Charles Lagreco, AIA, MacDonald and Diane Rusling Becket Professor of Community Design

Associate Professor

BA and MFA in Architecture, Princeton University Dipl Arch, Cambridge University

Professor Lagreco, a senior faculty member, has taught at the USC School of Architecture in design methodology, professional practice and design and thesis studios in undergraduate and the graduate Masters of Architecture professional programs. He taught first as an Adjunct Professor and then as a full time tenured faculty member since 1980. He served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of the School of Architecture from 1997 through 2007. He has worked with the Community Redevelopment Agency on downtown revitalization activities in the Broadway Historic Theater District and in educational facilities design and research with an emphasis on new urban educational prototypes and their potential to support community-based urban development. This area of interest was reinforced by his recent work with the Rossier School of Education on the USC/Hybrid High School initiative providing input on programming and site selection and strategies for the proposed school in the USC surrounding neighborhood. He co-chaired the Lesson’s Learned –Schools Symposium at the Getty Museum and has offered continuing education seminars on the 21st Century School here in the effort to start a full offering of these courses to the professional community at the School of Architecture. This area of interest was reinforced by his work with the Rossier School of Education on the USC/Hybrid High School initiative providing input on programming and site selection and strategies for the proposed school in the USC surrounding neighborhoods. Currently Professor Lagreco has been involved in the creation of a new curricular component of the architecture program that places emphasis on the design/build experience based on both cutting edge research and hands on implementation of proposals in the surrounding neighborhood. This effort has been supported by a new endowment created to provide continuity in the program. He has BA and MFA Architecture degrees from Princeton University and a Diploma in Architecture Cert. from Cambridge University and spent a year in Rome on a post Graduate Fulbright Fellowship. Since 1999 he has held the MacDonald and Diane Becket Professorship in Community Design with a co-appointment to the Rossier School of Education. He is the founding principal of Architectural Collective, and has been practicing architecture with that firm after a stint with CRS. (now HOK,) as a lead designer, and has won numerous local state and national design awards including a Progressive Architecture Design Award for the Sunset Boulevard multi-use building in West Hollywood that is a prototype for much of the multi-use live work projects currently being built in Los Angeles.

Currently Teaching
  • 500aL
    Comprehensive Architectural Design
    Comprehensive Architectural Design
    Prerequisite(s): 402abL Corequisite(s): ARCH 501 Note: Substitution for previously required ARCH 402cL Selected areas of specialization; projects chosen from a variety of studio offerings, all with an emphasis on the comprehensive design of buildings.
  • 599
    Research + Design + Build
    Research + Design + Build
    The Research + Design + Build Seminar will generate and analyze context and precedents, identify specific clients as well as develop programing criteria, and propose implementation strategies for specific projects to support school Design + Build efforts. Related course offerings will address design and prototyping in a studio framework, followed by directed research efforts to implement of the projects identified. While not required for enrollment in the initial seminar offering, it is intended that some of the students participating in the R+D+B seminar will be able to participate in the subsequent class efforts and provide the potential for continuity in the Research + Design + Build experience. Since it is not practical to assume or require students to participate in all of the offerings, an emphasis will be placed on clear and complete documentation of the work of each segment of the courses offerings to ensure accessibility and continuity. Learning Objectives: This two unit Seminar / Lab course is being offered to study the precedents and operation of existing successful examples of design - build programs and generate programmatic criteria in collaboration with neighborhood users and constituents. The intention is to prepare for subsequent stages of design and implementation using our current course structure of design studios and special course offerings and directed research as required for project implementation. The course is structured around three components: Research – precedents from existing design – build programs at peer institutions will be studied and used to generate an administrative, economic and academic model for the project with particular focus on the needs of our community, the resources of the school and the larger university, and the potential of the program to realize a built demonstration of those intentions. Project Focus – through an analysis of existing neighborhood institutions and potential interventions, the identification of a specific project suitable for development involving local user groups will be established. Programming of the specific project will involve direct community input and will result in a project brief that can be used in the subsequent spring design studio phase to follow. Collaboration and support exploiting our relationship with the professional community will be used both to gain additional perspective on the requirements of the project and to recruit additional resources during the subsequent design and implementation phases. Prototyping and preliminary design proposals using physical modeling will be used to validate programmatic criteria consistent with the learning objectives of the R+D+B initiative. Students will identify and analyze existing programs and will be responsible to collaborate on the collection, documentation and analysis of the material and the potential application of these precedents to the local conditions and needs of the USC neighborhood. This will include consideration of funding opportunities potentially available to the neighborhood. The identification of “users and clients” for the project proposals will build on existing institutional relationship between USC and the neighborhood as well as explore new opportunities.
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