the world's most visited architecture website

SCI-Arc Offers Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media Post Professional Program

A dynamic post-professional program in Emerging Systems, Technologies, & Media (ESTm) offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles has been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture and design today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies to new building systems, this one year Master of Design Research track allows professionals to rethink architecture and design through the experimental hands-on approach of the SCI-Arc community.

The ESTm program tests new levels of environmental performance as it prepares students to successfully integrate formal, technical, logistical, and material processes into advanced architectural designs. The program is open to graduates in architecture, engineering, product design, computer sciences and other professionals who wish to develop advanced research and design skills in light of continuously evolving materials and new production paradigms of the 21st century.

SCI-Arc Appoints Hernan Diaz Alonso as New Director

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has appointed Hernan Diaz Alonso as the Los Angeles architecture school’s new Director beginning September 2015. Alonso, principal of Xefirotarch and educator widely credited for spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, will succeed architect Eric Owen Moss who has served as the school’s director since 2002. Continue after the break to watch Alonso’s “New Director Presentation” and preview a selection of his work.

SCI-Arc Parodies "Poor Door" Housing Design

In 2008, a group of students from SCI-Arc put out a proposal for a series of mixed income city housing projects for Dubai. In their design, wealthy residents would live in apartments on the building’s perimeter, with natural daylight and views of the city, while low-income housing tenants would live in the core of the building, isolated from “the upper class.”  The proposal was a parody aimed at the classist design of residential development in Dubai, but what unsettled the SCI-Arc students was that their proposal generated almost no controversy. Inspired by the recent approval of a similar 'poor door' in a project in New York, this article from the LA Times covers that parody, and shows that both at home and abroad, residential design is slipping towards socio-economic segregation.

Baumgartner+Uriu "Apertures" at SCI-Arc Gallery

Apertures reflect a current architectural discourse of digital ecologies, emphasizing the relationship between the natural world and advances in digital technology, which leads to a new type of interactive, organic buildings. The installation focuses on a symbiotic relationship between nature, building morphologies, and material expression.

Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted

In the early years of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Raimund Abraham was a role model - later on a friend. On the occasion of the Austrian government "Staatspreis" awarded to Raimund Abraham, Wolf D. Prix held the speech of honor, and characterized him as one of the main representatives of the Austrian architectural approach of celebrating space.  

Solar Decathlon 2013: SCI-Arc & Caltech Create California-style, Zero Net Energy Bungalow

DALE, short for Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, is this year's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team. Made of two movable, prefabricated modules that open to allow the outdoors in, DALE celebrates the active California lifestyle through its dynamic architecture.

DALE learns from two classic California precedents: the super-sized suburban tract home and the compact, sufficient bungalow; amending one and expanding on the other to become a new Southern California typology. At 600 square feet, it is a micro house with an unprecedented flexible interior that results in the program of a house three times the size.

Fall 2013 Public Programs at SCI-Arc

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to announce its schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions for Fall 2013, when the school welcomes an international roster of award-winning architects, urban historians, critics, writers, designers, and artists for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary architecture and technical practice.

'Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype' Exhibition & Installation

Opening October 11 until December 1, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will present 'Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype', an exhibition and public art installation which highlights the well-known American architect's work, including several original, rarely seen Woods drawings from private collections. Complemented by a symposium and catalog, this exhibition in the SCI-Arc Gallery and related large-scale public art installation in the Arts District’s Bloom Square, aims to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. More information on the exhibition after the break.

LA Architecture School Boasts Stimulating Post-professional Programs

Two dynamic post-graduate programs offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles have been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies and new building systems, to urban planning and design challenges faced globally, these post-professional tracks allow students to rethink architecture and design through the creative lens of the SCI-Arc community. 

The architecture school’s Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media (ESTm) and Future Initiatives (SCIFI) programs are conceived as intensive one-year (three semesters) post-professional degrees in architecture, functioning as think tanks and research engines within the larger framework of the school. 

Interview: Michael Rotondi on Architecture Education

Given the state of the economy around the world, many people are returning to school in the hopes of acquiring new skills while riding out the worst of the effects of the global recession. Toward that end, ArchDaily has begun a College Guide to help people explore different educational options. There are many issues to consider beyond a school’s “name” such as the types of programs architecture schools offer. The Guide has highlighted schools with programs in Building Ecology, Forensic Architecture, and Human Rights, to name a few, while some of the practical issues have included cost analysis, financial aid, and access to cross-disciplinary training. 

What has not been explored in the Guide because of its scope is a more theoretical examination of pedagogical strategies. What direction has architecture academics taken and where should it go in order to remain socially relevant, practically agile, and economically competitive? To discuss these issues, we interviewed Michael Rotondi,  a founding student and current Distinguished faculty member of SCI-Arc and principle at RoTo Architecture. Throughout the conversation, Mr. Rotondi’s insight combine with a constant and voracious intellectual curiosity to provide visions that are important to both students and educators. 

Read our interview with Michael Rotondi after the break

'Pleated Shell Structures' Exhibition / Zaha Hadid Architects

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Opening October 12th, the ‘Pleated Shell Structures’ Exhibition consists of a short term, site specific research prototype designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and her firm. Presented by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in their gallery, the exhibit positions itself within the argument of parametric design research to focus its efforts on design methods that encompass an operative pathway from design intent to manifestation. The exhibition will be on display until December 2. More information after the break.

Gehry’s donation to SCI-Arc endows annual thesis prize

© Melissa Majchrzak
© Melissa Majchrzak

SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). The noteworthy contribution will go towards the establishment of the Gehry Prize, which will be annually awarded to the best thesis projects selected by critics and jurors at the Graduate Thesis Weekend hosted in September. The first Gehry Prize will be awarded at the 2012 graduation ceremony on September 9th.

Ball-Nogues Studio "Yevrus 1, Negative Impression" Exhibition

Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio
Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Yevrus 1, Negative Impression,” an installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘94) of Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio, opening June 1 and running until July 8 at SCI-Arc.

Constructed from non-architectural artifacts, Yevrus 1, Negative Impression is a disposable architecture of literal references that calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction. The cast impressions of 1973 Volkswagen Beetles and speedboats unite to form a strong structural whole that serves as a lookout tower in the SCI-Arc Gallery. More information after the break.

"Towards Comfo-Veg" Exhibition at SCI-Arc

Courtesy of SCI-Arc
Courtesy of SCI-Arc

Exhibited from April 6 – Mary 13, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Towards Comfo-Veg,” a large scale, site-specific installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by architect and artist Peter Cook and partner Gavin Robotham of London-based CRAB Studio. Building on CRAB’s internationally recognized experimental work, Towards Comfo-Veg introduces an almost completely light-tight, multimedia experiential space welcoming visitors through a single point of entry and leading towards hints of an invented and dreamlike world. More information after the break.

Video: Netscape: 2011 SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion

As the SCI-Arc students finalize their thesis projects each September, they join the faculty in an annual ritual of constructing a temporary pavilion that will host that year’s graduation ceremony. Produced by Them Too Productions, this video documents the development and fabrication of Netscape, the 2011 SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion by Oyler Wu Collaborative and the students of SCI-Arc. View ArchDaily’s detailed coverage of the 2011 pavilion HERE.

Video: SCI-Arc Robot House

SCI-Arc‘s introduction of the Robot House (spring 2011) – a multifunctional robotics lab that enables the exploration of advanced fabrication techniques, manipulation of high tech materials, and numerous  methods for simulation – has brought about a new and intriguing component to the school. Designed by faculty members Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, its primary goal is the advancement of next generation platforms for the experimentation and future speculation of architecture.

Mayne to join SCI-Arc

Cooper Union by Morphosis © Iwan Baan
Cooper Union by Morphosis © Iwan Baan

SCI-Arc, Los Angeles’ cutting edge architectural institute, has just announced Thom Mayne as the newest Trustee of the board.  Mayne’s addition to the board emphasizes SCI-Arc’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional architectural form and theory.   Back in 1972, Mayne co-founded the institute along with seven faculty members and approximately forty students who left Cal Poly Pomona to form a “a college without walls.”  For the past nearly four decades, Mayne has been an integral part of the university, serving as a juror, lecturer and generous supporter of the school.   ”Thom Mayne is the quintessential SCI-Arc architect. His addition to the board is indicative of the fact that SCI-Arc continues to re-imagine the content of architecture,” said Director Eric Owen Moss.  According to SCI-Arc, this appointment complements a series of events that have prompted the school’s growth both physically and programmatically.

Material beyond Materials: Composite Tectonics

“Material beyond Materials: A Composite Tectonics Conference on Advanced Materials and Digital Manufacturing” combines progressive presentations in the fields of architecture, the arts, engineering and materials research. The conference participants will present and discuss their most innovative ideas, projects and positions concerning materials, technology and the impact on the architecture and construction disciplines and professions.