Peggy Deamer, Ph.D., is a current BWAF Advisor and former BWAF Trustee. She has been principal of her own firm since 2002, and has taught at Yale University School of Architecture since 1995. Dr. Deamer has published multiple books, has lectured widely, and has won multiple awards and grants for both her architecture and research.
– Beginnings – What attracted you to architecture and how did you begin your career? Was there an influential experience, or mentor, that helped steer you toward this field?
I was a philosophy major attached to the difficult realm of linguistics and epistemology, but enjoying my architecture history courses more. I knew I didn’t want to be a historian, so I thought, ” Why not BE an architect?” Based on that, I sought out, upon graduation, an internship at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. I was surprised and extremely excited that they were doing work on “architectural language,” incorporating ideas I had studied in philosophy. It was heaven. And then they introduced me to Cooper Union, which I had never heard of. I applied, went, and was in heaven again.
– What does “architecture culture” signify to you, and how do you go about contributing to, and/or changing, this culture? What are your hopes and dreams for the future of architecture and the built environment?
Architecture culture means the full social, philosophic, representational environment in which architecture is discussed, produced, experienced, and consumed. My hopes for the future of architecture are 1) that society at large will understand and care more about the quality of the built environment in which they live; 2) that those of us who produce architecture and architects will be as diverse and reflective of the world we live in as possible; 3) that architecture won’t be, or be seen, as a luxury.
I feel I contribute to this by educating, in design and in cultural theory, our future architects.
– Advice for someone interested in entering an architecture-related field?
Architecture is a broad field. It is visual and organizational, and the skill related to this can be applied to things beyond buildings.
– Favorite site, place, building? Why does this particular location speak to you?
Brooklyn Bridge Park. It displays METROPOLIS writ large.