Architecture professors Stephanie Pilat and Luca Guido are currently teaching a Presidential Dream Course titled, “Renegades: The American School of Architecture.”

This seminar on The American School examines its history at OU, as well as Bruce Goff, who served as department Chairman in the 1940s and ’50s, and his architectural philosophies.

During Goff’s time, architecture schools in the United States followed a curriculum inspired by either the French Beaux Arts school or the German Bauhaus school. French design centered mainly on classical principles of design, including meticulous copying of Greek and Roman classical architecture.

On the other hand, schools such as the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Design adapted the Bauhaus curriculum model—known for embracing industry and abstraction in art, architecture, and design—to the American context.

Only the curriculum started by Goff at the University of Oklahoma stood apart from these two trends: it was an original and authentically American approach to architecture and pedagogy. Students will explore this unique approach through course assignments that include creating Wikipedia entries and 90-second films about American School architects.

Additionally, there will be public lectures by Christian Dagg, head of architecture at Auburn University, on Feb. 11; Penelope Dean, associate professor at the UIC School of Architecture, on March 11; and Christopher Mead, professor emeritus of the University of New Mexico, on April 15. Following his lecture, Mead will lead a moderated discussion with American School alumni, including Herb Greene, Nelson Brackin, Ernie Burden, and Arthur Dyson. To view the symposium poster, click here.

For more information about these events, including event locations and times, visit https://architecture.ou.edu/news-events/.

For more information about the course or to request accommodations for the public lectures, contact Stephanie Pilat at spilat@ou.edu.

Photo credit: Luca Guido