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Sarah Harkness FAIA (2003)


Sarah (Sally) Harkness FAIA (July 8, 1914-May 22, 2013), was an American architect. She was a co-founder of The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was one of two women among seven young architects who formed the firm with Walter Gropius in 1945.

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Sarah Harkness FAIA
Co-Founder, The Architects Collaborative (TAC)
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2003 winner

Sally Harkness was one of seven young founders of The Architects Collaborative, along with the founder of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius. Her former colleagues at TAC identified her as a theorist and thinker, advancing the firm's ideas on collaboration as the critical process to advancing architectural projects. Her essay entitled “Collaboration” (below) continues to inspire professionals today:

"There are two ways to go—towards competition or towards collaboration. A contest can be stimulating, but as a way of life competition is wasteful. Time and energy are dissipated in overlapping efforts. The efficiency of collaboration lies in interaction directed towards the solution of a problem.

"A world that believes only in survival through competition must always be at war. And if the winner is preoccupied with winning, he may find himself on a mountain he never would have chosen to climb. In architecture, rivalry may lead to irrational design; it may put aside a direct solution in favor of a more sensational one.

"To fight for conviction is another matter, and this fits with collaboration. The essence of collaboration is the strength of the individual. When collaboration is operating as it should, a good idea will be carried by conviction, recognized by others without loss of their own prestige.

"The spirit of exploration and invention, led by philosophy, can be present in an office. Ideas are welcomed from wherever they come. Architectural Music is orchestral rather than solo. Every member is involved."

Sally Harkness Board FINAL