Boundless Curiosity


  • Monday, October 16, 2023

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

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Boundless Curiosity: Unleashing the Potential of Inclusive Design Thinking

A Conversation with Mark Rios

Resister now to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.


Join us for the inaugural event of Crossing Design Borders, an annual speaker series launched by the USC School of Architecture in partnership with USC Visions and Voices, featuring distinguished architect and landscape architect Mark Rios, whose projects include Gloria Molina Grand Park, The California Endowment, and Nokia Plaza at L.A. Live. With a focus on curiosity and defining one’s own formula for inclusive innovation, Rios will explore the transformative potential of embracing diverse ideas and collaborators in fostering innovation and share his passion for unlocking groundbreaking solutions and authentic creativity to shape a brighter future in a conversation with Frances Anderton, architecture and design journalist.



Mark Rios is an award-winning architect and landscape architect in Los Angeles. He founded Rios Associates in 1985 and developed an international reputation for its groundbreaking multidisciplinary approach. In 2020, the firm was renamed RIOS to acknowledge its pioneering focus on collaboration across design disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, experience design, environmental graphics, and product design. 

Mark practices with a vision to imagine, design, and build complete environments that cross boundaries of disciplinary design. His eclectic interests, innate curiosity, and ability to see things from multiple perspectives propel the projects the firm works on beyond borders to incorporate the creative alchemy of a multidisciplinary approach to design. RIOS’s client list is as diverse as the services it provides, including entertainment studios, commercial developers, cultural and educational institutions, city agencies, hotels and restaurants, and private individuals. Commissions range from the design of public parks to plazas and streets, to city-shaping districts, as well as private gardens, furniture, and products.

Mark received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from USC, and both Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from Harvard University. Mark was Chairman of Landscape Architecture at USC from 2001 to 2007 and has been on the faculty at UCLA. Mark received the USC Architectural Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. 


Frances Anderton (moderator) is the author of Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles, winner of a Gold Award for best Regional Nonfiction from Foreword Reviews. She writes a regular newsletter on design and architecture for KCRW public radio station, for which she previously hosted the show DnA: Design and Architecture, and produced the current affairs shows Which Way, LA? and To The Point. She has co-produced short films for the nonprofit housing developers Community Corporation of Santa Monica and Venice Community Housing. She teaches a seminar class on housing typologies at USC School of Architecture. Honors include the Esther McCoy Award from the Architectural Guild of USC School of Architecture for her work educating the public about architecture and urbanism.


Presented by USC Visions and Voices. Organized by the USC School of Architecture.

Image (left): One Beverly Hills, & Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA. Rendering: Alagem Capital Group 

Related Links: USC Visions & Voices | Boundless Curiosity: a Conversation with Mark Rios