Ordinary and Extraordinary


Lawrence Scarpa

Document Type



Winter 2-28-2019


scarpa ordinary extraordinary syracuse architecture






Why do we remember buildings, locations and experiences? Even a place visited in our childhood can conjure emotions that make an impact on us through the memories they create. Lawrence Scarpa will explain the creative process that aspires to make a lasting impression out of even a brief encounter. Scarpa’s work is deeply rooted in conditions of the everyday, and works with our perception and preconceptions to allow us to see things in new ways. He does this, not by escaping the restrictions of practice, but by looking, questioning and reworking the very process of design and building, rethinking the way things normally get done––with material, form, construction, even financing––and to subsequently redefine it to cull out it’s latent potentials – making the “ordinary extraordinary.” The seminar will look at building materials innovation and applications, and how it relates to the architectural design process and sustainable design strategies.

Lawrence Scarpa has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. His firm, Brooks + Scarpa is the recipient of multiple international awards including the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Award in Architecture and the AIA National Firm Award. He is also the recipient of lifetime achievement awards from Interior Design Magazine and the AIA California Council. Mr. Scarpa has taught at the university level for more than two decades and is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California.

His new book Ordinary and Extraordinary was published in May 2018 by Gulf Pacific Press.


SOA Vimeo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.