Anders Carlson, Ph.D.
B.S. and M.Eng., Cornell University
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Assistant Professor Anders Carlson has a PhD in Civil Engineering from Caltech researching damage to tall steel moment frame buildings due to the Northridge Earthquake. He is also a licensed structural engineer and Staff Consultant at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger with over 20 years of experience in design of steel, concrete, composite, and light framed wood structures. His work has encompassed a broad range of project types including civic, educational, healthcare, office, retail, government, and residential. Project sizes have ranged from sculptures to highrises. He has worked on notable projects such as Koolhaas’ Seattle Public Library, Libeskind’s Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum, the investigation of the collapse of WTC-7 and the first buckling restrained braced frame building in the United States.
Dr. Carlson’s pedagogical focus is to integrate building science studies of the natural and manmade forces affecting the built environment with design, current practice and new tools and technologies to make the USC School of Architecture a paradigm of holistic architectural design. He is helping to develop new tools for students to quickly assess structural and environmental impacts to their designs using the software and technologies they are already familiar with so that they can make informed design decisions.
Architecture is multi-disciplinary by nature and requires input from multiple fields. Carlson is engaged with multi-disciplinary work exploring: seismic sustainability, structural optimization in parametric design, and prefabricated construction that address performance on buildings, design of buildings and construction of buildings, respectively. In each of these research areas, his approach is to use innovative analytical tools and methodologies to improve decision making and performance of built systems.
Carlson’s research focuses on multi-disciplinary solutions to improve sustainable design through informed decision making. Embedded in his teaching methodology, this approach to teaching structures to architecture design students is to foster an understanding of fundamental principles that contain the control points of design. Through case studies of actual projects, he enagages the importance of inter-disciplinary thinking and coordination to develop synergistic designs. Students adopt a holistic approach towards structure as a design driver in their projects, grounding their vision in the realm of realistic possibilities.
Carlson also conducts research through a crticial design practice. He is a Staff Consultant with Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), a multi-disciplinary firm that was founded by three M.I.T. professors. The firm designs, investigates and rehabilitates structures and building enclosures. Carlson works on challenging design projects that test new approaches and break new ground in design and engineering.