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Monday, June 30, 2014

Denise Scott Brown

Denise Scott Brown (1931- ) was born in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and studied architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

She moved to Philadelphia with her husband and fellow architect Robert Scott Brown to attend the University of Pennsylvania. A year before she received her master's degree in city planning, her husband was killed in a car accident.

Upon graduating in 1960, she joined the faculty and almost immediately met Robert Venturi. They became friends and partners, and they eventually married in 1967. That same year, she joined the firm of Venturi and Rauch, becoming a partner in 1969. The firm later was named Venturi Scott Brown and Associates.

In 1972 the couple, along with Steven Izenour, wrote the book Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. Later she and her husband challenged the modernist rejection of ornamentation, saying that the movement had been too severe. Scott Brown and Venturi designed a collection of chairs for Knoll that embodied this conviction by employing some of the more traditional forms of design.

Scott Brown won the 2010 Edmund N. Bacon Prize and the 2007 Cooper-Hewitt Design Mind Award along with Robert Venturi. Last year Scott Brown, supported by many well known architects such as her husband and Zaha Hadid, petitioned to be added retroactively to the 1991 Pritzker Prize won by her husband, from which she was excluded, even though she was an equal and essential partner. The petition was denied.

From, and

Denise Scott Brown in front of the Provincial Capitol Building in Toulouse, France

The Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London

Seattle Art Museum

Chippendale chair for Knoll, with Robert Venturi

Urn table for Knoll, with Robert Venturi

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