Fall Program: USC/BCN Barcelona


The School of Architecture Global Program in Barcelona begins its seventh year in Fall 2016.  Students are immersed in the issues of urban design and architecture that have shaped the city and develop critical thinking and methodologies of analysis by designing in the urban context. Barcelona is a model of cultural activity and an impressive locus for new architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. Examples of public space and architecture from antiquity to the 21st century are studied in the context of a city which seeks to project its future in dialogue with engaging its past and present.  The course of study examines a culture committed to design and to architectural practices that engage and challenge traditional and modernist orthodoxies.  


Field studies within Spain and Western Europe introduce a critical range of historical and modern examples of buildings, landscapes and urban environments within their cultural settings.   Two weeks of field studies trips within Spain examine places in great transformation: Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Bilbao, and San Sebastian, and the new/old cities of southern Spain: Granada, Seville, and Cordoba.  Travel outside of Spain includes study in Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and, in 2016, Venice, where the newest work from around the world is exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale.  Field studies include organized visits to architects’ offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and local experts introduce students to unique aspects of the cities they visit.  Student hotels for field studies trips and apartments in Barcelona are arranged for the duration of the program.


The design studio component, nine weeks of the fifteen-week program, is in collaboration with faculty and students at La Salle University in Barcelona.  The studio is taught in English by a team of two or three faculty, in studio sections of 10-15 students comprised of both USC and LaSalle students. The design studio collaboration encourages the development of strong working relationships, cultural exchanges, and lasting friendships.  Students from both schools are in their fourth year of a total of five years of undergraduate study. 


SCHEDULE - Fall 2016

Aug 22-24                 Introducing Barcelona

Aug 25–Sept 2        FIELD STUDIES TRIP 1: Paris, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Delft

Sept 5-13                  Design Studio 1: Context Workshop, Language studies

Sept 14-23               Design Studio 2: Team Urban Design

Sept 24-30               FIELD STUDIES TRIP 2: Bilbao, San Sebastian, Toledo, Madrid

Oct 3-21                     Design Studio 3: Individual Strategies/Language classes/Field studies Barcelona

Oct 22-25                  FIELD STUDIES TRIP 3: Venice & the Biennale

Oct 26-30                  Mid-semester Independent Studies

Oct 31-Nov 22          Design Studio 4: Individual Strategies/Language classes/Field studies Barcelona

Nov 22                       Design Studio Final Review

Nov 23-29                 Thanksgiving Break

Nov 30-Dec 6           FIELD STUDIES TRIP 4: Granada, Cordoba, Seville 


Follow this year's group of travelers and search using the hastag: #USCLASALLEBCN

For student experiences of the fall 2014 BCN program, please see: