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Main Event 2021 Presents Stunning Displays of Shared Optimism Across Disciplines

On May 1, 2021 SCI-Arc hosted its annual Main Event gala. Held online, this year’s event centered around the theme ‘Acts of Optimism,’ reflecting all that SCI-Arc’s students have accomplished—in work and spirit—among an era of great and unprecedented challenges, inspired by Director and CEO Hernán Diaz Alonso’s affirmation that “architecture is an act of optimism.”

Hernan Diaz Alonso screenshot zoom background
SCI-Arc Director and CEO Hernán Díaz Alonso

As a fundraising event for the SCI-Arc Scholarship Endowment, Main Event 2021 presented an evening of unique programs with artists and creative innovators across disciplines, ruminating on the role of optimism in the collective future of architecture and SCI-Arc itself. Featuring conversations with SCI-Arc alumna Barbara Bestor (M.Arch 1 ’92), Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor, LAXART executive director Hamza Walker, film director and SCI-Arc faculty Kordae Henry (Fiction and Entertainment ’19), SCI-Arc design faculty Mira Henry, and photographer and writer Janna Ireland, the virtual event was spectacular, thrilling, and galvanizing for all. The evening was capped off with an electrifying Zoom dance party driven by the musical stylings of DJ Nick Malkin.

screenshot of Janna Ireland and Mira Henry
Janna Ireland in conversation with Mira Henry

In her introductory remarks for the event, graduating thesis student Corie Yoguchi (B.Arch ’21) noted, “This year’s program is entitled ‘Acts of Optimism’ because over the past year SCI-Arc has seen a remarkable show of determination, creation, and forward momentum, despite everything our society has faced. Our school has not missed a beat with students, faculty, and staff working together remotely from around the world, and we are excited to share tonight’s program and engage in a rich dialogue about innovation, inclusion, and community.”

For the first time ever, thanks to the incredible generosity of its sponsors, Main Event’s remarkable program offered free admission with registration, inviting attendees from all across the globe to tune in to the live event in support of scholarships for students to experience SCI-Arc's incomparable educational opportunities.

screenshot of Hamza Walker and Kordae Jatafa Henry
Hamza Walker in conversation with Kordae Jatafa Henry

“SCI-Arc was founded in the spirit of rebellion, and has always been pushing what the limits of architecture are and can be—we’ve been doing this for almost 50 years,” added SCI-Arc Director Hernán Díaz Alonso in his welcome address. “One of the things we most emphasize is that we are not just a school of architecture; we are a school of architectural thinking—operating with the understanding that architecture as a cultural activity that is absolutely essential for the human condition.”

“I want to thank all of you for being here to support our scholarships, not only to keep SCI-Arc among the top schools of architecture, to keep working towards attracting an extraordinary group of students, but to renew our commitment to continue expanding and becoming more accessible to students of all backgrounds and perspectives,” concluded Díaz Alonzo.

To support the SCI-Arc Scholarship Endowment, visit the Giving Page on the SCI-Arc website.

SCI-Arc would like to acknowledge and thank the sponsors of Main Event 2021: Acts of Optimism:

Spotlight Sponsor

  • Lise Strickler and Mark Gallogly

Sustaining Sponsors

  • Ellen and Dan Strickler
  • Morphosis
  • Tom Strickler

Contributing Sponsors

  • Abby Sher
  • Abigail Scheuer
  • Barbara Bestor/Bestor Architecture
  • Bill and Jennifer Fain
  • CO Architects
  • DLA Piper/Jerry Neuman
  • Florencia Pita and Hernán Díaz Alonso
  • Hassan Majd/HM DG INC.
  • Hensel Phelps
  • Linear City
  • Margaret Griffin and John Enright/Griffin Enright Architects
  • Mary Blodgett and Carlton Calvin
  • Perkins + Will
  • Roy and Janet Choi
  • Sam Teller
  • Steven Song/SCAAA
  • Suzanne Boda and George Grindahl
  • Thornton Tomasetti
  • Tim Disney
  • Wurstküche

Friends

  • U.S. Bank Foundation
  • The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
  • Anthony Ferguson
  • Arup
  • Bernstein Private Wealth Management/Brian Haloossim and Alex Chaloff
  • Bolton/R. Lee Walker
  • Daltile
  • Daniel Swartz
  • Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects
  • Eli and Edye Broad
  • Eric Owen Moss Architects
  • Frederick Fisher and Partners
  • Greg Otto and Elizabeth Gabbay
  • Heidi Duckler and Dan Rosenfeld
  • Helyda Castellanos
  • Hsinming Fung and Craig Hodgetts
  • Joe Day and Nina Hachigian
  • Kate O’Neal
  • Lori Peters/AvAirPros
  • Olivier Sommerhalder
  • Peter Grueneisen
  • Snyder Diamond
  • Studio Shamshiri
  • Sue and Tom Gosney
  • The Max Collaborative – Kevin Ratner
  • The Sergio Duran Fund
  • Thomas Safran and Associates
  • Trina Turk