Doris Sung

Associate Professor

BA, Princeton University; M.Arch, Columbia University

After receiving her B.A. at Princeton University and M.Arch. at Columbia University, Doris Sung worked in various offices in cities across the U.S. before arriving in Los Angeles in 2001. She developed her research focus while teaching at University of Southern California (USC), the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of Colorado and the Catholic University of America. In 1999, she opened her office, dO|Su Studio Architecture, and soon received many AIA and ASID awards for her work, including the prestigious accolades of AIA Young-Designer-of-the-Year, ACSA Faculty Design Award, R+D Honorable Mention from Architect Magazine and [next idea] award from ARS Electronica. Currently, she is working on developing smart thermobimetals and other shape-memory alloys, unfamiliar materials to architecture, as new materials for the "third" skin (the first is human flesh, the second clothing and the third architecture). Its ability to curl when heated allows the building skin to respond for purposes of sun-shading, self-ventilating, shape-changing and structure-prestressing. Her work has been funded by the national AIA Upjohn Initiative, Arnold W. Brunner Grant, Graham Foundation Grant, Architectural Guild Award and USC ASHSS and URAP Awards. Her TEDxUSC talk will be available online at the end of 2012.

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Currently Teaching
  • 211
    Materials and Methods of Building Construction
    Materials and Methods of Building Construction

    Basic considerations and design implications of the problem of determination of the materials and the construction details and processes for buildings.

    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.

  • 505aL
    Graduate Architecture Design I - Principles
    Graduate Architecture Design I - Principles
    A general introduction to architectural principles, intended to develop design and critical thinking skills and proficiency to communicate those ideas effectively. Open to graduate architecture majors only.
  • 599
    Taming Smart Materials: A Workshop On Controlling Behavior With Geometries
    Taming Smart Materials: A Workshop On Controlling Behavior With Geometries

    This workshop will be an in-depth study correlating the importance of geometry with the control of smart material behavior. We will meet once a week to develop dynamic movement and surfaces using three different phase changing materials: shape memory polymers, polystyrene and shape memory alloys (or thermobimetal)--most of which will be provided by the instructor or handmade by the students. After the initial introduction of the scientific nature of the three materials and studying selected group of precedents through diagramming and replication, students will begin to familiarize themselves with the natural behavior of the smart materials and develop effective geometries in two and three-dimensions as well as integrate structural strategies for a final installation with a self-supporting surface. By the end of the semester, each student will build a self-assembling device as a culmination of their earlier studies.

    The device may be a responsive surface or an operable product or piece of furniture. The final presentation with include drawings/diagrams and will be made public physically and digitally.

Related News
A Year in Review: Accolades & Honors
At the School of Architecture, we’re lucky to be home to some of the brightest students, faculty, and alumni in the field. In 2018, Trojans were ...
Professor Doris Sung Receives Prestigious USC Associates Award for Artistic Expression
USC has announced that associate professor of architecture Doris Sung will be honored at the 37th Annual Academic Honors Convocation on Tuesday, ...
Student Teams Tackle Hypothetical Olympic Village Challenge for Eighth Annual Design Charrette
The USC Architectural Guild, with generous support from the Jack A. and Marilyn M. Zuber Charitable Trust, hosted its eighth annual Design Charrette ...
USC Architecture Appoints Two New Program Directors
USC Architecture today announced the appointment of two new program directors: associate professor Doris Sung as director of undergraduate ...
USC Faculty Firms Are Finalists in 2019 Architizer A+Awards
The Architizer A+Awards is an awards program focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture and products. For each awards ...
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