Denise Scott Brown

Denise Scott Brown is an architect, writer, and planner. She and Robert Venturi are founding principals of the influential architectural firm Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates (VSBA), whose work and ideas have influenced generations of architects and planners.

  • Learning From Las Vegas, Facsimile Edition

    Learning From Las Vegas, Facsimile Edition

    Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour

    A fascimile edition of the long-out-of-print large-format edition designed by design icon Muriel Cooper.

    Upon its publication by the MIT Press in 1972, Learning from Las Vegas was immediately influential and controversial. The authors made an argument that was revolutionary for its time—that the billboards and casinos of Las Vegas were worthy of architectural attention—and offered a challenge for contemporary architects obsessed with the heroic and monumental. The physical book itself, designed by MIT's iconic designer Muriel Cooper, was hailed as a masterpiece of modernist design, but the book's design struck the authors as too monumental for a text that praised the ugly and ordinary over the heroic and monumental. The MIT Press published a revised version in 1977—a modest paperback that the authors felt was more in keeping with the argument of the book—and the original Cooper-designed book fell out of print and became a highly sought-after collectors' item; it now sells for thousands of dollars in the rare book market, while the author-redesigned paperback has remained continuously in print at a price affordable to students. Now, decades after the original hardcover edition sold out, the MIT Press is publishing a facsimile edition of the original large-format Cooper-designed edition of Learning from Las Vegas, complete with translucent glassine wrap. This edition also features a spirited preface by Denise Scott Brown, looking back on the creation of the book and explaining her and Robert Venturi's reservations about the original design.

    Learning from Las Vegas begins with the Las Vegas Strip and proceeds to "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. As Scott Brown says in her introduction, the book “upended sacred cows … would not bad-mouth bad taste, and redefined architectural research.”

  • Learning From Las Vegas, Revised Edition

    Learning From Las Vegas, Revised Edition

    The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form

    Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour

    Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of "common" people and less immodest in their erections of "heroic," self-aggrandizing monuments.

    This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. (The final part of the first edition, on the architectural work of the firm Venturi and Rauch, is not included in the revision.) The new paperback edition has a smaller format, fewer pictures, and a considerably lower price than the original. There are an added preface by Scott Brown and a bibliography of writings by the members of Venturi and Rauch and about the firm's work.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $28.95

Contributor

  • Perspecta 41 "Grand Tour"

    Perspecta 41 "Grand Tour"

    The Yale Architectural Journal

    Gabrielle Brainard, Rustam Mehta, and Thomas Moran

    Architectural travel, from the Eternal City to the generic city.

    The Grand Tour was once the culmination of an architect's education. As a journey to the cultural sites of Europe, the Tour's agenda was clearly defined: to study ancient monuments in order to reproduce them at home. Architects returned from their Grand Tours with rolls of measured drawings and less tangible spoils: patronage, commissions, and cultural cachet. Although no longer carried out under the same name, the practices inscribed by the Grand Tour have continued relevance for contemporary architects. This edition of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America—uses the Grand Tour, broadly conceived, as a model for understanding the history, current incarnation, and future of architectural travel. Perspecta 41 asks: where do we go, how do we record what we see, what do we bring back, and how does it change us? Contributions include explorations of architects' travels in times of war; Peter Eisenman's account of his career-defining 1962 trip with Colin Rowe around Europe in a Volkswagen; Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's discussion of their traveling and its effect on their collecting, teaching, and design work; drawings documenting the monolithic churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia; an account of how James Gamble Rogers designed Yale's Sterling Library and residential colleges using his collection of postcards; and a proposed itinerary for a contemporary Grand Tour—in America.

    Contributors Esra Akcan, Aaron Betsky, Ljiljana Blagojevic [acute accent over c], Edward Burtynsky, Matthew Coolidge and CLUI, Gillian Darley, Brook Denison, Helen Dorey, Keller Easterling, Peter Eisenman, Dan Graham and Mark Wasiuta, Jeffery Inaba and C-Lab, Sam Jacob, Michael Meredith, Colin Montgomery, Dietrich Neumann, Enrique Ramirez, Mary-Ann Ray and Robert Mangurian, Kazys Varnelis, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Enrique Walker