Vilcek Prize for Arts and Humanities Goes to Denise Scott Brown

First-ever architectural recipient leaves legacy etched in American landscape

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With less than two months before CNU XV in Philadelphia, one of the Congress' scheduled plenary speakers, Denise Scott Brown, has won a prestigious award given to foreign-born individuals for outstanding contributions to American society. The South African-born architect, teacher, and scholar born in South Africa has been recognized for her unique additions to our cultural understanding of the urban form and the human landscape, leaving behind a vast collection of publications, buildings, and campus designs that will influence the American experience for years to come.

In a recent interview with Suzanne Stevens of the Vilcek Prize selection committe, Denise Scott Brown recalls her early influences of foreign role models--particularly a Dutch art teacher who told her, "You won't be a creative artist unless you learn from the landscape around you." Scott Brown feels her perspectives as an outsider enrich her work, giving "the sparkle to what I do." She cites the University of Michigan campus design as an example of the how she assembles diverse cultures and spaces into an integral space.

Denise Scott Brown offers her gratitude by again donating her prize money to a worthy cause, just as she and her partner Robert Venturi donated their recent Vincent Scully Prize to a local school, saying "the best thing to do with it was to try to set an example for other prize-winning architects that a good thing to do would be to support a cause."

The Congress for the New Urbanism is excited to have Denise Scott Brown speak at its fifteenth annual Congress on Sunday May 20th, 2006, closing the weekend celebration of urban discourse in Philadelphia. Join us to hear Denise Scott Brown by registering for CNU XV today!