In the late 1950s, some of the world's most prominent architects gathered in Berkeley, California, to take part in a landmark psychological experiment on creativity and personality. Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra, William Pereira and dozens of other architects were put through a barrage of tests and surveys, to gain a better understanding of what creativity is, and its place in architecture. They also rated one another, and in the process exposed not only exposed their egos honestly, but also their insecurities.
For the first time, the story behind the study (along with its data and results) have been made public, in The Creative Architect, by architect and author Pierluigi Serraino. I spoke with Serraino about the context of psychological research in the 1950s and the evolving personality behind being a “creative” architect.