Architectural Education Session 8: Guest Lecturer Phil Bernstein


Phil Bernstein standing in front of a whiteboard, lecturing Tocci employees

Last week for our architectural training we had a special guest lecturer: Phil Bernstein.

Phil Bernstein is a member of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) and is the Vice President at Autodesk. He also teaches professional practice at the Yale School of Design. Mr. Bernstein gave us the history of architectural practice from Ancient Egypt, to the present day and into the future. It was a concise look at the development of what it means to be an architect and the history of the business.

Touching on major milestones and figures such as Euclid, Brunelleschi, Rafael, Palladio, Inigo Jones, Christopher Wren, Benjamin Latrobe, Beaux Arts, Frank Lloyd Wright, Skidmore Owens and Merrill, The Architect’s collaborative and Frank Gehry, Mr. Bernstein explained how architects have come to be what they are: highly trained, designers, not builders, and how the practice is in need of some serious reconfiguring, just like the building practice.

He spoke eloquently about how it has taken us 1,500 years to get away from the days of a Master Builder – one who understood building means and methods and yet also had a clear artistic vision – and how he believes it will only take us 15-20 years, with the help of VDC and IPD, to return to that ideal.

It was an honor to have someone of Mr. Bernstein’s caliber as our teacher for a few hours.