Lauren Matchison, AIA

Associate Professor of Practice; Director, A-LAB Architecture Development Program

B.Arch, University of Arizona M.Arch, Syracuse University


Lauren began teaching at the USC School of Architecture over a decade ago. Much of her teaching and leadership during this time has been geared toward reaching young architecture students. She engages undergraduate students through fundamental courses in design, drawing, culture, research, and shelter, among others. Creating a strong culture of mentorship for new students is also among her highest priorities.

 

She is currently the Director of two USC programs for pre-college students: A-Lab Architecture Development Program and Exploration of Architecture program. She also served as the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies for a number of years.


She is an Associate Professor of Practice and a licensed architect in California. Her research interests include architectural education and pedagogy, the intersection of architecture with health and wellness, and architecture and socio-cultural practices.


 
 
Currently Teaching
  • 303
    Principles of Spatial Design I
    Principles of Spatial Design I
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 203 Introduction to design principles and processes; sequence of exercises emphasizing development of basic skills, ideas, and techniques used in the creation of simplified urban space design projects.
     
  • 306m
    Shelter
    Shelter
    “We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.” Sir Winston Churchill This course asks a seemingly simple question – What is Shelter? The answer however, is quite complex. It is typically thought that man designs shelter based on physical opportunities and constraints (i.e. climate, materials, construction, etc). However, reliance on physical factors alone to create shelter is a gross oversimplification. Man is a social being, operating within complex belief systems, family structures, social organization, cultural milieus, etc. This course posits that it is these powerful social and cultural factors, rather than the physical factors, which truly drive the creation of shelter. This course delves into the tremendous impact and implications social class and poverty have on the creation of shelter. Students will learn the numerous ways social class and poverty manifest as we examine life and shelter in refugee camps, urban slums, homeless camps and post-disaster housing. Students will learn how man endures throughout time and space; and finds ways not only to survive, but also to thrive. This course fulfills the USC Diversity Requirement.
     
  • 470A
    Architectural Studies Capstone- Preparation and Framework
    Architectural Studies Capstone- Preparation and Framework
    This course is the first in a two-part, capstone sequence designed especially for degree candidates in the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies program. The course is structured to assist students in identifying and investigating a subject consistent with their curricular concentration and relevant to their professional and academic goals. The course will bring students together in a seminar format to achieve three central goals: to provide a thorough introduction to research methodology, to foster proficiency in scholarly writing, and to develop an individual topic of inquiry. The course begins by discussing approaches to scholarly writing and documenting work, citation of information, and the identification of source material specific to each student’s curricular concentration. Then, working sequentially, students will identify a topic of inquiry, organize a literature review, develop a thesis statement, and write an abstract. Students will use the work they generate in this course to establish the basis for a capstone research paper to be executed in ARCH 470b. The 470ab sequence aims to imbue students with a love of, and understanding of, research and how to do it. In this way, the course positions itself as both capstone and threshold. It attempts to culminate a 4-year academic course of study, while simultaneously generating a personal research framework that can be further developed in graduate school and/or help launch a professional career.
     
  • 470B
    Architectural Studies Capstone- Seminar
    Architectural Studies Capstone- Seminar
    This course is the second in a two-part, capstone sequence designed especially for degree candidates in the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies program. The course will bring students together in a seminar format to develop an individual directed research paper with a critical focus/agenda that represents both a reflection of the BSAS program content and a rigorous investigation of the individual students’ focus and interests , as explored in ARCH 470a. In addition, students will be challenged to critically examine this subject within the broader framework of contemporary architectural discourse and related disciplines. A series of readings will introduce texts as examples of research involving architectural studies within a larger intellectual context. The readings will serve as a platform for both group and individual discussions. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop significant presentation skills through a series of focused Pecha Kucha-style presentations. Students will meet one-on-one with the instructor for suggestions, guidance and paper edits. Students will also benefit from the counsel and collaboration of structured writing groups. Writing groups will be assembled loosely into themes, based on research topic s. Writing groups provide a constant source of constructive criticism, support, and encouragement for each member. The 470ab sequence aims to imbue students with a love of, and understanding of, research and how to do it. In this way, the course positions itself as both capstone and threshold. It attempts to culminate a 4- year academic course of study, while simultaneously generating a personal research framework that can be further developed in graduate school and/or help launch a professional career.
     
 
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