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Learning from "Learning from":
On Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, and the Recent Yale Symposium on their Works and Writings

*Below is a brief summary of the essay, please click HERE to view the complete document.

In 1972, we learned from Las Vegas the power of signage, through Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's use of the ‘duck’ and ‘decorated shed’ as metaphors for expressive and symbolic architectureii. In their seminal book Learning from Las Vegas , Venturi and Scott Brown acknowledged the duality of architecture -- its role as both ‘shelter’ in its interiority and ‘signage’ in its communicative, decorative, informative, and symbolic aspects.

From October 29, 2009 to Feb 5, 2010, Yale School of Architecture Gallery held What We Learned , an exhibition that features the teaching, research, and design work of Venturi and Scott Brown. The exhibition was made up of two independently organized shows.One, "The Yale Las Vegas Studio," a traveling exhibition first presented by the Museum im Bellpark, Kriens, Switzerland, in 2008 by Martino Stierli and Hilar Stadler, featured original photographs, slides, and documents from the pair's archive of the 1968 studio at Yale which resulted in their Las Vegas book. The other, "The Work of Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates," designed by Dean Sakamoto and David Sadighian, was a concept-based, three-dimensional display of selected work of the Philadelphia firm, organized around five themes: Context, Mannerism, Communication, Automobile City, and Urban Research, reappraising the firm's key ideas manifested from the mid-1960s through today. 


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