USC News

Menu Search

USC landscape architecture students propose new designs for LA River

The Los Angeles River Bow Tie site is reconfigured for improved water management as part of a living ecology in “River Transformed” by Qian Li.

On the eve of a landmark decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the future design and funding of its Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study, a new exhibition on view at Los Angeles City Hall Bridge Gallery through Aug. 29 showcases concepts and designs for the river, each hydraulically tested to respond to changing seasonal conditions.

Organized by Alexander Robinson, assistant professor at the USC School of Architecture, and his Landscape Morphologies Lab, the exhibition is a collaboration with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s Los Angeles River Project Office and the Department of Water and Power. The designs demonstrate how the river can effectively be designed for multiple uses while accommodating its complex infrastructure functions.

Using physical hydraulic modeling (complete with running water), graduate USC landscape architecture students developed new visions that are responsive to the river’s dynamic water flow conditions. Included in the exhibition are several 12-foot-long foam model river inserts and videos documenting the dynamic hydraulic tests.

Another facet of the exhibition details the School of Architecture’s commitment to developing sophisticated responses necessary to enrich one’s urban condition. It includes a selection of landscape architecture design studio projects for transforming challenging nonriver related urban sites in various council districts across the city.

Under the direction of Robert Harris, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the accredited USC Landscape Architecture program offers three curricula within its Master of Landscape Architecture degree. The focus of the program is landscape architecture as a natural and urban phenomenon that is integral to the quality of human experience, essential for reclaiming degraded places and cities throughout the world and necessary for sustaining nature. For more information, visit

The exhibition is supported by the city of Los Angeles and the School of Architecture Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture.

The Bridge Gallery at Los Angeles City Hall is located in the walkway between City Hall and the City Hall Annex at 201 N. Main St. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More stories about: ,

USC landscape architecture students propose new designs for LA River

Top stories on USC News