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Kim Coleman

Barcelona Program Director, Professor

Smith College, A.B.; University of Virginia, M.Arch


Kim Coleman has been a professor at USC since 1983. She has taught and coordinated many levels of the design studio as well as drawing and seminar courses and several years of teaching the introductory freshman lecture course, Architecture 114. From 2008 – 2010 she served as Chair of Undergraduate Programs. After that she continued as Global Program Director, framing opportunities for students to study abroad. She directed and taught programs in Barcelona, Spain and Rome and Como, Italy from 2010 to 2014 and continues to direct and teach in the Barcelona program.


Coleman has maintained a design firm with partner and Adjunct Professor, Mark Cigolle, since moving to Los Angeles in 1982. Their design practice investigates the nature of architectural collaboration, an aspect that is brought back into design teaching. Cigolle X Coleman has engaged a wide-ranging set of architectural priorities: maintaining an architectural practice, acting as general contractor in building their design work, researching theoretical issues through competitions, and teaching. Each activity informs and reforms the ongoing collaborative process. Cigolle X Coleman has won numerous awards for design competitions, educational buildings, and Live/Work houses. The firm engages issues of material, hybridization, and collaboration as both methodology and outcome. The projects embody a multi‑faceted approach to problem‑solving that makes connections to immediate tactile experience while simultaneously drawing from the ideas of culture and history. Each project is approached as a visual discussion about form and ideas. The three Live/Work Houses they have designed and built in the past twenty years, and the trio of Venice live/work houses currently in progress, act as 3D canvases, allowing the opportunity to test ideas about light, space, and material.


 
 
Currently Teaching
  • 402aL
    Architectural Design IV
    Architectural Design IV
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 302bL 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?
     
  • 403
    Principles of Spatial Design II
    Principles of Spatial Design II
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 303 Emphasis is on developing advanced urban spatial design solutions set within contemporary urban conditions, with a particular emphasis on ecology, public space, neighborhoods and districts
     
  • 406
    Global Studies Topics in Architecture, Urbanism, History & Art
    Global Studies Topics in Architecture, Urbanism, History & Art
    In preparation for the spring semester in Italy, this two-unit course introduces students to Italian history, to the history of Italian architecture, and to Italian culture. It includes a section on the history of Northern Europe. It prepares students for living in Italy in the Spring 2013 semester, for learning to interrogate and analyze diverse urban cultures, and for adapting to a different culture and language.
     
  • 424L
    Field Studies in Architecture
    Field Studies in Architecture
    Assignments rely principally on field trips and field research, while additional readings, class discussions and research will be utilized to develop a body of information and method of critique. Field research will focus on the first-hand observation, analysis, and documentation of existing buildings and their contexts so that lessons-learned can inform the design methodology applied in studio. Students will be challenged to articulate their analyses with respect to the specific urban, temporal, and cultural contexts. There will be ten assignments for each course: nine specific assignments and one assignment that you may choose the subject of yourself.
     
  • 425L
    Field Studies in Urbanism
    Field Studies in Urbanism
    The focus of ARCH 425 is on urban spaces, including parks, plazas, and urban(re)development projects. The field study of these urban spaces also provides an opportunity to understand the complex role of the architect-designer in the design of urban spaces. As a critical component of the urban environment, landscape architecture will be an important aspect of this class. These investigations will employ analytical methods, representational techniques, and speculative inquiry into the fundamental spatial and infra-structural elements of the city. Your research will be documented and communicated through mapping, plans/sections/elevations, diagrams, photo documentation and text.
     
  • 426L
    Field Studies in Tectonics
    Field Studies in Tectonics
    Buildings embody a series of performative criteria that form the fundamental motives for an architectural task. These functions are critical considerations in building design and are accomplished within the context of technological and economic possibilities. The focus of the course will be on technology in architecture, with an emphasis on structure, materiality, construction, material and assembly, and sustainability. Using annotated photo documentation, notations, and diagrams these criteria will be analyzed to explore how technology affects the form, the assembly of the architectural response, and, ultimately, how technology is integrated into the methodology of accomplishing the greater architectural goals of the building.
     
 
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