NEW HAVEN, CT.-
"What We Learned: The Yale Las Vegas Studio and the Work of Venturi Scott Brown & Associates" combines two independently organized exhibitions which feature the teaching, research, and design work of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery
through February 5, 2010.
The first exhibition, "The Yale Las Vegas Studio" is a traveling exhibition of over one hundred color photographs, several slide projections, and original materials from the 1968 studio at Yale which resulted in the seminal book, 'Learning From Las Vegas' (MIT Press, 1972) by Venturi, Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. This exhibition was created by and originally presented by the Museum im Bellpark, Kriens, Switzerland, in 2008 by guest curator Martino Stierli and Hilar Stadler, its director.
With materials on loan from Venturi, Scott Brown and the University of Pennsylvania Design Archives, This show will offers an unvarnished look at the research data accumulated by Venturi, Scott Brown and the 13 Yale graduate architecture students who accompanied them on the legendary research expedition which documented the Las Vegas Stripa revealing analysis of the prevalence of the ugly and the ordinary in the North American landscape over 40 years ago. Salient for implementing photography, mapping, and cinematic footage as techniques useful to architectural design, these research methods and critique of modern architecture was made famous by the international publication of their book. Multiple editions of 'Learning from Las Vegas' in English and foreign languages are featured in this show. Prior to coming to Yale, the 'Las Vegas Studio' was displayed at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt from April to August 2009. As a result of their research and teaching, Venturi and Scott Browns architectural work represents a vanguard shift from the late modernism of the 1960s and early 1970s through the work.
The second exhibition, "What We Learned", is curated and designed by Dean Sakamoto (MED 98), with David Sadighian (MED 10), focuses on Venturi and Scott Browns critical contributions towards the making and understanding of the late 20th-century and present day urban landscape. This original thematic three-dimensional display of selected work of their Philadelphia-based firm, Venturi Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA), reappraises key ideas manifested from the mid-1960s through today.
The installation is organized around five themes: Context, Mannerism, Communication, Automobile City, and Urban Research. This exhibition, more of a concept-based installation than retrospective, is a richly layered collage of framed original drawings, blow-ups of photos of buildings, props from previous exhibitions, theoretical texts by the architects, publications, posters, furniture, and decorative arts by the architects. Developed through conversations with Venturi, Scott Brown, and their partners Dan McCoubrey, Jaime Kolker, and Nancy Trainer with the assistance of John Izenour, this show features fragments from early buildings such as the Vanna Venturi House, Philadelphia (1964); NFL Hall of Fame Project, New Brunswick (1967); Yale Mathematics Building Competition Project (1970); Dixwell Fire Station, New Haven (1974); Franklin Court, Philadelphia (1976); Best Showroom, Langhorn (1978); Gordon Wu Hall, Princeton University (1980); National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing, London (1991); Nikko Kirifuri Resort, Japan (1997); and the Provincial Capitol Building, Toulouse, France (1999).