2014 National Planning Excellence Awards: Planning Pioneer
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
The husband and wife team has had a profound influence on both the architecture and planning professions. Partners and owners of Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, the couple focused their work on how people interact with their environments and each other — taking that interaction into consideration in their designs and plans. Their landmark book, Learning from Las Vegas (1972), explored why so many people visited a city that was heavily criticized by architects and looked at everyday urbanism, urban sprawl, and ordinary buildings. It also reintroduced the idea of communication as a function of architecture, especially in cities.
The couple emphasizes that they have learned from each other. Together, they have worked on integrating planning, architecture, and social studies. They are noted for their campus plans, including the University of Michigan Campus Plan, the University of Pennsylvania Master Plan, and plans for South Street, Philadelphia; Miami Beach, Florida; and Memphis, Tennessee.