On March 4, the Society of Architectural Historians presented its 2021 Change Agent Award to Michael Maltzan, FAIA, founder of Michael Maltzan Architecture in Los Angeles, CA. The SAH Change Agent Award recognizes architects whose work is not simply innovative, but that reframes the very criteria by which we judge architecture; work that is both influential and relevant in addressing society’s greatest challenges. In their work, Maltzan and his colleagues address those great challenges through their commitment to create progressive, transformative designs and experiences that chart new socially responsible directions for architecture, urbanism, and the public realm.
During the virtual event, SAH President Victoria Young presented Maltzan with the award, after which he talked about the firm’s approach to integrating permanent housing for homeless people, supportive services necessary to bridge those individuals back into the community, and innovative architectural design. Maltzan then participated in a conversation with Frances Anderton, who covers architecture and design in Los Angeles on radio and in print. The evening began with a video montage of congratulations to Maltzan from Sarah Whiting, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design; Ann Philbin, executive director of the Hammer Museum; Milton Curry, dean of the USC School of Architecture; Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art; and Suzanne Deal Booth, Suzanne Deal Booth Cultural Trust. The event concluded with a virtual VIP reception.
Co-chairs for the event were: Kenneth Breisch, associate professor, School of Architecture and the Dornsife Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC School of Architecture; Bert Green, owner, Bert Green Fine Art; Aric Lasher, FAIA, president and Director of Design, HBRA Architects; Michael Gibson, partner, Greenberg, Whitcombe, Takeuchi & Gibson, LLP, and Patricia A. Morton, associate professor, Media and Cultural Studies Department, UC Riverside.
SAH would like to thank the sponsors of the 2021 Change Agent event: Ray and Wyn Ritchie Evans Foundation, Michael Ovitz and Tamara Mellon, Suzanne Deal Booth Cultural Trust, Hammer Museum, Shaun Caley Regen, Olin and Ann Barrett, Michael J. Gibson, Prospect Creek Foundation, Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Steve Trampe, Bartholomew Voorsanger, FAIA, Kenneth Breisch, Alan Hergott & Curt Shepard, Aric Lasher, FAIA, and Bert Green, Patricia A. Morton, Ann Philbin and Southern California Chapter SAH. The event raised more than $24,000, which will support SAH's educational mission and ongoing restoration of Charnley-Persky House (Adler and Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, 1891), SAH’s headquarters in Chicago.