Thom Mayne: tC2: The Continuity of Contradictions
Architecture Department Fall 2009 Lecture Series
Thom Mayne founded Morphosis as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and research. The Los Angeles-based firm expanded its operations in 2007 and currently maintains a permanent office in New York City as well as site offices in Paris and Shanghai. Recent award-winning projects include the San Francisco Federal Building; the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon; the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center in Ohio; Hypo Bank in Udine, Italy; and Social Housing in Madrid. Projects in development include the Phare Tower in Paris; the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas; the Giant Group Campus in Shanghai; and the recently completed 41 Cooper Square, a new academic building for the Cooper Union in New York. With projects worldwide, the firm’s work encompasses a wide range of project types and scales including residential, institutional, and civic buildings.
Mayne’s honors include the Pritzker Prize in 2005, the Centennial Medal from the American Academy in Rome in 2009, the McDowell Medal in 2008, the 2006 National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, the Rome Prize in 1987, the Alumni of the Year award from the University of Southern California, invitation to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992, and the 2000 American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Gold Medal in Architecture. With Morphosis, Mayne has been the recipient of 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, 70 American Institute of Architecture Awards, and numerous other design recognitions. Under Mayne’s direction, the firm has been the subject of various group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively.
Mayne received his bachelor of architecture from the University of Southern California and his master of architecture from Harvard University. Throughout his career, he has remained active in the academic world. He was a cofounder of the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and is currently a professor at the University of California–Los Angeles School of the Arts and Architecture. He has also taught at Columbia University, the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, Yale University (the Eliel Saarinen Chair in 1991), and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Eliot Noyes Chair in 1998).