The 1967 Design Methods in Architecture Symposium suggests a transition point in the DRS odyssey. The printed proceedings make no reference to what would have been at the time a newly formed society and equally the first series of DRS Newsletters makes no reference to what might have been the first full conference of the society. But it might not have been.
We can follow some of the actors from 1962-65 and from the early newsletters - Gregory, Jones, Broadbent - but its Richard Langdon in his introduction to the 1982 conference at the RCA who allows me to say that the 1967 symposium was "organised by the DRS". Not that it matters too much but, along with Bruce Archer's extension of the inaugural year (see previous post) it adds to the odyssey. And the odyssey adds to the case for a definitive archive of the society where the minutes of meetings might help the historian of the future to piece together these fragments of the past.
But the 1967 symposium (organised by Anthony Ward and Geoffrey Broadbent) is a fragment with a long tail. It took place at what Broadbent considered to be a paradigm shift in consciousness. Reflecting this shift, it was intended to mark the beginning of a new phase of thinking in architectural design method. It was to inform, apparently and again according to Broadbent (Design:Science:Method, Proceedings of the 1980 DRS Conference), the birth of post-modernism. It would present a concise, and strikingly well curated debate between behaviourism and phenomenology (see Vardouli, 2014).
Following the "Do like design beside the Seaside" theme suggested by Scarborough in 1964, and perhaps pre-empting recent tendencies toward the exotic conference venue, the symposium was held on Southsea Pier. This romantic cast iron and timber structure was apparently the only auditorium that could be found to accommodate the 400 hundred participants. The December sea outside would have been cold but the debate was at times heated. Not as hot as the pier would have been earlier in the year when it suffered one of its regular fires.
I'm cheating here. This image of the pier on fire was an unfortunate consequence of Ken Russell's location shoot of Tommy which took place on the pier in 1974.