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USC Architecture: Welcoming a New Leader

On July 1st, USC School of Architecture will welcome a new dean, Milton Curry. Curry arrives from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he is associate dean for academic affairs and strategic initiatives. Curry founded the Critical Productive Journal, which examined scholarship and creative pursuits in architecture, urbanism and cultural theory. He also co-founded Appendix Journal in the early 1990s, which helped to catalyze debate on architecture and race, among other subjects.

Curry earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cornell University and a master’s in architecture with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design. His concentration was architecture theory.

The Mission and the USC Architecture Presence

The architecture program at USC began as a small architectural department in 1916. With the help of the Allied Architects of Los Angeles, a separate School of Architecture was established in 1925. By 1928, majors and degree-granting programs were provided to students. One of the earliest undergraduate programs was the 5-year professional Bachelor of Architecture program. Over the years, the school grew and expanded its influence as one of the premier architecture programs in the country.

USC Architecture took over maintenance of the Gamble House, the Craftsman masterpiece in Pasadena designed by Greene and Greene in 1966 in a joint deed with the city of Pasadena, which took over responsibility for the grounds.

Notable Alumni

• Frank O. Gehry – B. Arch, 1954. Notable works include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Experience Music Project, and Dancing House. Pritzker Prize laureate.
• Thom Mayne – B. Arch, 1968. Notable works include the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters and the San Francisco Federal Building. Pritzker Prize laureate.
• Jon Jerde – B. Arch, 1966. Notable works include Canal City Hakata, Mall of America, Westfield Horton Plaza, and Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles.
Paul Revere Williams – B. Arch, 1934. Designed homes for numerous celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz. First African American member and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Recipient of the 2017 AIA Gold Medal.
• Edward Killingsworth – B. Arch. 1940. Participated in the Case Study Houses experiment. Master planning architect for California State University, Long Beach for over 40 years. Designed Watt Hall and the University Religious Center at USC.
• Gregory Ain – Attended the school from 1927-1928. Former professor at the USC School of Architecture and dean of the school of architecture at Pennsylvania State University.
• Albert Nozaki – B. Arch, 1933. Academy-Award nominated art director for Paramount Pictures. Known for work on The War of the Worlds and The Ten Commandments. Career was disrupted when he was interned at Manzanar during World War II.
• Boris Dramov – B. Arch, 1966. Notable works include Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Third Street Promenade.

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