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Frank Gehry named professor of architecture at USC

January 18, 2011 |  5:53 pm


Frank Gehry -- whose architectural marvels include Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the IAC Building in New York -- has been named a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California.

The university said Tuesday that Gehry‚Äôs faculty appointment will be at the USC School of Architecture, from which he earned his bachelor of architecture degree in 1954. Gehry's full title at the university is Judge Widney Professor of Architecture, named after the founder of the private institution.

Gehry, 81, also holds a teaching position at Columbia University in New York, where he is a distinguished professor of architecture. He also has taught at the Yale School of Architecture. In 1989, Gehry was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the top award in the architecture field.

Gehry was not immediately available for comment Tuesday, but he said in a statement via USC that he felt very honored to be given the prestigious appointment. "USC was an important part of my early life. When I was a USC student, my professors gave me excellent preparation for my career. I carry with me today many life lessons learned at 'SC."

Originally from Toronto, Gehry has made L.A. his adoptive home for more than 60 years. He established his practice in L.A. in 1962, and his current firm, Gehry Partners, was formed in 2001 and has a staff of more than 120 people. His next building will open later this month, the hall for Miami's New World Symphony.

Qingyun Ma, dean of the USC School of Architecture, said in a statement that Gehry "is arguably one of the most innovative designers in history, integrating design, art and community in such unique, pioneering ways."

It's unclear what classes, if any, Gehry will be teaching in future semesters at USC.


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-- David Ng

Top photo: Frank Gehry. Credit: Torsten Blackwood / AFP/Getty Images

Bottom photo: Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, designed by Gehry. Credit: Rafa Rivas / Agence France-Presse


Comments () | Archives (6)

Gehry has become lazy as an architect.

What we really need is a major gift from philanthropists like Mr. Eli Board, to endow our graduate programs with new major facility expansion. The School of Architecture has grown far beyond the facilities capacity, and unfortunately there hasn't been any significant gift made to the School. Most other Schools on campus has already been crowned with major philanthropists' name, except School of Architecture.

how awful: Gehry will barely teach and for the amount of money usc will pay him for his name--or for the chance he will deposit some records there when he dies--usc could have hired two or three young scholars who are interested in something other than unnecessary fluff projects.

Is Thom Mayne of Morphosis next after Gehry?

Maybe he'll build a new building for USC. Maybe not, given the university's ghastly record when it comes to its own architecture (e.g., the School of Cinematic Arts).

It's amazing that Frank Gehry's alma mater is just now making an offer to one of it's most prestigious alumni. I guess architecture really is a thankless profession, lol.


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