Charles Dagit, Jr., FAIA - Roots of American Architecture

Wed. 30 October, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Upper Gallery, Meyerson Hall

Roots of American Architecture

Charles E. Dagit, Jr., FAIA's lecture will provide his overview of the beginnings of American architecture in Colonial America, particularly focusing on the architecture of Annapolis and the plantation houses of Virginia. His approach to American architecture is rooted in cultural, philosophical, economic, and political circumstances that created the environment for architects to thrive. It reveals those architects that surfaced and thrived through inventive innovation inspired by the entrepreneurial atmosphere that developed in the colonies and continued through the ensuing decades to the present.

Dagit will introduce his current book Louis I Kahn-Architect: Remembering the Man and Those Who Surrounded Him, which will also be available for purchase.

Charles E. Dagit, Jr., FAIA, is a third-generation architect in Philadelphia. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a BA in 1965, a Bachelor of Architecture in 1967, and a Master in Architecture in the Lou Kahn Studio in 1968. While at Penn, Dagit received three traveling fellowships, one awarded in 1966 for his top standing in the graduate program and two others, awarded in 1967 and 1968, for first place in the Stewardson Competition and the Shenk- Woodman Competition.

When he attended the Lou Kahn Masters studio, Dagit worked for Mitchell/Giurgola Architects. Aldo Giurgola was awarded the AIA Gold Medal for his outstanding work in architecture. Dagit founded Dagit•Saylor Architects in 1970. His firm immediately began to garner design awards, including a 1974 Progressive Design Award, the Philadelphia AIA Gold Medal, and a Silver Medal from the Pennsylvania Society of Architects. In 1976, Dagit was named by Robert A. M. Stern one of the "Forty Under Forty," a roster of forty outstanding Architects in America under 40 years of age.

He has won over 45 local, regional, and national design awards. In 1983, he was named to the College of Fellows of the AIA and, at the time, was the youngest member of the College.

He has been very active with the AIA Committee on Design, serving as Chair of the Gold Medal Task Force, Chair of the Awards Committee of COD, Vice Chair and Chair of the Committee. He has been President of AIA Philadelphia and was on the Board of AIA Pennsylvania. He is a professor at Drexel University teaching thesis. He has also taught a very popular seminar based on the book Roots of American Architecture.

Dagit has authored a number of articles about architecture and planning for the Philadelphia Inquirer, AS & U Magazine, and Scup Quarterly, the Society of College and University Planners magazine. His work has been published in numerous professional magazines, including Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, L'Architecture D'Aujourd'Hui, A+U Magazine, The Japan Architect, Interiors Magazine, and L'Industria delle Construzioni, among others.

He currently practices as an independent practitioner as Charles E. Dagit, Jr., FAIA, Architect.