(Los Angeles, California, Established 1972)

Morphosis is a Los Angeles-based design firm founded by architects Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi in 1972. The firm began as an informal collaboration between designers who eschewed the bounds of everyday design in favor of a highly inquisitive and critical design process.

Mayne and Rotundi were advocates for a context-driven approach: they sought to imbue objects with meanings derived from their surroundings. This approach was itself contextual in that it mimicked the radically growing and shifting physical and cultural landscapes of postmodern Los Angeles.

In the 1980s and early 1990s Morphosis carried its critical approach into the design of buildings, mostly private residences. More recently, the firm has produced much larger and more publicly oriented projects, including the Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona (1999), Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles (2004), and the San Francisco Federal Building (2006).

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at to verify artwork details.

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