Denise Scott Brown Goes Manga

John Hill
4. February 2021
Image: Hiroki Otsuka, courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation, which "raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and fosters appreciation of the arts and sciences," has partnered with artist Hiroki Otsuka on a series of manga devoted to Vilcek Prize recipients. The first is about architect Denise Scott Brown, recipient of the 2007 Vilcek Prize in Architecture.

To most architects, Denise Scott Brown needs no introduction. Architect, planner, one of the authors of Learning from Las Vegas, Scott Brown is "a pioneer of postmodernist thinking," in the words of the Vilcek Foundation. 

Given the diversity of prizes given out by the New York-based foundation — to artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, writers, and scientists, among others — the creation of a manga that serves as a brief and accessible introduction to the architect's life's story is appropriate, and very welcome.

A couple pages from Hiroki Otsuka's manga are shown below, but the whole comic can be read on the Vilcek Foundation's website and downloaded as a PDF.

The architect's own words invite readers in and then pull them along on her story, which highlights a few buildings she designed with Robert Venturi, her partner in work and life. (Image: Hiroki Otsuka, courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation)
Hiroki Otsuka's creation spans from Scott Brown's upbringing in Johannesburg, South Africa, to her recognition by the Vilcek Foundation last decade. (Image: Hiroki Otsuka, courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation)
The manga devoted to Denise Scott Brown is the first in the series, and it makes us eager to learn about the other prize winners, especially those who might not be so familiar to architects. (Image: Hiroki Otsuka, courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation)
See also: "Teddy Cruz Wins 2018 Vilcek Prize in Architecture"; Cruz was the first architect to received a Vilcek Prize since Scott Brown, and he was accompanied by a trio of architects given prizes "for Creative Promise in Architecture."

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