05/04/17 Alison Hirsch Name 2017-2018 Rome Prize Winner


Professor Alison Hirsch and Aroussiak Gabrielian are the recipients of the Prince Charitable Trusts/Rolland Rome Prize, an 11-month fellowship that will allow the pair to live and work at the American Academy in Rome starting in September 2017.


Hirsch and Gabrielian are co-founders of foreground design agency. Hirsch is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, and Gabrielian, a former USC Architecture lecturer, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts + Practice at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.


Their proposal, “Rome real-and-Imagined: cinematic fictions and future landscapes,” navigates the cinematic landscape of Rome, spanning the range from the Hollywood epic to Italian neorealism, to explore how fictional landscapes entrench themselves as reality in people’s minds and to discover “non-dominant narratives,” which they plan to project in film installations in the city.


“Alison and Aroussiak’s cinematic experimentation in the ancient Roman landscape is a new way to understand the human relationship to land, first transformed by design discourse and then cultural discussion,” said Dean Qingyun Ma.


Hirsch is the second USC landscape architecture faculty to receive a Rome Prize fellowship in recent years. Professor Alexander Robinson was awarded the 2015-2016 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize.



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