Urbanism and Societal Change

Profound societal transformations, ranging from shifts in economic and demographic conditions, to altered resource availability, to the massive spatial implications of climatic change indicate that we can no longer expect the future conditions of the discipline to be an extrapolation of the past.

These emerging conditions challenge conventional understandings of spatial organization and the role of the architect and planner. In this context, the capacity of architects to identify and understand these evolving conditions affecting the discipline, and to provide new visions for our collective future, becomes increasingly crucial.

As a result, much of the program involves research-based teaching in which the student is herself/himself generating proposals and knowledge related to specific thematics, conditions, contexts, and programs that represent key societal changes and challenges.

In addition to foundational knowledge in architectural and urban theory, history, representational techniques, design methods, form-making, strategic-development, systemic thinking, etc.; students at USC can expect to learn research methods, and rhetorical formats, and spatial visions formulation as a basis to contribute novel spatial responses to the evolving conditions of our time.