USC Cinematic Arts

Amy Murphy is an Associate Professor at USC’s School of Architecture. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, and a M.F.A. in Cinema Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Before joining the faculty at USC’s School of Architecture in 1990, Amy taught architecture at Iowa State University and the Boston Architectural Center. After working for well-known architectural offices in Boston and LA, she started her own design practice, Amy Murphy Projects in 1996, completing numerous projects through the LA region. Simultaneous to this architectural design work, she has held the position of the Director at Filmforum, LA’s oldest non-profit dedicated to experimental media, and completed several film and media works which have been accepted into national and regional film festivals. She is currently working on a new digital work, “Measuring the City,” exploring how known objective dimensions of any city are manipulated and redefined by subjective desire and temporal chance. The majority of her written academic publications focus on the relationship between media and urban experience from the mid-19th century to the present.  In her most recent publications, such as The Future Tradition of Nature (2009) and New Orleans, Nature and the Apocalyptic Trope (2010), she examines how our post-apocalyptic imagination as expressed in cinema and literature can begin to reveal Western society’s changing attitude towards nature as we begin to reckon with our own potential environmental destruction. In March 2012, she co-chaired the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s 100th Annual Meeting at MIT in Boston, entitled Digital Aptitudes, examining the influence of contemporary media and digital computation on architecture and urbanism. She recently stepped down as Vice Dean for the School of Architecture, serving in this position from 2008-2012. Currently, along with her academic appointment in the School of Architecture, Amy is completing her PhD in Critical Studies within the USC School of Cinematic Arts.