The Studio 43: The Mark Mills Collection

by Tim Alatorre

Kennedy Library Special Collections Curator, Catherine Truijillo, and Associate Professor Don Choi discuss the acquisition of the Mark Mills collection and we celebrate San Luis Obispo being the center of the universe.

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Show Notes

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  • Associate Professor Don Choi
    • Education
      • Ph.D., University of California Berkeley, 2003
      • M. Arch, Rice University, 1993
      • A.B., Princeton University, 1988
    • Teaching Experience
      • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Architecture, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, 2003-present
      • Lecturer, San Francisco State University, Spring 2002
    • Memberships
      • Society of Architectural Historians
      • College Art Association
      • Association of Asian Studies
      • Vernacular Architecture Forum
  • Catherine Truijillo
    • Special Collections Curator at the Kennedy Library.
    • Has been instrumental in organizing and promoting the archival changes made in the library in recent years.
    • Trained museum registrar
  • Information on current archives at the Kennedy Library
  • Who was Mark Mills?
  • He trained with Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri
    • He may be less well known to the general public but his work is so unique to architecture and California in particular
  • What is the collection?
    • CP library archive will receive an addition of papers and drawings from the estate of architect Mark Mills. Although Mark did not attend school here his widow says that he had such respect for the architecture/ARCE program here that she wanted CP to hold his legacy. Papers will arrive end of September.
  • Why was the collection given to Cal Poly?
    • Collaberative effort between the Library and the Architecture department
    • He was a very well known architect and this kind of gift is not common place
  • What has Catherine’s role been with the collection?
    • Looking at conservation issues
    • Preservation and archival needs
    • Any digitiziation of material
    • Pre-processing of the material
    • Establishing a finding-aid method of structuring the collection
  • What is Professor Choi’s role with the collection
    • Excited about the collection and personal interest in modernist architecture and California architecture
    • How can students access and use the collection
    • The ‘learn by doing’ concept is reinforced by looking at drawings and history from the past
    • They’re able to see documents first hand and interact with the historical aspect of their studies
    • Students are able to see first hand the meaning behind lines on paper
  • Currently there are two ethnic studies classes directly using the current collections for projects
    • Faculty uses archieved sketchbooks to demonstrate skill sets and methods from the past
  • “Value the Scholar in everyone”, these collections are open to anyone, the community and beyond!
  • Alumni and listeners: go check out the Library and the Special Collections Department!!!
  • Stay in touch!!!

About the Author

Tim Alatorre