In 1951, Rodney Friedman enrolled in the School of Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied under such noted architects as Erich Mendelsohn, William Wurster, Joseph Esherick, Paul Rudolph, and Charles Eames.
Since the inception of Fisher Friedman Associates, the firm has been widely recognized as a national leader in residential design. Such recognition, comprising more than 250 awards for design and planning, and inclusion in numerous books and publications, attests to the firm’s success in finding imaginative solutions to the problems of each individual project. During the 1960s and 1970s, the work of the firm was almost completely residential in scope, but since the early ’80s it has included academic buildings, student housing, office developments, civic facilities, adaptive re-use, and large-scale urban planning.
Residential design has to be affordable and smart, but it can also be sensuous, appealing, and timely. With color photographs and illustrations throughout, In Praise of Pragmatism explores one of the Bay Area’s leading architectural firms, from its beginnings in residential architecture through its expansion into academic buildings, student housing, office developments, civic facilities, and large-scale urban planning. In the process, it profiles the nearly 50-year career of Rodney Friedman, who continues to produce a vigorous body of work at age 75.