Yale Arch Cartoons, Vol. 1

I’ve always been artistically oriented, and cartooning has always been a favorite pastime as well as a creative outlet. During my enlightening yet stressful years at Yale, I often poked fun at the institution, our professors, and architecture, my calling.


In the ‘60s, undergraduate residences at Yale University were divided into “Colleges” each with its own Master, Master’s House, Dining Room, and entrances to their own secure courtyards, since the campus is part of the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Security was not just to keep students safe! When I was there, Yale was an all male institution, and campus police were on the lookout for girls, whom we often smuggled into our rooms and to parties. Such illicit behavior was more easily accomplished on weekends, because general riotous behavior kept campus police busy and confused. I lived in the Saybrook dorm, which featured 5 gothic stories of weekend testosterone gone berserk on Saturday Night… Look out for Rapunzel, bras, & beer!

Saybrook on a Saturday night

Form v. Function

Form Follows Function” is the honored dictum of the Modern Movement in Architecture, a paean in contrast to the ornamental pastiche of the Victorian preceding style. While in architecture school, I mocked the dictum because adherents did not use it in their designs. I often thought Modernism turns out to be lacking in its professed honesty, in that its buildings, even by its greatest architects, are anything except functional – to wit, the glass skyscraper.

Form Vs. Function

Dancing on the Greats

We are but students, dancing on the shoulders of the greats: Corbusier, Rudolf, Mies, The Bauhaus, Frank Lloyd Wright, (one that I can’t read anymore, any ideas?), and Richardson.

Pillars of architecture

Neuroses in Architects

This cartoon was for a psychiatry journal at Yale. The neuroses seriously discussed in it had nothing to do with my analysis. Maybe I was neurotic to think this is funny!

Pillars of architecture

Math vs. Art

This was a common quandary of mine while at Yale Arch: MATH vs ART personifies the tension between the heart and the mind, between artistic vision and practical construction. The computer represents practical & mechanical thinking, while the cube with a hole represents Art as Cubistic, i.e.: pure vision in defiance of physics and linear thinking. Architects must bridge this dichotomy in their work.

Math vs. Art

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Comments: 10

By Carole Matalon on 11.04.2011 2:01

Love these Angus! I always enjoy your sketches….you are so very talented!

By Carol Ann on 11.04.2011 17:37

A sense of humor is a healthy defense mechanism and not neurotic, I think.

But, the cartoons are a bit busy and hard to digest in one gulp.

Thanks Carol Ann for your thoughtful comment! Indeed, they are complicated. To me this was a way to unwind, almost like doodling. If it takes time to unravel in your mind, that should be fun too.

Really appreciate your view!

By Carol Ann on 13.04.2011 16:16

Just a guess, but is the mystery architect Louis Kahn?

I recommended the documentary, “My Architect” by his son, Nathaniel Kahn.

By Carol Ann on 13.04.2011 16:29

Was the mystery architect in the cartoon Louis Kahn?

By Carol Ann on 13.04.2011 16:06

Just a guess…but is the mystery architect in the cartoon Louis Kahn?

For anyone who hasn’t seen the documentary, “My Architect—A Son’s Journey” I recommend it. It can be found on Netflix.

Mr. Kahn had a son out of wedlock. His son, Nathaniel, was young when Mr. Kahn died. In the documentary Nathaniel discovers a relationship with his father through architecture. The son fashioned a masterpiece of a different sort.

By Carol Ann on 14.04.2011 16:07

Was Louis Kahn the mystery architect?

By Carol Ann on 18.04.2011 14:17

No…I do not have obsessive/compulsive disorder.

I couldn’t get a comment to post and kept trying then ALL of them showed up.

Carol Ann, you are brilliant! It is so cool that you figured it out. I think it must be Louis Kahn! At the time I was at Yale Architecture School, his new center for British Art at Yale was under construction. So of course he was considered one of the greats by us students. How could I be so confused by my own cartoon?

By Carol Ann on 28.04.2011 16:38

{How could I be so confused by my own cartoon?}

That’s funnier than the cartoon.

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