It’s 1969 and Wurster Hall is a campus hub of the massive resistance movement sweeping the nation in the wake of Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. While student groups gather to organize protests, others work creating the antiwar posters that will soon hang across campus and the surrounding community. What began as an ad hoc effort by a handful of CED students to keep fellow students fed while they operated the presses and planned sit-ins, has transformed nearly 50 years later into a new center for idea sharing, refueling, and relaxing, with much finer fare.
In the early twentieth century, the amateur inventor Julius Neubronner designed a miniature camera and harness to be carried aloft by homing pigeons. Equipped with a timing mechanism and a mind of its own, each ‘pigeon-cam’ offered a single unpredictably framed image of the urban landscape. Although they literally captured the historically sought-after ‘bird’s-eye view’, the age of mechanized aerial reconnaissance soon overtook Neubronner’s pigeons. At the apex of this skyward progression, imaging satellites came to reveal large-scale patterns in the landscape that remained imperceptible from lower altitudes.
In September 2017, French-Israeli independent film-maker Amos Gitai visited Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design where he led a seminar on “Architecture and Film,” participated in a festival in which three of his films were exhibited, and engaged in multiple conversations with students and faculty concerning aspects of the craft of film-making. What follows is a summary of conversations with CED Emeritus Professor Michael Dear, including a contribution from Marie-José Sanselme, a long–time collaborator of Amos Gitai. The conversations were edited by Michael Dear.
Hearing tragic stories, such as those coming from Houston, the Caribbean, and Florida, of flooded homes, lost livelihoods, and destroyed personal possessions, our inclination is to blame nature. We often see quotes in the news such as “there was more rain than the models projected,” or “the river swelled too quickly for us to evacuate properly.” However, while forces of nature supply the winds, rain, and tidal surges, the severity of these events and their disastrous outcomes are the result of human intervention. And with climate change, we are going to see more such events in the future.
“Exposure at a young age to a variety of things shapes what we imagine for our future as we grow,” explains CED alumnus Cameron Toler, AIA (B.Arch. ‘09). “And the more exposure kids have to architecture and design, and to design thinking, and the more tools they can put in their toolbox, the better off they are to build the future they envision.”