In 1958, the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR) at the University of California, Berkeley, set out to study the personalities of creative people—specifically, 40 top architects living or working in the U.S. Over the course of four grueling weekends, the IPAR researchers subjected the participants to in-depth psychological interviews and numerous tests. Ultimately, the study was successful in characterizing conditions for the production of creative work, as well as the nature of its makers.
Architectural Record explored the science and psychology of creativity with Architecture + Creativity this May. One component of that special issue was the "Genesis of Genius" section, which presented excerpts of architect Pierluigi Serraino's new book about the IPAR study (The Creative Architect, The Monacelli Press, June 2016), in addition to an essay by the author.
Last month, the architecture and design podcast 99% Invisible revisited the study with "The Mind of an Architect," produced by Avery Trufelman. Listen to that episode below to hear the never-before-published archival tape, including the voices of Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and Victor Lundy.