First Students Graduate from LPA-Sponsored USC Architecture Program

Initiative is part of LPA’s effort to bolster the pipeline of underrepresented demographics in architecture, engineering and design

The inaugural class of 14 high school students recently graduated from the University of Southern California’s A-Lab Architecture Development Program, an immersive academic experience for high school juniors established to develop their design, creative and technical skills while preparing them for a college curriculum.

The A-Lab program is sponsored by the LPA Foundation which was founded in 2015 to champion causes that are important to our communities, employees and clients. In addition to financial support, LPA associate Stephanie Matsuda-Strand served as a guest lecturer for the program.

“As one of the initial third-party entities to support the A-Lab program, LPA is thrilled to see the first class of juniors graduate from this rigorous program,” said LPA chief operating officer Jon Mills. “We recognize the need for more diversity in our industry and are proud to support A-Lab, which strengthens the pipeline of underrepresented demographics in architecture and design.”

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The A-Lab Program is taught primarily through a series of studio architecture projects, each of which emphasizes architecture’s role in shaping culture and community; and empowering and claiming civic space for the public good.

“LPA’s financial and intellectual support is ensuring that these students of diverse backgrounds seeking academic studies and professional careers in the architectural and design/build fields will be supported by a network of instruction, mentorship, scholarship and motivation,” said Milton S. F. Curry, dean and professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

Each semester, students meet for three hours per day, five days a week, and receive high school credit as well as USC course credit.

“LPA’s leadership in the industry with this initiative is providing a tremendous resource, making possible a meaningful engagement to create positive impact for our students,” Curry said.

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Students interested in architecture, urban design, visual arts, social practice design, landscape architecture, media/technology and public policy attending partner schools in Los Angeles Unified School District and Foshay Learning Center are eligible to apply.

LPA leaders attended the December graduation ceremony, along with students, families, and Los Angeles Unified School District and Foshay Learning Center administrators.