Sophia A. Gruzdys, AIA

Adjunct Associate Professor


M.Arch, with distinction, Harvard Graduate School of Design B.Arch, Kent State University

Prior to joining USC, Sophia served as the director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale College, where she coordinated the interdisciplinary tracks in History/Theory, Urbanism and Design and developed the principal reference documents outlining the Architecture major. 

Sophia has taught multiple levels of architectural design studios and seminars, at Cornell University, NYIT and Yale. Most recently, she directed the study abroad programs in Barcelona and Rome for Catholic University of America, Pratt Institute and Yale, and was appointed Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2009. 

Sophia’s research interests include urbanism and design, architectural representation and its geometries. She maintains an active international professional practice in residential design and has completed projects in New York, Barcelona and London. Her work has been recognized by the Boston Society of Architects, HGTV, and other publications. Before establishing her practice, she worked for I.M. Pei and Partners in New York where she was involved with the design of prestigious commissioned buildings, including the Rock’n Roll Museum in Cleveland. 

Sophia is active in roles that bridge U.S. and European design interests and serves on a NAAB visiting team for international certification. She has organized events on Architecture and Urbanism ranging in scale from a multi-day international conference, to educational travel tours for both architects and students. She has contributed articles and writings for “Architectural Record” and has written about European urbanism for “Alto Standing Magazine”, “Outstanding”, and “Living Archaeology in Rome”, published by Roma Tre University. 

Sophia is a registered architect in New York State, Ohio and a Board member of the American Institute of Architects Continental Europe Chapter, appointed Vice President in 2020.

Currently Teaching
  • 316
    Place and Culture
    Place and Culture
    The goal of this seminar is to understand the cultural context of Spain, by examining its architecture, history, political and economic developments. Beginning in Madrid and travelling north, we will visit cities and landscapes and examine the variety of influences that determine their form. In Barcelona we will analyze the city’s major urban and architectural sites, topography, and systems of urban organization. We will examine Barcelona’s architectural practices that challenge and engage European traditional and modernist orthodoxies and its culture committed to design. In Southern Spain, we will examine cities shaped by a coexistence of different influences (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) and others dominated by one. While certain aspects of the built environment are intentional, others are not. How did a theory of urban and architectural design emerge in Spain, and where did it come from? What constitutes a “cultural geography” of place?
  • 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.
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