SCI-Arc Chief Advancement Officer
Press images available upon request.
The Magic Box
In November 2013, SCI-Arc announced plans to break ground on a technologically transformative new digital fabrication lab that will ignite the kinds of innovation, entrepreneurship and out-of-the-box thinking that are the hallmark of a SCI-Arc education.
Dubbed the Magic Box, the new Digital Fabrication Lab aims to expand the school's experimental approach to design and its emphasis on learning through building and provoking critical discussions. The 4,000-square-feet, 2-story digital fabrication facility will be built at the south end of the SCI-Arc building and will connect to the school’s existing Robot House and Analog Fabrication Shop to form the RAD Center (an acronym for robotics, analog and digital), a one-of-its-kind multi-dimensional facility providing access to several different methods of fabrication and assembly.
When complete, the area of the SCI-Arc Shop and new Magic Box including the existing Robotics Lab will be over 12,000 sq.ft., approximately 10% of the school’s total facility area, making it one of the largest and most advanced fabrication facility at an architecture school.
In March 2014, SCI-Arc broke ground on the Magic Box, and it looks like incoming students will walk through the doors of SCI-Arc's quarter-mile-long building and into the new robotics, analog and digital fabrication space this fall. And what they'll find will be impressive.
The Magic Box will house three times as many high-speed laser cutters, 3D scanners and ABS plastic printers as are currently available to students. Embracing and integrating the most up-to-date technologies from the moment they become available, the lab will allow students to build, vacuum form or 3D print their models to life using a wide array of materials, from wax to translucents, to plastic, to flexible materials, to metal. These models would then undergo further experimentation with the help of 6-axis robots, which have been in use at SCI-Arc for more than 3 years.
The Magic Box lab will include cutting-edge 3D-printing equipment including power printers, ABS printers, clear plastic and paper 3D printers. It will also feature several new laser-cutting machines.
Experimentation and making at SCI-Arc will continue to evolve once the RAD Center's expansion and renovation is complete. Together with the revamped woodshop and existing cutting-edge robotics lab, the new digital fabrication lab will provide a one-of-its-kind platform for research, experimentation and prototyping.
The Magic Box has so far been supported through generous commitments totaling $400,000 to date from SCI-Arc's growing community of donors. At the forefront were trustees Abby Sher and Scott Hughes (M.Arch '97), who enthusiastically endorsed the project with lead gifts. Major grants from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and The Ahmanson Foundation have also provided critical support for the project.
The new facility is the first major addition to the SCI-Arc campus since its purchase by the school in 2011. The Magic Box opening will be followed by a major overhaul of the existing woodshop, with a spring 2015 scheduled completion date.
In the News:
Architect's Newspaper: At SCI-Arc, The Magic is Inside the Box; Eric Owen Moss Explains Why
Architect Magazine: SCI-Arc Planning New Digital Fabrication Lab
LA Downtown News: SCI-Arc to Build 'Magic Box' Facility
With the new Magic Box, SCI-Arc enlarges its capacity to produce conceptual and technical magic.
Eric Owen Moss,
"By creating the RAD Center, SCI-Arc reinforces its most critical priority to prepare students to work with today’s most revolutionary technologies, in an environment designed for tomorrow’s world."
Ming Fung, SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs
Support the Magic Box!
SCI-Arc invites you to join in the effort to build the new state-of-the-art Magic Box by making a gift today. We have already received lead gifts from two trustees and are now seeking support from the broader community—alumni, parents, and friends. Naming opportunities will be available for key spaces throughout the addition and a permanent Donor Wall will recognize donors to the project.
The collective giving of the SCI-Arc community plays a vital role in supporting innovation and experimentation at the school and we hope you will consider being part of this exciting project. For more information on the Magic Box or about how to make a gift, please contact Sarah Sullivan, SCI-Arc's Chief Advancement Officer at 213-356-5319 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.