Denise Scott Brown Reveals Shocking Details About Sexism in Architecture

A recent interview with Denise Scott Brown in ARCHITECT Magazine warrants a read, even for those who think they are fully aware of how sexist the architecture industry has been (and continues to be). The 81-year-old architect who co-wrote “Learning from Las Vegas” has made headlines recently for her public response to a question directed to her at a luncheon celebrating women in architecture, in which she voiced her regret that she was not included in husband and firm partner Robert Venturi‘s 1991 Pritzker win.

Since then, a petition asking for Scott Brown’s retroactive Pritzker inclusion has been launched, garnering the signatures of Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Robert Venturi, and others. As the ARCHITECT Magazine interview reveals, it was never Scott Brown’s intent to stir the pot, so to speak, but nonetheless, a string of anecdotes detailing some rather appalling comments and gestures point to greater injustices outside of the Pritzker upset.

Here’s just a taste, an excerpt form Scott Brown’s recollection of a party shortly after a dispute with architectural historian Colin Rowe: “[Rowe] put his arms around me holding his whiskey glass, spilling his whiskey down the back of my neck, and said, ‘Denise, cara mia. Fuck you, bitch!'” The architect then pans her attention to “[a]nother angry New Yorker” named Philip Johnson, whom she says she nicknamed QP for his physical resemblance to a Kewpie doll. “You have to get your revenge somehow!” she added. Read the full interview on ARCHITECT Magazine.

Photo source: Morley Von Sternberg

- Kelly Chan