As a young man with a desire to be an architect I enrolled in Mies Van Der Rohe’s School of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He had designed the entire campus in his severe Modern style. In my beginning class I was to draw straight line with a lead pencil. The second semester we would advance to drawing brick masonry patterns.
Mies examined my work and gave his approval. However, I was dissatisfied with this training as a knew I already had these elementary skills. Late one night a classmate told me about the School of Design on the North side of Chicago. The next day I enrolled there. Most of the faculty were Europeans who taught at the German Bauhaus, who had come to America to escape the Nazis. I entered their Foundation Course which was patterned after the Bauhaus method. I was a young man, just off the farm and soon became sensually stimulated to the point of personal danger.
In my room I had a 78 rpm record player. When listening to a high pitch flute rendition of Bach’s Brandenberg Concertos I became transcendentally ecstatic to a degree I felt endangered for my mental stability, such that I never exposed my self to that situation again. Later, to complete my studies, I enrolled in the School of Architecture in Raleigh
North Carolina There, transcendental aesthetic experiences would occur as a design came to me on my drawing board; but within the classroom and direction of my much revered instructor. This was to be my guiding endeavour for coming years of my architectural practice.
On my first day at the School of Architecture in North Carolina, I had this memorable experience with Professor Horacio Caminos. He was from Argentina, where he had to leave because of a repressive dictatorship there. He knew some 30 or 40 words of English when he approached my desk. I was drawing my design assignment when he saw a color I had mixed, a soft yellow green color to which he remarked favorably about. I relate this experience here because it was a connection with sense perception that is still with me today. Recalling this event as a student, confirms a philosophical principle I have; that a priori sense perception is the beginning of all forms of creativity. It also led me to be influenced by this mentor throughout my career as an architect and designer.