Item #39103 PROGRESSIVE ARCHITECTURE (NY: August 1966).



Ed. Jan C. Rowan. 4to. 270pp. The magazine lives up to its name with the inclusion of a 7pp. article titled "LSD: A Design Tool?", which features "verbatim reports by architects and the design uses to which they put their psychedelic experiences", illustrated with Californian architect Eric Clough's sketches of an art centre "designed under the influence of mescaline" (Clough later helped found an intentional community called the New Family Society in British Columbia).

One of the architects, San Francisco-based Neill Smith, reported that he "felt the effects of my two experiences with LSD to be positive and beneficial… My whole approach to design has become far less concerned with conceptual structure and preconceived notions of form or ideal content." Four years later, following months of meditation and fasting, he abandoned architectural work altogether and began Whole Systems Recycling in Mill Valley (Ant Farm member Curtis Schreier included him as one of the countercultural nodes in his Freestone chart, printed in the July 1970 issue of Progressive Architecture [item #60]).

Kyo Izumi, another architect interviewed by the magazine, first took LSD in 1957, and earlier coined the term 'Socio-architecture' with Humphry Osmond, who himself coined the word 'psychedelic' in 1956. Izumi told the magazine that "the LSD experiences acted as a form of catalyst in the thinking process during the course of design" and that "I no longer design for architects. I am now trying to design for human beings", an awareness that "would not have occurred without the LSD experience."

The article concludes that "The consensus among the architects P/A interviewed… seems to be that LSD, when administered under carefully controlled conditions, does enhance creativity to the extent that it vastly speeds up problem solving, aids in visualizing three-dimensionally, and generally heightens perceptivity."

Also: Aspen International Design Conference 1966/Reyner Banham.

Binding firm and square. Very Good.