Milton S. F. Curry

Dean, Della & Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair

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B.Arch, Cornell University; M.Arch, Harvard GSD

Milton S. F. Curry is Dean and Professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture; and holds the Della & Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture - positions he has held since July 2017. Dean Curry obtained his Master in Architecture post-professional degree with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1992, and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University in 1988. He was associate dean for academic affairs and strategic initiatives at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture & Planning from 2010 to 2017, a tenured Associate Professor of Architecture and an affiliate faculty in the Department of Romance Literatures and Languages. Dean Curry has held teaching positions at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Arizona State University. He was Associate Professor of Architecture at Cornell from 2002-2010, and Assistant Professor from 1995-2002, during which time he also served as director of the Cornell Council for the Arts from 2002-2008. Curry is a passionate educator and designer, critic and lecturer. Throughout his 26-year career in academia, he has coordinated graduate and undergraduate design studios at all levels and has taught theory-related seminars on architecture and cultural theory, urbanism and housing. He is recognized as a leading voice in integrating cultural theory, race and class into the ongoing interrogation of modernism and modernity. He has founded two academic journals - Appendix in 1993 and CriticalProductive in 2008. His writings and lectures, edited volumes, and creative works address race as part of the project of modernity and thus interconnected to its philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings and imaginings. Curry is also an accomplished designer. He worked at the New York offices of Kohn Pedersen Fox 1988-91. He started his own design practice in the late 1990’s - MC ProjectStudio - and has executed built and speculative projects including Loft in New York City, Olivia Restaurant Ithaca New York, 2004 Studio Museum in Harlem Invited Exhibition Harlemworld: NegroCity Housing + Harlem Target, and ColiseumCity Oakland - a speculative redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum properties.


Architecture is an intellectual gateway to careers as diverse as architecture, interior design, urban design, landscape architecture, and the design of products and cities. Our professional degrees in architecture combine the best of a liberal arts-humanities education with an education in how to make things - buildings, landscapes, products and and environments.Our non-professional undergraduate and graduate degrees offer opportunities to explore architecture’s connections to other disciplines - including cultural heritage, new technology and urbanism. ‘Architecture thinking’ is about problem-solving, ideating, creating and making! The legacy of innovation and rigor embedded within an architectural education is unrivaled - the design studio and the relentless push for creative solutions that change old paradigms to produce something new are unique to architectural education. Our educational offerings at the school include architecture, landscape architecture, building science, and heritage conservation. With 760 students and 120 faculty members, the School has the reach and scale of few others nationwide.

Today, our graduates are helping to build contemporary cities and environments from the US to Asia. Building on a history of design excellence and innovation that began with the school’s founding in 1919 as a Department of Art and Architecture, the school continues to use its curriculum, exhibitions and research to foster vibrant speculations on the most pressing issues of our day. The School has always been a place for individual invention and has graduated architects whose eclectic way of thinking and groundbreaking personal narratives symbolize the School’s rigorous yet pluralistic pedagogies. Graduates include distinguished and award-winning architects.


USC Architecture is a different kind of school of architecture.

Our collective ambition and core purpose is to be a 21st century “academic cultural institution” dedicated to producing the next generation of architects, designers and scholars who are leaders; redefining architectural education; and experimenting with radical pedagogical models that are inclusive of other disciplines such as cultural theory and history, business and communications, public policy and activism.


Our school believes in creating value by impacting the communities in which we live and work. We are unabashed in linking the role of the architect and design professional to an ethic of citizenship that links design excellence with a humanistic consciousness. Our core values are centered around equality and social justice, and the belief that through architecture we can collectively enrich basic human existence in harmony with our indigenous ecologies. As technology has brought disparate peoples closer together, we still find ourselves atomized by geographic constraints, economic limitations, structural inadequacies, and conflict. Utilizing our academic programs, exhibitions and public events, research initiatives and partnerships - the School is committed to cultural porosity that engages unconventional and diverse constituencies to add contribute to a knowledge exchange between our school and the communities that we serve.


Our culture as a school revolves around curating vibrant debate on contemporary issues - with informed and critical dialogue between students, faculty, visiting lecturers and practitioners and external constituencies. Our students are being equipped with competencies that range in scope from technical skills in designing architecture and landscapes at all scales; conceptual precision in articulating ideas about technology and history and linking design to other discourses including humanities and social sciences; to representational finesse in utilizing analog, digital, and moving image methods to communicate ideas. Our faculty are driven to explore—from the everyday consequences of architecture and design to impact a community, to the experimental realm of theoretical research and speculation. Our graduates and faculty become leaders through a sustained, rigorous dialogue with each other. Theoretical knowledge - developed through designing, writing, forums of public and intellectual exchange - is crucial to developing speculative futures that make social, political and aesthetic intentions tangible. The School is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse platform for critical thinking. Leading with our collective values - architecture as a human right, urban development that prioritizes the public good, designing with social consciousness as top of mind - USC Architecture enlivens public discourse and debate on architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, building science, technology and heritage conservation.

Related Links: CriticalProductive

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