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Thom Mayne Joins SCI-Arc as Full-time Distinguished Faculty

Mayne will return to teach and coordinate the SCI-Arc EDGE Design of Cities postgraduate program in fall 2019

Thom Mayne in sciarc jury reviews staring

SCI-Arc is very pleased to announce that one of its founders, Thom Mayne, will be returning to SCI-Arc as a full-time distinguished faculty beginning fall 2019. Thom Mayne will be taking over the coordination of SCI-Arc EDGE's postgraduate program, Design of Cities. “It is wonderful to have Thom Mayne come back home. He is a major part of what SCI-Arc is, was, and will be," says Hernan Diaz Alonso, SCI-Arc Director/CEO. "Thom Mayne represents everything that we want our students to aspire to. Thom embodies the best aspirations of architecture as a historical, cultural, and political force that is unique among creative disciplines. Thom will help us to maintain the unique spirit of exploration that defines SCI-Arc. In the contemporary world, architectural thinking should be a platform for challenging the status quo. We welcome back to SCI-Arc, one of the pioneers of this idea.”

Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972 as a collective architectural practice engaged in cross-disciplinary research and design. As Founding Principal and thought leader of Morphosis, Mayne provides overall vision and project leadership to the firm. Mayne’s distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005) and the AIA Gold Medal (2013). He was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and was honored with the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2000. With Morphosis, Thom Mayne has been the recipient of 26 Progressive Architecture Awards, over 100 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 large solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Morphosis buildings and projects have been published extensively; the firm has been the subject of 33 monographs.

Named after the Greek term for 'to form or be in formation', Morphosis is a dynamic and evolving practice that responds to the shifting and advancing social, cultural, political and technological conditions of modern life. Morphosis is an interdisciplinary practice involved in rigorous design and research that yields innovative, iconic buildings and urban environments. With founder Thom Mayne serving as design director, the firm today consists of a group of more than 60 professionals, who remain committed to the practice of architecture as a collaborative enterprise. With projects worldwide, the firm’s work ranges in scale from residential, institutional, and civic buildings to large urban planning projects.

Throughout his career, Mayne has remained active in the academic world. In 1972, he helped to found the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Since then, he has held teaching positions at Columbia, Yale (the Eliel Saarinen Chair in 1991), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Eliot Noyes Chair in 1998), the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, UCLA, and many other institutions around the world. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between Mayne’s teaching and practice.

Under his new leadership role at SCI-Arc EDGE, Thom Mayne will greatly expand the scope and ambition of its Design of Cities program. "Throughout its history, Los Angeles has been much maligned for its unfamiliar forms of urbanism, but it is now obvious in the twenty-first century that Los Angeles has always been an astonishing urban experiment. Even its most entrenched critics could never deny Los Angeles' unmistakable glow. We can't forget that Thom Mayne is one of the greatest architects to have emerged from this unique context," says David Ruy, SCI-Arc EDGE Postgraduate Programs Chair. "Despite its long history, architecture remains a frontier. I greatly look forward to working with and learning from one of its greatest explorers."

image of Sciarc faculties from 1980
From left to right: Frederick Fisher, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Coy Howard, Craig Hodgetts, Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry. Photograph C 1980 Ave Pildas