ARCH 500A: Comprehensive Architectural Design

Social Equity in Tall Timber

Contemporary architecture is a volatile amalgam of an ever increasing complexity of building systems, wide ranges of building components and materials re-combined with a growing array and variety of analog and digital design tools by architects and their countless consultants in response to the unpredictable demands by clients, communities, politicians and critics. Against this backdrop, architecture appears to be an ever elusive and as Rem Koolhaas calls it chaotic adventure.

Aiming to identify a new realism of architecture, students become productive and critical participants in the contemporary debate, by acquiring and demonstrating abilities and awareness primarily in areas of structural design, materiality, envelope design and critical thinking, as well as in site response, environmental systems, accessibility, life safety, and sustainability.

The students learn the comprehensive techniques of design through the design of a heavy timber / mass timber /CLT tower. The programmatic canvas will be the design for the “USC Center for Social Justice”. The programmatic focus of the design was a vehicle to discuss and key responsibilities of the architect in designing for a socially just society, while at the same time enabling a cross-sectional discussion on current topics within the studio.

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ARCH500a_WarrenTechentin_BryanChen_CoverPhoto – Bryan Chen