Students' Voices: Then & Now?

Come Together in Peace (1st row, left)

Gorilla Graphics

"In the spring of 1970 President Richard M. Nixon announced that the United States had entered Cambodia.  On May 4, 1970, four young people were killed on the Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio, in what had been believed to be a peace demonstration.  In response some colleges closed for the remainder of the spring term.  Others staged sit-ins and marches.

Governor Ronald Reagan closed the California State University system for four days.  When they were able to enter Wurster Hall again, the students and staff from the College of Environmental Design moved into action and "Gorilla Graphics" was born.  The pun in the name added a somewhat light-hearted quality to the nitty-gritty of the Vietnam War era. 

The group, using cast-off materials -- discarded computer printouts, sheeting, paints and dyes -- created a remarkable quantity of posters, bumper stickers, armbands and even clothing to foster the Peace Movement.  Using recycled materials was a much a statement as it was a necessity -- no money."

--excerpt from "Remembering Gorilla Graphics" by Inez Brooks-Myers in Design on the Edge.  A Century of Teaching Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, 1903-2003. (Byrne, Lowell, Frederick-Rothwell, Eds., 2009).

--poster from the Records of the CED, Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley

"Arkisnak." (1st row, middle)

In 1968, CED students exploited the compartmental effect of Wurster Hall's sunshades and converted one of the building's facades into a vending machine.  While this may seem an innocent and good-humored prank, we have to wonder if, given the social unrest of the day, this was a highly calculated statement on higher educcation.  What do you get when you put your money in?

--photo courtesy, Marc Treib

Student's Voices

Several student newspapers have been published by the CED during its 50 years.  In these pages, a politically engaged student body voice emerges.  Not only did students speak out about their education, they also expressed opinions about the Vietnam War, foreign affairs, the U.S. government, and civil rights.

The College of Environmental Design House Organ (1970s)

CED Spectrum (1976)


--Records of the CED, Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley

MArch class of 1999 in Wurster Hall stairwell. (3rd row, right)

The graffiti was removed during the seismic retrofit.

--photo by Maria Moreno, Centennial Collection, Records of the CED, Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley

Habitat Manifesto

"In the summer of 1976 a number of faculty and students in CED (Halim Abdelhalim, Susan Collier, Sara Ishikawa, John Liu, Clare Cooper Marcus, Robin Moore, and Don Turner) attended the U.N. Habitat Forum in Vancouver, Canada.  This turned out to be a pivotal experience, radicalizing many of us, and resulting in a Manifesto we presented to the Faculty."

Expert from "Social Factors in Architecture: 1960 - 2004" by Clare Cooper Marcus in Design on the Edge.  A Century of Teaching Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, 1903-2003 (Byrne, Lowell, Frederick-Rothwell, Eds., 2009).

Wurster Hall "Stop the War," (2nd row, middle)

1975; J.C. Catton photograph

--courtesy University Archives/The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley

CED students take a break from their studies during an afternoon happy-hour at the Hearst Field Annex. (4th row, left)

--photo courtesy Cris Benton