Aroussiak Gabrielian, Ph.D., FAAR

Assistant Professor

B.A., Art History + Visual Arts, Occidental College M.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, School of Design M.L.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, School of Design Ph.D., University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts

Aroussiak Gabrielian is a scholar-practitioner working across the fields of Landscape Architecture and Media Arts. She is Co-founder and Design Director of foreground design agency, a critical landscape practice which works to dismantle structures of power and privilege that render specific humans, species, and matter silent. Her work in landscape media focuses on both materialist perspectives on the living world of landscape matter, and the practice of imaging and imagining landscape, addressing both landscape’s material and its representation.


Aroussiak’s speculations on alternative environmental futures have received numerous design awards, including, most recently, the Tomorrowland Projects Foundation Award administered through the New York Foundation for the Arts, the World Changing Ideas Awards recognized by Fast Company and the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York City, and in venues across Italy, Germany, and Canada. With her partner at foreground, she has authored essays about the firm’s design research in the Journal of Architectural Education, International Journal of Interior Architecture and Spatial Design, Future Anterior and the Geography Research Forum, among others.


Aroussiak holds a dual masters in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D in Media Arts + Practice from the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. Prior to initiating her own practice, she worked at Snøhetta, in New York City, and taught at University of Pennsylvania and University of Toronto.


She is currently working on a book manuscript emerging from her PhD dissertation, Encounters with the Anthropocene: Synthetic Geologies, Diegetic Ecologies, and Other Landscape Imaginaries, which aims to torque our imaginaries to help us re-think our interactions with both human and non-human agents on this planet. 

Research Areas:

Landscape Media; Visioning Technologies; Critical Visualization; Augmented Landscape + Locative Media; Open Narrative Methodologies + Database Aesthetics; Critical Design, Design Fiction + Speculative Futures; World Building; Posthumanism + Postnaturalism; Anthropocene; BioArt + BioDesign; Affect + Atmosphere

Related Links: Website: www.foreground-da.comAcademia:

Currently Teaching
  • 439
    Landscape Architecture Media Workshop
    Landscape Architecture Media Workshop
    Introductory media workshop for new landscape architecture students in the 3-year graduate program. Topics include: hand drawing, measuring, architectural drawings, computer software tutorials, and field trips.
  • 539
    Media for Landscape Architecture
    Media for Landscape Architecture
    This course is an introduction to design graphics for landscape architecture and is based on the simple belief that drawing is the primary medium of expression in the communication of design ideas. Students will learn to use drawings as an active tool to critically explore, evaluate, and express design ideas. This course specifically stresses the instrumentality of 2D drawing systems for communicating and thinking graphically and as a foundation for creative action. Students will employ both hand and digital drawing methods.
Related News
Faculty Spotlight: Aroussiak Gabrielian
Aroussiak Gabrielian will be joining the USC School of Architecture this fall as an assistant professor. She is a co-founder and design director of ...
USC Architecture Appoints Four New Tenure Track Faculty
The School of Architecture is pleased to announce the appointments of four new tenure track faculty for the 2019-2020 academic year. J. Yolande ...
Related People