Following a nationwide selection process, SCI-Arc was announced as a regional partner and host of one of three regional sessions presented this year by the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). The school will organize a two-day design workshop where eight mayors from the West region will convene in a closed-door session with a team of interdisciplinary design professionals to discuss design and development issues that each participating city is currently facing.
The invited mayors will represent a diversity of cities and bring a wide variety of design issues to the table. The resource team, led by SCI-Arc faculty David Bergman and Heather Flood, will include members ranging from architects and planners to public policy specialists, developers, preservationists, lawyers, landscape architects, transportation planners, and housing experts, as well as practicing professionals and distinguished academics. Each mayor will present a design issue from his or her city to be analyzed by the other mayors and the design professionals, who will then propose design solutions to help solve the problem.
A leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design is designed to foster an understanding of and appreciation for the role of design in urban centers, and the importance of mayors as advocates for good design. Regional sessions—hosted in the South, Northeast, and West—are geared towards mid-to-small-sized cities, the institute format encouraging a high degree of participation and exchange, sparking lively debate, opening new perspectives, and leading to creative proposals for how contemporary civic design can help create more vibrant and livable cities.
The other two MICD regional partners selected this year are Syracuse University School of Architecture and the Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) at the University of South Florida.
More info about MICD is available at www.micd.org.
The last week in August marked a successful beginning to SCI-Arc’s 41st year. Over 180 new students were welcomed to the school during the three day orientation. Friday, August 30th concluded orientation week with a welcome reception for parents followed by a whole-school reception.
Parents joined the event from all regions of the globe, including: Canada, Greece, Korea, Lebanon, India, Venezuela, and Spain—no surprise given the impressive international makeup of SCI-Arc’s student body. Directors were on hand at the event to welcome families to SCI-Arc and offer the opportunity to learn more about the school.
Organized by ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory in partnership with UCLA Architecture and the IE School of Architecture, Madrid, the summit will focus on the acute issues at the intersection of three thematic panels: “The Role of Alternative Architecture Education Platforms,” “Interdisciplinary Strategies in Architecture Education” and “Collaboration between Architecture Education and Non-Academic Partners.”
Participants include: Hithosi Abe, UCLA; Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University; Marcos Cruz, The Bartlett School of Architecture; Winka Dubbeldam, University of Pennsylvania School of Design; Nikolaus Hirsch, Städelschule, Frankfurt; Winy Maas, Delft University of Technology; Motte Ramsgaard Thomsen, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; Michael Speaks, Syracuse University; Martha Thorne, IE School of Architecture, Madrid; Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Tokyo Institute of Technology; Sarah Whiting, Rice University; Mark Wigley, Columbia University GSAPP; and Xu Weiguo, Tsinghua University, Beijing.
The publication investigates the idea of a project in architecture—that is, the pursuit of an intellectual problem or critical agenda that transcends an architect’s individual works.
In conjunction with the school’s 40th anniversary, the SCI-Arc Alumni Council sponsored a competition for the design, management, and construction of “40/40”—an installation of alumni work from 40 graduating classes, aspiring to honor over 4,000 alumni that have attended the school.
Eugene Kosgoron and Evelina Sausina in front of "Fractal Projections"
The winning entry, “Fractal Projection” by recent alums Evelina Sausina (B.Arch ’11) and Eugene Kosgoron (M.DesR ’12), was deemed by the council to be the most original, appropriate and responsive to the site. "The design was meant to re-connect the past and the present," says Kosgoron. "The past is imitated by a cube which represents the general assumption in the industry that expects us to build boxes, while the projected images, combined with the lighting effect, represent current trends at SCI-Arc."
Engagement with the audience was a key intention of the exhibition's design. On view in the Farmers and Merchants Bank building on Main Street during April's Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, the interactive installation drew hundreds spectators.
"The installation engages the audience through its reflective surfaces," says Sausina. "The walk-through sliver in the cube shows the audience refracted illusions of themselves, creating a heavily animated environment that is tangible and yet evokes the ethereal."
Alumni Council Chairwoman Cara Lee (M.Arch '96) regarded the competition and exhibition as extremely successful in introducing SCI-Arc and alumni work to the Los Angeles community. "This was a unique opportunity for SCI-Arc alumni across generations to collaborate on a project that showcases SCI-Arc and the talent of its alumni. Hopefully this will be the first of many opportunities," added Lee.
Robot House faculty members Brandon Kruysman (ESTm ‘11) and Jonathan Proto (ESTm ‘11), traveled to San Francisco in October together with the lab’s Staubli TX60L 'baby robot' for a day-long workshop on 5-axis robotic fabrication held at the ACADIA 2012 Synthetic Digital Ecologies conference. Focused on technical and creative applications using robots, the workshop featured a demonstration of the custom robot control plugin for Maya developed by Kruysman and Proto at SCI-Arc.
On view during the 2012 ACADIA weekend was the Wild Cards exhibition at the California College of the Arts, which explored ideas of leveraging material and materiality as a 'wild card' in the design process. Contrary to many recent digital design processes where emergent complexity is internalized in a controlled model, in this exhibition materials and material properties act as wild cards: "objects of low probability, but high impact." Modes of control and precision were questioned through the unpredictability of materiality, recombined with digital techniques and precision. Approaches to craft and fabrication, previously focused on precision and control, were reconceived as techniques opened to play, fluctuation and erratic behavior. An intentionally vulnerable position, these projects relinquish design agency in order to embrace risk and material propensity.
Exhibiting SCI-Arc faculty and alumni included Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative, Elena Manferdini of Atelier Manferdini, Brandon Kruysman (ESTm ‘11) and Jonathan Proto (ESTm ‘11) of Kruysman│Proto, and Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘94) of Ball-Nogues Studio.
SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Director Hernan Diaz Alonso will lecture in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, September 27, at the 8th address of ADDTHOUGHT hosted by the Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory (ADDLAB) on the Aalto University Campus.
On Saturday, September 29, Diaz Alonso joins an all-star cast of renowned architects in the Never Again Resistance? Steinhaus Architecture Workshop and Symposium 2012, dedicated in Memoriam Günther Domenig. Taking place in Steindorf, Austria, the symposium features Hitoshi Abe, UCLA Architecture Chair; Marcos Cruz, Director of the Barlett School of Architecture; Hernan Diaz Alonso, SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair; Peter Ebner of UCLA Architecture; Kurt W. Foster of Yale School of Architecture; Mark Mack of UCLA Architecture; Thom Mayne of Morphosis; Peter Noever, Curator-at-large, Vienna; and Georg Wald of Haus der Architektur, Klagenfurt.
The event celebrates the act of architectural resistance in a time of so called austerity and developer-driven expectations. Is architectural innovation dead? What are the trends of architecture resistance? Can and should architects engage in sociocultural change or stick to aesthetic issues? What is anti-norm of today? International students, architectural educators and practicing professionals will discuss these issues and more during a workshop and symposium.
The architecture of Eric Owen Moss, SCI-Arc director and pricipal of Eric Owen Moss Architects, is embodied by his Culver City buildings, and will be the topic in the “Conjunctive Points” discussion with urbanists Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith, hosted by the Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter (SAH/SCC). Umbrella │ Eric Owen Moss Arhchitects │ Photo: John Berley
Held in Culver City’s Hayden Tract on Saturday, August 18, 10am-2pm, the event will feature a behind-the-scenes dialogue with visionary developers on inspiration, process and social change. Following the discussion, participants will embark on a self-guided walking tour of more than 20 sites in the historic Hayden Tract, followed by refreshments, Q&A and closing remarks at the iconic Samitaur Tower.
Admission is $29 for SAH/SCC members and $55 for non-members.
The SCI-Arc Art Supply Store is among the downtown LA participants and sponsors backing the fifth annual Arts District event, named for late shop owner and community activist Joel Bloom, set to take place Saturday, July 21.
Presented at 3rd Street and Traction Avenue in the Downtown Arts District, BloomfestLA will offer live indie music, local artisan wares, and good food amidst a rotating outdoor gallery of street art by renowned artists. More than 100 artists’ booths and a dozen food vendors will set up shop in the blocks around Third and Traction. New this year, the festival includes the KoolKidZone—featuring supplies provided by the SCI-Arc Supply Store—a fun area designated for families with children attending the event.
The SCI-Arc Supply Store, which serves both the student body and the downtown community, recently moved from its original Traction Ave. site to a new, double-in-size location at 955 East Third St., on the corner of Santa Fe and Third Streets.
Last year’s Bloomfest attracted 20,000 people, and this year, festival producers expect up to 25,000 people to descend on the Arts District for the free event that runs from 2-10pm.
Full schedule available HERE.
SCI-Arc’s Design Immersion Days (DID) summer program for high school students concludes with a graduation ceremony and reception scheduled Friday, July 20, 5-7pm.
Awarded by the American Architectural Foundation with a 2012 Merit Award, DID provides students with rare access to prominent designers and the opportunity to learn what the study of design and architecture entails.
Through a series of lectures given by Los Angeles-based designers and field trips exploring the city of Los Angeles, students are exposed to examples of design and modes of production at all scales.
The students' final projects, celebrating the end of their 4-week program at SCI-Arc, will be on view as part of the graduation reception.
Design Immersion Days is generously supported by The Ahmanson Foundation and the Bowling Family Foundations.