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Ordinary and Extraordinary — A Lecture by Lawrence Scarpa

Ordinary and Extraordinary — A Lecture by Lawrence Scarpa

Wednesday, January 28 / 6 p.m. / Design North 60

The Design School

Design North

810 S. Forest Avenue

Tempe, AZ 85287

Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA

Principal, Brooks + Scarpa Architects


Buildings need context to be understood and to be relevant.

Context creates historical perspective, connecting places to people and our collective cultures. Without such context, they are merely objects to look at, and not places that bring vitality and meaning to people. Experience is the most vital context of all. People remember experiences and the places connected to them. What matters most isn’t the object that is created but the experience of making it. What matters to a building’s occupants is the experience of life as it is actually lived within the structure. The best architecture creates a profound experiential existence. This gives us the opportunity to learn, not only about design, but about ourselves. The lecture will explore this idea and how it allows us to see in entirely new ways.

Lawrence Scarpa has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. He is also considered a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainable design.

Over the last ten years, Mr. Scarpa’s firm, Brooks + Scarpa, received more than 50 major design awards, including nineteen National AIA Awards, Record Houses, Record Interiors, the Rudy Bruner Prize, five AIA Committee on the Environment “Top Ten Green Building” Awards and the World Habitat Award, one of ten firms selected worldwide. He is the 2014 recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. Brooks + Scarpa was also awarded the State of California and National American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award in 2010 and Mr. Scarpa also received the lifetime achievement award from Interior Design Magazine in 2008.

Mr. Scarpa’s work has been featured in numerous publications and has been exhibited in venues such as MOCA Los Angeles, The National Building Museum and the Gwanju Bienale. Mr. Scarpa has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

He has taught and lectured at the university level for more than two decades. Some of those institutions include Harvard University, UCLA, SCI-Arc, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute Livable Places, Inc.; a nonprofit development and public policy organization dedicated to building mixed-use housing and to help develop more sustainable and livable communities.