The College of Environmental Design

"No written record of Wurster’s first ideas for the college exists. His statement describing the college, which appeared in the booklet announcing the programs for the fall and spring semesters of 1960-1961, was written more than a decade after he became Dean of what would be the college’s largest department:

'Each of these departments (City and Regional Planning,    Landscape   Architecture, and Architecture) developed independently (on the Berkeley campus.) But all three of them, with their many distinguished graduates now scattered all over the world, have played important roles in one of the great revolutions of our time: the effort to integrate  practical needs with science, technology, and art in the design and organization of the man-made environment, an international movement to which California has made important contributions in all three realms. . . . As the responsibilities in each professional field have broadened and deepened, the need for mutual contact and understanding has become more apparent.'

Although the concept of the College implied an interdisciplinary   structure, the intention was not to train an all-purpose professional who would address the movement as a whole. Instead, the task was to strengthen the departments and the liaisons between them through joint appointments and interdisciplinary courses. The students would then have the opportunity to mix and match studies in their chosen areas while being part of the whole picture in the natural way that physical proximity implied."

--excerpt from Sally B. Woodbridge, The College of Environmental Design in Wurster Hall, A History, May 1984. A copy of this essay is in the Environmental Design Archives; it was also published in Places, volume 1, number 2. It has been revised and reprinted for the CED’s 50th Anniversary programming.

Campus Aerial View, before 1940 (1st row, left)

-Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley