Well it is a different jury every year, right? So I imagine a jury from any given year doesn't have the power to change the decision of an earlier year's jury?
But who runs this rinkydink Pritzker operation above the jury?!? Why can't that entity make the decision?
The article also helpfully points out that DSB "remains eligible for the Pritzker award". SO some alter jury might give it to her, but not give it a second time to RV, and then we're right back where we started without addressing the fact that architecture tends to be a collaborative discipline. Jeez.
I see no way in which we can, in good conscience, think of the Pritzker as being anything but a detriment to the profession. Indeed, the entire notion of the Pritzker Prize stands testament to the misguided fallacy of architecture as the work of solitary geniuses, ignoring that it is almost inevitably a team product. Now we may give awards to individuals at school (although at Columbia we have also split those awards among partners), that is a special case in which students are work, in most cases, individually. Practice, particularly at the large scale that the Pritzker typically lauds, is another.
After three decades of affirming much that is wrong about our profession, the Pritzker has run its course. If, collectively, we decide that it is invalid and pay it no heed, it will die. And die it must. There should be no second chances for an institution as bankrupt as this one.
I can't opine on this situation, since it sounds like a political hot potato.
However, I look at Venturi's work and his being labeled the father of the post-modernist movement, though other famous architects also bought into that vocabulary for a period of time, while "the whites" remained true to their palette. That said, it would be interesting to know what the first MAJOR de facto post-modernist building really is, and if Venturi was its architect.
What do Venturi and Scott-Brown think of Las Vegas now in light of the admonishments in "Learning from Las Vegas?" I see the Dunes in the background. I once stayed there and it was a treat, being young. Never would I have thought such a large hotel tower would be imploded ... for something as despicable as The Excalibur. Signage aside, at least the Dunes was contextual for this setting and with the Jetsonian style of the time it was designed, and not knowing its architect, it almost looked like Morris Lapidus could have designed it, and his Fontainebleau hotel is iconic.
i can understand why, structurally, a retroactive award cannot be given by the present jury. this would set a precedent for undermining the individual jury members' decisions. this runs counter to the rationale of the pritzker method of finding a laureate. either trust the jury or don't have one in the first place.
So, how about calling up the original jury members?
Jury Members (i've added Deceased where Wikipedia says so )
J. Carter Brown (Chairman) - Deceased
Giovanni Agnelli - Deceased
Ada Louise Huxtable - Deceased
Ricardo Legorreta- Deceased
Toshio Nakamura - ?any info?
It would be rather tricky to solicit an augmentative revision from at least half the jury who are currently too busy decomposing or frolicking/being tortured in the afterlife (depending on your viewpoint). Is a revision possible from the three of four remaining members?
I do not buy into Kazys Varnelis's reasoning. No, he did not reasonably dissociate academic prize giving from the values it shares with Prtizker prize giving. Yes, he is clever enough to have preempted such an attack on his own environ and thus effected preemptive defense on his part but that, if anything, renders his own criticism even more , intellectualy speaking, hypocritical.
I just saw her speak at a Getty symposium called Minding the Gap which also included Rafael Moneo, Richard Rogers, Thomas Beeby and Jurgen Mayer. She was the most humorous and youthful. Architecturally, she and Bob have the vocabulary and goods to tease the hell out of good old boys of all ages. She is a cut above in her game and has the highly sophisticated portfolio to prove it. The work is so well spoken and gotten by the end user and it is very critical of architectural establishment.
At a close proximity looking at her typical plain Jane posture at the stage, right arm hanging parallel to her body, straight down with air space in between, I noticed her middle finger was intact.
As a relatively young, non-white, female architect, I feel saddened by this decision. but at the end of the day, old white men die sooner than architecture. Seriously, of all the women architects out there they chose to award zaha hadid. **** the pritzker, long live the cronut
i keep thinking (maybe because of proximity) of what's happening with dsb to what's transpired at augusta national (the golf club). when martha burk began her assault on the 'males only' policy, the club pushed back. hard. but, really, it's not too difficult to understand why: they didn't like someone telling them how they had to run their own organization; if they were going to change the rules (and, trust me, living in atlanta, i've heard from enough people that they were in the process of doing so), it wasn't going to be by an external pressure like those protests. (as a side note, in a weird way, those set back their admission of women by 5 years according to members i've talked to - they were actually on the cusp of changing it internally but did not, under any circumstance want their impending decision to even whiff of having been driven by someone else, most especially martha burk. they simply didn't want to give her/the protesters the satisfaction after having been embarrassed the way they perceived they were. and you cannot, at all, discount what being 'embarrassed' meant to that group). in the long run, augusta national's making the evolutionary turn and i'm sure it will continue to slowly move forward in that regard.
lord palumbo, in this situation, sounds just like hootie johnson did back then: defiant and unwilling to move just because he's being embarrassed into action. and his choices were probably slim to none: either award her retroactively (even though she didn't call for it because even she recognized it's the wrong move), 'recognize' her contributions to another recipient's award (super problematic in the grand scheme - where does that line end? does patrick schumacher get a retroactive 'recognition' for his role in zaha's award? how about bunshaft's partners at som over the years? how about cobb and freed?) or do nothing of substance. he's backed into a corner and he's probably not used to that situation.
so what greg (i can hear you saying)? augusta's as relevant as the pritzker: they're both for elitist snobs. yeah, ok. you're probably right. but they both do carry weight within a larger audience outside their cores. the pritzker designation means something to people who don't know much about architecture. it just does. it gets publicity no other architectural award does.
in the end, i think the pritzker family heard - LOUDLY - what they should re-examine in the future: the roles of creative partnerships. and i'm personally optimistic they'll make that change going forward. ultimately, that will likely be the primary legacy of this campaign (a brilliant one btw - i'm personally 100% behind the motives and hoped for outcomes of it). and, let's all hope that denise wins outright next year - i'd have to hope someone will make the formal nomination on her behalf...
As for my earlier post, I erred. It was the Bellagio instead of the Excalibur that replaced the Dunes shown in the pictures. That's "somewhat" of a relief. They both occupy significant corners. Also, wiki does not mention the architect of the hotel tower, but its history is nonetheless fairly colorful and checkered.
If someone knows Las Vegas well, one sees that they must have seen the writing on the wall as to what it would become. The Strip was reportedly full of empty lots at the time and low-rise construction was predominant, as in garden-type motor hotels. Today, nonstop 747s come in daily from Europe, Asia, and even Oceania, I believe.
At any rate, I think RV and DSB carved out an intellectual niche for themselves and did a good job of branding. I look at some of this buildings, such as his medical pavilion at UCLA (with the diagonal patterns popularized by the Doge's Palace in Venice IT), the Seattle Art Museum, his often photographed apartment house in Philadelphia, and the clumsy and bulky Student Union building at the University of Delaware, and hope someone can point me to work they have done which is viewed with great regard and even affection.
^ You are welcome to correct me, since it's been a while, but they would include Meier, Pei, Roche/Dinkeloo, and Polshek, and some others, from the top of my head. When post-modernism was kicking in, they weren't buying. However, Graves, Johnson, and a few others did.
Gregory, you're conflating history a little bit. All the names you list (excluding Siegel) are involved within "FIVE ON FIVE" a feature within the May 1973 issue of The Architectural Forum magazine, from which the notion of "whites" vs "grays" followed.
Here's the short introduction to FIVE ON FIVE:
Constructive criticism has long been a characteristic of the Forum. So has constructive candor. On the following pages, the work of Architects Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Chrales Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier--published in Five Architects (Wittenborn, 1973)--is criticized by five other architects. Robert Stern organized the team of critics because he felt that Five Architects presented an opprtunity (too rare these days) to discuss current architectural attitudes. It is only to be expected that Stern sought a team whose orientation is more or less opposite that of the original Five--a stance that could be loosely described as sympathetic to the Yale-Philadelphia Axis, meaning Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi. It is the Forum's postion that confrontations between various philosophical camps are much needed, and sallies like the ones you are about to read not enough with us. Thanks are due to the original Five, of course, for being so sporting.
The labels of 'white' and 'gray' were 'established' later to differentiate the two 'camps' and Venturi and Scott Brown were (for sure) in the gray camp. Louis Kahn died March 1974.
im sure coca-cola could solve all this with a catchy tune and some hippies holding hands.
since you are apparently part of the family now observant the lack of fact-checking isn't the issue, its that every piece of news has to be about you, which sort of breaks up a conversation. i recommend going for non sequitur approach and substitute yourself for a fish or penguin. irony is much better appreciated than narcissism.
The pritzker folks do have a point. If they went around overturning previous committees decisions it wouldn't be much of a prize. That shouldn't stop them from recognizing her contribution though. Seems pretty safe thing to do especially with a group of people as obviously creative and intelligent as they are. Surely there is a way to thread the needle that doesn't require eating crow.
i'm kind of curious why it works this way anyhow. partners simply don't count (patrick didn't get the pritzker either) or do they have to have their name engraved on the works that won the prize? maybe the pritzker committee could offer some transparency and it would all make sense. unless its evolving and different every year, which is fair enough...
For me, it's a lot easier to imagine Robert Venturi having a notable career without Denise Scott Brown than it is for me to imagine Denise Scott Brown having a likewise notable career without Robert Venturi. That's not to be harsh, but how I see it hanging in the balance.
"the pritzker designation means something to people who don't know much about architecture. it just does" I wish that where true but most people don't even know what the Pritzker is. Why do they always have say that it's the equivalent of the Nobel prize award? And why didn't Mr.Venturi protest when his better half was stiffed? Schmuck!
"and hope someone can point me to work they have done which is viewed with great regard and even affection." I'm not sure many architects can. There's no great demand for thier published work, probably becasue most architects see it as kind of stupid at this point. That's not to say that they don't deserve a huge amount of credit for helping to take down the intellectual underpinning of modernism, which at the time sucked all the oxygen from the room, but for most people who's work isn't "conceptual", it's just kitch.
"irony is much better appreciated than narcissism." That's why the Pritzker and the architectural establishment are irrelevant, they still think anyone outside the profession gives a shit about irony.
Wouldn't some statement about what work the original award recognized have been the way to handle this? Venturi won in '91, the end of the too-long academic celebration of historically referential work. Vanna's house, Guild House, and Complexity and Contradiction were HUGE touchstones during that period, arguably moreso than Learning From... (Only based on the former having been taught a lot in my undergrad, but not so much the latter.) These were all sans Scott Brown!
So...somewhere in the Pritzker's files surely they have notes that pre-Denise Venturi -and Venturi & Rauch - were as critical to the award as the work after 1968. Right?
Perhaps the collaborative work of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown embodies "the obligation toward the difficult whole" indeed.
The last chapter of Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture is "The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole," and it at the very end of that chapter where the tone suddenly changes. [In a conversation I had with Mark Wigley late November 1999, Mark was convinced that Scott Brown was very much responsible for the sudden change of tone in the last chapter of Complexity and Contradiction, saying there was even evidence of this within the Complexity and Contradiction manuscripts in the MoMA archives.] The Museum of Modern Art published Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in 1966, but actual distribution did not occur until March 1967. Venturi and Scott Brown marry 23 July 1967.
Scott Brown collaborates with the then brand new firm Venturi and Rauch on the Monumental Fountain on the Benj. Franklin Parkway Competition in 1964. "...I thought about Scott Brown's first association with Venturi and Rauch, the competition for a Monumental Fountain on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (1964).
Here we have an enormous egg, cracked open by a very long diagonal(!) axis with a giant jet-stream gushing inside." This project also exhibits a sudden change in design tone (for better or worse, I'm not really sure).
Thanks, Q. Agreed that there is likely collaboration from before DSB contributions were credited fully. I'm not arguing that it's OK to disregard DSB's contributions. I think the Pritzker folks should have figured out a diplomatic way to have recognized her.
BUT. Once they made their decision, the record of what RV work they felt contributed to the recognition may have helped their statement sound less cowardly and more rational.
The comment that DSB is 'still eligible' is a strange move that could cast a long shadow if they now *don't* award her separately.
One of the things missing from this argument is a discussion of the quality of RVDSB's work. Clearly influential on moving past modernism and into pomo, influencing everything from malls everywhere to Rem Koolhaas, this is an architecture of images, irony, consumerism, deconstruction. Certainly relevant in the days of Michael Douglas' Wall Street, the 70s and 80s. Look at what the jury is trying to award now, architecture of materiality, structure, spatial quality. The pomo era looks dated, as is the tone of DSB, who has been talking more about identity politics and less about the merits of her work. Talk about the architecture! I'm sure she could have made a better case for her influence rather then an argument based completely on sexism.
Perhaps there is always somewhat of a divide between 'History' (written,taught and then regurgitated) and what all actually happened. The Pritzker Prize falls in the category of 'History' and at a divide from all that actually happened. For me personally, the Prize is not at all the point, pointless really; I'm much more interested in learning what all actually happened.
In a most ironic way, Scott Brown is apt to receive much more attention by not getting formal recognition from the Pritzker. Does she herself even realize that she's been wearing the ruby slippers all along?
Checking the Zeitgeist, it's just about time for Scott Brown to write The Autobiography of Robert Venturi (just like Gertrude Stein wrote The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas). I, for one, would love to read about a ground-breaking 20th century designer, a real architect's architect, and his marriage to a staunch theory-into-practice colleague.
Agreed, Scott Brown is receiving much more attention for being rebellious. Isn't this in line with all of their work? I bet a lot more people are aware of DSB than this years winner Toyo Ito. Which is sad in a way--people love controversy.
There is always that 'contradiction' of RVDSB being rebellious and yet part of the establishment. How else would their ideas have had weight if they hadn't been inside of the Yale intellegencia? I supposed this complexity was troubling to DSB. How could she both be influential on her own while she was married to the partner? It's a complex and contradictory argument.
The notion of their work being "rebellious" is a prefect example of "History" (written, taught, regurgitated) at a divide from what all actually happened. Remember Scully's notion of "a gentle manifesto?" Learning from the way things are isn't really ironic, but calling such an action rebellious certainly seems to be.
its possible that whatever jumps out to the foreground will be seen as "rebellious" and thus any historical outbreak will be seen to contain an allure of rebellion. history happens like a chain of plagues and symtoms outbreak - and there are quite a number of simultaneous chains to choose from (seen from the viwpoint of contesting parties). the truest of these chains is probably the least extraordinary and the least "rebellious" of these chains - the one with where the build up to the outbreak has been normalized by very rationally comprehended conditions (poverty, frustration, political or aesthetic manipulations and transformations, emphasizing sameness or differences percieved elsewhere ...etc) and thus where the historical outbreak is really seen in a reverse historical sense.
yes, true history happens in reverse. "History" is the myth of progressing forward.
Learning from the way things are is fine, but the act of design is a value judgement on what you want to put into the world. Yes, there is a difference between history and what actually happened, as history is a single line of thought that usually fails to capture the whole of diverse thought coming from every independent designer. As such, it is a very traditional that DSB is trying to affirm herself to that single line--but at the same time seem rebellious?
I thought that digital media would provide a good way to reorganize architectural history to redefine this single line into a diverse and chaotic back and forth between history and futurism but so far it has coalesced behind the same traditional forces that existed. Gehry, Koolhaas, DSB, are all buzzwords that capture attention. Like the Pritzker for instance, which has only been reaffirmed as the defining award in architecture.
Darkman, I have no disagreement with what you just wrote. Scott Brown does seem somewhat rebellious these days with regard to the 1991 Pritzker Prize, but that does not reflect the totality of the office's work.
As an example, there are five substantial buildings from the VSB office at Princeton University campus. Having seen all of them (except for the lastest student center), none of them strike me as rebellious. In fact, I'd sooner label Gwathmey's Whig Hall or Yamasaki's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as rebellious.
Check out what other architecture was 1964 and which actually looks the least rebellious.
tammuz x, I agree with you too, just with different words.
This profession spends way too much time on internal issues/politics like this, and too little on real issues that impact society.
It's hard to get worked up about something like this while the ice caps melt and the polar bears float about on little ice rafts.....I read through this twice and wanted to find a position....I wanted to care.....It just seems so trivial....
It really annoys me that the profession always directs its rage inward.... that internal issues always seem to detract energy from the issues that impact the real world. Kinda looks like Washington up in here!
jla-x, you say it really annoys you that the profession always directs its rage inward, yet that is exactly what your post just did. Perhaps there is a greater issue (for you) here, like the fact that your own behavior is what really annoys you.
You get the point. Are there injustices and inequities? Of course, but there are much greater injustices in the greater society that we supposedly serve. DSB should use her power and celebrity to fight for others. Fighting old injustices is silly unless those injustices still exist which they do not. It seems a little petty to fight for your own award from 20 years ago IMO.
Oh man those Harvard students must have it really hard. Race and sex are not the primary factors for injustice these days, rather it's money. Working class and middle class people of whatever race or sex are the ones facing inequality. Race and sex were once big factors but now they are not. If they were I would be on the side of DSB but this fight is outdated 20 years late. Why fight old battles.
DSB should be battling the corporate shit storm that is crushing her precious Main Street. She should use her power to fight the homogenization that is destroying the eclectic streetscape that she once revered.
DSB: Yes. And in all of this, my role has been so obliterated. Vince Scully was very much the teacher of Paul Goldberger. When Bob got the Pritzker Prize, and Toshio Nakamura apologized to me, he said, "I fought for you to get it too, and they just would not hear of it." Of course they wouldn't hear of it, because of the way the media have presented us, always. And then, there are now some students who take on these questions. And some students from Yale wrote a letter to the New York Times, and said, "Why did Paul Goldberger leave Denise Scott Brown out?" And Paul wrote back saying, "She's a planner." And of course, he calls me a planner so he doesn't have to deal with two creativities.
DSB: Somehow they feel -- well you've read my article on sexism in the star system, because I think it's a very deep psychological question.
PR: And Bob wrote, his letter to the New York Times was published, also.
DSB: Yes. They did publish that. I thought they hadn't, but they did.
PR: Oh, they did.
DSB: But you see, the point is that there's few people that will recognize that. And it's still -- it's happened again, one more time. And we're not even talking about what happened, but it's just awful, to have it happen once more like that. And have people trying to help us be recognized together. Just had another huge turn down. And there's great fury -- furor and fury -- and anguish and weeping, and all of that. But the profession in it's traditional elements will not accept that there can be two artistries involved in creativity. We weren't saying that -- you know, there's a notion that a firm does the work. And we believe that very strongly. Firms should be recognized in this way, but there's also a level at which Bob and I are two artists working together. And that level will absolutely not be recognized.
PR: That's a deep -- a wall with deep foundations, right?
DSB: Yes. But these students are saying, "What are you going to do when it comes to Gwathmey Siegel, and what are you going to do when it comes to Duany Plater-Zyberk? You know, the future holds more like this. One of the reasons I'm prepared to fight is because I think it is for the future. But, of course, I have to fight within myself a tendency to say, "Denise, look. You just don't have it. Now just stop it. Just leave it. What makes you think you have this ability?" And every woman has that.
Donna, I grew up in a 90% black community. I personally know a wide range of people that went on to become everything from brain surgeons, cops, physicists, homeless people, prisoners and everything that ranges between....All from the same place and the same socioeconomic backgrounds.......It is more difficult to be anything than a rich white man, I'm not denying that fact, but if you work hard you can do it... Years ago a black person or a woman literally was not allowed to get ahead, that was much different...thats not the case anymore.
Yes there are still structural inequalities, but they are far less of a factor with regard to gender and race than they were 20-30 years ago. Women are the primary earners today. In 60% of households women make more than their husbands. Whites are no longer the wealthiest "ethnicity," they are now second to Asians. There is still racism and sexism and there always will be to a certain degree, but nowadays, economic class is a much greater limitation than race or sex. Economic class is not spread evenly among the races, I get that, but this is the latent effect of past racist policy not so much present racist people. If you want to make a difference you can not do it by trying to undo past inequalities or fight dead bigots...You can only do it by promoting upward mobility and empowerment. This comes in two forms. One is ownership of the community, and the other is access to good education. We are losing both in this country.
I totally agree with your larger point, jla-x, that class/economic opportunities are the biggest problem we face as a society. I see it in every aspect of the world in which I move: low incomes are getting lower and opportunities to move out of lower incomes are disappearing.
But back to DSB: I hope when I'm 70 to still be as tenacious as she is, though granted I'm really not now and never have been. I *do* definitely feel like I'm still fighting the same social justice battles I protested about in college 25 years ago, and it's disheartening that many of those issues just have not gotten much better! So I guess I can understand why she would want to keep this fight current.
But jla-x was completely ignorant and wrong in trying to bully this thread into silence by suggesting that this is all trivial becauae there are more serious issues in the world. He said he tried to find a position, well, I stated a position in that I am "more interested in learning what all actually happened" implying the hope to become smarter in the process. And I did learn from this thread, not only about my own unfair gut reactions (yes I posted as Tempest in a Teapot), but moreso just how complex and interesting collaborative design is.
Darkman wrote, "I thought that digital media would provide a good way to reorganize architectural history to redefine this single line into a diverse and chaotic back and forth between history and futurism but so far it has coalesced behind the same traditional forces that existed," however, if you look above there is indeed "a diverse and chaotic back and forth between history and futurism," and I hope this will somehow effect future judgments about architectural design.
But jla-x was completely ignorant and wrong in trying to bully this thread into silence by suggesting that this is all trivial becauae there are more serious issues in the world.
I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. Learning about DSB and the prize controversy is all good. Not trivial to study the past, talk about it, and learn from it, I was saying that it was trivial to actually petition for this cause and to put ones energy/emotion/anger into this old case because there are more productive ways to use energy and influence that can solve present day problems for the greater society. Just seems to me that the profession (the elite members anyway) seldom takes on any activism unless it involves "inside" issues.
DSB is a brilliant person but this makes her look a little petty. Even though she may deserve the prize, she should use her influence to fight for her cause without fighting for herself. For example, MLK didn't use his power to undo wrongs that he personally endured throughout his life, but rather he fought to reform the system so that others would be spared from enduring the same...There is a big distinction. This is the difference between a leader and a politician.
You guys are really pulling jla-x's point out of all proportion. Let me tell you about all the times I got screwed and all the energy I've put into the cosmos to right these wrongs. Actually, let's talk about how the profession is irrelevant to most people becasue they don't take relevant issues seriously. This isn't to say there isn't a white male bias in this profession, but the way things are changing, I don't know... Think about Lord of the Flies. A bunch of male english boys stuck on an island. After a while, they create an 'arbitrary' heirarchy of worth etc. I'm not saying don't fight these inequalities, just know that they are innate on some level, especially in the most insecure of us. jla-x was positing an alternative point of view, one that I agree with.
DSB might be more deserving of the Susan B Anthony award by telling the Pritzker to fluck off for peeling one half of what they where commending, but they made the calculation that it was better to take the gold sitting on the table. I might have done the same thing, but it's a bit late to be storming the ramparts. Eitherway, she's not the story but rather the Pritzker and larger still, the profession's naval gazing.