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Since 1925 UCLA has honored its most distinguished scholars by selecting them to deliver this special annual lecture. By honoring them in this way, members of the academic community have an opportunity to appreciate these scholars' achievements in a way they may not have otherwise had.


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104th Faculty Research Lecture

Heritage Transformed

Thom Mayne,
Professor, Department of Architecture
and Urban Design

Founder and Director of Design, Morphosis

April 22nd, 2008


Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972 as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and research. The Los Angeles-based architecture firm currently employs over 50 architects and designers. In 2007, Morphosis expanded its operations into New York City. Located in Chelsea , Morphosis New York represents an extension of the studio under a single umbrella of leadership, design philosophy and operations.

Recent works that have captured media attention include the San Francisco Federal Building, the Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse, the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters, the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center, and the recently awarded Phare Tower in Paris, France. With projects worldwide, the firm's work encompasses a wide range of project types and scales including residential, institutional, and civic buildings as well as large urban planning projects such as the winning proposal for the NYC2012 Olympic Village and the widely recognized urban research initiatives, LA Now and Madrid Now, which were completed as part of a special studio seminar at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design.

Mayne's distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize in 2005, the 2006 National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, the Rome Prize in 1987, the Alumni of the Year award from USC, 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, Thom 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, most notably a large solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, the Walker Arts Institute in Minneapolis , and a major retrospective at the Netherlands Architectural Institute in 1999. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively; the firm has been the subject of 22 monographs, including four by Rizzoli, two by Korean Architect, two by El Croquis (Spain), one by G.A. Japan, and one by Phaidon.


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