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University of Southern California

November 16, 2011

John Dutton is editing GRIDS-blog: Speculations on Urbanism and the Built Environment.  It can be found at

Mia Lehrer , FASLA, was a featured speaker at the ASLA 2011 Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego. She covered topics from Women in Landscape Architecture to Urban Agriculture, and hosted a field session at the Orange County Great Park. This month Mia appears in Latina Magazine’s Making Us Proud spotlight on influential women.

Rachel Berney, PhD, Interim Director of the MLA Program and assistant professor, gave a talk at Iowa State University on 11/10/2011 titled, "Visible Competency: Building Capital through Public Space in Latin America."

Lecturer MIna M. Chow, AIA, NCARB has joined as Director of Development for the US Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale for the Institute for Urban Design (IFUD).  The Institute for Urban Design won the U.S. Department of State RFP for their exhibition "Spontaneous Interventions:  Design Actions for the Common Good," which documents projects initiated by American architects and designers aimed at bringing positive change to the public realm.  The U.S. Pavilion team includes Commissioner and Curators Cathy Lang Ho and Ned Cramer, and the Curatorial Advisory Team of MOMA NYC Senior Curator Paola Antonelli, IFUD Executive Director Anne Guiney, Chief Curator of the Art Institute of Chicago Zoe Ryan, and IFUD Chair Professor Michael Sorkin.  For additional information, please visit: or http://

The ARCC 2010 James Haecker Award was presented to Professor Ralph Knowles on Novermber 12, 2011.  The James Haecker Distinguished Leadership Award for Architectural Research is presented by the ARCC (Architectural Research Centers Consortium) for outstanding contributions to the growth of the research culture of architecture and related fields.  Knowles, who has taught at USC for 40 years, is the author of seven books and more than 50 articles. He is a recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ Medal for Research. He has conducted research in Bratislava, Slovakia with the support of a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. The National Endowment for the Arts honored him for his design research and his work on solar access was supported by the Endowment. He received the USC Associates Award for Teaching Excellence and his book, Sun Rhythm Form, won the Phi Kappa Phi Scholarly Book Award. He has most recently received the USC Distinguished Emeritus Award and the Passive Solar Pioneer Award from the American Solar Energy Society. The main body of is work has focused on design with nature for energy conservation and life quality. He is the creator of the Solar Envelope, a zoning strategy for urban solar access. In his latest book, Ritual House: Drawing on Natures’s Rhythms for Architecture and Urban Design, Knowles explores theories relating nature’s rhythms to life’s rituals as a basis for a new architectural aesthetic.

Victor Regnier, professor of architecture and gerontology traveled to Japan to consult with a group of experts on the Toto company's approach to research in universal design.  Later that month he delivered the Hong Kong Housing Society Distinguished Lecture on Sustainable Housing Development--Innovative Ideas from the Design of Housing for the Elderly in Northern Europe at the University of Hong Kong.  This month he presented a symposium at the American Association of Housing and Services for the Aging in Los Angeles on Danish housing models, and made a presentation at the New Aging Conference at the University of Pennsylvania about Dutch apartment for life projects.  Finally, he debated colleague Jon Pynoos Ph.D at the UCLA Technology and Aging conference on strategies for maintaining independence in the community.  In the Spring he will be presenting a symposium at the Madrid International Congress on Long Term Care and Quality of Life as well as making a presentation at the University of Virginia on Age-friendly communities. 

Assistant Professor Gail Peter Borden's installation "Light Frames: a material prophecy" opened at Materials and Applications and will be up through mid-March. It consist of a two storey EMT double dome and a vinyl pneumatic chapel. Simultaneously opening, a show entitled "Shallow Spaces" at Galleri Urbane in Dallas, Texas curated a series of resin paintings. In October he lectured at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts as a speaker in the Rice Design Alliance lecture series "A Material World." He is currently attending a Residency at the MacDowell Colony, the oldest residency program in the U.S. His second book Matter: Material Processes of Architectural Production is at press with Routledge and will be available spring 2011.

Professor Marc Schiler was a participant in the Xi Xi Li She (XXLS) sustainable design charrette, from August 25 through September 1, with a team of architects, engineers, faculty, and students from the U.S. who met on the site of a proposed sustainable development in the Yuhang district of Hangzhou, China.  The program includes a 25,000 square foot video production studio/main hall and a research and educational annex.  The resultant design utilizes environmentally responsive passive principles, a ground source heat pump, photovoltaics, a biogas reactor, and on site collection, storage and processing of rainwater, gray water and black water.  The provincial government and Sally Wu of Phoenix TV sponsored the design charrette and a special province forum where the XXLS design proposal was presented to 300 party officials, business representatives, developers, and investors from China and Hong Kong. Yung Ho Chang (MIT and Atelier FCJZ) delivered a keynote speech on sustainability in Architectur

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