Social Factors

In the early 1960s, the newly established College of Environmental Design (CED) experienced growing faculty and student diversity and a developing curriculum that addressed expanding ecological, social, and research trends. Berkeley was engulfed by the winds of social change as exemplified in the Free Speech Movement of 1964. These changes were reflected in the Landscape Architecture Department through new courses in social and ecological areas of environmental concern and the challenge to combine environmental planning and professional design.

Donald Appleyard’s research in environmental perception, Clare Cooper Marcus’s research in social and psychological factors in landscape design, Robin Moore’s research focus on children’s play environments, and Randy Hester’s leadership in community participation all contributed to Berkeley’s growing reputation as a leader in social factors design education. Berkeley faculty-led research added to the increasing prominence of the department and its growing “social factors” bent became one of the dominant influences in the profession.

The Department’s focus on social factors and community involvement continued through the 90s. During the 1996/97 academic year the Spoonbill Action Voluntary Echo (SAVE) organization was founded to save these endangered birds by convincing the Taiwanese government not to turn the spoonbills’ wetland home into a petrochemical complex. To encourage this effort and contribute to the student experience of activism, each year a flock of creatively constructed spoonbills appeared on the lawn near Wurster Hall and were auctioned as a fund-raiser.