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Thom Mayne: The Latest Architecture and News

Thom Mayne: SculpturalDrawings

The name Morphosis already describes the philosophy of the architectural practice: different elements are morphed together to form something new. With this idea in mind, Thom Mayne, its founding partner, has since its establishment in 1972 realised projects like the “Caltrans District 7 Headquarters” in Los Angeles, new academic building of the “41 Cooper Square” for The Cooper Union in New York, “Bill and Melinda Gates Hall” for Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the “Hypo Alpe-Adria Center” in Klagenfurt, all of which are architectural icons.

"Thom Mayne: Sculptural Drawings" Opens at the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin

Running from 11 September till 15 November 2020, "Thom Mayne: Sculptural Drawings" is the latest architectural exhibition at Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin. Curated by Kristin Feireiss, together with Esenija Bannan, the project questions the nature of architectural drawing and how it influenced the work of Thom Mayne, founder of Morphosis. The exhibition features Mayne’s works dating from 1979 through 2020 and leads visitors from “traditional” drawings and new experimentations with techniques, through to 3D paintings.

Lawrence Residence, Hermosa Beach, USA 1980. Image Courtesy of Thom MayneBerlin Wall 1986. Image Courtesy of Thom MayneSkizzenbuch / Sketchbook 1994/95. Image Courtesy of Thom MayneCrawford Residence, Montecito, USA 1989. Image Courtesy of Thom Mayne+ 12

The Future of Universities, Offices and Cities: Highlights From Digital Futures 2020

Like most functions in recent months, this year’s Digital FUTURES, which is held annually since 2011 at Tongji University in Shanghai, had to move online due to the pandemic. The organizers took this as an opportunity to give the event a global dimension, turning the festival into what they rightfully call the most significant worldwide event for architectural education ever staged, with a 24/7 display of workshops, lectures and panel discussions involving some of the most prominent architects and educators. Here is an overview of the festival, together with a selection of lectures from Digital FUTURES World.

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).

Spotlight: Thom Mayne

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.

Emerson College Los Angeles. Image © Iwan BaanPerot Museum. Image © Iwan BaanCooper Union Building. Image © Iwan BaanBill & Melinda Gates Hall. Image © Roland Halbe+ 16

“We’re Building New Ways of Working”: Morphosis Explores XR and the Future of Design Technologies

Shifts in technology reflect how designers are creating experiences of architecture and cities. New advances engender novel ways of working, and in turn, shape our design process. As a practice defined by pushing boundaries, experimenting with workflows, and embracing new design technologies, Morphosis has a forty-year history of enthusiastically wondering at the future.

Atrium and liner at Kolon One & Only Tower in Seoul, Korea. Image Courtesy of Morphosis ArchitectsKolon One & Only Tower, featuring brise-soleil composed of varying FRC modules. Image Courtesy of Morphosis ArchitectsGFRC facade panel installation at the M-Bridge complex in Sejong City, Korea. Image Courtesy of Morphosis ArchitectsDigital mockup for Dessault Systemes x Morphosis installation at Milan Design Week 2019. Image Courtesy of Morphosis Architects+ 12

121 Definitions of Architecture

There are at least as many definitions of architecture as there are architects or people who comment on the practice of it. While some embrace it as art, others defend architecture’s seminal social responsibility as its most definitive attribute. To begin a sentence with “Architecture is” is a bold step into treacherous territory. And yet, many of us have uttered — or at least thought— “Architecture is…” while we’ve toiled away on an important project, or reflected on why we’ve chosen this professional path.

Most days, architecture is a tough practice; on others, it is wonderfully satisfying. Perhaps, though, most importantly, architecture is accommodating and inherently open to possibility.

This collection of statements illustrates the changing breadth of architecture’s significance; we may define it differently when talking among peers, or adjust our statements for outsiders.

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

Pritzker laureate Thom Mayne goes back to SCI-Arc, the renowned school he cofounded back in 1972. More from their press release:

Morphosis Hits Construction Milestones Around The World

This Fall, global architecture and design firm, Morphosis has their plate full as four of their projects reach significant construction milestones. From Africa to the Middle East, Europe and the U.S., Morphosis is creating international landmarks that display their values of sustainability and future development. Read on to learn more about what Thom Mayne's team is up to.

Interview With Thom Mayne: “I Am a Pragmatic Idealist”

For many observers, Thom Mayne might easily be considered the most unpredictable personality in architecture. Once labeled the “bad boy of architecture” by critics—a moniker which he has, at times, enthusiastically adopted and even encouraged—Mayne's actions in the architecture world can range from something as responsible as designing one of the United States' most sustainable university campuses to something as outrageous as proposing one of the world's tallest towers in a revered Austrian mountain town. In this interview, the latest from Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Mayne discusses his ideas, his past statements on architecture, and where he thinks the profession will go next. The interview was originally published by the Berlin-based SPEECH Magazine.

Diamond Ranch High School, 2000. Image © Brandon WellingThe Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 2006. Image © Iwan Baan       Bill & Melinda Gates Hall, 2014. Image © Doublespace Photography  Four-Towers-in-One competition proposal for Shenzhen. Image Courtesy of Morphosis+ 34

Thom Mayne, Ando, Kuma & Zumthor Contribute Rooms for "House of Architects" Hotel in Vals

Four top architects – Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor – have been tapped to contribute designs for the new “House of Architects” at the 7132 Hotel in Vals Switzerland. The latest addition to the hotel, The House of Architects features a lobby and entrance also designed by Morphosis Architects, and 7 room designs centered around a single material.

Morphosis' Wood Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, ValsMorphosis' Wood Room 1. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, ValsThe new entrance pavilion, designed by Morphosis Architects. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, ValsThe 7132 Hotel, with Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals. Image © Global Image Creation – 7132 Hotel, Vals+ 16

How a Retired 88-Year-Old Solar Design Pioneer Became one of 2017's "Game Changers"

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as part of their 2017 Game Changers issue. You can read about all of their 2017 Game Changers here.

I meet architect and educator Ralph Knowles on an unseasonably warm autumn day, even for Southern California. He greets me in shirtsleeves (his shirt is a tropical pattern of vines and branches) and leads me to a seat on the balcony of his condo. The building—a retirement community—is fairly new, but mature oak trees line the quiet street. As we talk about his career, the California oaks form a poignant backdrop. For more than five decades, Knowles, 88, has argued for an architecture that hews closely to nature’s forces and rhythms.

Thom Mayne Completes Research on Houston’s Urban Future

Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne has completed a three-semester–long study of Houston’s future, given its current sprawling urban conditions and rapid growth. The project, conducted alongside 21 University of Houston students and faculty members Matt Johnson, Peter Zweig, and Jason Logan, focused on ways of addressing the problems that arise from Houston’s historical lack of zoning in conjunction with the largely unregulated growth of industry and capitalism. These approaches include reinventing the current energy infrastructure, changing real estate and density, and leveraging the lack of zoning to generate new ideas.

Call for Entries: Pamphlet Architecture 36

In a world of climate change, refugees, and displaced peoples in crisis, Pamphlet Architecture asks for visions on the concept of BUOYANCY AND LIFT (FLOATING CITIES). Proposed solutions will provide housing, clinics, and other community services to 1,500 - 2,000 inhabitants with incremental additions while incorporating innovative technologies.

6 Architects Share What It’s Like to Build in New York

In the latest video from the Louisiana Channel, six architects – Bjarke Ingels, Liz Diller, Daniel Libeskind, Robert A.M. Stern, Thom Mayne, and Craig Dykers – share what it’s like to build in New York. From the High Line to the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at Ground Zero, the architects each describe their approach to designing in the iconic city.

Southern California Institute of Architecture Announces Launch of SCI-Arc Mexico

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has announced the launch of SCI-Arc Mexico, to begin in mid-March 2016. Located in the Barragán Foundation in Mexico City, SCI-Arc Mexico will feature international studios, exhibitions, conferences and symposia, furthering SCI-Arc’s global presence by complementing SCI-Arc Shanghai as well as bolstering further development into South America and Europe.