COVID-19 & Societal Impacts

What the Pandemic Means for the Future of Public and Private Space

Seminar Complete!

Congratulations, you've completed this seminar. Let your friends and coworkers know!


The three overlapping crises facing the design of cities in 2020 — climate change, a global pandemic and a racial-justice reckoning — have thoroughly transformed how we think about public and private space. In this 3rd LA seminar, global mayors discuss how the tumultuous year of 2020, with its crises and calls to action, has led them to rethink the design of the public realm and the role of outdoor space in their cities.

A second panel, featuring experts in architecture and interior design, will look at the flip side of those themes: It takes up the question of how stay-at-home orders have changed our relationship with the domestic realm and how we arrange and broadcast our residential lives as Zoom turns them into workplaces and schools.

Featuring Hon. Eric M. Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles; Hon. Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan, Italy; Ambassador Nina Hachigian, deputy mayor for International Affairs, Los Angeles; Asad Syrkett, editor in chief, Elle Decor; Annmarie Adams, architectural historian and professor, McGill University; Kate Wagner, architecture critic, New Republic. Hosted by Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer, City of Los Angeles, and director, 3rd LA series, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Carol L. Folt, president, University of Southern California; Amber D. Miller, dean of USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Who Will Benefit

– Those looking to learn how the turbulence of 2020 has affected public space architecture and design
– Architects and interior designers questioning how stay-at-home orders have transformed our relationships with private space
– Those wanting to discover how the role of outdoor space has shifted during the pandemic

About Our Featured Faculty

Christopher Hawthorne is the first chief design officer for the city of Los Angeles and adjunct professor of the practice in English at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hawthorne launched 3rd LA in 2015 as a series of stimulating conversations about the future of Los Angeles. He brought the pioneering initiative to USC Dornsife in January 2020. Hawthorne is an honors graduate of Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.