10th Annual USC Architectural Guild Charrette

On Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, the USC Architectural Guild presented awards to three student teams for their work in the 10th annual and first virtual Design Charrette. Chaired by Guild Board Member Annmarie Plenge, principal at Gensler, this year’s weeklong challenge asked fourth-year, fifth-year, and graduate students from the USC School of Architecture to reimagine a new future for downtown Los Angeles that re-engages the public realm. Teams prepared a design proposal for a two-block area of DTLA that reimagined the relationship between the street and buildings to support a vibrant and active community for a post-pandemic world.

A Place to Call Home

In our project, we reimagined the Financial District to be a diverse and inclusive place where people don’t just go to work at, but also come home to. We prioritized…

By Kahli Merriman, M.Arch ’23; Baneen Zehra Rizvi, MLA+U ’22; Manuel Bradley Zavaleta, M.Arch ’23


Cloud Valley

The Cloud Valley is a vision for a new eco-city, that connects the urban fabric both horizontally and vertically. It gives new spaces for people from different walks of life…

By Ekaterina Bogdanova, M.Arch ’21; Liudmila Sergeeva, M.Arch ’21; Wanting Zhou, MLA+U ’21


Community Net

Community Net reimagines the downtown Los Angeles area to serve the alienated pedestrian, allowing for a new urban experience where all users can coexist in a happy and healthy environment….

By Sam Anderson, B.Arch ’22; Raul Menezes, B.Arch ’22; Annabelle Fung, B.Arch ’22


Destined DTLA

Downtown LA is evolving. With the landscape designed by the car, a rise of pedestrians, bicycles, and public transit, interest in public space was restored. And while Covid has resulted…

By Mel Lewis, M.Arch ’21; Esra Daghestani, M.Arch ’21; Yufan Xie ’21


Downtown PLUS

We see a vibrant Downtown Los Angeles that has come so far from the ghost-town days of the 90’s, with ample opportunities for Angelenos to eat, play, sleep, and explore….

By Sheng-Ting Huang, M.Arch ’22; Sanchit Mehta, M.Arch ’22; Hannah Flynn, MLA +3, MUP ’23


Pocket Park: local human utopia

Streets are at the heart of every community. These vital pathways not only get us from point A to B, but also creates spaces for public life to take place…

By Victoria Dam, M.Arch ’21; Hiu Ching Pinky Lam, M.Arch ’21; Haodong Pan, M.Arch ’21


radical mixed-use

A (projective) graphic documentation of DTLA from 2021 to 2040: During post-pandemic reoccupation of the city, Angelinos demand reform for an indifferent, lifeless downtown. Single-occupancy vehicles are entirely phased out;…

By Evan Ho, B.Arch ’22; Polina Kulikova, B.Arch ’22; Jacob Tennant, B.Arch ’22



The project RE=Connect introduces an effective way to redirect and rehabilitate people and space of Downtown LA, the hub of many different social classes. A second plateau connects rooftops, public…

By Ahyun Claire Son, B.Arch ’22; Jeongmin Lee, B.Arch ’22



Ripple proposes active changes in society through its architecture and programming of a new cultural hub in DTLA. This project promotes positive social change in the lives of those experiencing…

By Katie Hayes, B.Arch ’21; Lucy Lyu, B.Arch ’21; Abri Aiken, B.Arch ’21



The project brings back the once pedestrian-friendly Spanish colonial plan and superimposes it on top of the current site map. It creates an elevated streetscape with an entirely different scale…

By Hanchen Xu, B.Arch ’22; Rachel Alexander, B.Arch ’22; Emily Wu, B.Arch ’22



The 1950s displacement and demolition of the Bunker Hill community initiated the roll-out of an “unwelcome mat” in DTLA, culminating in current streetscape conditions that cater to vehicles, while pedestrians…

By Jared Edgar McKnight, MLA ’21; John Gerard Perez, B.Arch ’21; Christina Shin, B.Arch ’21