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In Memoriam: David Dobereiner



It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, David Dobereiner, on May 8, 2024. David was a visionary architect who viewed design not merely as a profession, but as a calling to address the world's challenges. Throughout his life, he remained steadfast in his belief that it was his duty to contribute positively to society through his work.

After receiving his education at the Architectural Association School in London, David immigrated to the United States in 1956 with my mother, who was born in Germany, and my brother Nigel, who was born in Britain. His dream was to work under Frank Lloyd Wright, but after meeting with the architectural icon, and botching his interview with several fumbling, awkward presentation mistakes, Wright squawked “Stop this buffoonery!” and his application to Taliesin was denied.

Undeterred, my father found his calling in teaching architectural design at the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, where he embarked on a successful ten-year career in academia. David's innate talent for design and artistry was heavily influenced by his grandfather, John Hassell, a distinguished English watercolor landscape painter, engraver, and illustrator.

In 1966, David departed from Syracuse University and academia altogether, returning to architectural design work in various locations such as Boston, Montreal, Czechoslovakia, San Francisco, and Nepal. He eventually made his way back to England in the late 1990s, where he dedicated his final years to writing, notably producing, The End of the Street: Sustainable Growth within Natural Limits, published in 2006.

David Dobereiner was deeply passionate about environmental sustainability and advocated for a stronger connection between humanity and nature to address the planet's current challenges. His legacy as a dedicated architect and advocate for a better world will continue to inspire future generations.

A significant project designed by my father, and a personal favorite of mine, was the Dhankuta’s Community Medicine Auxiliary Training Center (CMATC). It was published in the Indian Architect & Builder in 1987.

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