062: 2022 AIA Gold Medal Winners: Brooks + Scarpa

Episode 062: 2022 AIA Gold Medal Winners: Brooks + Scarpa

What lessons on architecture, practice, and change can we learn from AIA Gold Medal winners Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa?

In this episode, we welcome Angela Brooks, FAIA and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA of Brooks + Scarpa to talk about their careers together from undergrad to the 2022 AIA Gold Medal. Their firm, Brooks + Scarpa is known for globally award-winning designs across a variety of project types, often elevating the ordinary into something that is truly extraordinary. In our conversation, we diver deeper into the lesser-known aspects that inform their practice, including mentorship and scholarship, as well as environmental stewardship and advocacy.

Larry and Angie are redefining the role of the architect in the best way possible.


Angela Brooks, FAIA is a recognized leader in the field of environmental and social-equity design and is responsible for her firm’s development in the area of housing and policy, leading initiatives and overall design staff management.  

Angie believes that it is not enough to create great buildings and has worked to create complete neighborhoods- she co-founded a non-profit to promote good policy, density and livable communities, lectures extensively on these topics and was 2018 Chair of the National AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), developing programs and advocating for policy changes at the Federal level-promoting design that achieves high levels of performance. In 2020 Angie received the AIA National and Local Citizen Architect Award and the AIA State of California Maybeck Award (the first woman ever to do so) for exemplary achievement in architectural design and ‘a different kind of legacy’ as an advocate for issues that extend beyond buildings.  

Ms. Brook’s firm BROOKS + SCARPA has received over fifty major design awards including five AIA COTE ‘Top Ten Green Building’ Awards. In 2009 Ms. Brooks received the National American Institute of Architects ‘Young Architect’ Award and in 2010 she received the USA Network ‘Character Approved’ Award for her innovative work in the field of architecture and her firm was awarded the National and State Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects. In 2014, her firm was awarded the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. 

Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. He is also considered a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainable design.

Mr. Scarpa has received more than 200 major design awards including twenty-two National AIA Awards, Architect Magazine’s Progressive Architecture and R+D awards, the HIVE 50 Innovator Award, National AIA Collaborative Achievement Award, AIA Los Angeles Chapter Gold Medal, Architect Magazine’s Top 50 Architecture Firms (ranked 2nd, 4th and 9th respectively), AIA California Council Lifetime Achievement Award, Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, Record Houses, Record Interiors, Rudy Bruner Prize, six AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Awards and was a finalist for the World Habitat Award, one of ten firms selected worldwide. His work has been exhibited internationally including the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, MOCA Los Angeles, A+D Museum, and the Smithsonian Museum. He has been featured in NEWSWEEK and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition, Interior Design Magazine honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. And his firm Brooks + Scarpa was awarded the National and State of California Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects. Most recently he was the winner of the  $4.5 mil Housing Innovation Challenge sponsored by Los Angeles County.

He is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California and has taught and lectured at the university level for more than two decades.  Some of those institutions include Harvard University, UCLA, SCI-arc, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a co-founder of the A+D Museum, Los Angeles, Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute, and Livable Places, Inc.; a nonprofit development and public policy organization dedicated to building mixed-use housing and helping develop more sustainable and livable communities.

📍 Show Links:

Brooks + Scarpa

📚 Continue Learning:

M E M O R Y F R A M E – The Work of Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks Scarpa on Affordable Housing

Community by Design Brooks + Scarpa

A single-family home in the Chicago area, designed by Brooks+Scarpa

Animo South Los Angeles High School by Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks Scarpa CAM Museum Raleigh, NC

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