Broughton is a designer and academic who explores narrative, material culture, and style. She has produced architecture, design, fashion, publications, and collaboration projects at a multiplicity of scales. The object as form and cultural figure features broadly throughout her work.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from New York University (NYU) in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory and her Masters of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_arc). As adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California, School of Architecture she teaches advanced and core design studios as well as seminars on the history, theory, and culture of architecture and design. Prior to her architectural training, Laurel was managing editor at the art and art world chronicle, zingmagazine in New York City.
Broughton is also director of WELCOMEPROJECTS, a studio based in Los Angeles. WELCOMEPROJECTS is a practice of discursive sensibilities focused on the production of real things in the world along with all the incumbent, critical fictions needed for their survival. The firm designs projects in large (buildings, houses, interiors), medium (installations, films, furniture) and small (handbags, games, wagons) formats imbuing each with curiosity and playful seriousness. Broughton’s work has most recently been exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, The New York Art Book Fair, and galleries in Los Angeles and New York.
The Friedman Visiting Professorship has brought distinguished practitioners of architecture to teach at CED since it was established in 1991. Named for UC Berkeley alumnus and Professor of Architecture Howard A. Friedman, FAIA (A.B. Arch ‘49) the visiting professorship intends to advance Professor Friedman's values and philosophy of "humanistic architecture" in an academic setting. Professor Friedman felt that architects needed a broad base of knowledge in order to contribute effectively to the construction industry and ensure an ever-improving practice of architecture. To that end, holders of this professorship contribute to an increased understanding of the building delivery system and its relationship to design, function, technology, time, money, and cultural and social responsibility.