Book Release : Maverick for the Built Environment, a Biography of John Paul Eberhard

by his daughter Barbara Eberhard, 2023, ISBN: 979-8373771016

Maverick for the Built Environment is a biography of my father. A trained architect, he felt that architecture, indeed all engineering disciplines, should not ignore the human factor and that new ways of thinking were needed to improve the built environment. “This generation of students and young professionals,” he testified before Congress in 1973, “feels the need to deal with issues which reflect a socially responsible position by the profession…they want to have some confidence that their design decisions make a positive contribution to the quality of the environment.” Not content to teach architecture the way it had always been taught, Eberhard argued, “It is no longer sensible to talk about one body of men called architects as though they were the only ones involved in architecture…environmental designers must operate as a team lead by men trained as generalists.” Also before his time, Dad saw architecture as a clinical science to promote health and increase worker productivity. “This could be a whole new field of science,” he said.

In Dad's words: “I would describe myself, in short, as an organizational entrepreneur. That ranges from starting a new school of architecture in Buffalo to starting a new Institute for Applied Technology at the National Bureau of Standards and from creating a research program at the Sheraton Hotel Corporation to the most recent events that include working with the San Diego Chapter of the AIA and establishing the new Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.”

John Paul Eberhard was not a traditional architect in any sense of the word. He was a maverick. For the built environment.