Established 1972, Los Angeles, California
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).