J. Yolande Daniels

Associate 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 architecture 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 an associate professor in architecture at the University of Southern California. She has taught architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, the University of Michigan, Washington University in St Louis, Pratt Institute, and City College. She has also held the positions of Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor at Yale University, the Silcott Chair at Howard University, and Interim Director of the Master of Architecture program at Parsons School of Constructed Environments. 

Currently Teaching
  • 402aL
    Architectural Design IV
    Architectural Design IV

    A collection can be a lot of things, in fashion and design, it suggests a family resemblance between a series of objects, either acquired or designed over an extended period of time. A collection has a temporal relationship with space and time, it can reflect a variety of styles, and set predictions for upcoming social and cultural trends. A collection offers unique organizational, generative potentialities, as well as, spatial adaptive qualities. The studio seeks to investigate and re-interpret furniture collections as generative aggregate systems of growth that can define space. How can an “Urban furniture collection” generate a spatial framework that can multiply/grow/morph/change in reaction to future social and cultural occupations?

    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 302bL

    View the Fall 2020 Virtual EXPO Gallery

  • 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. 
  • 793bL
    Architecture Directed Design Research Option I
    Architecture Directed Design Research Option I

    Directed Design Research option for graduate level architecture degree. Credit on acceptance of research project. Graded IP/CR/NC.

    View the Spring 2020 Virtual Expo Gallery

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