Profound societal transformations, ranging from shifts in economic and demographic conditions, to altered resource availability, and the 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 urban spatial organization and the role of the architect and planner.
In this context, the capacity of architects to identify, understand and respond to these new conditions affecting the discipline 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. Therefore, 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 directed toward novel spatial responses to conditions that are still inchoate.
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