Werner Seligmann Lecture
Electric Mud: Presentation of The Surreal Visions of Hernán Díaz Alonso/HDA-x
Díaz Alonso assumed the role Director/Chief Executive Officer of SCI-Arc in Los Angeles beginning in the 2015 academic year. He has been a distinguished faculty member since 2001, serving in several leadership roles, including coordinator of the graduate thesis program from 2007–10, and graduate programs chair from 2010–15. He is widely credited with spearheading SCI-Arc’s transition to digital technologies, and he played a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum over the last decade.
In parallel to his role at SCI-Arc, Díaz Alonso is principal of the Los Angeles-based architecture office HDA-x (formerly Xefirotarch). His multidisciplinary practice is praised for its work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments, and radical architectural explorations.
Over the course of his career as an architect and educator, Díaz Alonso has earned accolades for his leadership and innovation, as well as his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies. In 2005 he was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) competition, and in 2012 he received the Educator of the Year award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and a 2013 Progressive Architecture Award for his design of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina.
Díaz Alonso’s architectural designs have been featured in exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the London Architecture Biennale, and ArchiLab in Orleans, France, as well as included in exhibitions at such leading museums as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Art Institute of Chicago; and MAK Centre, Vienna. The work has been widely published in magazines, journals, and books, including the Excessivemonograph of Xefirotarch. The office is currently working on a new monograph to be published by Thames and Hudson. Díaz Alonso’s work is in the permanent collections of the FRAC Centre, Orleans, France; SFMOMA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza, the MAK Museum, Vienna; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
A gifted educator, Díaz Alonso has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments; these include Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design (2010), Visiting Design Studio Faculty at the GSAPP at Columbia University (2004–10), an ongoing appointment as architectural design professor in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and as a Distinguished Faculty Member at SCI-Arc. In spring 2015, he served as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design. Díaz Alonso was named by DesignIntelligence as one of their 25 Most Admired Educators for 2018-2019 and won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award in 2019.