08/20/19 USC Architecture Kicks Off Fall 2019 Public Lectures & Events Program


From Nigeria to Minneapolis, the University of Southern California School of Architecture delivers one of its most compelling and diverse lineups of distinguished architecture, culture and art industry leaders for its fall 2019 public lectures and events program. Kicking off on Aug. 28 with a conversation between USC Architecture Dean Milton S. F. Curry and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Director Michael Govan, the fall series will explore timely topics such as sustainability, race and heritage preservation in design. The fall lineup will include insights from award-winning Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, award-winning American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken, author Richard Rothstein, and many more.

All events are free, open to the public and no reservations are required (unless otherwise noted).

The fall lineup also marks the debut of a new program element, “Conversations,” an intimate discussion between two prominent leaders in the greater art, architecture and design industries. The inaugural “Conversations” event on Sept. 11 will feature Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall, co-founders of a | 911, an award-winning Mexico City-based architecture, urban design and planning practice, exploring issues of the global south as they relate to their work.

“Our 2019 fall lectures and events lineup is one of our most diverse to date, which is apropos as the School of Architecture celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. As our industry and pedagogy evolve, it’s essential to host a mix of compelling innovators in the fields of architecture, art, filmmaking and culture, to expose our students and USC Architecture family to those who are pushing the boundaries of sustainable and structural engineering, race and heritage in design, and much more,” stated Milton S. F. Curry, dean of USC School of Architecture. “I invite all USC students and community members to join us to gain fresh perspectives from notable guests like Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, renowned for his acclaimed floating school in Lagos, and architectural historian Neil Jackson, who has written extensively on alumnus Pierre Koenig and modern architecture in California.”

The USC Architecture lectures and events series hosts leading and emerging architects, designers and thinkers from around the world and presents topics related to architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, heritage conservation, building science and more. For decades, USC Architecture events programming has provided a stimulating environment for the exploration of ideas that permeate culture at the school, in Los Angeles and beyond.


Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center, Harris Hall. Parking is available on campus through the Downey Way entrance off Vermont Avenue. This semester’s events include:

Aug. 28: USC Architecture Dean’s CreativeTalks: A Conversation with LACMA Director Michael Govan and USC Architecture Dean Milton S. F. Curry

Michael Govan is CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of LACMA. At LACMA, Govan has pursued his vision of contemporary artists and architects interacting with the museum’s historic collections, as evidenced by exhibition and gallery designs in collaboration with artists John Baldessari, Jorge Pardo, and Franz West, and architects Frank Gehry, Fred Fisher, Michael Maltzan, and others. Prior to LACMA, Govan served as deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Sept. 4: Lecture, Kunlé Adeyemi, NLÉ, Lagos, Nigeria

Kunlé Adeyemi is founder and principal of NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice focusing on developing cities and communities, and the 2017 Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His notable works include Makoko Floating School, an innovative prototype floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Lagos, Nigeria. This acclaimed project is part of an extensive research project–African Water Cities–being developed by NLÉ. NLÉ recently won the Silver Lion Prize for MFS II, a new, improved iteration of Makoko Floating School, at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia.

Sept. 11: Conversation, Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall, a | 911, Mexico City

Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall are co-founders of a | 911, an award-winning Mexico City-based architecture, urban design and planning practice. Castillo holds a degree in architecture from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City as well as a master's in architecture and a doctor of design degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is also a member of the advisory board of Urban Age, a series of global conferences on the future of cities, coordinated by the Alfred Herrhausen Foundation of the Deutsche Bank and the London School of Economics.

Springall holds a degree in architecture from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City as well as a master’s in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Springall’s experience includes working at Springall+Lira in Mexico City, where she was design lead for the award-winning CIDE building and the Elektra Distribution Center. Springall has been a fellow of the Conacyt and is currently a fellow of the Mexican National Endowment for the Arts (Fonca) artists program.

Sept. 18: Lecture, Neil Jackson, University of Liverpool School of Architecture, London

Neil Jackson is an architect and architectural historian as well as the president of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. He also is the Charles Reilly Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture in London, and a professorial research associate and member of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London.


Sept. 25: Lecture, Albert Williamson-Taylor, AKT II, London

Albert Williamson-Taylor is co-founder of AKT II, an award-winning London-based structural, civil and façade engineering practice. Williamson-Taylor incorporates his passion for cutting-edge technology into the practice’s projects throughout the U.K. and overseas. He boasts a portfolio of many prominent buildings, including Zaha Hadid’s Generali Tower in Milan and the Central Bank of Iraq in Baghdad, AHMM’s Villagio Vista in Accra, Axis Architects’ Highpoint tower, Google’s new HQs in San Francisco and London, and Bloomberg’s European HQ in London.

Oct. 16: Lecture, Sojin Kim, Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington, D.C.

Sojin Kim is a curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, a research and education department that collaborates with communities in the U.S. and around the world on cultural heritage policy and cultural sustainability issues. She works on projects focusing on migration, music, and public history—with particular attention to the production of collective memory through performance, archives/collections, and the use of public space. 

Oct. 23: An Evening with Doug Aitken, a USC Visions & Voices Event

Award-winning American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken defies definitions of genre and explores every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions. His work challenges the boundaries between normally codified disciplines and art practices, and confronts many of the world’s pressing issues, including climate change, nature/artifice, technology, and the mediation of culture through screens and the moving image.

This USC Visions & Voices multimedia presentation showcasing Aitken’s illustrious career will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Bovard Auditorium (ADM) on the USC campus. A Q&A with the audience will follow. Admission is free but reservations are required. RSVP here beginning Sept. 18 at 9:00 a.m.

Oct. 24: Symposium: Architecture, The City and Democratic Capitalism

Eclectic thinking on architecture and capital is sorely needed as we face concurrent challenges of structural social inequalities, economic and geographic segregation in urban areas, and a dearth of design policies aimed at ensuring that high-quality urban design and civic space is afforded to entire communities. Egalitarianism, democracy and capital(ism)—and the ideologies that undergird them—are constituent components of a rethinking of the pedagogies and practices of design professionals and affiliated actors. The symposium will afford the school an interdisciplinary approach to developing new practices and pedagogies to infuse the ongoing discourse of democracy and capital into our teaching and research.

The symposium will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Town & Gown (TGF) on the USC campus. Admission is free but reservations are required. RSVP here.

Oct. 30: Lecture and Book Signing, Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Richard Rothstein is a distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a senior fellow, emeritus, at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. In his book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Rothstein argues that segregation in America is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. A book sale and signing will precede the evening’s lecture.


Nov. 6: Lecture, Jennifer Newsom, Dream the Combine, Minneapolis

Jennifer Newsom is a licensed architect, installation artist and co-founder of Dream the Combine, a Minneapolis-based practice. Her research probes the space between real, tangible bodies made of flesh, steel, concrete, glass, and more, and the perception of these bodies through images. She earned her B.A. in architecture and master’s in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture, where she received the Fermin Ennis Memorial Fellowship and the Anne C.K. Garland Award. She also is the recipient of MoMA PS1's 2018 Young Architects Program Award for her Hide & Seek installation that explores the jostle of relationships found in the contemporary city.


Nov. 13: Lecture, Gregg Pasquarelli, SHoP Architects, New York

Gregg Pasquarelli is co-founder of the architectural firm SHoP Architects and an adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia GSAPP. SHoP’s work includes the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn; the South Street Seaport redevelopment in New York; and projects for Google in Mountain View, California. Pasquarelli serves on the Board of Directors for the Architectural League of New York and is a Young Leader’s Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. He received a bachelor of science from the School of Business at Villanova University and a master of architecture from Columbia GSAPP.


Nov. 20: Lecture, Gabriela Etchegaray, AMBROSI | ETCHEGARAY, Mexico City

Gabriela Etchegaray is co-founder of Mexico City-based art and architecture studio Ambrosi Etchegaray. She has worked extensively in architecture and local heritage across residential and public projects. Her most notable works include the FICA Pavilion in the central square of Mexico City; the Guanajuato Building in Mexico’s Roma Neighborhood, in which she preserved the façade of traditional colonial houses while integrating contemporary private courtyards; and a renovated Mezcal factory, Milagrito Mezcal Pavilion, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Etchegaray is the recipient of the 2016 Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture organized by The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal and 2015 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York. 

This digital publication is made possible with the generous support of the Blurock Family Endowment for Publication.

 Related Links: Download the Lectures & Events Poster,  Events Calendar


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