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Eva Friedberg, PhD

Lecturer, Art History

Eva J. Friedberg received her PhD in the Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She has been working in the department of Art as an Art History lecturer since 2006. Her course offerings include Introduction to Modern Architecture, The Art and Architecture of Los Angeles, and The City and Utopia. Her current research focuses on postwar American architecture and urbanism, the counterculture, avant-garde art and performance of the 1960s, and landscape.


PhD, University of California, Irvine; Visual Studies
MA, University of California, Irvine; Visual Studies
BA, University of California, Berkeley; Interdisciplinary Field Studies

Scholarly and Creative Work

Friedberg recently completed her doctoral dissertation on the American environmental designer Lawrence Halprin titled “Action Architecture: Lawrence Halprin’s Experiments in Landscape Design, Urbanism, and the Creative Process.” This project is one of the first retrospectives on Halprin and his landscape architecture work from the mid-20th century. The dissertation examines closely the designer’s development of the RSVP Cycles as a new method for organizing human creative processes and as a guide to collective creativity. In particular she is interested in the way that various art and political movements of the 1960s helped to support his push toward a participatory and interactive architecture practice. She has presented this work at a number of national conferences including the 2009 College Art Association’s annual conference. Friedberg is co-founder and past managing editor of Octopus: A Visual Studies Journal.  She is a recipient of the 2007 Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award Trustees’ Merit Citation.

Teaching Interests

Friedberg approaches her courses from an interdisciplinary perspective. Most of her courses are organized around a theme or central question through which she encourages her students to read the visual objects presented, whether paintings, architectural projects, films, performances, urbanscapes, or photographs. When working with art majors, architecture minors, or students from outside the department, she encourages all of her students to read visual work with a careful and critical eye in order to form well-developed positions and conclusions about relevant social issues and historical and contemporary ideas. By aiding her students to develop informed opinions on the visual arts and designed space, she hopes to persuade them to become active, interested and responsible global citizens. In 2005 she received an award for excellence in teaching from the University of California, Irvine.