Notebooks

## Campus architecture and student revolts

18 Feb 1996 17:54

William Irwin Thompson ... likens the way students were treating dorms and campuses in the late '60s to Navajo Indians driving across their reservation in a pick-up truck, tossing beer-cans out the windows, saying that in both cases you had a complete disregard for one's heritage.
---Mitchell Porter
Well, not just the late '60s...

Is there any connection between the styles of buildings on a campus, and the frequency and intensity of student unrest? If so, what is the most revolutionary'' style of architecture --- and do the revolutionaries like it? How about to mere student depravity and deliquency?

See Blowing the Zoo to Kingdom Come'', Lingua franca Dec. 1991, for an argument that high-rise dorms turn students into (at best) barbarians. This is probably true. The best fictional treatment of this is Neal Stephenson's The Big U; probably anyone who's attended a large American university in the last few decades will find parts of this true to life, all too true to life. But be warned it was his first novel.