- By Arlene Winnick
As part of my expanding artistic exploration thanks to Covid-19, I discovered a remarkable gallery from the USC School of Architecture. This virtual EXPO showcases final student projects from undergraduate and graduate degree programs within the school. “The concept emerged when it was clear we’d have to forego the usual in person exhibition…things snowballed from there…allowing us to exhibit all levels and kinds of work,” noted Professor Eric Haas, USC Architecture.
The topics for their projects – determined by each student’s design ‘studio’ – range from socially relevant themes: affordable housing and urban landscapes to the more mundane activities like a dinner party! I found the reimaging of Los Angeles landmarks from many different perspectives to be the most compelling whether it’s the reforestation of MacArthur Park; the preservation of our city’s river; or the various redesigns of the DTLA’s Bonaventure Hotel. I also found the new vision for LA’s schools and playgrounds worth exploring. And then who could resist Domenica Ordonez’s plans for a new style coffee shop or Jerry Zhao’s Fresh off the Shelf house as a reflection of self. Design Tactics award winner Xiaotong Ni abstractly looks at the delicate balance nature and architecture with a building perilously placed between natural ground and open sky. These projects made me stop and think of the look and feel of the Los Angeles to come from a very specific point of view.
To view this virtual show, click here.