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Finding Aid for the Carlos Diniz Archive 0000350
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Arrangement note

  • Title: Carlos Diniz archive
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000350
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 100.0 Linear feet (313 flat artworks, 10 record storage boxes, 19 roll boxes, 63 half record storage boxes, 2 flat boxes, 10 rolls, flat file folders)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1960-1993
    Date (inclusive): circa 1957-2000
    Location note: 10 record storage boxes / ADC regular 63 half record storage boxes / ADC regular and fixed shelving unit 19 roll boxes ADC *** range 12 313+ flat pieces artwork /Mosher (shelves and bins and standing nooks) 10 rolls (processed) / ADC fixed shelving 34 unprocessed rolls / ADC X flat file folders / Mosher
    creator: Carlos Diniz Associates.
    creator: Gehry, Frank O., 1929-
    creator: Legorreta Vilchis, Ricardo
    creator: Pelli, Cesar
    creator: Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill.
    creator: Victor Gruen Associates.
    creator: Welton Becket and Associates.
    creator: Yamasaki, Minoru, 1912-1986

    Scope and Contents note

    The archive contains circa 3000 drawings, with accompanying sketches, presentation panels -- many of them reproductions mounted on boards and hand-painted -- and printed graphics and ephemera designed by Diniz Associates for the clients. Record photography in the form of 35 mm color transparencies document the work of the studio. Transparencies were used for slide presentations to clients, some accompanied by audio recordings. Notebooks record the jobs that came into the office and ledgers document the labor and hours billed. Material dates from circa 1957-circa 2000; the bulk of the archive dates from 1960 to 1993.
    Carlos Diniz's studio worked for many of the most significant architects, including large corporate firms, in California, as well as architects and developers around the world. Among those whose designs were given life through Diniz's street level and bird's-eye view renderings: Craig Ellwood, Smith and Williams, George Nelson, Welton Beckett, Victor Gruen, Cesar Pelli, Barton Myers, Frank O. Gehry, Ricardo Legorreta, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Minouri Yamasaki, I. M. Pei, and many, many others.
    Collection is partially processed.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Carlos Diniz was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1928 to an American mother and a Brazilian father. The family moved to Los Angeles when Diniz's father became an attache to the Brazilian consulate there. Diniz attended Beverly Hills High School, where his drawing skills attracted attention by the time he was 14 years old.
    After military service, Diniz studied at the Art Center College of Los Angeles from 1948-1952. He worked in the office of Victor Gruen, pioneer of the shopping mall, from 1952 until 1957, when Diniz established his own studio for the "visual communication of design."
    For 40 years, Carlos Diniz Associates played a critical role in the representation of more than 2,000 projects by North American architects for sites throughout the United States and abroad. Diniz's renderings captured new typologies - shopping centers, hotels, subdivisions, and metropolitan office towers - for the vast infrastructure of the exploding population of post-war Los Angeles. Panoramic aerial views or intimate ground-level vignettes infused the drawings from the studio with Diniz's ideas about the aesthetic character of the city, the resort, or the suburb and the nature of public life.
    Diniz was called on to envision the large-scale projects of Gruen, Frank Gehry and other southern California firms such as Welton Becket, Pereira Associates, Albert C. Martin, Cesar Pelli and Anthony Lumsden at DMJM, and Barton Myers Associates. The office quickly developed an international clientele to include Minoru Yamasaki; I. M. Pei, Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM); and HOK, St. Louis, among others.
    By the seventies, Diniz had become the principal illustrator for the Rouse Company's "festival marketplaces." From the 1980s on, the studio worked with Pei Cobb Freed, Minoru Yamasaki, and the SOM offices in Chicago, London and Philadelphia to develop such mega-schemes as the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Canary Wharf and Kings Cross in London.
    By the early 1990s, when there was a collapse in the commercial property market, Diniz downsized the office, handing management over to his step-son, Ian Espinoza. In 1996, Diniz retired, and in 1998 he moved to Santa Barbara. He died on July 18, 2001.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Partially processed collection; open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of the Diniz family, 2016.

    Preferred Citation note

    Carlos Diniz archive, Architecture and Design Collection, Art Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara

    Arrangement note

    The archive is arranged in 5 series: Indices, notebooks and ledgers; drawings and sketches; printed graphics; presentation panels; and photographic documentation.