“In this book Al Gowan brings to light a missing chapter in American design history. The people and events he includes were crucial to charting new directions for design in the United States and worldwide.”

– Victor Margolin, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois,Chicago


“Al Gowan’s Shared Vision is a valuable addition to the record of the influence of the Bauhaus in post-war America. His interviews with participants bring it alive.” – Robert Campbell, architect and Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic from the Boston  Globe.

The Univeristy at Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning held a lecture presentation and book signing with Al Gowan where he discusses his recent book, Shared Vision: The Second American Bauhaus.


This special event was hosted by Harold L. Cohen, dean emeritus of the School of Architecture and Planning and founder of the influential design department at Southern Illinois University in the 1950s, where Gowan was one of his first students. Shared Vision features interviews with 33 former students and 14 faculty members from Southern Illinois University and is a reflection on Gowan’s experiences at the “American Bauhaus” experiment in Carbondale,Illinois. “Here is the story by someone who was there, told in words of those who changed the world with bent soda straws, smashed tomatoes and structures that encompassed the stars,” Gowan says. “Harold Cohen’s Design Department gave us new ways to think and to design.”


Gowan’s lecture presentation will be followed by a book signing and reception.


Al Gowan is a practicing graphic designer and writer, and has taught at Indiana University, Purdue University and Boston University. He is a professor emeritus at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. His articles on design have appeared in PRINT and ID, and he is the author of two books on design topics: Nuts & Bolts: A Public Design Casebook and T.J. Lyons, A Biography and Critical Essay.


Harold L. Cohen served as dean of the School of Architecture and Environmental Design from 1974 to 1984, leading the school from its rambunctious childhood through adolescence to maturity. He took the school through a tremendous period of growth and achieved the first professional accreditation for both the architecture and planning programs. Before his tenure with the school, Cohen served as chairman of the Product Design Department at the Institute of Design, Chicago, IL (1949-1955) and as partner with Davis Pratt inChicago.  Cohen was chairman and professor of Southern Illinois University’s Department of Design from 1955-1963.


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