Donald P. Grant

Photo of Don Grant

Position Emeritus Professor, Deceased

Donald Pete Grant passed away peacefully at home December 13, 2017. Don was born April 17, 1938 in rural Oklahoma, the son of Donald Peter Grant and Ruby Mae Langley. He earned his Bachelors of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma, and his Masters of Architecture at the University of Utah.  He later completed his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Please click HERE for the full obituary.

A memorial service is being planned for May 12, 2018 from 2:00-4:00 at Cal Poly. Please contact the Cal Poly Architecture Department at 805-756-1316 for additional information.

Areas of Expertise

Computer-Aided Architectural Design, Design and Construction as a Small-Scale Master Builder, Design Methodology and Design Methods, Watercolor, Housing Design and Development,  Scale and Proportion in Architectural Design, Materials and Methods for One-Person Construction


Worked as an Architect (Utah), Construction Cost Estimator (Utah), Architect (London), Architect (New York City: Ulrich Franzen and Associates; and Victory Lundy FAIA), and Architect (California). Developer of Low-income Housing (California). Worked full time starting at age 14 as dishwasher, in theatre jobs (usher, doorman, assistant manager, then manager), as parking garage attendant, waiter, bootlegger’s city delivery boy in a dry state, common laborer in construction, and agricultural laborer on a kibbutz in Galilee. Housing Commissioner, San Luis Obispo, 1972-1975.

AIA Langley Fellowship (1960-1961); Fellowship, Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts (1970-1972); University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award, Cal Poly SLO (1977-78); Co-organizer, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1992); Organizer, International Conferences of the Design Methods Group (Berkeley, 1975) and the Design Research Society (London, 1973).


Ph.D., Architectural Design and Design Methodology, University of California at Berkeley, 1974, working with Professors Horst W.J. Rittel, Jean-Pierre Protzen and C. West Churchman; minors in Information Science and in Social and Behavioral Science Factors in Architectural  Design

M.Arch. In Architectural Psychology, University of Utah, 1964, with two years additional graduate study in Psychology, Social Psychology and Sociology

B.Arch. With Special Distinction, University of Oklahoma, 1961

M.A. In British Literature, Cal Poly SLO, 1985

Additional Studies in Mathematics (Oklahoma City University, 1956); Art (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1960); Language (Holborn College, London, 1964-1965);  Gerontology: Housing for the Elderly (University of Southern California, 1970); Art (Cuesta College, 1986-1988); and Mathematics, Statistics, Welding, Music Theory and French (Cal Poly SLO, various years).

Teaching Experience

Architecture, occasionally Architectural Engineering and Construction Management, Cal Poly SLO 1967-2000

Design at first, second, third, fourth, fifth and graduate year levels
Computer-Aided Architectural Design, third, fourth and fifth year levels, 1988-1998
Watercolor, third, fourth and fifth year levels
Design and Construction as a Small-Scale Master Builder (Design-Build-Investment Practice), Arch. 446
Systematic Design Methods in Architectural Design, esp. Arch. 310 and 510
Briefly at various times: City Planning, Design Considerations for Construction Management Students, Design Methodology for Architectural Engineering Students, Graphics, Working Drawings, Design Development
Coordinator, Joint B.Arch.+ Master of Business Administration Program, conducted studio and seminar
Seminar, Scale and Proportion in Architectural Design
Pioneering Fourth Year Design Quarter, Paris and Nice, 1987
Pioneering Fourth Year Design Quarter and student exchange, Stuttgart, 1988
Initiated and assisted in organizing Design Quarter conducted by Laura Joines, Prague, 1992

Architecture, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1975 (Guest Professor)

Architectural Design, Fifth year level
Systematic Design Methods in Architectural Design

Architecture, University of California at Berkeley, 1977-1979 (Guest Professor)

Architectural Design, Fifth year level
Systematic Design Methods in Architectural Design
Space Planning in Architecture and Interior Design

Visiting Lecturer, United States Information Service (USIS) 1975-1977

Copenhagen, Denmark, Royal Academy of Art
Architecture Department, University of Lund, Sweden;
Architecture, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Planning, University of Karlsruhe, Germany
ETH, Zurich, Switzerland

Guest Senior Scientist, Studiengruppe fur Systemforschung, Heidelberg, 1975-1977

Writing and lecturing on Environmental Problem Solving Information Systems, Decision Making Methods,
Education and Practice in Information Science (for the Bundesministerium des Innerns), and the flow of Scientific and  Technological Information (STI) in the European Community

Visiting Lecturer, various times

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Annual John Gaw Meem  Memorial Lecture
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Arizona State University, Tempe
University of Kansas, Lawrence
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Nova Scotia Technical University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Licensed Architect in California C-5641 (1968)
Architect, New York 009553 (1967)
Licensed General Building Contractor, California, retired (1972-2004)
Licensed Real Estate Broker, California 009088148), retired (1986-19840


President, Design Methods Institute and predecessor organizations, 1970-present
Editor and Publisher, DESIGN METHODS and predecessor periodicals, 1970-present (quarterly)
Editor and Publisher, SMALL-SCALE MASTER BUILDER, 1984 (quarterly)
President, San Luis Obispo Non-profit Housing Corporation, 1988-2003
President, Edna-Islay Non-profit Housing Corporation, 1988-2003
Private member, European Association for Architectural Education, 1980s


List of publications, 1964-2008, available by email upon request (about eight pages or so; I can also mail a paper copy if that is preferred. I have copies of most, but not all, of the publications listed and can supply them upon request.)



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