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University of Southern California

April 13, 2012

David Gray has been hired to do a 92 adaptive reuse project on an 1960 William Pereira hi-rise building in downtown Los Angles.  Mr. Gray has bought a 101 year old Building on Broadway and is in the process of restoring it to  tech office space and a bar.   Mr. Gray and his firm are working on a sustainable low cost building system for China.

Edwin Woll with Tomko Woll Group Architects Inc, collaborating with Ena Dubnoff Architect (USC '60), reports completed construction and full occupancy for Young Burlington Apartments (21 affordable apartments plus extensive social services serving special needs youth), completed construction for renovation of Joveness Houses (8 affordable apartments for young adults transitioning into the work force),  onset of construction for renovation of 47 SRO units for the Downtown Womens’ Center, achievement of entitlements for 57 units of affordable housing in Eagle Rock targeted for seniors and homeless veterans, and onset of design for new affordable housing in East LA.

Professor Kim Coleman and Adjunct Professor Mark Cigolle are teaching and developing collaborations with European architects and students, including EMBT and the University of Roma Tre, for the USC Architecture global programs.  For more info see the web sites:, and

Visiting Professor Jennifer Siegal served on the AIA LA Interior Architecture student jury. Her work is featured this month in the books Bracket (goes soft), Eco-House Renovations: 45 Green House Conversions and the article “On Mobility” in Intérieurs Magazine. She lectured at Cal Poly Pomona and will speak at the upcoming USC Façade Tectonics #8 Conference with a lecture entitled MOTOPIA DEPLOYED: Strategies for the Language of Movement in the Age of Off-Site Construction.

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Dr. David Gerber's work on Multidisciplinary Design Integration and Search, was most recently included in the exhibition gallery at TED 2012. The work is on permanent display at 1 Market Street in San Francisco as part of the Autodesk Gallery. Dr. Gerber has recently published 4 papers on his research at SimAUD 2012 and at CAADRIA 2012.  

Douglas Noble is organizing ”FACADE TECTONICS 8,” to be held at USC from June 28 through July 1, 2012. 

Alexander Robinson and W. Andrew Atwood received a grant from Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio to design and build a custom landscape prototyping machine in order to improve the design of dust mitigation landscapes at the Owens Lake in Lone Pine, California. The prototyping machine will hybridize engineering physical modeling techniques, robotic technology, digital projection, and 3D scanning to create a new multi-sensory design platform for addressing the complex issues present on the lake. The machine is designed to create a common ground where designers, engineers, and the public can dynamically engage in the multiple concerns inherent to the lake.

Lauren Matchison, NCARB, Assistant Professor in Practice, recently received a USC C3 Grant to fund technological advancement in the classroom.

Tigran Ayrapetyan has being presented with Certificate of Recognition from California State Assembly for the longstanding service to the community and to Education throughout Southern California;  and with Recognition Plaque from The Knights of Vartan (Armenian benevolent organization) for distinguished service and leadership in the field of education.  The awards were presented to him at the 47th Annual Tri-Lodge Vartanantz Banquet on February 12, 2012.  

Lecturer Mina M. Chow has created a new PBS 6-part series called "BRAVE NEW WORLD:  Architectural Icons" about innovative architecture in Los Angeles that will be filmed both in 3d and HD video.  The film team is in pre-production for the first episode, "The Divine vs. the Deviant" on the California Missions to the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral.  Chow will be featured as an architecture expert on a new PBS broadcast called "10 Buildings that Changed America," with Host Geoffrey Baer airing on WTTW 11 PBS Chicago, as well as other PBS stations throughout the nation. She talks about the innovations behind Trinity Church, the Wainwright Building, Robie House, Vanna Venturi house, Seagram Building, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and others that make great American Architecture.

Ken Breisch will be presenting a paper entitled "'Up Against the Wall in Southern California:’ Adobe and Concrete Construction in the Early Twentieth-Century," at the Annual Conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum in May in Madison, Wisconsin, and he has just completed an essay on "Architectural Education in Los Angeles: 1940-1980," for an upcoming Getty Research Institute catalogue on architecture in Southern California from the same period.

Christopher Warren and his office, WORD (Warren Office for Research and Design), will be featured in this summer's issue of eVolo magazine, presenting their design for the Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial. 

Eric Nulman presented a lecture titled “Pedagogy at Full-Scale” at the Whither Installation Symposium organized by the Architecture Program of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Eric was awarded the 2011-12 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award at the ACSA Annual Meeting; the award recognizes demonstrated excellence in teaching performance during the formative years of an architectural teaching career.

Landscape Architecture Instructor Travis Longcore, Ph.D. was the keynote speaker at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Science Convivium at its Front Royal, Virginia facility in March. He spoke on the topic of urban bird conservation to an audience of over 100 employees from the Smithsonian's biological conservation centers, including the National Zoo.  

Brian Tichenor AIA wrote the introduction to California Casa (Rizzoli, 2012), a new survey of populist spanish influenced architecture in Southern California in the 1920s-30s. His firm’s work is featured in the aformentioned book, and in Houses by the Sea (Thames and Hudson, 2011)

 Over spring break, Professor Marc Schiler presented “Moral Architecture: An Impact on Creation and an Objective Vocation“ at Judson’s symposium on Christ in Architecture.  Nicholas Wolterstorf, author of Art in Action was the keynote speaker.  Schiler’s presentation makes the argument for stewardship, not just from the carbon footprint standpoint, but from considering the impact of the use of limited resources in competition with third world needs for those same resources. 

In January Peter Simmonds attended the ASHRAE Meeting in Chicago where he serves on several technical committees. Peter is also a member of the Standard 55 committee that determines Occupant Comfort in buildings. On January 30th, he presented a guest lecture at Woodbury University on Thermal Comfort and Intelligent Buildings, On February 3rd he lectured on Intelligent Building Controls at Cal State Pomona. On February 7th Peter participated in the Washington State University forum on Health Care Design. On March 13th, 14th and 15th he lectured in Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg as part of the ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer Program. On March 23rd he presented a lecture on Radiant Cooled Ceiling for HSBC, Hong Kong. On March 28th and 29th peter was a thesis reviewer at the Sam Fox School of Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

Erik Mar, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, has designed two public libraries for the County of Los Angeles which are currently under construction. Located in Compton and in Pico Rivera, both are targeting LEED Platinum ratings. He is designing an addition to a third library, in East Los Angeles, scheduled to begin construction later this year. In May and June of this year, Mr. Mar will speak at two LA County Environmental and Sustainable Living Fairs, in Agoura Hills and in Compton." 

Karen Kensek is organizing “PRACTICAL BIM,” the 6th annual BIM conference at USC in July, 2012.

Doris Sung received a second grant award from the AIA Upjohn Initiative with Rob Ley to combine thermobimetals and Nitinol into an active/passive building skin system.  Her last AIA Upjohn grant, along with a Graham Foundation Grant, an Arnold W. Brunner Award, an USC ASHSS and URAP awards, supported the fabrication of an installation called ‘BLOOM’ at the Materials&Application Gallery in Los Angeles.  On view until August 2012, ‘Bloom’ is a large monocoque structure that is skinned with a smart thermobimetal.  The sun-shading and self-ventilating surface of individual tessellated pieces curl when the temperature rises.  Doris will deliver a TED talk about the innovative use of this material at the upcoming TEDxUSC on May 4, 2012.

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