Olivier Touraine

Associate Professor of Practice


Dipl Arch, Ecole d'Architecture de Paris-la-Villette

Olivier Touraine graduated from the School of Architecture of Paris La Villette in 1987. Awarded the "Album de la Jeune Architecture" in 1994 (best architectural firm under 40). He received the "Villa Medicis Hors les Murs" Grant in 2000 and the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in 2005. He worked from 1987 to 1991 with Renzo Piano on the Kansai Airport Project in Osaka, Japan; with OMA/Rem Koolhaas, in Lille on the Congrexpo building in 1991; from 1992 to 1998 with Jean Nouvel in Paris on various projects in France, Eastern Europe and Asia; and from 1998 to 1999 with OMA/Rem Koolhaas, in Los Angeles on the Universal Studio HQ project. These three architects have all received the Pritzker Prize, the highest award in architecture. Olivier is currently a principal at Studio Touraine which was created in January 2012 following 14 years at Touraine Richmond Architects in Venice, CA,. Olivier teaches design studios at the University of Southern California. He has previously held teaching positions at UCLA, Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and SCI- Arc.

Currently Teaching
  • 528
    Urban Housing Types and Typologies
    Urban Housing Types and Typologies

    This course introduces precedents for designing multi-family housing. A review of the sources of Pre-modern and modern housing types, the impact of building codes and technology on the form and construction, and a study of housing densities, provides the backdrop for the comparative analysis of multi-family residential patterns. Emphasis is placed upon developing a critical knowledge of historic housing typologies as they are applied to site conditions and groupings, building form and organization, and the design of individual dwellings.

  • 580
    Field Studies
    Field Studies

    One of the most important aspects of field research is the opportunity to gain insight into the relationships between design language, building proposition and construction process of specific periods/architects/buildings/landscapes. It is an occasion to discover not only the tenets upon which an designer bases his work, but also how these tenets resolve complex relationships between a project, its site and the cultural/theoretical context in which it was constructed. Through thoughtful case study analysis students will explore how these external forces influence/direct the form and shape of the designed response.

    This Field Studies course will concentrate on projects and practices [from the analysis of buildings to the focused engagement with the methods of practice], landscapes and ecologies [both natural and manmade], and urban spaces [including parks, plazas, and urban (re)development projects]. The field study of these spaces and methods also provides an opportunity to understand the complex relationship of the designer with place. These place-based investigations will engage field studies to employ analytical methods, representational techniques, and speculative inquiry into the fundamental spatial and infra-structural elements of place. This investigation allows one to develop awareness as well as appreciate the complex relationship between a place, its inhabitants and the spaces that facilitate a multitude of events and activities.

Related News
Our virtual faculty exhibition series continues with a new exhibition on rethinking “manufactured homes” from associate professor of practice Olivier Touraine. The intent of the ...
*Note: This article is about our 2019 Paris program and all reporting was completed before the COVID-19 pandemic.USC Architecture’s Summer Paris Study Abroad Program was created ...
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