J. Yolande Daniels

Assistant Professor

M.Arch, Columbia University B.S., Environmental Science, The City University of New York

J. Yolande Daniels is a co-founding design principal of studioSUMO in New York. She is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture, as well as a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and of the Independent Study Program of the Whitney American Museum of Art in studio practice and cultural studies. She holds a master of architecture from Columbia University and a bachelor of science in environmental science from the City University of New York. The work of studioSUMO ranges from institutional and cultural projects in education and the arts to housing, to research-oriented installations and exhibitions. Daniels is currently the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor at Yale University and a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has taught architecture at the graduate level at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, Pratt Institute, and City College, and was interim director of the master of architecture program at Parsons School of Constructed Environments.

Currently Teaching
  • 402bL
    Architectural Design IV
    Architectural Design IV

    Selected areas of specialization; three projects chosen with advisement from a variety of studio offerings that concentrate on different areas of vital concern.

    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 402aL

    View the Spring 2020 Virtual Expo Gallery

  • 499
    black city: Infrastructures and Ecologies of Otherness in the City of Los Angeles
    black city: Infrastructures and Ecologies of Otherness in the City of Los Angeles

    “Every city that is growing is growing in the fashion of Los Angeles.” Joel Garreau, Edge City (1991).

    The seminar begins with the overlapping frameworks of urban ecology and infrastructure and the shifting demographics of the city of Los Angeles to examine how might we begin to define the changing nature of cities in the 21st century. Los Angeles is sprawling; and it is dense. Los Angeles is diverse; and it is segregated. Los Angeles exhibits extremes in social and economic disparity and cohesion. Is Los Angeles a harbinger for urban development in the 21st Century?

    The seminar will critically adopt and adjust the framework set by Reyner Banham in Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies in order to examine the relationships between resources and natural geographies (shore, foothills, and plains), and man-made infrastructural systems (Ex: water, energy/waste, transportation, data/surveillance, housing/houses...) so that we may better understand the urban ecologies of settlement, supply, access and distribution in Los Angeles.

    By examining the urban ecologies of settlement, supply, access and distribution in Los Angeles, the course diversifies a seminal architectural analysis of Los Angeles to include racial and ethnic differences. How does urban infrastructure support or undermine the spatialization of racial concepts in Los Angeles? To answer this question, we will examine the shifting demographics of the city of Los Angeles by tracking the migration of African-Americans--a population that has declined by half since the 1970’s.

    The term “black city” was first used in reference to industrial pollution produced by British factory towns in the 19th century and foreshadowed architectural visions for a “white city” of progress that was realized in the 20th Century in America. Where is the black city in Los Angeles? And, how have urban infrastructural systems been implemented to channel geographic and cultural resources while maintaining ecologies of dispersion and otherness in Los Angeles?


    The course content seeks to:

    • Provide an understanding of the urban context of the city of Los Angeles.
    • Increase knowledge of history and theory of architecture and urbanism.
    • Provide an understanding of the factors that influence the design of buildings and cities.
    • Provide an understanding of the ecological processes of urban environments.
    • Provide an understanding of the role of social processes in shaping the design of cities.
    • Provide experience applying social and cultural analyses to the analysis of buildings and cities. 
  • 605aL
    Graduate Architecture Design II - Integration
    Graduate Architecture Design II - Integration
    Basic principles of structural (seismic/wind and gravity), HVAC, building envelope, access/egress, building service systems; and sustainable strategies are critical to the proper execution of performative goals. The integration of building systems will be delineated to demonstrate the tectonic viability a design solution.
Related News
By Marianne Wenzel/Originally Published in Casa Vogue magazine/@casavoguebrasil CO-FOUNDER OF THE AWARD-WINNING STUDIO SUMO, YOLANDE DANIELS is not an architect of postcard ...
Faculty Spotlight: J. Yolande Daniels
J. Yolande Daniels will be joining the USC School of Architecture this fall as an assistant professor. Previously, she was the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor at Yale University ...
Faculty/Student Exhibition Spotlight: J. Yolande Daniels
The USC Architecture Faculty/Student Exhibition Series is an exhibition program that profiles the work of a faculty member along with a selection of student projects from their ...
USC Architecture Announces 2020 Faculty & Student Research Grant Recipients
USC Architecture is proud to announce the recipients of its 2020 Research in Architecture, Faculty Research Grant and Student Research Grant programs. A total of nearly $155,000 ...
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 Daniels, Aroussiak Gabrielian, and ...
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