The Studio 67: It’s All Intertwined

by Tim Alatorre

Donna Duerk, Emeritus Architecture Professor, scuba diver, and space architecture expert, enlightens us authoring a textbook by committee, designing a moon base to learn sustainability, and outlines the amazing path her career has taken.
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Show Notes

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Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Neither
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Bar
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Neither
  • Arch Record, Arch Digest, or Architect? Record
  • Drafting dots or tape? Tape
  • Yellow trace or white? Either
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Prisma
  • Mac or PC? Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac…!
  • Pen or Pencil? Pencil
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? 42

SCORE: ?? Tim forgot to give one!


  • Tell us about your love for space?
    • Sputinik! Apollo!
    • What has been your roll with the AIAA and the SATC?
      • In 1985 did a project for the Western Space Port and Science Museum
      • Mark Coen
      • Test things on Earth, then the Moon, and then Mars
      • Working on writing a text book for teaching Space Architecture
    • When will people finally live on the moon?
  • Why architecture?
    • Blend of art and science
    • Mother of interior design
  • What brought you from North Carolina and MIT to Cal Poly?
  • Why are you licenced in Texas?
    • Ended up finding work in Houston Texas with CRS, 1970’s
    • Worked for facilities planning department at University of Houston
  • You authored “Architectural Programming: Information Management for Design” in 1993 what was that experience like?
    • Started teaching in 1981
    • Used in MIT Chinese program, Ohio, Mexico
    • “As far as I know, this is the Omnibus of Programming reference books….Just grit your teeth and pay the price for this one, because you’ll need it!”
    • Any plans for updating the book?
      • 25% needs to be new for a reissue, not quite there yet.
      • Architecture is still about designing for people.
  • What are you plans for the future?
    • So busy I can hardly stand it
    • Master gardener, sustainability
    • Writing a book
    • Grandchildren
    • Scuba diving
    • Clean water, ocean, organic gardening, it’s all intertwined, the beauty of the planet
  • What advice would you give to current Cal Poly Architecture students?
    • Love what you do and do what you can
    • Architecture has so many aspects, if you look hard enough you can find a piece you like.
  • Technology Scholarship, you can donate soon. We’ll have details soon. For freshman to get all of their software paid for or a computer. Duerk Technology Enhancement Award. Through Cal Poly Foundation


About the Author

Tim Alatorre