Farre Nixon



Farre ("Faye") Nixon (she/her) is a freelance designer and adjunct instructor residing in Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT and dual Master degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design. 

Her research interests include investigating speculative and critical design methodologies, using creative writing techniques such as world-building as a design tool, interrogating the ways emerging technologies and design intersect, and designing for humans and their non-human counterparts within the context of uncertain climate futures. 

Faye is also a strong advocate for transdisciplinary and collaborative practice, an ethos she tries to embody through her own practice as a planner, architect, landscape designer, and co-instructor. She currently co-teaches Advanced Visual Communications for graduate planning students at the University of California Los Angeles, and Asymmetries of Access, a transdisciplinary seminar on the participatory design of public spaces for the inclusion of racial and gender non-conforming minorities, at the University of Southern California. She has previously worked as a Landscape Designer for the non-profit planning and design firm Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) and for the Oslo-based office of Snøhetta.

Currently Teaching
  • 571
    Community-Based Design, Conservation and Planning
    Community-Based Design, Conservation and Planning

    This course will focus on meaningful, ethical and effective methods for designing and planning the physical environment with communities rather than for them, with the term project specifically focused on working with a historically disinvested community local to USC. The intention is: (1) to provide theoretical footing for why and how methods of community codesign and other community-based methods of engagement and involvement are effective at achieving more equitable, meaningful, vibrant and resilient neighborhoods; and (2) to develop a toolbox of techniques that can be deployed across communities and projects to reach, engage and involve particular audiences and community members in evaluating, planning and designing their physical environments. The term will be dedicated to a particular community through a partnership with a key organization focused on that community’s built landscape through the lens of equitable access, public health and wellness, cultural memory and place attachment, and climate resilience. The term project will be an exhibition featuring the outcomes of this engagement process – cultural asset mapping, oral histories, visual and textual output of ongoing engagement and some propositions for how these might inform the design, planning and/or conservation of the community of focus. Means of ensuring reciprocity so that students give back to the community in some form will be essential to the project.

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