“—I work in ceramics, watercolor, and bronze. I scribble, doodle, and play in the mud. I like a twist that gives away recognition of bigger issues within the ordinary. When I’m lucky, the playful dimensions of daydreaming lead to something worth pursuing. I use art to express my reflections on issues of our time, on my personal journey, and on the more abstract exploration of form itself.”

Polly Osborne, FAIA Selected Art Exhibitions:

2023 – Private Art Commissions ongoing

2022 – Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts “The Presidents Show” American Ceramic Society

2019 – 2022 – Still Life Studios Gallery

2018 – Channels Islands Studio & Gallery Juried Group Show

2000-2019 – Clay House Gallery

2014 – Museum Design Consultation and 17 ft. tall Cobra Sculpture Designed for Shelby Motor Foundation Museum

2014 – Installation of Alien Botanical Sculptures, River Ranch

2013 – Monterey Museum, Alvarado Gallery “Alien Botanicals”  An urban forest of Aliens accompanied with a Field Guide and Botanical Drawings

2012 – Installation of “Outposts”, Carmel Valley, CA Sculpture on hill above the Carmel River

1995 – Featured Artist, Brookside Gallery, Yosemite National Park

1995 – Member, LA ArtCore

1994 – Featured Artist, Ten Women Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

1994 – Featured Artist, Hello Artichoke Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1993 – Featured Artist Deanna Miller Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, 


Undergraduate: San Francisco Art Institute & Antioch University

Masters in Architecture: Southern California Institute of Architecture

About Polly

Polly Osborne is an artist exploring the relationship of man and nature. Currently her focus is about the irony of that clash. 

As an example, in the “Alien Botanical” series, a fantasy plant appears in nature, is given scientific names, and bears resemblance to naturally occurring species. It is both delicious and invasive. The presentation is a sculptural forest representing these mycological fantasies.

Polly Osborne is also an architect. Her work has been published in many books and magazines and she has won many awards, including the prestigious Nathaniel A. Owings Award from the California Architectural Foundation. In 2013 Polly Osborne was initiated into the American Institute College of Fellows, an honor given to less than 2% of US architects.

Architectural Philosophy:
Architecture is rooted in the site. Getting to know the site is key to living in harmony with natural elements.  Architectural goals include reducing impact through minimizing resource consumption, creating habitat and creating net zero energy use.  Materials are intended to be responsible environmentally, durable, and beautiful.  Details are what make living in a home a joy close up. When you can delight in the way wood and plaster meet, or the shape of a scupper, you are having a good day.  The best way to achieve a comfortable environment is through natural cooling, heating and ventilation.

Art Philosophy:
Making art is a personal adventure that opens my mind to a world of fun.  It can be amusing or meaningful or both.  It can wake us up to action and put us to bed with a cozy feeling of familiar vision.  Whether shocking or peaceful, it communicates the time and place of its creation.


A Nossa Casa, Maputo, Mozambique, 2009-present

University of Southern California, 2010

AIA Committee on the Environment, 1993-present

City of Los Angeles Green Team, 2010

U.S. Green Building Council Green Guide “Ask a Pro,” 2010-present

City of Santa Monica Civic Center Sustainable Design Charette, 1995

Los Angeles Environmental Building Conference, 1992


Altbuild Conference, Santa Monica, 2010

AIA COTE: “Beyond Prefab” Containers, Dirt & Other Affordable, Green Strategies forResidential Construction

Reencontro: A Nossa Casa—A community approach to caring for and empowering the children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic,

2010 Maputo, Mozambique

Los Angeles Bioneers, 2009

Guest lecturer: Environmental Swiss Replica Omega Watches For Sale  Movements Local to California and the Global Effects 

San Fernando Valley Bioneers, 2009

Guest lecturer: Site Specific Architecture in California and Africa

Bioneers are innovators from all walks of life who examine living systems to learn how to

mimic nature in order to serve human ends without harming the web of life.

University of Calgary, 2009

Guest Lecturer, Environmental and Site Specific Architecture

AIA-Monterey Bay Sustainable Buildings Tour, 2009

Tree House

2008 AIA Monterey Bay Public Lecture

The Work of Will Shaw, FAIA

Monterey Environmental Building Expo, 2008

Site Specific Architecture and Green Building

Altbuild Conference, Santa Monica, 2008

Site Specific Architecture

Build it Green, Downey, CA, 2007

Green Design, two case studies

Build It Green Design Tour, South Bay, CA, 2007

Featured green buildings of the San Mateo County Area. The Taiji House was the most

visited house on this tour and was voted the “People’s Choice.”

Stanford University Sustainable Design Study, Menlo Park, CA, 2007

A field trip and lecture at the Taiji House for Stanford University students

“Our Town” Monterey Television, 2007

TV guest on the show “Our Town” discussing the elements of green design and examples on

the Monterey Peninsula

Society of Architectural Historians Tour, Monterey Peninsula, 2004

This tour featured significant Monterey Peninsula early-twentieth-century buildings of

George Washington Smith to the present. Examples of Polly’s work were included along with

such significant architects as Cesar Pelli and Charles Moore.

Eco-Expo, Los Angeles, CA, 1994

Panel on Site Specific Design

Los Angeles Environmental Building Conference, 1993

Event Chair and Moderator

Occidental College, Los Angeles,1992

Guest lecturer: Careers in Architecture

Sacramento State University, 1990

Guest Lecturer: “Site Specific Architecture”

Group Show: “Site Specific Architecture” at SSU Gallery



2009 AIACC Foundation Nathaniel Owings Award

For outstanding accomplishments in the preservation of nature in relation to the California

built environment

2009 AIA Monterey Bay Honor Award

Preston Way Residence

2009 AIA Monterey Bay Exemplary Sustainable Design Award

Preston Way Residence

2007 AIA Monterey Bay Citation Award

Taiji Residence

2000 AIA Monterey Bay Award for Design Excellence

Tree House (The jury also praised the project’s environmental sensitivity.


2011 Pacific Grove Heritage Society Heritage House Award

Gordon Residence

2008 Build it Green, South Bay Green Home Tour People’s Choice Award

Taiji Residence

2008 Sustainable San Mateo County Residential Award of Highest Achievement

Taiji Residence

2008 Green Building Award Single-Family Residence Winner

Taiji Residence

2002 The HomeBook Gold Medal in Furniture Design

Anderle Residence

2002 HomeBook Silver Medal in New Homes under 5,000 square feet

Tree House

2002 HomeBook Silver Medal in Residential Remodeling

Dowse Residence

1984 First prize, Morcote Castle Design SCI-ARC

Vico Morcote, Switzerland

1983 Vico Morcote “Excellence in Design”

1982 Cal-Poly Site Design Award First prize

Cal Poly Design Village



The Green Home, Sunset Publishing, 2010

Taiji Residence

Rubble with a Cause, Jonathan Dobre, 2003

Designing Dreams: The Los Angeles Home Book, Third Edition, 2002

Furniture, Tree House, Dowse Residence

Outdoor Rooms, Julie Taylor, 2001

Chemel Residence

Design with Spirituality, 2001

Anderele Residence

West Coast Rooms, Edie Cohen, 2000

Chemel Residence


Green Builder, May 2009

Taiji Residence

Western Interiors & Design, 2007

Furniture for Baer House

Kitchen Trends Volume 16, 2000

Poncher/Ogle Residence

Sunset Magazine, March 1996

Chemel Residence



Polly was interviewed for this talk radio program by Cindy Dole in October 2010