The principal architect of LA firm Morphosis, Thom Mayne (born January 19, 1944) was the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize and the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, and is known for his experimental architectural forms, often applying them to significant institutional buildings such as the New York's Cooper Union building, the Emerson College in Los Angeles and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters. Mayne's experimental streak was visible early on in his career: in 1972, he was part of the group which founded the SCI-Arc school with the intention of developing a world-class independent architecture school along the lines of the Architectural Association in London or the Cooper Union in New York. Also in 1972, Mayne co-founded Morphosis architects; during the firm's early days many of their projects were small commissions for friends. He eventually received his Masters from Harvard University in 1978 and returned as the principal architect and lead designer of the firm, growing it into the internationally renowned practice it is today.
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