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Anne Tyng, AB ’42, MArch ’44, was born in Jiangxi, China to American missionary parents, and lived most of her early years there, with occasional trips to the U.S. She attended Radcliffe and the GSD, where she was in the first class to include women. After graduation, she worked in architecture and industrial design offices in New York before joining the office of Louis Kahn and Oscar Stonorov in Philadelphia, in 1945. She joined Kahn when he split from Stonorov to form his own firm, and she worked on city planning and residential projects with Kahn as the office expanded. During the 1950s, she spent time in Italy and studied with Pier Luigi Nervi. Back in Philadelphia, while continuing to work in Kahn’s office and raising their daughter, Alexandra (born in 1954), Ms. Tyng directed a series of research projects on geometry, including the exhibition “The Divine Proportion in the Platonic Solids” (1964). Geometrical pattern in three dimensions was a lifelong interest, and her influence on the work of the Kahn office is evident in several early projects that feature triangulated bearing structures. Anne Tyng earned her doctorate in 1975 from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on the theme of symmetry and probability, and she was an instructor there, in “Morphology,” from 1968-1995.
Anne Tyng’s lecture, with its dual title “Beaux Arts Complexity to Bauhaus Simplicity c.1940s; Where is Architecture Going Today,” will address her time at the GSD, her research in geometry, and her speculations on the future of the discipline. Please join us at this inaugural event for the GSD’s celebration of its 75th anniversary and Harvard’s 375th.
An exhibition of Anne’s work was held earlier this year at the Graham Foundation in Chicago (Anne Tyng: Inhabiting Geometry Apr 15, 2011 – Jun 18, 2011); that organization’s website has many resources for learning more about her work, including a chronology of her life (from which the above blurb is adapted) Anne Tyng, A Life Chronology, and a slideshow of the exhibition VIEW SLIDESHOW of “Inhabiting Geometry.”
Holdings in Frances Loeb Library related to Anne Tyng include the film “My architect, a son’s journey“; and Anne Tyng’s dissertation, Simultaneous randomness and order : the Fibonacci-Divine proportion as a universal forming principle (microfilm), as well as the book Louis Kahn to Anne Tyng : the Rome letters, 1953-1954. The catalog from the exhibition “Ann Tyng Inhabiting Geometry” has been ordered.
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