thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, May 2, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

“A Brief But Spectacular History of UCSB Campus Planing.”

Dennis Whelan

Campus Planning & Design
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Everyone who visits the UCSB campus is struck by two things: first, the astonishing site on the Pacific Ocean with views of the Chanel Islands and the Santa Ynez mountains and then second, the astonishing disarray of the campus plan that works against all the natural physical attributes. The result of numerous planning attempts left partially realized, the campus is often bereft of the relationship of the campus to its surroundings; unable to see the ocean or the mountains, and frequently leaving the best sites to parking lots and loading docks. This short physical history of UCSB will seek to explain the history of the site, campus plans and suggest a way forward.

Mr. Whelan received his BA in studio Art with a minor in the History of Architecture from UCSB in 1979. He received a Master of Architecture from UCLA in 1985. He is a licensed California Architect and Planner. His career at UCSB began as a work-study student as an undergraduate as a shop-drawing clerk in the Campus Architects office. After education and practice as an architect in Los Angeles and San Diego he returned to UCSB in 1991, and currently is involved with all phases of developing the physical campus, from bikepaths and signage to landscape and new capital projects.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Kitty Currier ( to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

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ThinkSpatial: Dennis Whelan