USC School of Architecture Announces Fall 2018 Public Lectures and Events Program

School News

USC School of Architecture Announces Fall 2018 Public Lectures and Events Program

August 20, 2018

The School of Architecture unveiled its fall 2018 public lectures and events program today, featuring a dynamic mix of award-winning designers, thought-provoking professors and creative artists, including: Mack Scogin, principal of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects; Christian Kerez, founder of Christian Kerez Studio in Berlin; Mark Lee, founding partner of Johnston Marklee and 2018 USC Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award recipient; Tomas Koolhaas, son of Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and director of the new documentary “REM” about his father’s work; and many more. Events are free, open to the public and no reservations are required.


The fall lineup also debuts a new conversation series, “USC Architecture Dean’s CreativeTalks,” hosted by the School’s dean, Milton S. F. Curry. The series will explore the latent interdisciplinarity of architecture through culturally stimulating conversations with notable guests drawn from academia, industry and the cultural arts. For the Oct. 26 inaugural conversation, Dean Curry will speak with Yale University philosophy professor and author Jason Stanley about fascism, aesthetics and politics. A new exhibition program also debuts this fall, featuring on-campus exhibited works by Doug Jackson, Walter Hood and Lorcan O’Herlihy. 


“We’re committed to bringing thought-provoking lectures, talks, exhibitions and events to campus and this year’s fall lineup is no exception,” said Dean Curry. “Students and Angelenos can enjoy lectures on structural and environmental design, a film screening on the life, working methods and philosophy of renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, and captivating exhibitions on urbanism and green architecture. Our fall lineup boasts a variety of educational and engaging events for those looking to sharpen knowledge in architecture, design and culture.”


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 Exposition Boulevard. This semester’s participating speakers include:


Doug Jackson, Cal Poly Architecture, San Luis Obispo (Lecture & Exhibition, Aug. 22)

Doug Jackson is an architect whose work examines new conditions of formal, spatial and experiential agency occasioned by the dynamic spatial realities of contemporary networks and ecologies. He is the editor of SOUPERgreen! Souped-Up Green Architecture, for which he was also awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Formerly a partner at the award-winning office of Jones, Partners: Architecture, he is now the principal of the Doug Jackson Design Office and a professor of architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California.


His “SOUPERgreen SPREADS” exhibition will be displayed at the Verle Annis Gallery from Aug. 22 through Sept. 7. The exhibit features five architectural propositions that explore how technology can promote a more constructive, meaningful and effective engagement with the environment.


Brent Leggs, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C. (Lecture, Aug. 29)

Brent Leggs is the director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a $25 million fundraising and preservation campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to protect and preserve the story of African American activism, achievement, architecture and beyond. He also is an assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. A Harvard University Loeb Fellow, he is the author of “Preserving African American Historic Places.”


Mack Scogin, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta (Lecture, Sept. 5)

Mack Scogin is a principal in the Atlanta-based firm of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects. He is also the Kajima Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. With Merrill Elam, he received the 1995 Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 1996 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, the 2006 Boston Society of Architects Harleston Parker Medal and a 2008 honorary fellowship in the Royal Institute of British Architects.


Christian Kerez, Christian Kerez Studio, Berlin (Lecture, Sept. 12)

Christian Kerez obtained his degree in architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. After extensive published work in the field of architectural photography, he opened his own architectural office in Zurich in 1993. He has taught design and architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich since 2001 and in 2012-13, he led the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University. He participated in the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 with “Incidental Space.” Other notable exhibitions by Kerez include “Contrast and Continuity - Christian Kerez” at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and “The Rule of the Game” at TOTO Gallery Ma in Tokyo.


Mark Lee, Johnston Marklee, Los Angeles (Lecture, Sept. 26)

Mark Lee, the 2018 USC Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, is a founding partner of the architecture firm Johnston Marklee, along with Sharon Johnston. He is currently the chair of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he is also a professor in practice. Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning seven countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Johnston and Lee were the artistic directors for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Andrew Watts and Yasmin Watts, Newtecnic, London (Lecture, Oct. 3)

Andrew Watts is a building engineer and architect who specializes in the engineering design of facades and their interface with structural and environmental design. He is a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and holds charterships in the UK for engineering and architecture from the Institution of Engineering Designers and the Royal Institute of British Architects.


Yasmin Watts is a chartered architect with over 30 years’ experience of managing high-profile building projects. In addition to financial leadership at Newtecnic, she leads the management of detailed design and construction phases of projects. She is also responsible for quality control systems for both design methodologies and their implementation within Newtecnic’s ISO9001 certification. Yasmin holds a chartership from the Institute of Directors.


Walter Hood, Hood Design Studio, Berkeley (Lecture & Exhibition, Oct. 10)

Walter Hood is the creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California and the 2018 USC Architecture American Academy in China Research Fellow. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Hood Design Studio is tripartite practice, working across art + fabrication, design + landscape, and research + urbanism. The resulting urban spaces and their objects act as public sculpture, creating new apertures through which to see the surrounding emergent beauty, strangeness, and idiosyncrasies.


His “Jocko Goes to L.A.” exhibition will be on display in Watt Hall from Oct. 19-Nov. 2 (exhibition date change). Jocko Goes to L.A. explores how the same design changes depending on the particular conditions and skills of each place. This exhibition is part of Hood’s 2018 fellowship at the USC American Academy in China.


Tomas Koolhaas, Los Angeles (Film Screening & Conversation, Oct. 17)

Event will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Ray Stark Family Theatre, USC School of Cinematic Arts.


Cinematographer, director and producer Tomas Koolhaas is the son of Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who is often referred to as the prophet of new modern architecture. He spent four years following his father around the world to make “REM,” which explores Rem Koolhaas’s life, working methods, philosophy and internal landscape.


Amanda Williams, Amanda Williams Studio, Chicago (Lecture, Oct. 24)

Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Her practice blurs the distinction between art and architecture through works that employ color as a way to draw attention to the political complexities of race, place and value in cities. Williams’ installations, paintings, video and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar, and in the process, raise questions about the state of urban space in America. Williams has exhibited widely, including at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.


USC Architecture Dean’s CreativeTalks

Fascism, Aesthetics and Politics: A Conversation with Yale University Professor and Author Jason Stanley and USC Architecture Dean Milton S. F. Curry (Conversation, Oct. 26)

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Prior to joining Yale in 2013, he held teaching positions at Rutgers University, the University of Michigan and Cornell University. His Ph.D. was earned at the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy (Robert Stalnaker, chair), and he received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Stanley has two forthcoming books: “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them” and “The Politics of Language,” co-authored with David Beaver.


Diane Ghirardo, USC Architecture, Los Angeles (Lecture, Oct. 31)

Diane Ghirardo received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford University. She currently teaches and researches 20th century architecture, Renaissance architecture, women’s spaces, and 20th century Italian architecture at USC. Ghirardo was recently awarded a 2018 Graham Foundation Grant for her book, “Aldo Rossi and the Spirit of Architecture.” She is also a Guggenheim Fellow (2002), National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow (2001) and Fulbright Scholar (1976, 2001).


Lorcan O’Herlihy, LOHA, Los Angeles (Lecture & Exhibition, Nov. 7)

Lorcan O’Herlihy founded Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) in 1994. With studios in Los Angeles and Detroit, LOHA has built over 90 projects across three continents and received over 100 awards, including the AIA Los Angeles Firm of the Year Award and the AIA California Council Distinguished Practice Award. Each LOHA project demonstrates O’Herlihy’s belief that artistry and inventive design are key to producing vibrant, social spaces that elevate the human condition via the built environment.


His “Amplified Urbanism” exhibit, which relates to LOHA’s design methodology of creating fluid interactions between public and private spaces, emphasizing social and civic connections and harnessing existing ecological and infrastructural patterns, will make its public debut in Verle Annis Gallery from Oct. 22 through Nov. 9. The exhibition provokes a wider discussion about these issues not only within Los Angeles, but also across the fields of architecture and urban planning and in cities throughout the world. A book titled “Amplified Urbanism” accompanies the exhibition.


Sebastián, Mexico (Lecture: A USC Visions & Voices Event, Nov. 14)

Event will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Town & Gown. Reservations required. A conversation with USC Fisher Museum Director Selma Holo will follow the lecture.


Mexican artist Sebastián is the creator of monumental urban sculptures that combine the vivid colors of pop art with the abstract forms of minimalism—at maximal scale. Active since the 1960s, Sebastián has made more than 200 steel and concrete sculptures, including colossal Gates (Puertas) in his home country of Mexico; city symbols in Sakai and Kadoma, Japan; and the famous Caballito in Mexico City. In an illuminating lecture co-sponsored by USC Architecture, Sebastián will discuss his decades-long career, and how mathematical and scientific concepts inform his artistic practice.