Scott Finn

Scott Finn

Professor Emeritus



Master of Architecture, Yale University, 1980
A.B., Architecture and Urban Planning, Princeton, 1977

J. Scott Finn was the Ann and Batey Gresham Professor and the Associate Program Chair in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at Auburn University, where he taught from 1980-82 and returning in 1987. He was the Director of the School's International Studies Program in Rome, a place-based collaboration with the University of Arkansas Rome Center for Architecture and the Humanities.

Long-standing interest in the issues of holistic design, place-making, community and broad-based learning allowed Scott to teach in all four curricula in the School: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Community Planning and Interior Architecture. This has been particularly useful in service to the Facilities Committee of the University Board of Trustees, and as a member of the University Master Plan Committee.

Scott's academic concentrations are contemporary design and history, with particular interest in the palimpsest that is Rome, the work of Louis I. Kahn, and community design. He taught for many years the popular University Core Curriculum course ARCH 2600, Appreciation of Architecture and Design, based on this enthusiasm for architecture and the environment and

Consistent with the ideal of a university education, Scott sees the process of learning, as essential to helping each student to thrive in the discovery of knowledge and opportunity, and to recognize the responsibility as an individual and as a citizen to contribute to our collective culture and society.

Architecture and urban design are an opportunity to understand our place in the community, to understand architecture as an addition and alteration to our existing context, to understand our past and the possibilities we have to encourage the appropriate continuum of that history; the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

It is critical to encourage education as the process of forming and expressing ideas, rather than the dispensing and receiving of information.

"But above all, it is expected that the attention of the instructors to the disposition of the minds and the morals of the youth under their charge will exceed every other care; well considering that though goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest of character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind." 
John Phillips, 1781, Charter for the Phillips Exeter Academy

A licensed architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Scott has practiced in New York, Boston and the Island of Nantucket, which provided a wealth of experience in preservation and the history of architecture, as well as context-sensitive design; this led to his "15 minutes of fame" as the in-house architect for two seasons on the Emmy Award-winning WGBH PBS TV Series "This Old House."

He also has served on the faculty at the Preservation Institute: Nantucket, a program of the University of Florida.

Since 1999, Scott has been able to put theory to practice, serving as Director of Design for the award-winning Town of Mt Laurel, Alabama, A Traditional Neighborhood Development by the Miami-based firm Duany Plater-Zyberk. Mt Laurel incorporates the principles of holistic community design and architecture to create a timeless sense of place. Scott has been instrumental in the implementation of the Master Plan, designing and coordinating infrastructure, reviewing and approving all design work, and designing most all of the speculative residential projects. In addition, he has coordinated the work of nine other architecture firms developing projects there.

Scott has a Classical Diploma from the Phillips Exeter Academy and is a magna cum laude graduate in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University; he holds a Masters in Architecture from Yale.

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