Inside SCI-Arc


SCI-Arc Welcomes Art Director Rick Carter as New Trustee
The Prolific Academy Award-Winning Art Director Joins SCI-Arc’s Board of Trustees as the LA Architecture and Design School Prepares for its 40th Anniversary Celebration

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 2, 2012)—The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) today announced it has elected Academy Award winner Rick Carter to join its Board of Trustees. The 23-member SCI-Arc Board is chaired by land-use attorney Jerry Neuman, who stated “At the center of SCI-Arc is creativity and an enduring ability to challenge convention and change it for the better. Rick is the personification of these core values. He brings an incredible amount of expertise, vision and leadership to the Board and our School.” The SCI-Arc Board includes noted individuals such as Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Ted Tanner, Kevin Ratner and Tom Gilmore. The trustees unanimously elected Carter during their quarterly meeting held January 19-20 in Los Angeles.

SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss says of Carter: “The quintessential ‘landscape’ architect has joined the SCI-Arc board.”

Born in 1950, Rick Carter grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by the movie industry—his father was a publicist for the actor Jack Lemmon—but took a while to come to the world of film himself. He entered the art department for the first time as an assistant on Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory” in 1976, followed by “The China Syndrome” in 1979. His first credit as art director was with Ashby again on “Second-Hand Hearts” (1981), but art directing “The Goonies” in 1985 was a pivotal job, however, as it led to another key meeting for Carter—with that film’s writer and producer, Steven Spielberg. Working on the second unit together, the two hit it off and began a close working relationship that endures to this day.

While Carter’s first credit as production designer was on Francis Veber’s “The Three Fugitives” (1985), it was Spielberg’s TV series “Amazing Stories” (1985-86) that cemented their relationship and also led to an encounter with Robert Zemeckis. Carter proceeded to work solely with Spielberg and Zemeckis for the next 20 years, on everything from “Back To The Future II and III” (1989 and 1990), “Death Becomes Her” (1992) to “Jurassic Park” and its sequel (1993 and 1997), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “Amistad” (1997), “What Lies Beneath” (2000), “Cast Away” (2000), “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” (2001), “The Polar Express” (2004), “War of the Worlds” (2005) and “Munich” (2005). Carter then took up the three-year challenge that was the giant, ground-breaking production of “Avatar” (2009) for another Hollywood titan—James Cameron—and his most recent credits are “Sucker Punch” (for director Zach Snyder, 2011), Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” (2011) and the director’s upcoming “Lincoln” (2012).

Carter has been nominated three times for an Academy Award. The first time was for his work on “Forrest Gump” in 1994, the second for “Avatar” in 2010, for which he won the Oscar for Art Direction (an honor he shared with Robert Stromberg), and this year, he is nominated for the 2012 Academy Awards for "War Horse" (2011).