Louis I. Kahn, teacher


Louis I. Kahn was not only an architect of powerful buildings; he was also an unconventional teacher and a radical philosopher whose influence on his students was far-reaching. It is through his many former students, especially those in his Master's Class at the University of Pennsylvania, 1960-74, that Kahn's distinctive philosophy of education and unique pedagogy have continued to influence the teaching and making of architecture in the late modern era. Focusing on a neglected area of Kahn scholarship, the author argues that Kahn's legacy as a teacher should be remembered as among his greatest accomplishments. The study examines Kahn's philosophy of education, his unique pedagogy, and his motives for teaching. It draws upon the author's experience as a student in the Master's Class and extensive research at the Louis I. Kahn Collection housed in Penn's Architectural Archives, the comprehensive repository of records relating to Kahn's academic and professional career. It is the first study to be based upon interviews with numerous fellow Master's Class alumni, reflecting the views expressed by Kahn's students about their teacher and the lasting impact of his teaching on their professional lives. © 2013 Cambridge University Press.

Publication Title

Architectural Research Quarterly