Event Press Release

SFMOMA Announces Elizabeth Diller And Ricardo Scofidio As 2007 Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecturers

Release date: October 2, 2007

Since its inception in 1995, the Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has brought the highest caliber of scholarship and art commentary to the Bay Area. This year's distinguished lecturers are Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, founding principals of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a New York City–based architectural firm.

Diller and Scofidio's influence stems as much from their contributions to the theory and criticism of architecture as from their built works. Particularly well-known for its interdisciplinary approach to architecture, their firm balances thematically driven experimental work—in the form of temporary and permanent site-specific installations, multimedia theater, and electronic media and print—with commercial and cultural architectural projects, as well as housing and urban planning.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro has received numerous awards, including a Chrysler Design Award for Innovation in Design, the James Beard Foundation Award, the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship to be awarded to architects, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's McDermott Award for Creative Achievement, and a Progressive Architecture Award. Diller is a professor of architecture at Princeton University, and Scofidio is professor emeritus of architecture at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York.

Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio
Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, founding principals, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Henry Urbach, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, SFMOMA
Thursday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater

Diller and Scofidio lead an interdisciplinary firm that works across architecture, urban design, and the visual and performing arts to explore the extended possibilities of architectural practice. Their projects include media installations like Facsimile (2003) in San Francisco's Moscone Center and innovative works of architecture like the Blur Building (2002), a pavilion created for the Swiss Expo on Lake Neuchatel using water as its primary material, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, which combines dynamic public and contemplative private space. Current projects for the Lincoln Center and the High Line in New York will craft new social spaces from remnants of the city's modernist and industrial history. For this presentation, Urbach joins Diller and Scofidio in conversation about their experimental practice and the built environment.

$10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors.

Media Contacts

  • Libby Garrison, 415.357.4177,
  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 415.357.4174,
  • Robyn Wise, 415.357.4172,


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction,  through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.