The American School Project Newsletter
February 2018
Dear friends,
I am pleased to share with you four exciting updates about the American School Project, including our progress toward the 2018 Venice Biennale; developing the American School Archive; partnering with OU Libraries on an exhibition at Bizzell Library, and our recent award to fund an American School Dream Course. As always, if you are interested in getting involved in the American School Project, please click here.
Above: Students and faculty are hard at work designing the "American School in Venice" exhibition.
Excitement Builds for Venice Biennale

The American School exhibition for the 2018 Venice Biennale continues to make exciting progress. Led by Dean Hans E. Butzer and architecture faculty Luca Guido and Michael Hoffner, a group of students are participating in a special course which is undertaking the design and production of the exhibition. Magda Schaffernicht, a student in this course, recently commented that, " The American School is a book full of riddles waiting to be presented to the world. As students, we have the rare opportunity to solve those riddles through research and design, becoming a part of the history of our college and possibly architecture itself."
If you are interested in attending an opening reception during the 2018 Venice Biennale, please contact Angela Person (
Above: Bridget Burke unrolls an American School student drawing during a recent tour of the American School Archive.
The American School Archive Takes Shape

The American School team recently had the pleasure of introducing the University of Oklahoma Libraries' new Associate Dean for Special Collections, Bridget Burke, to the growing American School Archive. Burke, who will play a critical role in ensuring that these materials are properly preserved for future generations, said that, "The drawings, plans, and project files that make up the archives of the American School are especially significant because so few of the designs represent projects that were built; the archives document the 'un-built' environment, a place of boundless imagination. We often think of archives as documenting what really happened, but often the most compelling stories in archives are about roads not taken, or, in this case, built environments that exist only as drawings in the archive. Finally, the American School archives demonstrate a key role of the University Libraries' Special Collections in documenting the creative and innovative activities of University of Oklahoma faculty. We're excited to be involved in the preservation of these distinctive materials."
Contact Erik Baker ( if you are interested in donating materials to the American School Archive.
Above: Dean Rick Luce, OU Libraries.
Gibbs College of Architecture Partners with OU Libraries on 2018 Exhibition

In addition to collaborating with OU Libraries on the formation of the American School Archive, the Gibbs College of Architecture is also working with OU Libraries to develop an exhibition that will highlight pieces of this special collection. OU Libraries Dean Rick Luce recently expressed his enthusiasm about this partnership. " When we began discussions about the creation of an American School Archive and exhibition in the Bizzell Memorial Library, Dean Butzer quoted Bruce Goff's phase 'do not try to remember.' Truly innovative, transformative works disrupt tradition to carve their own place in history. Just as Goff inverted the teacher, pupil relationship to emphasize student creativity at OU, the University Libraries has become the intellectual crossroads of the University. Through spaces, technologies, collections and resources, the libraries have similarly adopted a role of enabling students to bring their ideas to life. We are thrilled to welcome this archive into our Western History Collections and to collaborate on an exhibition highlighting this pinnacle moment in American architecture and pedagogy."

Save the date for the opening of the American School Exhibition at Bizzell, to be held on September 22, 2018.
Above: Projects displayed during a School of Architecture Open House (1973). Western History Collections, OU Libraries.
American School Project Receives Fall 2018 Dream Course Funding

The University of Oklahoma Provost's Office recently awarded $20,000 in Presidential Dream Course funding to support a Fall 2018 course that coincides with the American School exhibitions in Venice and at Bizzell Library. This Presidential Dream Course will provide students the opportunity to engage in research with and learn about our shared history from leading scholars from around the country. The guest lecturers funded by the Dream Course will also give public lectures, so stay tuned for the Fall 2018 American School Dream Course lecture schedule.

If you would like to learn more about the American School Dream Course, contact Stephanie Pilat (
We look forward to providing you with more exciting updates soon!

Kind regards,
Stephanie Pilat
Director, Division of Architecture
Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture
The University of Oklahoma
The American School Project is led by the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.