This building and two others designed by Walter Netsch on the University of Iowa campus are supposedly an application of a design concept that was in fashion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was labeled “Field Theory,” which entailed, as Netsch commented, “an ordering device, a way of looking at things.”
36 This way of looking at things was to impose a geometric pattern, an “environmental module,” on the building. In the Bowen Science Building Netsch played a fascinating game with superimposing rotating squares against octagonal shapes. The horizontal and vertical columns and their accompanying
Walter Netsch (S.O.M., Chicago), “Basic Science Building and Educational Research Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,” Progressive Architecture 54 (April 1973): 82.