in the OU Libraries American School Archive.

The Herb Greene Teaching Fellowship pays tribute to Greene’s contribution to the American School; his years in Norman were formative ones in which he grew as a designer and teacher. We aspire to provide the same fertile conditions for growth and development to emerging designers and scholars today. Moreover, bringing the fellowship will allow the Division to benefit from a regular stream of new perspectives and approaches to design. We hope to foster an international community of Greene Fellows bonded through their experiences at OU, a community of leaders whose careers were shaped by their own formative experiences rooted in the magic of the Oklahoma prairie and supported by the creative and academic community they found at OU.

The OU Division of Architecture will welcome the inaugural Herb Greene Teaching Fellow René Peralta for the Fall 2019 semester. Peralta studied architecture at the New School of Architecture in San Diego and the Architectural Association in London, England. His work explores contemporary and future forms of the urban border between the United States and Mexico.

To donate in support of the Herb Greene Teaching Fellowship, click here.

Image: Herb Greene (left) & Bruce Goff at Price Tower (1958). Photo by: Robert Alan Bowlby.