University of Southern California (Emily)



Aug '08 - Jul '09

  • Epilogue #4 :: Signing Off

    Emily Kemper
    Jul 20, '09 2:54 PM EST

    It's been two months since I graduated from USC. I realize that it often takes new graduates, especially in the design professions, a while to find a job after they leave the relative safety of their studio, but this wasn't exactly part of my plan. Three years ago, when I decided to go back to graduate school, I didn't imagine that I'd be graduating into the worst market for designers in 18 years... or is it 27 years? Maybe even the worst market in 35 years? Or, as we like to say now, "this market is a game changer". I think this market is rewriting the rules of the design and architecture professions entirely.

    But I digress... as I am no longer in school, I think that it's time that I end my tenure as an "Archinect School Blogger". After all, at one point I was writing on four - yes, four! - separate blogs, and since I'm someone who likes to do things efficiently, I would like to streamline my thoughts and efforts. Therefore, if you'll allow me just one last plug, I hope you'll continue to follow my adventures on the GreenDesignCollective, where I am still writing, as often as possible, about my Unemployment Tour of the West Coast and about environmental issues that are close to my heart. Will my Unemployment Tour traverse east of the Mississippi? Will the Unemployment Tour become an "Employment Move"? Will I solve global warming?!? Stay tuned! (And if you are one of those Twitter-people, feel free to follow me here @theGDC).

    bumper sticker on the back of my car

    I will, of course, continue to contribute news, forum comments, and original articles whenever possible, just perhaps not under the guise of "USC School Blogger". And to all of my Archinect friends and fellow school bloggers, I offer one last parting thought: I encourage you to "be the change you wish to see in the world". Gandhi had it right! Go forth and be good!

    Thanks! And see you around :o)

    View full entry

  • Epilogue #3 :: An Open Letter to My Fellow Under- and Unemployed Archinectors

    Emily Kemper
    Jun 18, '09 6:16 PM EST

    Hi folks.... As mentioned briefly in my last blog post, I'm launching an effort to help my fellow under- and unemployed friends out there in the midst of this terrible economy. I'm calling it the Portfolio Project, whereby fellow designers are invited to host their portfolios on my Web site (the... View full entry

  • Epilogue #2 :: Third time was not the charm

    Emily Kemper
    Jun 11, '09 2:23 PM EST

    I'm not going to bother restating here how bad the job market is; I'm pretty sure you all already know. I did know that it was going to be bad a long time ago, however, which is why I started applying to jobs back in February. I got several follow-ups, and I had a few interviews. The third and... View full entry

  • Epilogue #1 :: Doing crits for other students

    Emily Kemper
    Jun 6, '09 2:27 PM EST

    So, I'm going to blog a few "epilogues"....this is because, technically, I'm not a student anymore since I graduated a few weeks ago, but I feel compelled to keep writing to you until I know what I'm doing with my life. And I still don't. Thus, the epilogues. Yesterday I had the privilege of... View full entry

  • 4.21 :: Graduation

    Emily Kemper
    May 17, '09 10:16 PM EST

    My classmates and I graduated on Friday, in a grand morning ceremony with the Governator speaking, and then again at a "satellite" ceremony just for the School of Architecture. Literally I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown since I got here less than two years ago. Especially since last... View full entry

  • 4.20 :: Going to Greenbuild!

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 30, '09 3:49 AM EST

    (cross posted on my Web site) This is incredibly cool, and a great way to cap off my short but incredible stint at USC. I am pleased to annouce that I will be moderating a panel of “green blogosphere voices” for a session at Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix in November. The panel was put... View full entry

  • 4.19 :: Solar Excursion

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 26, '09 6:35 PM EST

    My classmates and I took a field trip yesterday with our professor to a solar array in the high desert East of Lancaster. It's attached to Bolthouse Farms and it helps to grow carrots. The array consists of 770 sun-tracking solar panels that produce a total of 1.9 megawatts of electricity per... View full entry

  • 4.18 :: Tips for Job Hunting (from a pro)

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 22, '09 8:43 PM EST

    We had recruiter and professional HR consultant Kristi Enigl come in and talk to us this afternoon about ways to stand out in the job market. She had a lot of great tips, and she helped to diffuse some of (not all) my job-hunting anxiety. I thought I'd share some of her suggestions here for the... View full entry

  • 4.17 :: Everything is going to be different now

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 16, '09 12:11 PM EST

    I realized rather late in the semester that I had forgotten to give you our lecture series schedule. By the time I realized it, in fact, half of them were already done, so I didn't bother. In the absence of that I'd like tell you about one of the speakers that I think was quite different than a... View full entry

  • 4.16 :: Pre-fab, Pillow fighting, and a Postopolis Panel

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 5, '09 3:07 PM EST

    Yesterday was fun! The day started with a class field trip to the Marmol Radziner Prefab offices in West LA where we got to see the Rincon 5 single module house, which they are marketing as a guest or a vacation house. I think it's great: assuming I had a piece of land somewhere in a temperate... View full entry

  • 4.15 :: Postopolis! (continues...)

    Emily Kemper
    Apr 4, '09 2:58 AM EST

    Well, Scott caught the first night of Postopolis! LA, but I couldn't make it there until the third night...just in time to see our very own Orhan Ayyüce present! How exciting. It's always a new adventure whenever I get to meet an Archinecteur in person, especially if I've known them for years... View full entry

  • 4.14 :: Never rest...

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 31, '09 5:52 PM EST

    Today I had the opportunity to have lunch with some of the trustees of the University. I was invited, along with several other students from various disciplines, to come and discuss some of the work that I've been doing as a graduate student and with the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation. I sat... View full entry

  • 4.13 :: Oh crap.

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 25, '09 2:44 PM EST

    So apparently I've been nominated to speak at our graduation ceremony. (!!!) I have 3-5 minutes. What should I talk about? Post suggestions below. :o) View full entry

  • 4.12 :: I just had breakfast with CNN...

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 24, '09 5:42 PM EST

    ...and I won an iPod Shuffle! Not bad for a Tuesday morning :oP Let me explain. Hot on the heels of our TEDx USC conference yesterday - which CNN cosponsored - some folks from CNN wanted to have a brainstorming session with USC students to discuss the future of news, and in particular, the future... View full entry

  • 4.11 :: Acknowledgements

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 17, '09 3:46 AM EST

    I just completed formatting my thesis document in its entirety - essentially it's done - and I thought I'd celebrate by posting my Acknowledgements page from the front of the document here. In case it's not clear, I'm thanking pretty much everyone, including all of you. I would like to express my... View full entry

  • 4.10 :: Woo hoo for all things green

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 12, '09 1:01 PM EST

    Apologies for the blogging absence, things have picked up to a brisk pace in the past couple of weeks because I gave my final thesis presentation yesterday. Speaking of, I GAVE MY FINAL THESIS PRESENTATION YESTERDAY. Yes, that's right, final of the whole year! I still have to finish the document... View full entry

  • 4.9 :: Juggling

    Emily Kemper
    Mar 3, '09 6:45 PM EST

    Sometimes I am amazed at how productive I can be in any given period of time, until I remember that I attended design school for six years where you learn that you HAVE to focus and be productive in order to get anything done by your deadline. This type of focus, applied to tasks other than... View full entry

  • 4.8 :: Last Call

    Emily Kemper
    Feb 23, '09 6:12 PM EST

    I just wanted to give mad props to those of you who have visited my thesis Web site and taken the survey. I've gotten lots of good feedback thus far, and much of the data from the survey - even though it is unscientific - will make it into my final thesis document. (Except perhaps those who have... View full entry

  • 4.7 :: Job Fair ("It's rough out there")

    Emily Kemper
    Feb 20, '09 7:11 PM EST

    The Architectural Guild sponsored a job fair at the USC School of Architecture today. Bless them. They work hard for us, even if the amount of firm tables was about half of what it was last year. The general mood was not great, but also not universally bad. A few firms were still doing OK and... View full entry

  • 4.6 :: Intermission / Rainy Season

    Emily Kemper
    Feb 19, '09 2:39 PM EST

    So just an FYI, I firmly believe in taking breaks to rejuvenate your mind and body, and primarily, your creative spirit. When I am wiped out or exhausted, I just walk away and stick my nose into something new and see what happens. Also, California is an interesting place, and I would feel remiss... View full entry

  • 4.5 :: Musings on financial turmoil, beauty, and Chicago

    Emily Kemper
    Feb 10, '09 4:32 PM EST

    Immediately following last week's launch of the Web site that is the product of my thesis research, I started getting feedback from people, which I do appreciate. However, if you didn't fill out a survey, I may not be able to collect your feedback in any kind of formal way for inclusion in my... View full entry

  • 4.4 :: Q: What do the groundhog and my thesis have in common?

    Emily Kemper
    Feb 2, '09 2:01 PM EST

    A: Both come out of hiding today! And both tell us something about climate (although I think I've done more research...) Dear friends, Happy Groundhog Day! I decided last year to create a "learning tool" for my Master's thesis in Building Science; my goal was to teach people about alternative ways... View full entry

  • 4.3 :: Ian Ritchie and true "sustainability"

    Emily Kemper
    Jan 24, '09 5:27 PM EST

    This past Wednesday evening we had a "Visions & Voices" event at USC in Bovard Auditorium: a lecture by Ian Ritchie, British architect, artist, environmentalist, engineer, poet and all-around generally cool guy. Visions & Voices events tend to be large and open to the entire university... View full entry

  • 4.2 :: History / Learning outside the classroom

    Emily Kemper
    Jan 20, '09 2:20 PM EST

    Where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States? A lot of people in the media and news have been saying this over the past couple of days, as an indication that we should take stock of this day, and remember this moment in our country's history. I couldn't agree... View full entry

  • 4.1 :: Bragging about the weather

    Emily Kemper
    Jan 13, '09 3:19 PM EST

    The first day of Spring Semester 2009 at USC was yesterday, and I'm starting to experience what can best be described as "senioritis." This includes a sense of impatience with formal class time, an indescribable urge to work harder and faster than ever before, and an ulcer growing in the pit of my... View full entry

  • 3.21 :: Bonus Blog! The AFH Container Studio Review

    Emily Kemper
    Dec 16, '08 9:22 PM EST

    I learned last week that Cameron Sinclair would be swooping through Los Angeles to preside over reviews for an Architecture For Humanity-affiliated 4th/5th-year topic studio at USC. I had heard of this studio at the beginning of the year and I saw the shipping container being delivered a few weeks... View full entry

  • 3.20 :: Semester Finale

    Emily Kemper
    Dec 9, '08 6:18 PM EST

    I presented my thesis for the final time this semester last Friday to an audience of roughly 10 professors (including my four committee members) and 20 additional students, including my own classmates. To recap, the thesis is a year-long research project in the Graduate Building Science program at... View full entry

  • 3.19 :: This is awesome. Fight on.

    Emily Kemper
    Dec 3, '08 4:33 PM EST

    This is not your average day at the University of Southern California...campus is abuzz, and not just because it is the last full week of classes before Winter Break. My final thesis presentation for the semester is on Friday and I think I am in good shape for it. I would tell you more about it... View full entry

  • 3.18 :: Eye of the Tiger

    Emily Kemper
    Nov 27, '08 4:35 AM EST

    ACfA's last post reminded me of this, and frankly I couldn't resist. It's just too funny. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! View full entry

  • 3.17 :: Election!...and how not to build a concrete textile block house

    Emily Kemper
    Nov 25, '08 2:04 PM EST

    I am currently, and have been since the beginning of the year, the President of the Graduate Architecture Student Association in the USC School of Architecture. GASA, as we call it, is an umbrella organization for all the graduate students in the architecture school. It's important that we have... View full entry

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