Victor Regnier, FAIA

Professor of Architecture and Gerontology, ACSA Distinguished Professor


BS and B.Arch, Kansas State University M.Arch, USC School of Architecture

Victor Regnier is a teacher, researcher and architect who has focused his academic and professional life on the design of housing and community settings for older people. He holds a joint professorship between the USC School of Architecture and the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, which is the only joint appointment of this type in the US. He is the only person to have achieved fellowship status in both the American Institute of Architects and the Gerontological Society of America. From 1992 until 1996 he served as USC’s Dean of the School of Architecture. 

He has published 10 books/monographs as well as 60 articles and book chapters dealing with various aspects of housing and community planning for the elderly. His newest book published in Fall (2018) is entitled Housing for an Increasingly Older Population: Redefining Assisted Living for the Mentally and Physically Frail. Currently a translation of this book in Chinese is being readied. It is scheduled to be released in fall 2019. He has received awards for his scholarship from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and Phi Kappa Phi, as well as two Progressive Architecture Research Awards. He has also received two Fulbright research awards (northern Europe (1992) and Portugal (2014)) and the Thord-Grey Award from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Victor’s interest in balancing theory with practice has led to many different and distinct honors. For example, he is the only architect to receive the Gerontological Society of America’s, M. Powell Lawton award for applied research.  USC Architecture named him as their “2007 Distinguished Alumnus”. In 2008 in recognition of his teaching and research, the American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) named him as an ACSA Distinguished Professor.

As an academic he has directed over 20 research projects dealing with diverse topics such as the behavioral impact of the environment on people with dementia, children’s museums and homeless shelters. His design research findings have been presented at over 200 professional and scientific conferences as well as more than 100 university lectures and symposia.  He has served on the editorial or advisory board of 9 journals or professional magazines.

As a teacher, Professor Regnier was named a USC Mortar Board Professor. He is well known as a mentor and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable instructor.

As a designer/practicing architect he has provided consultation advice during the last 40 years on over 400 building projects in 38 states, Canada, Germany and England. Projects on which he has consulted have won over 50 state and national design awards. Professor Regnier is considered one of the world’s major thought leaders on the topic of housing and services for older people.

Related Links: Curriculum Vitae

Currently Teaching
  • 520
    Housing and Community Design for an Aging Population
    Housing and Community Design for an Aging Population
    Since 1950, the number of people over 65 has tripled and in the next 30 years, the over 65 population will grow 220%. This multi-disciplinary course focuses on the design of housing and community settings for older people, introducing students to a range of building types built to serve those recently retired as well as those who need health and caregiving support to stay independent. It examines the building type through context and case studies from northern Europe, Japan and the US. This course arms students with the knowledge and insight necessary to create environments that enhance the quality of life for older people. Three local site visits enable students to experience exemplar models and learn directly from discussions with older residents and administrative personnel.
  • 522
    Healthcare Design
    Healthcare Design

    This course focuses on the design of a diverse collection of hospital and community settings for healthcare. The course introduces students to a range of building types that vary from major trauma centers to small scale community outpatient facilities. It traces the evolution of healthcare settings from the Greek period to current times, including the newest emphasis on public health and lifestyle.This topic of healthcare design is huge in scale and magnitude. In fact, many firms who specialize in this area, have their own in-house training programs. This course is meant to provide an overview of this changing building type and how it impacts the practice of medicine (and architecture) today.

    The course starts with the history of the hospital as a building type from 500BC to the present day summarizing with a list of today’s challenges and tomorrow’s future trends. It describes powerful research findings that show how landscape designs can combat depression and promote relaxation. Building organizational strategies and programming approaches are reviewed as well as factors that affect appearance and functionality. It examines the patient room and new trends that embrace old ideas and introduce new ones. It demonstrates how and why families/friends have become more active participants in the healing process. It also shows how empirical analysis (often labeled evidence-based design) is affecting practice. Finally, it ends with a look at new technologies like imaging diagnostics and operating room procedures which are changing high-tech medicine.

  • 705L
    Advanced Graduate Architecture Design- Topics
    Advanced Graduate Architecture Design- Topics

    Advanced topical investigations emphasizing diverse areas of specialization. Projects will be faculty-led research investigations that concentrate on diverse areas of vital concern.

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