ARCHITECTURE ENGAGED kicks off Spring 2022 with distinguished programming

The Spring 2022 term launches ARCHITECTURE ENGAGED, featuring a lineup of thought leaders and distinguished events.

ARCHITECTURE ENGAGED is a collective of conversations, symposia, creative discussions, exhibitions and events in which USC Architecture engages the Los Angeles community and global audiences in innovative thought, practice and social impact – connecting architectural thinking to systemic challenges for individuals, cities and regions.

All events will take place via Zoom this semester and begin at 6:00 p.m. PT unless otherwise specified. Virtual events are free and open to the public.

For registration and additional information, please visit

Mon. 01/24, 6:00 PM PT
MLK Lecture Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is co-founder and co-director of the Berkeley Lab for Speculative Urbanisms (BLSU). She is also affiliated with the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society (CSTMS) and the Center for Race & Gender (CRG).

Architect / Assistant Professor at the Department of Design, California State University, Long Beach
Mon. 01/31, 6:00 PM PT
Trained as an architect, Behnaz Farahi is an award-winning designer and creative critic based in Los Angeles. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practices from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Design at California State University, Long Beach. She explores how to foster an empathetic relationship between the human body and the space around it using computer systems. Her work addresses critical issues such as feminism, emotion, perception and social interaction. Farahi has won several awards including Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Digital Design Award, Innovation By Design Fast Company Award, World Technology Award. She is co-editor of an issue of AD, “3D Printed Body Architecture” (2017) and “Interactive Futures” (forthcoming).

TAX (Taller de Arquitectura X)
Mon 2/7, 6:00 PM PT
Cited as one of the most versatile and prolific architectural voices in Mexico City today, Alberto Kalach works on residential projects, civic structures and urban master plans. Its award-winning José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City remains the largest public library in Latin America. Kalach’s preoccupation with emerging issues in his huge hometown has inspired projects of varying scales and solutions. At TAX (Taller de Arquitectura X), Kalach and his team are dedicated to transcending the inevitable geographic, economic and time constraints embedded in every project to transform them into opportunities to build solutions that respect and celebrate the natural environment and its cultural context. .

Lead Architect of Ensemble Studio, Co-Founder of WoHo
Mon, 3/21, 6:00 PM PT
Débora Mesa Molina designs and builds architectures that use neglected materials and discover the beauty of the banal. She is the principal architect of Ensamble Studio, a cross-functional team based in Madrid and Boston that she leads with her partner Antón García-Abril. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates in typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape to the prefabrication of the house. From their earliest works – such as the SGAE Headquarters, the Hemeroscopium House or the Truffle in Spain – to their most recent works – including the Cyclopean House and Landscape Structures in the United States – each project navigates the uncertain goal of advancing his field. . Through their startup WoHo, they are investing in increasing the quality of architecture while making it more affordable by integrating offsite technologies.

Mon, 3/28, 6:00 PM PT

City of Los Angeles Office of Engineering
Mon 04/04, 6:00 PM PT
Deborah is the top architect in the city of Los Angeles and the city’s chief assistant engineer. For 21 years, she provided critical design and delivery direction for a range of municipal projects, including new and renovated parks, swimming pools and public libraries; master plan for large open public spaces; police and fire installations; theaters and art centers; maintenance sites and asphalt plants; new and refurbished bridges; major street reconfigurations; and restorations of historical monuments. In addition to leading efforts to adopt the city’s first green building policy for public facilities, she led the city’s Los Angeles River master planning efforts, which received an AIA National Honor Award. 2009 for regional and urban planning, and is spearheading ongoing river projects across the city. In 2016 she received the Julia Morgan Icon Award from the LA Design Festival and in 2019 she received the inaugural Citizen Architect Award from the AIA/LA. She graduated with honors from Princeton University and UC Berkeley, where she received her master’s degree in architecture.

Adjunct Assistant Professor, USC Architecture
Mon, 4/18, 6:00 PM PT
Takako Tajima is an architect and landscape architect based in Southern California. Takako’s work spans the full range of her training and studies design at many scales. At USC, Takako directs graduate-level design studios, teaches a required undergraduate course in the GeoDesign program, and coordinated the Asian Architecture and Urban Landscape Study Abroad program. Takako is a recipient of The Architecture League Award from The Architecture League New York and the Global Gold Prize from the LaFargeHolcim Foundation. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Environmental Design Research Association, INDEX: Design to Improve Life, and the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

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