Office of Outdoor Research, 
Landscape Morphologies Lab

Join the USC Los Angeles River Integrated Design Lab (LARIDL)!

Seeking candidates for full-time positions and summer 2024 internships.
The following is a description of our openings for two full time positions, but we also seek summer interns who can start in June and assist in these projects, both in fabrication and in mapping and design.

Job Description: Research Associate / Post Doctoral Scholar (full time, 6-12 months+)
Last updated Thursday, May 23, 2024

USC School of Architecture Los Angeles River Integrated Design Lab
The USC School of Architecture is seeking qualified individuals for the position of Research Associate / “Experimental Machinist”or Post Doctoral Scholar to join the Los Angeles River Integrated Design Lab run by USC Associate Professor Alexander Robinson (Architecture), Associate Professor Mitul Luhar (Viterbi), and Associate Professor Andreas Kratky (Cinematic Arts) with USC Public Exchange. LARIDL is developing and applying methodologies for multi-disciplinary and inclusive nature-based infrastructure design, with a focus on the Los Angeles River and its on-going revitalization and flood protection. Note, while the position is titled “Experimental Machinist” it is most suitable to those with an advanced degree in Landscape Architecture or Architecture or a Post-Doctoral candidate.

Central to the lab’s current research initiatives is the lab’s seventy-foot-long physical hydraulic model of a mile stretch of the Los Angeles River, constructed in collaboration with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering and the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center. This engineering model has been modified by the lab’s multidisciplinary team of landscape architects, civil engineers, and immersive media artists to facilitate inclusive nature-based landscape design. Improvements include a pick and place vegetation system, rapid prototyping system, and a custom interactive augmented reality interface. The model is situated in the City of Los Angeles’s Hydraulic Analysis Laboratory in Elysian Valley, adjacent to the Los Angeles River and the parcels of land represented by our model and within the relevant community.

The lab is engaged in diverse funded research and engagement efforts with a variety of partners, including the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, the United Stated Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority. A central research effort is focused on developing the model and its inclusive and imaginative infrastructure design tools and testing the effectiveness of these tools. The lab also has been awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Placemaking Grant to engage the local community and arts in collaboration with a local arts organization, Clockshop. Furthermore, the lab has initiated the Los Angeles River Observatory, a multidisciplinary fieldwork and public engagement project on the LA River.

The lab’s newest and upcoming project is an integrated hydraulic design investigation of a proposal to modify the river’s concrete channel. The project will refine the preliminary approved “island” design into a hydraulically viable multi-functional habitat and open space feature. This will be achieved by applying the enhanced hydraulic model system to design viable solutions and focus coordination and implementation efforts. This work could help contribute to the first major re-design of the Los Angeles River concrete channel and in-channel habitat restoration project as planned by the City of Los Angeles and United Stated Army Corps of Engineers.

We hope to fill this position with a dynamic candidate who is interested in urban river design, physical modeling, and infrastructure design innovation. This 6-to-12-month position (with possibility to extend) will contribute to this exciting upcoming project and the lab’s core research in multiple ways:

Physical Hydraulic Modeling & Design
o  Fabrication of a 1:100 physical model and its physical accessory systems (e.g. rapid prototyping system) using a CNC mill, 3D printer, and power tools, including coordination of the physical modeling team

o  Running the hydraulic model with team and in partner and community presentations

o  Iterating designs for the proposed “island” scheme in coordination with design lead and partners

o  Coordinating modeling work with various maps and other information sources, including with the Digital Twin

o  Coordinating with other lab research teams (e.g. augmented reality & engineering)

Public Workshop, Tours, and Focus Groups:
o  Helping coordinate and execute public events and focus groups with the team

o  Deploying safety barriers and signage and furniture with team

Lab Management, Maintenance, and Safety:
o  Maintaining the lab basic function and safety with team

o  Open and closing the lab

o  Interfacing with city lab managers

o  Deploying safety barriers and furniture for public workshops

Preferred Qualifications
·     Landscape Architecture, Architecture, or Engineering Degree

·     Experience with architectural / landscape model fabrication

·     Woodshop tool familiarity and skills

·     CAD software experience (Rhino)

·     CNC fabrication (optional, but desirable — we can train you)

·     3D Printing (optional, we can train you)

·     ArcGIS (optional — may be covered by another position)

Competitive rates and benefits (This is the draft description—final job description will include range)

Location & Time
The position is a full-time position, in person, in Elysian Valley, Los Angeles, CA.

To apply please submit any question cover letter and resume to

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