Adjunct Associate Professor
BFA, Cooper Union; M.Arch with Distinction, SCI-Arc
Andy Ku received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cooper Union, developing his undergraduate studies towards architecture from conceptual sculpture and Swiss-style graphic design. He obtained his Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc. During this pivotal period, his work contributed to the transition of massive design tool change from a strictly analog endeavor towards the digital. Andy is the principal and co-founder of OCDC, a Los Angeles-based architectural design practice that draws concerns from the terrains of culture and technology.
Approaching materials and mediums from diverse origins, Andy's research explores cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary tendencies, connecting architecture with other vital contemporary arts and design fields for potential progress and inquiry. OCDC won four AIA Next LA awards in its first two years of operation. Since then, Andy and his office have produced numerous award-winning projects at multiple scales across continents. The work of OCDC has exhibited in Cape Town, Milan, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Osaka, and Taipei.
In conjunction with the practice of OCDC, Andy has connected professionally with various high-profile architecture firms in Los Angeles, contributing his efforts to many large-scale building typologies and planning projects. Andy has been teaching in the area of visual studies, applied studies, and diverse levels of design studio since 2003. Before joining USC, Andy has held academic positions at SCI-Arc and UCLA, cultivating a blend of research that speculates on the problem of representation and its relationship to building design.
Andy served as director of the USC Exploration of Architecture program from 2014 to 2019.
Related Links: ocdc.info
- 102alArchitectural Design IArchitectural Design I
Examine the critical role of materials and methods for the design and construction of buildings. The primary focus is on materials and systems, their properties and connections, and their intrinsic relationship to structural systems and environmental performance.
Students will develop a fundamental understanding of: the relationship of materiality to construction systems and techniques, how building materials are manufactured, and how a material’s modular form, dimensions and intrinsic qualities influence the design process. Students will learn about various building systems, and how these systems assist in the expression of a design concept, through an examination of precedent projects whose design concepts were generated by material logics and systems. Students will work hands-on with building materials (concrete, wood, metal, etc.) to get an understanding of each material’s properties.
- 202bLArchitectural Design IIArchitectural 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
- 302bLArchitectural Design IIIArchitectural Design III
The integration of architectural design with building systems, both material (structure and enclosure) and experiential (circulation and environment), is the focus of this final core sequence studio. The comprehensive design project requires students to implement all the knowledge and skills previously accumulated, to extend the depth and breadth of their understanding of design issues, and to deal definitively with the interaction of the formal, experiential, regulatory, and technical requirements of architectural design. Projects will provide for structural integrity, for ventilation, heating and cooling (both natural and mechanical), for natural and artificial lighting, and for acoustic amenity. Students must build into their designs life-safety, egress, and accessibility requirements as embodied in model building codes. Developing a portion of each project in detail and extrapolating those tectonics, students will be responsible for integrating program, site and formal analyses, comprehending the ways in which decisions made in each sphere inform the others.
- 501Comprehensive Studio Support and EnrichmentComprehensive Studio Support and EnrichmentThe aim for the seminar is to gain a critical, theoretical, and technical understanding of the various methodologies that students will be asked to explore in the studio. Further, we will also explore the relationship between technological and cultural shifts in contemporary society. Students will work in pairs to present and lead discussions of each week’s readings in the first half of the semester. The second half will comprise of individual crits and each student will submit a 3-5000 word research paper at the end of the semester.
- 502aLArchitectural Design VArchitectural Design V
The final comprehensive architectural project under the guidance of a faculty adviser to demonstrate architectural knowledge, skills, and professional interests and goals.
Pre-requisites: ARCH-500A and ARCH-501.