Inside SCI-Arc


SCI-Arc Student Wins 2015 AWAF Scholarship

Graduate student Sara “Noni” Pittenger (M.Arch ‘15) of SCI-Arc has been selected to receive a 2015 scholarship award from the Association for Women in Architecture + Design. A panel discussion and award ceremony will be hosted at SCI-Arc on Saturday, May 16, from 10am-1pm. The competitive annual award is offered to women pursuing higher education in architecture, urban planning, civil engineering and environmental design.

Pittenger’s portfolio of work submitted for the award included several of her projects developed as a graduate student at SCI-Arc. Those included an urban housing project in Barcelona, Spain, a design for the United States Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a conceptual design for an affordable single family home, the IVRV House (shown here) designed for families in the Habitat for Humanity home ownership program.

The IVRV design champions the idea that beyond the crucial role of providing shelter, a well-designed home can help improve the lives and well-being of its residents, as well as the community beyond its walls. More at

The latter project was selected to be built this summer by SCI-Arc in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles and the LA County Community Development Commission. Pettinger will join the group of SCI-Arc students in charge of the build and will present the project as part of her master thesis in the fall.

More details about the AWAF scholarship can be found at

ESTm Students Advance into Second Round of International Digital Fabrication Competition

A group of graduate students in the Emerging Systems Technologies & Media post-graduate program at SCI-Arc teamed up this summer to participate in the Plasticity design competition hosted by Tex-Fab. Their design prototype, PUFF’D, developed under the coordination of SCI-Arc design faculty Tom Wiscombe, is among four finalist projects selected to advance into the second round of the competition.

PUFF'D advances a novel construction technique for full scale architecture.

Inspired by Japanese joinery, puffy jackets and jet fighter airplanes, PUFF’D explores plasticity of composite construction and the role of the seam and joint in architecture. Instead of following parametric paneling and module-based logics, PUFF’D employs large monolithic building components or “mega panels,” suggesting new ways of full scale assembly on site.

Designed by Brennen Huller (ESTm ‘14), Nels Long (ESTm ‘14) and Nikita Troufanov (ESTm ‘14), the project follows up on the students’ previous explorations with mega-panels, joinery and robotic assembly. Their original prototype designed for a seminar led by Wiscombe during spring 2014 used the language of stitching and wood joinery to study how composite mega-panels may come together as assembly.

Instead of milling a foam block and laying up fiberglass, students proposed sewing two sheets of uncured ‘pre-preg’ fiberglass and injecting spray foam inside.

For the Plasticity competition proposal, the young designers and their instructor scaled up and developed an inflatable composite sandwich technique to minimize waste and explore new formal and structural possibilities.

A total of 70 entries were reviewed in the first round of Tex Fab’s 2014 competition. Each finalist team is scheduled to receive a stipend to develop their prototypes for an exhibition at the ACADIA: Design Agency conference forthcoming in October in Los Angeles, where the winning team will be announced following the conclusion of the second round of the juried competition.

Read more about Plasticity at

2x8 Exhibition of Student Work Debuts April 11 at A+D Museum

SCI-Arc undergraduate students Eduardo Bellosta (B.Arch ‘15) and Ryan McGriff (B.Arch ‘15), and graduate students Nan Yen Chen (M.Arch 2 ‘13) and Hao Wu (M.Arch 2 ‘13), were selected to exhibit their work in the 2014 edition of 2x8, a highly anticipated annual exhibition of student work hosted by AIA Los Angeles.

Themed 2x8: Evolved, the show opens April 11, 6pm at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles, and will include projects by students from SCI-Arc, Art Center College of Design, California College of the Arts, USC and UCLA, among other schools.

The New Painterly's dots and stripes blend to confuse the actual shape of the geometry

The New Painterly, a graduate project developed by Chen and Wu in the studio led by design faculty Elena Manferdini, engages painterly effect techniques of Chiaroscuro and Tenebrism into architectural space. The project explores various ways texture and fake shadows can be used to challenge the perception of a building’s volume, geometry and openings. The program of the building is a Performance Arts Center located in the theatre district of Los Angeles near Disney Concert Hall. It contains one large hall and one small one, the public being “sandwiched” between the building’s interior and exterior skins. The outside of the building is colored with dots and stripes using the technique of planar mapping, projecting dots on the opposite surface, at times stretching the dots to stripes on the other two surfaces. Fake shadows are also used around the opening in order to blur the distinction between interior and exterior to correspond to public areas.

Bellosta and McGriff's design proposal for a new Emerging Art Museum for the city of San Francisco, takes into account the environmental systems affecting the aspect and performance of the museum. The two developed of a per formative envelope that takes advantage of the exterior and interior qualities of the museum. The envelope addresses environmental conditions through a hyper articulated skin allowing air, light and water to add productive efficiencies throughout the year.

AIA│LA will be announcing the recipients of their 2014 AOC Student Scholarships at 2x8’s opening reception on April 11.

For more details about the event, visit

Undergrads Take on LABC Design Competition

A group of three undergraduate students in their fourth year at SCI-Arc, Clifford Ho (B.Arch ‘14), Jessica Hong (B.Arch ’14) and Manori Sumanasinghe (B.Arch ’14), were selected to participate in a design charrette hosted in February at the Los Angeles offices of Gensler. The three-day event invited student teams from seven architecture schools in the Los Angeles area to compete in developing a design concept for a continuing care facility for the elderly.

LABC 2013 Competition │ Team SCI-Arc: Clifford Ho, Jessica Hong, Manori Sumanasinghe

Following the announcement of the competition site—an area next to the Martin Luther King Jr. Complex in Los Angeles—students had only three days to develop a large-scale, mixed-use design proposal including site plans, site sections, renderings and drawings.

Team SCI-Arc’s proposal (shown here) includes a 200-unit assisted living facility and an independent living facility with 120 units, totaling 320,000-sq.ft, in a scheme that promotes social engagement, healthy living and active lifestyle among seniors.

Graduate Students Exhibit in WUHO Quick & Dirty Show

SCI-Arc graduate students Nan Yen Chen (M.Arch ’14) and Danny Karas (M.arch ’14) are exhibiting their studio work as part of a comprehensive group exhibition of architectural drawings hosted at the WUHO Gallery from May 4—12th. Titled 2D3D-4: Quick and Dirty, the exhibition includes work by students from six established Southern California architecture and design schools, including SCI-Arc, UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona.

Drawing in architecture plays a multivalent role, alternatively representing, visualizing, reconfiguring, slicing, measuring, fabricating, patterning, envisioning, designing, discovering, questioning, positioning, or some combination thereof. Presented at WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles—a city that’s the epicenter of innovative drawing technologies from aerospace to automotive to animation—2D3D-4: Quick and Dirty examines the status of architectural drawing in the post-digital age.

WUHO Gallery
6518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Gallery Hours: Thursday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday–Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Students Win Honorable Mention in eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition

The Skinscape submission by SCI-Arc graduate students Jaegeun Lim (M.Arch 2 ‘14), Woongyeun Park (M.Arch 1 ‘14), Haejun Jung (ESTm ‘13) and Karam Kim (M.Arch 1 ‘15) received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Skyscraper competition organized by eVolo magazine.

Skinscape: Morphing Contiguous Skysrapers

Their project was inspired from the idea that the natural environment modifies architecture as time passes by, and in some instances, nature even reclaims it. Similar to the Banyan trees covering the 12th century Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia—which today’s experts have decided not to remove due to their effect on the building’s structural system—this proposal explores the possibility of creating a building tissue between skyscrapers. This tissue would not only add to the buildings but also modify them to allow for new programs.

The idea is that buildings need to evolve with time because their initial design intentions and programs morph with time. Vacant spaces become active and a new hybrid emerges from the integration of two distinct buildings.

Established in 2006, eVolo’s skyscraper competition puts together each year an international panel of renowned architects, engineers and designers to jury entries from participants from around the world, including professional architects and designers, as well as students and artists. Jurors this year included Vincent Callebaut of Vincent Callebaut Architectures, Giacomo Costa of The Chronicles of Time, SCI-Arc alumnus Julien De Smedt of JDS, SCI-Arc graduate programs chair Hernan Diaz Alonso of Xefirotarch, Matthias Hollwich of HWKN, Ed Keller of aUm Studio, Mark Kushner of HWKN, Francois Roche of R&Sie(n), Roland Snooks of Kokkugia, SCI-Arc design faculty Tom Wiscombe of Tom Wiscombe Design, and several competition winners from previous editions.

Check out the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper full list of winners HERE.

SCIFI Future Initiatives Students Participate in Venice Biennale Exhibition

Future Initiatives, SCI-Arc's dedicated urban design program, participated in the Venice Biennale as part of an exhibition of innovative urban visions for Maribor, the European Capital of Culture 2012. The exhibit Maribor 2112 Ai (100YR City) was featured in the Slovenian and Australian Pavilions.

SCIFI Future Initiatives Final Exhibition│September 2012│SCI-Arc Gallery

Exhibition Director and curator Tom Kovac and Fleur Watson have selected works by SCI-Arc students Yuan He (SCIFI '12), Janiva Henry (SCIFI '12) and Winnie Yeng (SCIFI '12) to be shown alongside designs by a leading group of international thinkers and educators investigating the future of the city of Maribor in Slovenia.

As part of the city’s festivities, 2112 Ai (100YR city) will investigate and identify disruptive patterns of global change and envisage impacts on architecture, urbanism and life in the extreme future – demonstrating how new forms of practice are responding to external demands on architecture.

Future Initiatives Coordinator Peter Zellner publicly presented the work produced for Maribor by the Future Initiatives program at the Venice Biennale. The student work was also on view in the SCI-Arc Gallery in September, part of an end-of-year exhibition for the Future Initiatives MDesR Class of 2012.

SCI-Arc Student Team to Participate in LABC Young Talent Competition

Ronald Eckels (M.Arch 2 ‘13), Paul Trussler (M.Arch 1 ‘12) and David Ta Yu (M.Arch 2 ‘12) of SCI-Arc will team up next week to represent the school in the 2012 edition of the Julius Schulman Talent Award competition hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC).

Featuring a new, design charrette format, this year’s competition invites teams of three from schools including SCI-Arc, UCLA, USC, Cal Poly, CSULB, Woodbury, OTIS and Arts Center, to participate in an intensive, 3-day design challenge held February 3-5 at the Gensler offices in downtown Los Angeles.

Student groups will be tasked to develop a large scale, mixed-use project for an existing Los Angeles area facility in need of transformation. Following the announcement of the site, students will have only three days to complete the project. Deliverables include site plans, site sections, renderings, and drawings.

Aside from the prestigious Julius Schulman Award 2012, teams will also compete for a $5,000 scholarship prize, and the opportunity to present their design solution to a professional jury featuring Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer Associates, Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Stefanos Polyzoides of Moule & Polyzoides, and Gabrielle Bullock of Perkins & Will Architects, among others.

The winning team will be announced at the LABC 2012 Architectural Awards luncheon taking place June 20.

Sculpture by Students Selected for Arts District Dog Park

SCI-Arc students Joseph Brown (MArch 1 '13) and Hope Pollonais (MArch 1 '13) won a competition organized by the Los Angeles River Artist and Business Association (LARABA) to design a sculpture for Downtown LA's first doggy park. Located on an oddly-shaped 6,000-sq.ft. lot on the corner of Molino and 4th Streets, the Arts District Dog Park opened in summer 2010 and has since been a local success story.

For the SCI-Arc design duo, "man's best friend" has offered more than companionship but also inspiration for their winning installation, Auricle—which "celebrates the form and function of dog ear anatomy." The sculpture seeks to engage and benefit both owner and dog, using modules/stations to promote physical activity and relaxation. The proposed method of construction is steamed bent wood contoured to accomplish the differential form of the dog ear, as well as to maintain a material lightness to the already small site.

Drawing by Students Included in Hollywood Exhibition

Two digital drawings by SCI-Arc students Carmelia Chiang (B.Arch '12) and Kyd Kitchaiya (M.Arch 1 '11) are included in the annual drawing exhibition 2D3D-2: Drawing in the Post-Digital Age hosted by the Woodbury University Hollywood Exhibitions (WUHO) between April 14-May 1.

Both drawings were originally created as part of a visual studies seminar taught at SCI-Arc by Eric Kahn. They will also be exhibited as part of "Noirscapes," a group exhibition opening at the A+D Museum on May 3.

Chiang's digital work, "Kanonophobia in Noirscape," consists of a pinning drawing done physically and underlay with a GPS drawing. In her own words:

    Los Angeles plays its duality everyday.
    When night comes,
    the sunshine palmscape dismisses itself and turns into Noirscape.
    The vast horizontality is divided by territories.
    The dim zones are silent, and uninviting;
    The bright ones are continuing and leading to all other territories.
    The mystery of the other territories is frightening.
    One can become kanonophobic in the Noirscape…

Kanonophobia in Noirscape

Kitchaiya's drawing, "Love for Natural Phenomena/ Fear of Being Controlled" (shown below) was prepared using the same pin drawing technique.

Love for Natural Phenomena/ Fear of Being Controlled

The 2D3D-2 exhibition features 60 selected drawings and opens with a reception on Thursday, April 14. WUHO is located at 6518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.

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