Q&A articles about the pop-up exhibitions held at the USC School of Architecture since spring 2019.
Our next exhibition, “Building/Un-Building,” features work from assistant professor J. Yolande Daniels. The student work on display is from two of her architectural design studios: the Spring 2020 402b Undergraduate Special Topics Studio and the Fall 2019 605a Graduate Architectural Design Studio. The display of Yolande’s work includes projects for clients and independent design-research done under the umbrella of the practice studioSUMO and focuses on a work-in-progress that will evolve during the exhibition.
Our next exhibition, “Architecture Mobile & Visionary Environments,” features work from adjunct associate professor Jennifer Siegal. This exhibition illustrates Jennifer’s 10 years of practice, research and teaching at the USC School of Architecture. Student research from Siegal’s 2010 topic studio, Generation Mobile: Exploring the Deployable ‘Free-Range’ Truck Culture, and current work from her company, Office of Mobile Design, including the project Prefab Off-The-Grid (launching in 2020), are also on display.
Our first spring semester exhibition, “O.K. Publications,” features work from lecturer Andrew Kovacs. This exhibition displays various publications over an eight-year period that the design work of Office Kovacs has been disseminated through. Through the display of projects in various publications, the exhibition becomes a portfolio that demonstrates a body of work along with the method and process of Office Kovacs.
Our final exhibition of the fall semester, “Houses and Housing for the Densification of the City,” showcases work from professor Kim Coleman and her students that utilized City of Los Angeles ordinances for densifying the city and providing additional housing in LA.
Our next exhibition, “Color Profile,” features work from lecturer Sandra Yum, whose firm Project Room has recently been looking at crafting smaller scale objects that tell a story through their figuration and color. The student work on display looks at figure and its use in architecture.
Our next exhibition, “contex(n)t,” features selected projects from lecturer Luciana Varkulja’s practice uma architecture & design, plus work developed as a collaborator and researcher. It presents a wide variety of project types and scales—content—and their direct connection to context. Drawings and images highlight, from concept to completion, aspects of each project’s design process. Student work from spring 2019’s ARCH 605B studio, which explored housing and community ideas for a Leimert Park site, will complement Varkulja’s work.
Our next exhibition, “Mediums of Seeing,” is presented by Anthony Morey and offers a study on painterly Rorschachs. Rorschachs, also known as Klecksographs, were pioneered by Justinus Kerner, who included Klecksographs in his books of poetry. Since the 1890s, psychologists have used it as a tool for studying the subconscious, most famously Hermann Rorschach in his Rorschach inkblot test. With the looseness of reading, varied associations and freedom from normal conventions, the Rorschach provided a way into the topic of the sense of perception. Each variation allows for a new opportunity of perception.
Lecturer Erin Cuevas kicks off the fall series with her “Movement, Material, Media” exhibition. The show features a selection of recent short films and live performances produced by Project XYZ, a subsect of architecture firm CMLA (co-founded by Erin Cuevas and Jana Masset Collatz), creating scenography in collaboration with dancers, choreographers, and film-makers, as well as a selection of projects from first- and second-year undergraduate design studios (ARCH 102, 105, and 202) and the ARCH 410 Computer Transformations graduate seminar.
On April 14, an exhibition highlighting the collaborative nature of the work on professor Geoffrey von Oeyen’s Napavilion, as well as the unifying role of the pavilion now in Lantian, Shaanxi in China, will go on display in the Watt Hall 2nd Floor Gallery. The Napavilion, sponsored by the regional government and a local winery, was constructed in less than two weeks as the result of a collaboration led by von Oeyen between a team of graduate students from both USC and the Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology with local builders and laborers in Lantian.
Next in the series is Amy Murphy’s exhibition “Cinematic Cities,” which explores the connection between cinematic representation and urban experience. In the faculty portion of the show, Murphy shares images from Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920’s, an exhibit design co-produced for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2014. The student portion of the show features work from Murphy’s graduate seminar, Arch 586: City Cine – Visuality, Media and Urban Experience, where each student interpreted a film that was set in Los Angeles in order to reveal how a particular scene within that film registers an important condition existing within the larger metropolis.
Next in the series is assistant professor Esther Margulies’ exhibition “Learning Los Angeles,” featuring an approximate visual representation of her work in practice over the last 30 years mapped out across Los Angeles. In conversation with Margulies’ work, the student wall will display interpretive maps of the city created by students in her ARCH 544 course, Urban Landscape Process and Place.
Next up in this semester’s series is lecturer James Diewald and his “Practical Grounds” exhibition, which examines contemporary trajectories of the metropolitan ground in teaching and practice. Student work is presented alongside a selection of large-scale commissions that operate between architectural and urban form. The work raises questions about the nature of public space, the role of landscape in urban environments, and the agency of the architect in development-driven projects.
On Sunday, February 10, faculty member Myrna Ayoub presents us with an exhibit of her work, investigating identity in spaces of active conflict compared to those in the lengthy process of post-war recovery and reconstruction. Alongside Ayoub’s spatial exploration, the student wall will feature works from the undergraduate ARCH 102a and 102b studio series she teaches. First-year students in these classes study fundamental principles of architecture through orthographic drawings of LA houses as well as form-making strategies of volume, surface, and frame through the typology of the cave, the tent, and the hut.
Faculty member Peter Zellner kicks off the 2019 spring series with his TWObySIX exhibition, featuring two built projects from 2010-2013 and six student works at USC from 2016-2018. He offers some additional insight into his work and what visitors can expect from the semester’s first exhibition.