Fall 2015 Lecture Series Kicks Off on 8/26

School News

Fall 2015 Lecture Series Kicks Off on 8/26

August 26, 2015


The USC School of Architecture’s fall lecture series kicks off on August 26 at 6:00 pm in the newly renovated Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center in Harris Hall.


This first lecture is by New York-based Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, founders of award-winning MOS Architects. They will be presenting a lecture entitled “MOS Recent Work, Buildings and Videos.” Meredith and Sample are also visiting faculty this semester, teaching a graduate studio.


Following MOS, we present three faculty lectures. On August 31, Alex Robinson, Assistant Professor, Director of the USC Landscape Morphologies Lab, and principal of the Los Angeles-based firm Office of Outdoor Research (oOR), will present how designing multi-purpose landscape infrastructures requires an "instrumental reconciliation" and a re-consideration of their unique place-making attributes. He will discuss his ongoing research on regional Los Angeles infrastructures, including the Owens Lake Dust Control Project and the Los Angeles River, and specifically his efforts in developing rigorous multi-disciplinary interfaces for their design. This work, conducted through his Landscape Morphologies Lab, includes the development of advanced physical modeling, custom software systems, and examinations of infrastructural experience and place. He proposes that we can improve our relationship with landscape infrastructures as much by re-making our engagement with the tools and metricized practices that shape them as appreciating the new kinds of places their forms engender. Robinson is also the recipient of the 2015 Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize for his proposal, A Projective Picturesque: Reconciling Pictorial with Performance in Landscape Architecture. His research will seek to reconcile scenic and pictorial theories based on “Grand Tour” paintings of the Italian landscape with contemporary design processes and tools in landscape architecture, opening up new possibilities for linking visual experience with landscape performance. Read more about his Rome Prize here.


On September 9, José Sanchez, Assistant Professor, will present how game mechanics suggest a radically different ethos for computational design thinking. He will discuss the BLOOM project, commissioned for the London Olympics in 2012, which combines the use of industrially produced identical components with game mechanics. This breaks the idea of serialized outcomes and suggests that within the search-space of possible formations, there are un-foreseeable assemblies and creative outcomes. The project has initiated his research unit ‘Gamescapes’ which couples notions of digital modular materials with crowd-sourcing positioning ‘gaming’ as a design heuristics to open the field of architectural design. Sanchez is also the director of the Plethora Project, a research and learning project investing in the future of on-line open-source knowledge and the creator of Block’hood, a city simulator video game exploring notions of crowd-sourced urbanism.


Jumping to November 4, we present a faculty lecture by Kelly Shannon, PhD, Director, Landscape Architecture Programs. The final lecture of the term will be by Sam Jacob, Principal, Sam Jacob Studio, London, on November 11. Stay tuned for more information on these as we get closer to the dates.


As always, lectures are free and open to the public. Make sure to invite friends and colleagues, and please share on your social media channels.