Vern Swaback, Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, to present Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Jan. 23

Vern Swaback, Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, to present Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Jan. 23

GOSHEN, Ind. — Urban sprawl and development challenge nearly every community in America today. Former apprentice of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and founder of Swaback Partners architectural firm in Arizona, Vern Swaback has ideas that challenge the status quo about building communities with consideration for the environment, creativity and the highest design standards.

Swaback will speak during a Jan. 23 Goshen College Yoder Public Affairs Lecture at 8 p.m. in the Umble Center. He will also speak during a 10 a.m. convocation on Jan. 23 in Umble Center. Both lectures are free and open to the public. He will use slides to illustrate both lectures.

Swaback has been a hands-on architect and planner and a crusading author. In the fall of 2003, his fourth book, “The Creative Community, Designing for Life,” was released by Images Publishing in Australia. The publisher describes it by saying, “This extraordinary collection of thoughts and images adds up to a positive prophecy for a future in which the architecture and stewardship of daily life becomes humanity’s greatest work of art. It is a future É where our deepest needs and desires are holistically embraced by thoughtful design.”

Neal Peirce of the Washington Post Writer’s Group said of the book, “Our moral imperative, Swaback seems to suggest, is to bite the bullet, risk careers and capital on fine designs and higher quality. And celebrate creativity and design by building real human communities with what he terms ‘urgent joy.'”

His earlier books are “Production Dwellings, An Opportunity for Excellence”; “Designing the Future”; and “The Custom Home — Dreams, Desire, Design.”

Swaback was born and raised in Chicago where he began his architectural education at the University of Illinois before leaving to apprentice with Frank Lloyd Wright. During his more than 20 years as a member of the Wright organization, he directed two seminars, “The Art and Philosophy of Frank Lloyd Wright” and “Housing and Large Scale Land Use Planning.”

Swaback is the founder of Swaback Partners, a 40-person firm now in its 25th year. The firm has received honors and awards in each aspect of its diverse work — from community visioning and large scale planning to historic restoration and the design of both residential and nonresidential work.

A registered architect in 14 states, Swaback has been inducted into the College of Fellows for both the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Institute of Architects. In addition to his architectural and planning work, he is the Managing Partner of Studio V, an interior design firm that serves both residential and commercial clientele. He is currently a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership and serves on the boards of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin Preservation, Inc. and the Arizona Center for Public Policy.

This public event is sponsored by the Goshen College Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Committee. The Yoder Public Affairs Lecture Series began in 1978 when Frank and Betty Jo Yoder of Goshen created an endowed lectureship to enable faculty, students and community members to hear widely known speakers address current issues.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit