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University of Southern California

August 11, 2014

Assistante Professor Rachel Berney is preparing a new ONLINE fall course to be taught in the School of Architecture. ARCH 521 Health and the Designed Environment will address issues of health, equity, and sustainability vis-à-vis how designers shape the built environment.  Rachel Berney has been re-appointed to USC’s University Research Committee for the 2014-2015 school year where she is working with a team of faculty from across the university on topics such as improving research mentorship and research administration processes.    

Assistant Professor Doris Sung has received the 2014 R&D Award from Architect Magazine for her project “eXo”, which uses the dynamic movement of thermobimetals during construction to make lightweight structural surfaces.  Her work will be featured in the UK edition of Wired Magazine next month.

Geoffrey von Oeyen, Lecturer, recently installed an exhibition of his work, lectured, and participated in press interviews at the Architectural League of New York as a winner of the 2014 Architectural League Prize. For more information refer to

On July 10, Russell Fortmeyer presented a talk on his book, “Kinetic Architecture,” to New York’s Urban Green Council. New project work includes the replacement hospital for Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California, as well as a new consulate for the State Department’s Overseas Bureau of Operations in a confidential location.

Professor Diane Ghirardo gave a presentation on Lucrezia Borgia's entrepreneurial activities in June, for the city of Ferrara. She also recently revised her courses on Women's Spaces to meet University requirements for general education. 

Justin Brechtel has recently been hired as a Computational Designer and Research Architect in the Los Angeles office of Perkins+Will.

Lauren Matchison and Lee Schneider created and taught a new online graduate course entitled Visual Literacy in Media for Architecture and Design.  The master class developed students' media making skills and showed them how to design, produce and distribute their videos over social media channels. The class also introduced students to key concepts in crowdfunding. 

Simon Chiu founded Tensile Evolution North America in Irvine, and Tensile Evolution GmbH in Vienna, Austria, with architectural membrane structure experts Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Robert Roithmayr and Dipl.-Ing. Horst Dürr.  The organization focuses on architectural membrane project consultation, research and development on product and software, higher education and practical training workshops.  The trailer of forthcoming documentary film "FREI OTTO: SPANNING THE FUTURE" will be featured as a part of the upcoming exhibition "Building with Textiles" at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, Netherlands.  The exhibition opens on September 27, 2014 until January 25, 2015.  This documentary film is being produced in partnership with PBS Colorado Public Television.  The documentary featured interviews with Frei Otto himself, as well as Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schmacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, Professor Goetz Schierle and Associate Gail Peter Borden of USC School of Architecture, among others.  

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