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STaIRwell Project

STaIRwell Project

table of contents class Brief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CONTRIBUTORS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 typographic animals . . . . . . . . . . 10 Mural. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Rube Goldberg Machine . . . . . . . 18 Trojan Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Secular Confessional. . . . . . . . . 26 Wish Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 USC recycleD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 take the stairs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 SKY CEILING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Photo MOSAIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 INSCPIRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 CONCLUSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


class Brief Ewa Wojciak Instructor, Advanced Special Topics in Design

Gary Wexler Instructor, Annenberg School of Communications Graduate Marketing Class The three stairwells in Ronald Tudor Campus Center offer possibility for showcasing the Roski School of Fine Arts and Design, USC, and/or culture. The stairwells could be used to exchange information between students and departments and also to educate visitors. The stairwells have the potential to become an interesting and interactive environment, but they are currently underused, unattractive, and uninviting. The Advanced Special Projects Design Class along with the Annenberg Graduate Copywriting class have a plan to transform the stairs into a destination with unique design and marketing solutions.


Key Objectives / Criteria: • Make the stairs more inviting • Promote students/faculty to take the stairs over using the elevator • Showcases Roski and represents USC • Design for practicality and feasibility

CONTRIBUTORS Aislinn Pallera

Ki M. Williams

Amber Pietrzyk

Lauren Allison

Ana Bravo

Lauren Kao

Aubrey Landon Larson

Lee Yang

Axel Bizarri

Maddison McKibbin

Celine Huang

Maninder Gill

Christina Ellis

Melissa Portillo

Christopher Seah

Michelangelo Bailey

Colin Hale

Mona Molayem

Eileen Tai

Sara Papirmeister

Elie Hutchinson

Sarah Geisha

Joanne Chen

Shasha Liu

Jose Sorto

Shelley Xia

Kelsey Iwaoka

Yadira Espinal


typographic animals Designer: Mychal Bailey

Utilizing large-scale wall graphics, these vinyl animals will serve to create an environment that visitors can appreciate as artistic intervention. Using typographic animals, the design highlights both typography and natural qualities these animals represent. The gradient changes transitioning between floors complement each animal as well. Sounds of the animals are also hidden throughout the stairwell, mirroring the sound of the movement each animal has (wings flapping, elephant footsteps, whale swimming).

10 Stairwell Project: Typographic Animals

12 Stairwell Project: Typographic Animals


Designer: Allie Nakamura USC enrolls more international students than any other United States University and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. USC lies in the heart of Los Angeles, the melting pot of the world’s diverse cultures. Murals have been a part of Los Angeles culture and history, reflecting the life of its neighborhoods and people. Turning the stairwells into a public art space for local mural artists would allow the school to showcase its diverse student population and progressive international opportunities.

“Culture is what makes USC what it is, a snapshot of Los Angeles or Los Angeles’. . . multiculturalism; our school is a diverse community of brilliant individuals coming to learn, grow and achieve — the gateway to the real world, be it for a student from Sri Lanka or a student from Pasadena.” — Sean Fitzergerald, The Daily Trojan

14 Stairwell Project: Mural

16 Stairwell Project: Mural

COMMUNITY. DIVERSITY. ART. The mural project has the opportunity to engage USC and local community. Involving local joint educational programs, the project will allow for students to participate together in building relationships and voices through art. POTENTIAL MURALISTS Gonzalo J. Plascencia Became interested in Mexican-American history, creates murals featuring both historical and contemporary figures from Mexican and Chicano experience. Currently has a mural in Downtown Los Angeles, 240 South Broadway called 460 Years of Chicano History. Elliot Pinkey Pinkney is an accomplished artist who works in a variety of media; he is a printmaker, muralist and sculptor, and his work is centered around color experimentation. He has done several murals in Compton and Los Angeles. He currently has many murals throughout Los Angeles; Education to Succeed, Spirits of America, 5 Pillars of Progress to name a few. Annie Sperling Her mural on Hyperlon Ave, A Mural Dedicated to Peace, was made with help from local youth. A diverse gathering of people surrounded by giant butterflies and flowers, and watched over by a nurturing sun.

Rube Goldberg Machine DesignerS: Christina Ellis, Amber Pietrzyk, kelsey Iwaoka, Melissa Portillo

A Rube Goldberg Machine is a series of chain reactions. This intricately built fixture will be set in the center of the main stairs within the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Every 3 hours, this machine will set off, starting a series of chain reactions and activating the space. The structure of the machine will incorporate aspects of USC culture such as miniature buildings, mock-ups of Tommy and Traveler, street signs, sports, etc. This machine will be shown on USC tours and will blend seamlessly with USC culture.

18 Stairwell Project: Rube goldberg Machine

Doheny Library


MAIN MECHANICAL STRUCTURE The actual machine will only really be visible between floors 1 and 3. It will start from the top and have a mechanical elevator of sorts to bring the ball back up after each turn. SOLID BASE SUPPORT The base will support the machine from the bottom and rise from the basement level to just below the first floor. INTERDEPARTMENTAL COLLABORATION Designers from the Roski School of Art and Design partnered with engineers from the Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a feasible plan for the construction of the machine, and this partnership would continue into the constriction of the actual installation.

20 Stairwell Project: Rube goldberg Machine




On a slig ht tilt tow ards the exit


Exit back to mainrack t

Trojan Studio Designer: Shelley Xia

This particular design embraces artistic achievements of USC students from majors across the board. It also serves to depict USC as digitally savvy and attractive to prospective students not only for academic-based majors, but also those interested in art and creative technology.

22 Stairwell Project: Trojan studio

24 Stairwell Project: Trojan studio

Each floor (4 floors total) features a unique theme that relates the arts (i.e. “art and technology”, “art is a form of self expression”, “art and concept”, “art for good”) and will display a variety of different fine art and media that relates to each theme. Students from all schools at USC are welcome to submit and display work, and this exhibition space is meant for highlighting the work of students from schools such as USC Roski School of Fine Art (painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, photography), USC School of Cinematic Arts (animation and film), USC Thornton School of Music (music

and performance pieces), and IML (new media and intermedia pieces). The design of each floor considers the typography and wall graphics as it relates to students work, while accentuating the screen and print displays of the pieces. The tone of the overall exhibit is clean, modern, and simple. Defined by bold typography, patterns and bright colors, all graphic elements will be tied thematically together to highlight the theme on each level and draw attention to the students’ works.

Secular Confessional Designer: Elena Hutchinson

In a small, unassuming booth at the bottom of the large staircase of TCC, students will be able to enter and record a secret. Similar to the Little Chapel of Silence on campus, this “confessional� would not be religious in nature, but would offer students a quiet place of contemplation and, if they wish, confession. Using a small video camera set up inside the booth, students will be able to record themselves speaking about an unequited love, stressful schoolwork, or anything else they would like to get off their chest. Afterward, they may view the confessions of other students with a touchscreen panel inside the booth. The Secular Confession will allow students to feel a greater sense of belonging on campus, as they witness their peers sharing their thoughts and hearts.

26 Stairwell Project: Secular Confessional

Wish Tree Designer: Aislinn Pallera

Located in Tudor Campus Stairwell #3, the Wish Tree would be a reinterpretation of the Japanese practice of using a tree as the object of a community’s wishes and offerings. The stairwell interior would serve as the object of the university community’s wishes and confessions. Each landing would provide a different textual prompt for participants to respond to. Participants would be able to record their responses on Polaroids or paper tags. These responses would then be tied to the “tree,” comprised of lengths of string running top to bottom through the open gap between the handrails. The goal of this design is to get USC students, especially active social media users and art students, to discover and partcipate in a social art-piece experiment focused on introspection and self-expression.

28 Stairwell Project: Wish Tree

30 Stairwell Project: Wish Tree

A different reflection at every landing:


1. I’m sorry that. . . 2. I would like to thank. . . for. . . 3. I’m happy that. . . 4. I wish. . .

1. There are hidden parts of USC. 2. Take a moment for yourself. 3. Positive thinking makes for a more positive mindset and student body. 4. You can be involved in the creation of a piece of art.

USC recycleD Designer: EILEEN TAI

This design uses the stairwell space to inspire community engagement in both USC’s environmental efforts and artistic contributions. It reminds the student body to actively recycle and provides art students on campus an opportunity to produce and display art made from campus-sourced, repurposed materials. It also encourages everyone on campus to take the stairs in order to view and experience the art they took part in.

32 Stairwell Project: USC RECYCLED

34 Stairwell Project: usc RECYCLEd

This design is two folds: the recycling campaign on campus and the creating of art installations in the stairwell with the recycled materials. First, trashcans will be set up on campus for students to recycle. Then those materials will be cleaned and used to create recycled art, such as plastic bottle lanterns, within the stairwell. The installation will be aesthetically pleasing as well as utilizing repurposed materials, and ideally create a visual of what recycling can accomplish for USC students. By rethinking the stairwell as an exhibition space, students are encouraged to take the stairs for an unique experience.

take the stairs Designer: Lauren Kao

Take The Stairs campaign will be an experience for anyone walking up and down the stairs. The stairs will incorporate health and fitness information throughout the stairwell. Typography will be used to display different activities that will equate to how many calories were burned while using the stairs. The objective of the campaign is to create a space that encourages students to live a healthier lifestyle by taking the staircase instead of using the elevator. By transforming the space into scenic landscapes that will make using the stairs more pleasurable, this design aims to make the staircase more attractive and usable.

36 Stairwell Project: Take the Stairs

38 Stairwell Project: Take the Stairs

Stair copy These activities will be placed on the step and show how many calories are burned while using the stairs. Number of the Step - Activity 5 - Writing for 5 mintues 10 - Ironing for 5 mintues 15 - Playing croquet for 5 minutes 20 - Bowling for 5 mintues 25 - Washing car for 5 mintues 30 - Jumping jacks for 10 minutes 35 - Playing guitar for 10 minutes 40 - Weight lifting for 10 minutes 45 - Washing dishes for 15 mintues 50 - Moderate jumping jacks for 10 minutes 55 - Showering for 10 minutes 60 - Garden for 10 minutes 140 - Water aerobics for 30 minutes 260 - Studying for 2 hours 300 - Unltimate Frisbee for 30 minutes 420 - Hiking for 1 hour 495 - Hot yoga for 1 hour 560 - Zumba for 1 hour

SKY CEILING Designer: elena hutchinson

Another nature-inspired design, this idea treats the ceiling of the stairwell with natural imagery. Using projectors installed into the space, moving images of the sky will be projected onto the bottom of the stairs. These images may be programmed to correspond to the time of day, transforming from morning to night. They will also be able to mirror the weather with sun, clouds, or rain.

40 Stairwell Project: sky CEILING

Photo MOSAIC Designer: Joanne Chen

This design was inspired by an original project that involved a large, pixilated photo as its final form. This idea physically brings together the variety of students, faculty, and people on the USC campus to create a larger piece. By placing the photos adjacent to one another to create a larger photo, it represents how such a diverse group of people can all come together and call themselves members of the Trojan Family.

42 Stairwell Project: Photo MOSAIC

44 Stairwell Project: Photo MOSAIC

A number of photo booths will be distributed throughout the campus for people to freely take photos. Those photos will then be automatically rearranged by color in a way that would create a photo mosaic of a larger, USC-related photo. The mosaic will be projected onto the wall of Ronald Tudor Campus Center stairwell. Students and faculty would be more inclined to enter the stairwells because they would want to see (and find themselves) the photo booth photos within the large picture. People from different parts of campus, areas of studies, and years could potentially find a common ground and be a family.




This project intends to inspire and motivate students by showcasing student and alumni work on the walls of the stairwell using the tagline, “Imagine: Conceive. Believe. Achieve.” The design utilizes representations of different programs at USC to exemplify how they have inspired students and how they will continue to inspire students throughout the years. It aims to give parent and student visitors alike a positive impression of USC as a whole, and “inSCpiration” will become a long-term USC tradition for all students.

46 Stairwell Project: INSCPIRATION

48 Stairwell Project: INSCPIRATION

The four schools that will be highlighted in the first stage of the project include the Roski School of Art and Design, the Thornton School of Music, the School of Cinematic Arts, and the Annenberg School of Communication. Using separate taglines for each school, the stairwell will convey how outstanding, inspiring work is easily found within each area of study: “Designed at USC” encompasses the Roski School of Art and Design, “Composed at USC” embodies the Thornton School of Music, “Directed at USC” exemplifies the School of Cinematic Arts, and “Broadcasted at USC” represents the Annenberg School of Communication.

50 Stairwell Project: INSCPIRATION

Not only does this design foster awareness of different programs offered at USC, but it also encourages students to explore topics that are outside of their area of study and draws attention to student work and exceptional achievements. The stairwell provides an opportunity for a person to feel the passion, hard-work, talent, and determination found within each school at USC. This idea is meant to inspire other students by displaying the various oppoturnities available at the university and the ways to get involved at USC and stay active and up-to-date in the community at large.

CONCLUSION The Advanced Special Topics Design class at USC Roski hopes that you enjoyed this presentation. We look forward to implementing these designs and ideas in the Tutor Campus Center stairwells in the near future.

Fight On!





Stairwell Project Presentation Book