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University of Southern California

December 17, 2014

Alpha Rho Chi (APX) is a national co-ed fraternity for architecture and allied arts.  The Andronicus Chapter of Alpha Rho at the University of Southern California has been a fixture of the school from the earliest days of the founding of the School of Architecture.  The USC Chapter of Alpha Rho Chi has won many national awards, and the membership represents some of the best students at USC.  Each year, the fraternity welcomes new incoming students and hosts educational sessions to help them navigate the program. The Alpha Rho Chi chapter house is a registered landmark in Los Angeles (see photo).

In December 2014, Professor Diane Ghirardo's edited volume on Aldo Rossi's Town Hall at Borgoricco was published and launched in the Council Room of the Town Hall. The book is published in both English and Italian, with the title "Aldo Rossi. Il Municipio e Centro Civico a Borgoricco."  Professor Ghirardo was also interviewed by the Italian State Television network, RAI, for a documentary on Lucrezia Borgia, her letters and land reclamation activities. 

Prof. Kyle Konis, Ph.D, AIA was recently awarded a $150,000 Energy Efficiency Small Grant (EISG) from the California Energy Commission for an 18-month research and development project entitled: "The Occupant Mobile Gateway." The California Energy Commission supports academic and industry research that serves the public interest for energy efficiency and environmental quality. The O.M.G. project received the highest-ranking in technical review among all proposals. More details will be posted on the CEC website and here:

Amy Murphy, Associate Professor, presented her current research on the relationship between contemporary post-apocalytpic cinematic narratives and future urban life at the “New Visions. Cinema and Cinematic Practices in Times of Radical Urban Transformation“ workshop held at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin Germany, December 2014.

In October and November USC School of Architecture faculty Victor Regnier and Charles Lagreco visited sites in Portugal and Spain to study urban development and housing in the region as part of Professor Regniers year-long Fulbright leave in Portugal.

Hraztan Zeitlian, AIA, LEED BD+C, NCARB, received the Presidential Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects  California Council in October 2014. "You have helped confirm the Architect's Role and responsibility to society on a larger scale", the Citation read in part. Hraztan Zeitlian directed the design of the Hacienda Heights Community Center at DLR. The Center had a very successful opening in November 2014 and was praised in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 

Aroussiak Gabrielian was an invited participant in a cinematic world-building workshop to envision the Downtown Los Angeles Innovation Corridor organized by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.

Prof. G. Goetz Schierle is collecting data for his joint venture book: Tensile Structures

Graeme M. Morland, Assoc Professor, is currently preparing a major 50 year retrospective of Architectural drawings and sketches, undertaken from 1965, at the Glasgow School of art, until 2015 BC, (before computer). This exhibit will be at the USC school of Architecture Gallery, Feb 1-15.

Geoffrey von Oeyen's gallery interview and slide lecture from the 2014 Architectural League Prize has been published on the League website: During a residency fellowship to The MacDowell Colony in December 2014 and January 2015, von Oeyen will pursue writings and drawings following his USC School of Architecture event Performative Composites: Sailing Architecture.

Dr. Joon-Ho Choi, Assistant Professor of Building Science in Architecture attended the Defense Energy Summit, held in Austin, TX, and presented one of his research projects, entitled "Bio-Sensing Adaptive Thermal & Lighting System Controls in the Built Environment."  In addition, a research paper, as a

part of the research, titled "Investigation of the Potential Use of Human Eye Pupil Sizes to Estimate Visual Sensations in the Workplace Environment," has been accepted and will be officially published in December 2014. Another research, "Climate-Responsive Evidence-Based Green Roof Design Decision Support for the U.S. Climate" has been selected to receive a research grant from the Roof Construction Institute Foundation, and the proposed research will be conducted with a financial support for one year in 2015.

The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) voted today for Ehrlich Architects to receive the 2015 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The firm will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. Ehrlich Architects is renowned for fluidly melding classic California Modernist style with multicultural and vernacular design elements by including marginalized design languages and traditions.  The AIA Architecture Firm Award, given annually, is the highest honor the AIA bestows on an architecture firm and recognizes a practice that consistently has produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years.  The work of Ehrlich Architects covers a wide variety of program types (residential, commercial, institutional, educational) and uses a much richer palette of materials and textures than the typical California Modernist-influenced firm. However, they are most distinguished by the subtle and complex way they blend Modernist and multicultural design elements.  Before founding his Los Angeles-based firm in 1979, visiting professor Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, spent time working with the Peace Corps in Africa. There Ehrlich gained an appreciation for simple, natural materials and vernacular solutions to energy, sustainability, and building performance challenges. Back in Southern California, Ehrlich found opportunities to renovate properties designed by architects high up in the California Modernist canon (like Richard Neutra, FAIA), which helped him to develop a confident, loose-limbed, but still traditional Modernist aesthetic. But his experiences in Africa, with building traditions created years before Modernism demanded a total rupture with the past, pushed him to develop an architecture that was more inclusive, responsible, and responsive than pure Modernism.

The City of Los Angeles and the USGS have published a report, “Resilience by Design,” this week describing a broad range of actions the city should take to improve its seismic resilience. Assistant Professor Anders Carlson was on the Technical Task Force working directly with Dr. Lucy Jones on the year-long study. 

Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA, will be a featured participant in an exhibition opening January 31st at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, titled “Sketch to Structure.” The museum has acquired a selection of O’Herlihy’s sketches and models and, in conjunction with the show, Lorcan will be lecturing and hosting an event at Carnegie Mellon University in March 2015.

Nefeli Chatzimina will be organizing and teaching the international X|A Advanced Architectural Design Workshop, 'X|Pixelism' , from 15th - 23rd of December 2014 at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece.

Adjunct Associate Professor Eric Haas presented DSH // architecture's rehabilitation of R.M. Schindler's Bubeshko Apartments at the Getty Center in December, as part of the Getty Conservation Institute's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative.

Olivier Touraine reports that the USC school of Architecture Spring program in Italy is invited by the prestigious MaXXi museum to pair with Roma 3 school of architecture in a research project "Roma 20-25". 20 teams from the worlds’ most prestigious schools of architecture will be pairing with 20 Italian teams. The city of Rome will supervise the projects addressing urban redevelopments in the extended suburbs of the capital city. The 20 projects, each addressing a specific grid area, will be exhibited at the MaXXi museum in Fall 2015.

Sofia Borges, lecturer, published the article "Stromae Navigates the Unnavigable" in the latest issue of Mark Magazine and "Designing Desire" in Amarello Magazine.  She released two new books in August. Hide and Seek:The Architecture of Cabins and Hide-Outs and Building Better: Sustainable Architecture for Family Homes are now available on Amazon and bookstores worldwide.

Ted Bosley reports that the School of Architecture has received a $100,000 grant from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation to create a new "contemplative" garden at the Gamble House. Isabelle Greene, FASLA, granddaughter of architect Henry Mather Greene, has designed the proposed garden to resonate with the Gambles' original cutting garden in the same area, and to give today's visitors a place to rest and appreciate views of the house. Installation is expected to begin in early 2015.

James Steele was a presenter at the 4 th Annual Cultural Heritage Forum in Abha, Saudi Arabia, from Dec. 8th through 12, as well as presenting and acting as a Session Chair at the IASTE Conference " Whose Tradition" in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from Dec.14- 17, 2014.  Steele has also been invited to present a paper at The Architectural Forum of Southwest China in Chengdu, January 8-12 2015.

In October Ken Breisch was a speaker at the symposium, "Bakersfield Built: 1930s Architecture," which was sponsored by the School of Arts and Humanities, California State University, Bakersfield, as part of their celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. 

Assistant Professor Alvin Huang's Pure Tension Pavilion, a portable solar-powered pavilion for the Volvo V60 electric car made it's Chinese debut at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November.  Huang also gave a lecture on his recent work at the South China University of Technology in Guanzhou. Huang has also recently been announced as a juror for two international awards - the 2014 World Architecture News Colour in Architecture Award, and the ArchDaily + IIDEX Canada Virtual Spaces Design Competition. 

Esther Margulies, Lecturer in the Landscape Architecture program has launched a new firm known as The Office of the Designed Landscape. She was recently appointed to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and collaborated on The River Art Project, an LA 2050 proposal.  

Professor Victor Regnier has received a Fulbright Award to teach and conduct research in the architecture graduate program of the Catholic University in Portugal.  He will be giving five topical lectures in the Fall and conducting a studio class in the Spring centered on purpose-built housing for older people.   This summer he completed a 74-page monograph entitled "Motion Picture Television Fund Apartment for Life" that chronicles the work of his Spring 2014 402/605 studio in designing a mixed-use, 82-unit housing project for a 3.0 acre site on their Woodland Hills campus--a free pdf is available on request ( 

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