Envisioning a home for innovators at University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy

The USC Iovine and Young Academy is a one-of-a-kind undergraduate degree program dedicated to creating tomorrow’s business leaders at the intersection of arts, technology, and business. The Academy is growing and engaged brightspot, Frederick Fisher and Partners, Harley Ellis Devereaux, and Buro Happold to create a vision, space program, and engineering and architectural design for a new, dedicated facility for the Academy. By engaging Academy leadership, faculty, and students, the team applied the Academy’s innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit in a collaborative planning process. Working within the campus design and planning guidelines while accommodating a one-of-a-kind and evolving academic program, we generated design concepts for the selected campus “gateway” site and planned for the services and operations of a new, dynamic facility.

BrightSpot Strategy

“The most creative, innovative and futuristic program and building in higher education in all of America.”

– Carol L. Folt, President, University of Southern California

The team collaborated closely through five stages of development, with brightspot leading the initial user engagement, visioning, service design, and overall programming and Frederick Fisher and Partners developing the program and design with input from Harley Ellis Devereaux.

The new 40,000 square foot facility opened in 2019 and enables students to work, learn, and collaborate under one roof while also inviting in industry and community collaborators. Over 1/3 of the space is dedicated to digital and physical making, including fabrication labs for metal, wood, plastics, electronics; 3D printing and scanning; media labs for photo, video, and audio capture and editing; and immersive and interactive environments for experiential learning to prepare students for emerging and yet undefined fields.

Our engaging and collaborative process resulted in a vision that captures the ambition of the Academy and guided program and concept development through to the construction of a facility that enables interdisciplinary collaboration and learning, supports engagement with industry professionals, and engages students in physical and digital making.

BrightSpot Strategy
BrightSpot Strategy