University of South Florida

School of Architecture & Community Design

USF College of The Arts

Lecture Series

One of the cornerstones of our program, the USF School of Architecture & Community Design's Lecture Series introduces students and the Tampa Bay community to a diverse range of ideas and global perspectives. Every semester, architects, urbanists, designers, academics and artists from across the United States and the world speak about their experiences and knowledge.

All lectures are free and open to students and the general public.

The University of South Florida is an affirmative action/equal access/equal opportunity institution. Please notify the USF College of The Arts Box Office at (813) 974-2323, at least five working days prior to the event, if a reasonable accommodation of a disability is needed.

Spring 2020


A sense of Place: Why do we remember buildings, locations and experiences? Even a place visited in our childhood can conjure emotions that make an impact on us through the memories they create. Lawrence Scarpa will explain the creative process that aspires to make a lasting impression out of even a brief encounter.

Lawrence Scarpa has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. He is also considered a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainable design. He is the recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Award in Architecture and was also awarded the State of California and National The American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award. Over the last ten years, Mr. Scarpa’s firm has received more than one hundred major design awards, including 22 National AIA Awards, Record Houses, Record Interiors, the Rudy Bruner Prize, five AIA Committee on the Environment “Top Ten Green Building” Awards and the World Habitat Award, one of ten firms selected worldwide. He has also received the lifetime achievement awards from Interior Design Magazine and the AIA California Council.



Site Castings concerns two aspects of the 2018/19 body of work and forthcoming installations executed in Venice, Italy. The lecture first considers the constructs of surface and its relation to content: the causal arbiter of surface, and the artifice of perception. Herewith is posited the idea that place is contemporaneously understood as surface, where temporal artifacts are reimagined by the continual appropriation of its image. These modes of interpretation are critiqued first through language—specifically poetry—and the presence and transformation of evidentiary—forensically excavated—artifacts that induce inventive paths to three-dimensional narrative environments.



Robert McCarter is a practicing architect, author, and Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis since 2007. He has previously taught at the University of Florida from 1991-2007, where he was founding Director of the School of Architecture; at Columbia University from 1986-1991; and at three other institutions. During his 34 years in academia, including 17 years in leadership roles at three institutions, McCarter has taught at least one design studio every semester, and he has taught more than 1,800 students. He has had his own architectural practice since 1982, in New York, Florida and St. Louis, with 25 realized buildings.

He is the author of twenty-two published books to date, including Place Matters: The Architecture of WG Clark (2019); Grafton Architects (2018); The Work of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: Economy as Ethic (2017); The Space Within: Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture (2016); Marcel Breuer (2016); Steven Holl (2015); Aldo van Eyck (2015); Herman Hertzberger (2015); Local Architecture (with Brian MacKay-Lyons, 2015); Alvar Aalto (2014); Carlo Scarpa (2013); Understanding Architecture: A Primer on Architecture as Experience (with Juhani Pallasmaa, 2012); Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References (2012); Frank Lloyd Wright: Critical Lives (2006); Louis I. Kahn (2005); On and By Frank Lloyd Wright: A Primer on Architectural Principles (2005); William Morgan, Architect (2002); and Frank Lloyd Wright (1997).

Among other awards and honors, the curators of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture selected McCarter as one of 71 International Exhibitors, and his exhibit in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini was entitled “Freespace in Place: Four Unrealized Modern Architectural Designs for Venice; Carlo Scarpa’s Quattro progetti per Venezia Revisited;” and he was named one of the “Ten Best Architecture Teachers in the US” by Architect magazine in December 2009.



Fall 2019

Masashi Sogabe, Milangumi Arch, Yokohama

Masashi Sogabe was born in Fukuoka in 1962. After graduating from the Graduate School of Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1988, he worked for Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects until 1994. He served as Assistant Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1994 -1995, as Associate Professor at the Tokyo University of Arts from 2001 - 2006, and has been a Professor at Kanagawa University since 2006.

He designed a wide variety of architecture such as Toyota Group Pavilion at the Aichi Expo ( temporary building ) that received a Good Design Award in 2006, and “mAAch ecute Kanda Manseibashi”a multi-use shopping complex located in a former train station ( renovation ) that won an AIJ prize in 2015.

He has been doing several architectural projects with students of KU, like as the area revitalization project at Minamicho in Tokushima, and the new Winery building project in Omishima island that is currently under construction and planned to be completed by the harvest season of this year.

His particular interest is effective use of existing resources including vacant houses, waste materials, surrounding environment, local histories and so on.


Olaf Drehsen, JSWD Architects, Koln

The Cologne-based firm JSWD Architekten founded in year 2000. The four partners Olaf Drehsen,
Jürgen Steffens and the brothers Konstantin and Frederik Jaspert are leading an office with more
than 150 employed architects from about 30 nations. The partners started on their architectural
careers as RWTH students in Aachen. Günter Behnisch, Schuster Architects as well as Volkwin Marg (gmp) influenced their further professional development, followed by teaching posts and the establishment of the firm. In the last several years, JSWD has realized many projects in Germany and increasingly in other European countries, for the most part following successfully entered competitions.

JSWD finds further architectural, technical and intellectual inspiration in cooperative ventures with other architectural firms in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, USA and China while maintaining a collaborative exchange in the realization of joint construction projects.

JSWD's architecture is characterized by a dense synthesis of shapes, functionality and select materials. These three elements are inseparable and assume an equal, playful bond with all other requirements of the construction task. The resulting buildings reveal the continuous pursuit of conceptual formal clarity. Working with a limited range of clearly defined elements, the firm creates unambiguous hierarchies inside its buildings and in open spaces. The identity of each design evolves from the specific situation and the aspiration to reflect the user’s own image in corporate architecture.


Claire Weisz, WXY Architecture & Urban Design, NYC

Claire Weisz FAIA is a founding partner of WXY, whose work as an architect and urbanist focuses on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities. The firm, globally recognized for its place-based approach to architecture, urban design, and planning, has played a vital role in design thinking around resiliency. Among their award-winning projects are SeaGlass Carousel, the new Rockaway Boardwalk, the Spring Street Garage and Salt Shed. WXY was named AIA-NYS Firm of the Year in 2016 and 2019’s Fast Company’s: World’s Most Innovative Architecture Firms. Claire was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2017, and was recently awarded the Medal of Honor from AIANY in 2018. She co-founded The Design Trust for Public Space with Andrea Woodner and has taught and lectured widely, including Yale University, MIT and in 2017 was Portman Critic at Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology. She sits on many advisory groups and boards including the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Operations (OBO) Industry Advisory Group and Women.NYC and has served on design juries, both nationally and internationally, including the 2018 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, Azure Design Awards; the Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC Housing Design Competition and the P/A Awards in 2019. Claire holds a BArch with Honors from the University of Toronto, and an M.Arch from Yale University.


David Leven and Stella Betts, Levenbetts, NYC

David Leven is a principal at LEVENBETTS. David received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate
University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. He also studied at the Institute for
Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. Currently David is a full-time Professor at Parsons
the New School for Design. From 2008 – 2011, David was the Director of the Graduate
Architecture Program at Parsons. David was recently elevated to the College of Fellows of the
American Institute of Architects.

LEVENBETTS is an award winning New York City-based architecture practice that challenges
expectations of site, program and type. The practice integrates civic and institutional spaces
of learning, the public realm as well as single-family houses into precisely detailed yet
informal buildings that actualize the modern project of openness, light and abstraction.
LEVENBETTS has received both national and international recognition including ten AIA New
York Chapter Awards, two AIA NY State Awards, two Chicago Athenaeum Awards, seven
Society of Registered Architects Awards, Emerging Voices 2009 and Architectural Record Design
Vanguard 2003. A monograph of the first ten years of the practice was published in 2009 by
Princeton Architectural Press. LEVENBETTS is currently working on a book of their houses.


Liam Young, Architect & Film Director, Sci-Arch (los angeles) & architectural association, london

Liam Young is a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. His worldbuilding for the film and television industries has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time Magazine and New Scientist, he is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney. He has published several books including the recent Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene and has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs the ground breaking Masters in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angles. Liam's narrative approach sits between documentary and fiction as he focuses on projects that aim to reveal the invisible connections and systems that make the modern world work. Liam now manages his time between exploring distant landscapes and visualising the future worlds he extrapolates from them.


Past Guest Speakers

Visit our Past Guest Speakers page to learn about the people who we have invited to speak in our Architecture Lecture Series in past semesters.