Alex Maymind



Ph.D Candidate, UCLA Architecture M.Arch, Yale University School of Architecture B.S. in Architecture, The Ohio State University

Alex Maymind is an architectural historian, educator, and designer who works on architectural institutions and institutionality in the postwar period. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, and a lecturer at USC School of Architecture. His doctoral research investigates the postmodernization of knowledge production in the context of the American research economy after 1968. Other research has focused on material histories of shotcrete, 19th century century epistemologies of formalism, and the role of history in design pedagogies.

He holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with Honors from Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. Born in Riga, Latvia, he was raised across the United States in the south, midwest, and east coast.

Maymind’s teaching record over the past decade is broad. His past teaching includes design studios, history/ theory seminars, and representation courses. He was awarded the 2012-2013 Walter B. Sanders Fellowship at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, where his research focused on histories of systematization in architectural knowledge. Previously he was Visiting Faculty at Cornell University Department of Architecture in New York City and Ithaca, a Lecturer at UCLA A.UD, a Teaching Fellow at Yale University, and for four years he was History & Theory Faculty at SCI-Arc. Most recently his teaching has explored histories of collective housing and forms of alternative architectural collectivity, as well post-familial domestic paradigms and models of co-living spaces.

His writing and projects have been published in journals including Log, Pidgin, Thresholds, Off-ramp, The REAL Review, One:Twelve, Arredamento Architecture Journal, Interpunct, Dimensions, and Clog. A selection of his essays and drawings have been compiled in a small book, Revisiting Revisiting, published by the Graham Foundation.

Maymind’s design work is characterized by a particular interest in how histories and procedures of collecting, archiving, and revisiting intersect with contemporary image culture in order to create a space in which to reconsider such disciplinary clichés as precedent, originality, rigor, and repetition. His work has been exhibited in venues across the US in group shows. Professionally he has worked as a designer and researcher at offices in New York, Columbus, and Los Angeles.

Currently Teaching
  • 202bL
    Architectural Design II
    Architectural Design II

    This is the second semester for a foundation studio course in an interdisciplinary program with the School of Engineering that first was established in the 1970’s. This three-year interdisciplinary program is based in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Studies. This program will familiarize the student with architecture, landscape architecture, planning, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering and the related issues that contribute to the built environment for our society. It introduces the process of coordinating all of these aspects for the engineering student. 

    This course will continue to develop the student’s comprehension on the nature of contextual and organizational principles that order our surroundings, and to create an appreciation and understanding of how and why these systems are established. The objective is to expose the student to current issues related to design in architecture, and to teach the intrinsic nature of architecture developed through principles based on the design & construction process. These topics are indications of the various value systems that come into play in the contemporary field of architecture. Understanding this and becoming aware that design is a synthetic process that is a balance of many concerns is a major objective of the course.

    This course will explore contextual research and analysis introduced in ARCH 205aL in more depth, and architectural program and space planning for a modest, but spatially complex building within an urban context. These projects will continue to emphasize the design process from the initial design concept to the final building proposition. Though precedent studies, design exercises, lectures, and critiques; emphasis is placed on design as a creative, conceptually driven, iterative process; all working within the defined limits of project budgets and schedules.

    Prerequisite: ARCH 205aL

    View the Spring 2021 Virtual Expo Gallery

    View the Spring 2020 Virtual Expo Gallery

  • 444
    Great Houses of Los Angeles
    Great Houses of Los Angeles

    Upon visiting Los Angeles in 1963, Marcel Duchamp described Los Angeles as a place that did not exist. Describing his frustrations that the city lacked wayfinding devices to help orient himself, Duchamp’s quote reveals a moment in urban history when LA was regarded as a city that nobody thought they could see. What Duchamp failed to notice was the city’s rich history of domestic architecture produced figures from Frank Lloyd Wright to the architects who participated in the Case Study House Program. The course will situate a range projects within the broader historical shifts taking place in Los Angeles and alongside key disciplinary developments taking place in the history of domestic architecture.

    Contrary to Duchamp’s perception of Los Angeles, this course introduces students to the significance of Los Angeles architecture by way of a close examination of homes designed by prominent architects—each who practiced in Southern California in the early to mid-twentieth century. In lieu of site visits to individual houses, we will instead view a series of documentary films to supplement the selected readings presented and discussed in seminar.

    Students will be expected to write short evaluations about three out of the total houses/architects they study. The short essays will include the student’s understanding of the project in conjunction with or contrast to the architects stated intentions. A 10-page research paper can be substituted for one of the evaluation papers. For this paper, the student must select a research topic approved by the instructor related to materials covered in the course.

  • 514B
    Global History of Architecture II
    Global History of Architecture II

    A historical survey of global architecture, analyzed as a product of social, cultural, religious and political forces.a: 4500 BCE to 1500 CE; b: 1500 CE to present.

  • 606
    Advanced Architectural Theory
    Advanced Architectural Theory
    Within contemporary architectural design a significant shift in emphasis can be detected – a move away from an architecture based primarily on visual concerns towards an architecture justified by its performance. Structural, constructional, economic, environmental and other parameters – concerns that were once relegated to a secondary level – have now become primary, and are being embraced as positive inputs into the design process from the outset. Architecture – it would seem – is now preoccupied less with style and appearance, and increasingly with material processes and performance. It is as though a new architectural design sensibility has emerged. But how exactly might we theorize this new sensibility? The course tracks this new development from its origins in materialist philosophies to its implications within the field of design. It draws upon biomimetics and other aspects of scientific thinking, such as theories of emergence and swarm intelligence, that are informing recent developments in contemporary design thinking. It goes on to consider the role of computation in this development, from new scripting techniques to fabrication technologies, from the scale of individual components to entire cities, and from terrestrial concerns to new robotic technologies being envisaged by NASA for application on the Moon. The aim of the class is to provide a theoretical manifesto for a new way of approaching design that is sweeping through architecture and urbanism.
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Our virtual faculty exhibition series continues with a new show from lecturer Alex Maymind. “Revisiting Revisiting” is a mash-up of historical research, obsessive drawings, and ...
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