COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE LOSES A FRIEND

COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE LOSES A FRIEND

By Kerry McCulloug...

April 19, 2016

Erhard Schutz

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of Mr. Erhard Schütz, valued friend and former instructor with the College of Architecture. He passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on the 27th of March 2016.

The memorial service and funeral will take place on Friday,

April 22nd, 2016, at 12.00pm in the Friedhofskapelle

Erbstorf, 21365 Adendorf, Germany.

The family invites all attendants to join them at the Castanea Resort, Scharnebecker Weg 25, 21365 Adendorf, Germany afterwards.

Obituary:

Erhard Schütz (1956 - 2016) was a professor at the Bauhaus Weimar, University of Architecture and Building Sciences and principal of E.S. Architects. As a Fulbright Scholar, he spent several years in the United States researching the American roots of modern architecture. Previously, Mr. Schütz worked as an associated architect with the Berkus Group Architects and Planners in Washington D.C. He also taught at Texas Tech University and Syracuse University before returning to Europe as an academic guest of the Faculty of the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. His research and practice in architecture and urban design was focused on actual tasks concerning the restructuring of the former East Germany. Mr. Schütz received his education in Germany and at Syracuse University.

Words from a friend and collegue, Chris Ford:

I first met Erhard Schuetz in Fall 2006 during a curriculum "retreat" (held on the top floor of the University of Nebraska's Architecture Hall). He had just arrived to Lincoln the previous day and was hired to teach in the Architecture Program by Wayne Drummond, who had some previous exposure to him at another school. For me and my colleagues however, our first impression of Erhard was that he was going to be a difficult colleague, whose answer to every curricular question was, "BIM." For other questions, his responses were usually curt, and followed by a slight sneer. (See pic here). It wasn't contempt, but I realize he would often marvel at how unnecessarily complicated others made something to be.

Suspicious, I kept my distance for a short while. However, he successfully connected with Martin Despang through their shared German architectural experiences, and soon I was getting to know Erhard during the ever-so-important activity of coffee diplomacy. By the end, we had shared five years together on the faculty at the University of Nebraska and connected on disciplinary, pedagogical, and personal levels. Earlier this week, I learned that we lost Erhard on Easter Sunday, who died in his sleep while in Sharjah UAE.

As I reflect back upon what I think I will miss about him, I come up with:

His clarity: You knew where you stood with him. There was no ambiguity. He had enough life experience that informed a no-tolerance policy for those he did not get along with.

His lifestyle: Erhard lived a simplified lifestyle, and placed emphasis on experiences, not things. However, for the things he did own, he had high expectations. He loved his Jaguar despite its shortcomings. He also appreciated fine office furniture. He also detested the service at El Potrero, taking every opportunity to point out that plates of food were quickly dumped in front of you with a hard bounce. He valued service, and always sought restaurants with tablecloths, which was a challenge in downtown Lincoln NE at that time.

His genuine interest in Architecture: His favorite place was either in the design studio with his students, or at reviews where distance was created between the authors and their work. He loved the discourse. He also shared an outlook on the effectiveness of Travel, as a means to deliver an architectural education.

His humor: He was a member of the generation that preceded my own, and was unreserved. For instance, he used Photoshop as a channel for taking Hollywood movie posters and altering them to the specific context of the UNL College of Architecture, changing movie titles and faces to match the cycles of drama within the College. Also, his most memorable wisdom shared was: "If you laugh at the jokes on Family Guy, you're going to Hell."

Within the past year, I would receive occasional emails from him on things he found interesting at "Der Spiegel." Always in German format, I couldn't follow the burst of emails between him and Martin, but was always an interested observer. The three of us are now distributed across the globe and as he was not a Facebook user himself, it was always nice to receive evidence of his continued engagement.

I don't know where he is now, but I hope he has access to fine coffee, good service over tableclothed tables, and access to as many episodes of Family Guy as he wants.

Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, may God be with them in their time of grieving and as they adjust to this great loss.