Michael Hricak, FAIA

Adjunct Associate Professor


BS in Architecture, cum laude, USC School of Architecture M.Arch, Harvard GSD

Since 1980 Professor Hricak has had a practice distinguished by the diversity and quality of its work. Through the course of each project, he coordinates the efforts of the project team providing design direction, analysis, project strategy, and leadership. He has considerable experience in working with those authorities having jurisdiction over projects on a wide variety of building types. His experience with public, institutional, commercial, industrial and private clients includes projects involving historic restoration, planning, adaptive reuse and renovation, multi-unit housing, custom residences, office buildings, corporate headquarters, department stores, retail shops, hotels, restaurants, and numerous interiors projects. His firm has been honored with local, state and national design awards and his work is widely published and featured in magazines from Spain and Italy to India and Japan appearing in G.A. Houses Metropolis, L’Arca, Interior Design Interiors, Deseno Interior, and Trends, among others, and in numerous books. Graduating, cum laude, in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, from the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture & Fine Arts, Professor Hricak began his career at Welton Becket Associates in 1974, serving on numerous projects including the restoration of the California State Capitol. After two years at Welton Becket Associates, he attended Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, earning a Master in Architecture degree in 1978. Prior to founding his own firm he worked as a senior project designer in the Los Angeles office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, designing corporate, commercial, and retail facilities. As a graduate of USC and Harvard University, he currently serves on both institution’s alumni advisory boards. Continuously involved in design education since 1982, Professor Hricak has taught courses in design, history and theory and has been honored numerous times for his teaching. Currently he is an Adjunct Associate Professor, lecturing in Professional Practice, a subject he has taught since 1998. His courses explores the effect on the design process of issues related to: environmental concerns; regulations, policies and codes; construction law; pre-design and the entitlement process; governing agencies; integrated project delivery; digital technologies; communication and information transfer; business and finance; practice; and ethics. He also serves as USC’s Architect Licensing Advisor, counseling students and recent graduates assisting them in navigating the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the exam process, setting them on a path to obtain a license to practice architecture. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Architecture Students’ Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th Edition (Wiley & Sons, 2009), of which he also wrote several sections. He is currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the 15th Edition of the Handbook. Professor Hricak is an active member of the design and construction community, regularly speaking at professional events and conferences. From 2001 to 2004 he served on the National Board of Directors for the AIA and was a regional director for AIA California Council. He served as both vice president and president of AIA California Council, as well as vice president and president of AIA/Los Angeles, and in many other AIA positions. Twice he has coordinated the Monterey Design Conference, one of the premier gatherings of design leaders in the world. He has been and remains a longtime advocate for design and its role as an essential part of our happiness and well-being and a powerful tool in shaping livable communities. He was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows for his design work in promoting the "aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession."

Currently Teaching
  • 525
    Professional Practice Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration
    Professional Practice Pre-Design, Project and Office Administration

    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 302bL

    Design methodology, typology programming, site analysis, budget formulation and pro-forma procedures. Office management, emphasizing professional service and professional ethics as well as project management focusing on the architect’s responsibilities during construction.

  • 526
    Professional Practice Legal & Economic Context, Project Documentation
    Professional Practice Legal & Economic Context, Project Documentation
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 302bL The laws and regulations that affect the practice of architecture and building economics and the development of comprehensive project documentation, detailing, specifications, drawing formats and organiza­tions.
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