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Mind Opener: The Shapes of Things


By Jack Feuer

Published Apr 1, 2008 8:00 AM

He's one of the most famous and successful architects in the world. He's been called a maverick, a genius, an inspiration. Slate magazine said, "If he were a filmmaker, he would be Roger Corman." Yet Thom Mayne is unsatisfied.

"I'm an architect; I work in a radical category," he says, adding that "it's a very accessible topic that doesn't seem to be accessible to people who are not already interested in it historically or aesthetically."

On April 22, Mayne hopes to begin to change that, when the UCLA professor of architecture and winner of the Pritzker Prize — considered by many to be architecture's Nobel Prize — delivers the 104th Faculty Research Lecture.

Mayne, who co-founded Santa Monica, Calif.-based architectural firm Morphosis in 1972 and the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture, was inducted into the American Academy of Design in 1992. His projects span the country and the globe, including a courthouse in Eugene, Ore., an academic building in Cincinnati, the state capitol building in Alaska, Caltrans District 7 headquarters and the Science Education Resource Center in Los Angeles, plus projects in Paris, Toronto and many other cities.

The Faculty Research Lecture Series, which began as an annual event in 1925 and was expanded to two lectures a year in 1986, presents the work of UCLA's most distinguished scholars. The lectures have spanned the scope of exploration and inquiry at UCLA, including the brain, evolution, literature and the arts, global security, archaeology, the molecular realm, the galaxy, morality, constitutional law — and now architecture.

104th Faculty Research Lecture: Thom Mayne. Schoenberg Hall, UCLA Schoenberg Music Building. Tuesday, April 22. 3 p.m. Free. First come, first seated. For more information, call (310) 794-6241 or visit



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