John V. Mutlow, FAIA

Professor, ACSA Distinguished Professor


AA Dipl, Architectural Association London M.Arch, Urban Development, UCLA

Professor John V. Mutlow FAIA, AA Dip. (TP), M.Arch (UD) UCLA, is a teacher, researcher and architect who has focused a majority of his academic and professional life on the design of affordable housing and community settings for the less economically advantaged. He is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California, where he was Chair of Graduate Studies from 2008 - 2012 and was the Director of the Advanced Undergraduate Program from 1991- 1994. He also practices architecture in Los Angeles where his office specializes in affordable housing for the less advantaged with emphasis on the social consideration of its occupants. Professor’s Mutlow is nationally known for his leadership, work, and lectures on Affordable Housing and related social issues, an area he has specialized in for the past 35 years.


Professor Mutlow is a pioneer in affordable housing in Southern California sine the 1970s. His interest in balancing education and practice has led to several distinct honors and awards. He was recognized by Residential Architect magazine in 2006 as being one of only 10 residential architects “Making a Difference”. In 2005 his Fiesta House affordable seniors apartment’s project received Project of the Year from Multi Family Executive, and a Grand Award from Builder magazine. He received an Excellence in Education Honor Award from AIA/CC in 2001, and the Community Housing Assistance Honor Award in 1995. And the People in Architecture Award in 1989. Prof. Mutlow received the coveted “Peoples Choice” Award, and the “In the Public Interest” Design Award from Architectural Record in 1989, and Time Magazine recognized Cabrillo Farm Worker Village as one of the “Ten Best Designs” of 1982. He also received from the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Tom Bradley commendations for his dedicated services to the Pico Union Community, and for services to the City of Los Angeles. He has received national recognition through the publication of his projects in national and international magazines and books; and for the receipt of numerous design awards for his socially responsible architecture.


Professor Mutlow has extensive experience working with community-based organizations and governmental agencies and is committed to the design of buildings that will raise the sense of pride of the community and will endure the test of time. Projects of note that have been extensively recognized include, the design of two Farm worker communities that include community/childcare/kindergarten buildings and recreational facilities (soccer and baseball field). Affordable housing projects have also been completed overseas in less advantaged communities such as the Philippines. His notable projects in the Hispanic and Latino communities of Los Angeles have led to professional exchanges with students and architects in Mexico.

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Currently Teaching
  • 411
    Architectural Technology
    Architectural Technology
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 313 Technology is presented not as a post-facto application enabling an architectural idea, but as one of many modes of concurrent thinking an architect must develop. This course promotes understanding the logics and details of construction technologies as they contribute to the production of architecture. Both conventions and experimentations in building assemblies will be studied to link technical considerations to design development. Focus on emerging technologies and concerns, along with proven techniques and means, will encourage awareness of all facets of constructional potentials. Students will learn fundamental detailing principles, and implement those principles in order to test through making. Possibilities and limitations of various constructional systems will be explored, with an eye towards seeing assembly systems as the nexus of various kinds of performance.
  • 527
    Case Studies The Development of Urban Housing
    Case Studies The Development of Urban Housing
    If you are considering becoming a developer of housing after you graduate, this course will provide you with an introductory overview of the issues and challenges developers face in providing small-scale housing in an urban setting. Designed primarily for upper-division undergraduates, this seminar will explore the various elements and stages of the housing development process for projects in Southern California. Students will learn about and prepare each component, including land, entitlements, program, design brief, support spaces, site plan, hard and soft costs and a cost analysis/proforma suitable for presentation to banks, investors and lending institutions. The course will include guest lecturers who are practicing professionals in the Los Angeles housing development arena and who will present a series of local case studies. There will be ample opportunities for open discussion. Guest lecturers include non-profit and for-profit developers, architects, construction managers, entitlement consultants, cost & estimating specialists, lenders and investors, contractors, and property managers. Lectures will also include architectural design, quality, sustainable design, and the related cost issues. * For Spring 2018, this course will meet the first half of the semester and will include 2 required Saturday Field Trips, February 10 & 17.
  • 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.

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