History of

USC Architecture

  • Overview
  • Case Study House Program
  • Historical Timeline
  • 100-Year Celebration

For 100 years, USC Architecture faculty and graduates have pushed beyond the traditional boundaries of the field to pioneer many paradigm-shifting new practices of architecture. From innovative post-war housing programs and the advent of California Modernism to some of the 20th and 21st century’s most influential works, this vibrant tradition of ambitious and creative thinking is the driving force that propels USC Architecture, encouraging students and faculty to defy constraints and reimagine the possibilities of the field. 

The Case Study House Program, which ran from 1945-1964, was closely associated with the School and many of its faculty and graduates. The Program supported collaborative experimentation on issues of housing and urbanism, domestic life and technological adaptability. Many of the School’s prominent faculty in the post-war period participated in the Case Study Program and contributed greatly to the discourse of modernism during the period, including: Summer Spaulding, Richard Neutra, Gregory Ain, William Pereira, Ralph Knowles, Raymond Loewy, Craig Ellwood, Conrad Buff, Donald Hensman and Pierre Koenig. Many of these architects would become prolific and came to symbolize Los Angeles’ ascension as a place of avant-garde thinking on architecture and city-making.

Based on “Future Perfect,” edited by professor Jim Steele.
Based on “Future Perfect,” edited by professor Jim Steele.
(Click to enlarge)


Celebrating 100 years of the USC School of Architecture

USC Architecture Celebrates 100 Years of Innovation & Impact
From Gehry, to Mayne, to Williams, to Wong - USC Architecture has educated some of the 20th century’s most prolific architects and is cultivating the next generation of ...
School of Architecture 100-Year Anniversary Spotlight: Ralph Knowles
In recognition of the USC School of Architecture’s 100-year anniversary, the School reflected upon its history, progress and future with retired 90-year-old professor and former ...
Alumni Reflect on USC Architecture's 100-Year Legacy
The USC School of Architecture celebrates 100 years of legacy this year as 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of an independent Department of Art and Architecture at USC. To ...