On the question of leadership: the postwar Department of Education and Research at the AIA

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Avigail Sachs


In 1946 the American Institute of Architects established a Department of Education and Research (E&R), under architect Walter A. Taylor. The name given the new department signaled the importance of research for architecture, and the AIA’s intended leadership role in promoting research-based architectural practice. E&R developed research policies under an advisory board and in 1959 convened a conference on research for architecture, funded by the National Science Foundation. Butthe AIA never assumed full leadership in research for architecture: The scope of the project was beyond the means of either academia or the profession, and postwar research policies remained decentralized. Although E&R played a role in directing applied research, academic institutions provedmore able to assume leadership of basic research. This history illustrates the complexity of leadership in a field that bridges academia and professional practice, as well as the importance of multiple leadership roles.

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Sachs, A. “On the Question of Leadership: The Postwar Department of Education and Research at the AIA”. Enquiry The ARCC Journal for Architectural Research, Vol. 6, no. 2, Dec. 2009, doi:10.17831/enq:arcc.v6i2.32.
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