Dean Sert Reports Design School Stress on Visual Arts, Aesthetics

The School of Design satisfies its basic aim of "improvement of our physical environment by emphasizing the visual arts and aesthetics," Dean Jose L. Sert explained last night.

Sert told a Career Conference on Architectural Sciences in the Adams House Lower Common Room that modernization and planning of that environment would "improve all aspects of life," by making every day living more pleasant.

"The School's emphasis is on the visual arts," he continued. "In teaching architecture, of course, we lay stress on the fact that buildings must have permanence, that they must last, but we are very much concerned with aesthetics, for architects should build beautiful buildings," he said.

School Has Three Departments

The School gives only a graduate program because it desires men with a liberal education, he explained. But it does allow seniors in the College to take a first-year Design program and shorten the period of time required for their architectural degrees.

Such seniors take the regular first-year program which includes an intensive course in Environmental Design and a course in design research, besides various specialized courses.

The Design School has three departments, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Regional and City Planning. Reginald R. Isaacs, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning, pointed out that the demand for city planners greatly exceeds the supply, and added that starting salaries in this field were very high.

He added he has already received 200 requests for such qualified graduates.

Isaacs said that students interested in city planning should have a background in Government, Economics, and Sociology to complement their architectural training.

Alexander S. Cochran, speaking for architecture, and Charles W. Eliot '20, speaking for landscape architecture, were not so enthusiastic. Advancement in these fields was slow, they said.

Eliot also suggested that the landscape architect start out on his own, and not with a large firm. "It is riskier, but you know very soon whether you can do it, and you learn more quickly."