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College of Design

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charles A. Kubat

University of Minnesota - B.A. Arch '70, B.Arch '70
MIT - MCP '77

What was the most important thing/skill/concept you learned at the School of Architecture?
Organized thinking and problem solving in a creative way, and communicating that thinking.

Who made the most lasting impression (most influenced you) and why?
Ralph Rapson for his leadership of the school and open minded approach to design, Dewy Thorbeck for his introduction to creative collaborative interdisciplinary practice, Roger Clemence for his leadership of the community outreach studio and mentorship of us as first participants in a new and mind expanding experiment, and his quiet and supportive personality. Also, Professor Iskander opened my eyes to "planning," Dennis Grebner for his attention to drawing and design, and Milo Thompson for his focus on design.

What is your favorite memory from your studio days?
Our late night (mid-morning 3am) marches and antics around the upper level of the main courtyard to break up a long over-nighter. Everyone spray gluing tissue to boards in the hallways 30 minutes before final presentations and the sounds of Janus Joplin and Creedance wafting through the studio late at night.

Please identify one (or more) memorable design project that you worked on while a student at the School of Architecture.
A master plan and urban housing for the island in the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul, 
an interdisciplinary regional commercial development master plan for the suburb of Hopkins, the Europe study tour showcase of Spain (our location that year), various projects for the Minneapolis Model City Program in our outreach studio including my thesis for a Communications System and Coordinating Center for the Program

What major forces (such as individual architects, design philosophies, rendering styles, research methods, etc.) do you remember influencing you significantly as a student?
My experience in the studio seeing the rendering and sketching work of Ralph Rapson and older students inspired me to master my own technique. My trip to Spain with our class was the beginning of a monumental summer travel and personal growth experience that has influenced the rest of my career and life. My experiences in the outreach studio led me to help found and work in a Community Design Center in Denver and has influenced my entire career in working with clients, neighborhoods, and larger communities.

Cite an example (be specific) that illustrates how you used the education you received at the School of Architecture to positively impact (or better) your community, city, nation or the world.
I see my education as having prepared me to not just design buildings, but to influence the creation of great neighborhoods, villages, and entire planned communities both as a designer and a client for creative community solutions. These have opened the opportunities for richer lives in the places I have helped create in Kingwood, TX; Memphis, TN; and Las Vegas, NV.

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