Perspecta 9/10 and the Emergence of a Postmodern American Architecture
Source TitleGOLD: Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand
University of Melbourne Author/sBrennan, Annmarie
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsBrennan, A. (2016). Perspecta 9/10 and the Emergence of a Postmodern American Architecture. Brennan, A (Ed.) Goad, P (Ed.) GOLD: Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, pp.76-82. SAHANZ.
Access StatusOpen Access
The editorial approach of a student journal may appear to be a somewhat insignificant contribution to architectural discourse, however to understand the significance of a single issue, one must consider the environment that helped to form it, and the characters who played an important part in the creation of the issue. Founded at the Yale School of Architecture in 1952, Perspecta is the oldest and longest running student-edited architectural journal in the United States. Historically, what set this journal apart from other architectural periodicals was that it was one of the first to approach the topic of design from artistic, historical and theoretical vantage points. And in many respects, the 1965 issue Perspecta 9/10 edited by a young Robert A.M. Stern, could be cited as one of the primary venues in which architectural history/theory and architectural practice coalesced to establish a postmodern American architecture. Stern, now retired Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, claimed that his editorial objective was to present new emerging ‘talent,’ which consisted of young architects who would come to define a new American movement in architecture. Three significant contributors to this particular issue of Perspecta were Robert Venturi, Charles Moore, and Romaldo Giurgola. Looking back at this moment, it is intriguing to discover what defined the work featured in these magazines as ‘American.’ Beginning with an overview of Perspecta 9/10, this paper will examine how the medium of the studentedited architectural magazine assisted in promoting the idea of an American architecture during the mid-1960s. In doing so, this paper will demonstrate how the architectural journal, written by mostly architects and edited by an architecture graduate student, would become a vehicle in establishing an American postmodern architectural theory.
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