Lorcan O'Herlihy, FAIA

Adjunct Professor

B.Arch, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; MA in History and Critial Thinking, Architectural Association, London

Lorcan O'Herlihy, FAIA, is the founder and principal of Lorcan O' Herlihy Architects [LOHA]. Since LOHA's 1994 inception, O'Herlihy has sought opportunities to engage the ever changing complexities of the urban landscape, embracing the role of architecture as a catalyst of change. His social concerns and fascination with the structure of cities has inspired an exploration of the creative interaction between public and private spaces and an emphasis on social and civic connectivity. Lorcan spent his formative years in New York and Paris working as a designer at I.M. Pei Partners on the Grand Louvre Museum. This iconic project’s harmonious integration of art and architecture, instilled in him a passion toward aesthetic improvisation and composition that has persisted throughout his practice. Lorcan’s professional pursuits have run in parallel to his academic and intellectual ambitions, enriching and heightening both. He received a Master of Arts in Histories and Theories from the Architectural Association in London, writing a dissertation on social connectivity and generative urban strategies. He has taught and lectured extensively over the last decade, including at the Architectural Association in London, Southern California Institute of Architecture [SCI-Arc], Cranbrook Academy of Art, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Pratt Institute, and the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California. In 2004 the Architectural League of New York selected Lorcan O’Herlihy as one of the eight “emerging voices” in the United States. In 2009, Lorcan was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession. Lorcan’s commitment to design excellence in commercial, educational and residential projects has earned over 100 national and local design awards, including the 2010 AIA Los Angeles Firm of the Year Award and has recently been nominated for the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, and the 2017 Marcus Prize in Architecture. Lorcan is a licensed architect in California and is a GSA Design Excellence Program Peer.

Currently Teaching
  • 599
    Urban Occupation
    Urban Occupation
    The history of architecture is defined by housing. The objective of this course is to investigate the circumstances that determine forms of urban occupation in various cultures, while identifying design’s critical agency in fostering human habitation and interaction. With an emphasis on global social housing solutions, this course provides a historical overview of the major domestic and international housing innovations since the early 20th Century and the forces that encouraged those mutations. A comparative case study format will be followed to examine a wide range of concepts and position students to analyze and discuss these critical issues. Precedents will be examined in an expanded context, using culture as a lens through which to evaluate emergent concepts surrounding new disruptive modes of occupation, including mass migration, new models of affordable housing, temporary shelter, and emergency relief. The course takes a morphological approach to the study of how these factors are altering the ways societies live in cities and respond to extenuating circumstances, using its physical forms to elucidate the various, often less visible, forces shaping urban shelter including policy, culture, identity, temporality, ecology, and socio-economic issues.
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Architect 50 Rankings Recognize Faculty Firms
Architect Magazine recently released its 2018 rankings of the nation’s top 50 architectural firms. Among those recognized were adjunct professor ...
Faculty and Alumni Honored in The Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Awards
Multiple USC Architecture faculty and alumni were honored in the The Architect's Newspaper’s sixth annual Best of Design Awards, a unique ...
Rough Side, Fine
The artwork of four USC Architecture faculty—Wes Jones, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Lee Schuyler Olvera, and Gary Paige—are featured in Rough Side, Fine, an ...
USC Architecture Faculty Honored Among AIA|LA Winners
USC School of Architecture professors Larry Scarpa, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Alvin Huang, and Steven Erlich were among this year’s crop of AIA|LA winners. ...
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