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11 Pages

Activism in Appalachia: Yale architecture students in Kentucky, 1966–69

ByRichard W. Hayes

In 1967, the first-year class of graduate students at the Yale School of Architecture

travelled to an isolated region of Kentucky to build a community centre they designed

for impoverished families in a hamlet called New Zion. The project was an unprece-

dented experiment in learning-by-doing and community service that was one of the

innovations in graduate education introduced by architect Charles W. Moore during his

tenure as chairman of Yale’s department of architecture. Yale students went on to

build three more projects in Appalachia during the following years. These efforts in

hands-on learning initiated a program that recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary:

the Yale Building Project, which has become an important component of architectural

education at Yale and has served as a model for ‘design-build’ programs at numerous

North American schools of architecture (Hayes 2007).