An interview of Denise Scott Brown conducted 1990 October 25-1991 November 9, by Peter Reed, for the Archives of American Art.
Scott Brown discusses her family background and growing up in South Africa; her education at the University of Witwatersrand, the Architectural Association, London, a summer school in Venice, sponsored by Congres Internationale d'Architecture Moderne, and the University of Pennsylvania, recalling some of her teachers (including Arthur Korn and Louis Kahn); her first husband, Robert Scott Brown, and their travels throughout Europe and experiences in Pennsylvania; her teaching philosophy and experiences at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Harvard, UCLA, and Berkeley; the architecture program at Penn from her perspective as a student and as a member of the faculty; meeting Robert Venturi, their work together, the firm and the difficulties encountered in the 1970s and 1980s, some of their projects such as the National Gallery, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and planning work; publications such as "Complexity and Contradiction," "Urban concepts," "Worm's Eye View," and "Learning from Las Vegas;" postmodern architecture; critics; and her experiences as a woman in the field.
Biographical / Historical:
Denise Scott Brown (1931- ) is an architect of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Originally recorded on 10 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 19 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 45 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
General correspondence files contain all communications that do not pertain to a specific project. Because Friedman's personal life and business were so interconnected, many of his business associates also shared personal correspondence with the designer.,Materials in this collection document Friedman's work from 1967, as a student, until his death in 1995.
Files that document his affiliations with Yale University and the State University of New York at Purchase include administrative memos, proposals, lecture outlines, syllabi, bibliographies, examples of students' work, and design projects Friedman did for each school. A copy of the goals and objectives of the Division of Visual Arts within the School of the Arts at SUNY Purchase written by Friedman is included.
Project files include business correspondence, invoices, sketches, contracts, clippings, photographs, and slides. In the case of his graphic projects, some samples of stationery and brochures are included. Extensive documentation exists for Friedman's projects for Citibank, WilliWear, National Public Radio, and Bonwit Teller. Some correspondence is in German. Friedman's lecture notes, proposals for articles and books, and drafts of many articles are included. Clippings of articles on the designer and his work are arranged chronologically.
Research files consist of articles and Friedman's notes on topics of interest to him, such as typography, structure, simultaneity, and information theory. Photographs, slides, and transparencies of many of Friedman's projects, his sources of inspiration, and the work of his students are included.
Record Groups include:
1: General Correspondence
2: University Affiliations
3: Project Files
4: Lectures and Writings
6: Research Materials
7: Photographs and Slides
Biographical / Historical:
Educator, graphic and furniture designer. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1945. Friedman recieved a BFA from Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburg, PA. He studied graphic design at Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Ulm, and studied with Armin Hofmann and Wolfgang Weingart at Allgemeine Gewerbeschule, Basel. Friedman returned to America in 1969 and began his career as graphic designer for large corporations.
He worked with the firm Anspach Grossman Portugal as a senior designer from 1975 to 1977. Friedman contributed significantly to what came to be known as "post-modern" or "new wave" typography in the 1970s. He taught graphic design at Yale University, 1970-73. He became Assistant Professor and Chairman of the Board of Study in Design at the State University of New York at Purchase, 1972-1975. Friedman designed catalogs and brochures for both universities. Friedman worked with Pentagram Design in New York City from 1979 to 1984. He designed corporate identity programs, posters, publications, packaging, letterheads, and logos, for clients such as Citibank, and Williwear.
Friedman was a long-time friend of artist Keith Haring, and designed the book, "Keith Haring", 1982. He was the author of "Dan Friedman: Radical Modernism", 1994, and co-authored with Jeffrey Deitch, "Cultural Geometry", 1988, and "Artificial Nature", 1990. He designed the books "New Italian Design", 1990, and "Post Human", 1992. He also designed furniture, lighting, screens, wall elements, and interiors. Many of his furniture designs were done especially for Galerie Noetu in Paris. Among his best known furniture designs are the 1989 Virgin Screen, 1989 Zoid sofa and chair, and the Three Mile Island lamps.
Friedman served as the Frank Stanton Professor of Graphic Design at the Cooper Union in New York city, from 1994 until his death in 1995.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department
Hundreds of designs for letterheads, logos, business cards, invitations, greeting cards, furniture, lighting, screens, office interiors, shoppings bags and gift boxes, calendars, packaging, weather pattern diagrams and maps, book covers, and posters
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department
"U.S.A." table and dome-shaped floor lamp.,.
Friedman's work can be found in the collections of the following museums: Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Museum of Decorative Arts, Montreal, Canada; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Seibu, Tokyo; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; and Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
This collection was donated to the museum by the designer's brother, Ken Friedman in 1995.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.