SCI-Arc Parodies “Poor Door” Housing Design

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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 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 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.

Rooted in Baumgartner+Uriu’s work and ongoing research, Apertures challenges the notion of an architectural opening as a static object. Moreover, it aims to redefine the DNA of a window both in terms of its appearance and materiality, as well as its nature as an object in continuous flux, responding to its environment through movement or sound. The pavilion and its apertures are designed to physically engage the visitor with the architectural work through sensors and sound feedback loops creating an immersive spatial environment in which the visitor can experience their own biorhythms.  

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

© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

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, held the speech of honor, and characterized him as one of the main representatives of the Austrian architectural approach of celebrating space.  

In his upcoming SCI-Arc lecture, Prix will explain Abraham’s influence on the early works of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU as well as references to the recent international and well-known buildings. How would visionaries like Abraham and Le Corbusier have developed and expressed themselves in today’s digital time? How would digital tools have influenced their designs?  

The lecture is free, with no RSVP required and broadcast live at www.sciarc.edu/live.

Title: Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted
Website: http://www.sciarc.edu/lectures.php?date=2014-03-05
Organizers: SCI-Arc
From: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:00
Until: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:00
Venue: W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
Address: 960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

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

© Paolo Tadoc / SCI-Arc

, 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 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 () 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.

The semester’s public programs includes lectures by GRAFT, Antón García-Abril, Tom Wiscombe, and a debate between Kenneth Frampton and Eric Owen Moss.

Lectures are free and open to the public in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall and are broadcast live on www.sciarc.edu/live. For additional information including lecture updates and gallery hours, please visit www.sciarc.edu.

‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’ Exhibition & Installation

© Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype, , 2013

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

© ESTm, Marcelo Spina Studio, Artificial Clouds

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.

‘A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979′ Exhibition

Seven of the architects who participated in The Architecture Gallery, from left to right: Frederick Fisher, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Coy Howard, Craig Hodgetts, Thom Mayne, . Photograph ©1980 Ave Pildas.

Taking place at SCI-Arc‘s campus in downtown Los Angeles March 29-July 7, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.: A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 exhibition. The exhibition examines the pivotal role played by the temporary gallery held in the home of architect Thom Mayne for several weeks in 1979. An immersive showcase of spectacular models, drawings and media will be mounted in two spaces located on the campus, the main gallery and the Kappe Library Gallery. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Oyler/Wu Lecture & Gow + Karlsson Exhibition Opening Reception

Courtesy of

Two key events are coming up at SCI-Arc this month starting with the ‘Dwayne Oyler & Jenny Wu: Lineworks’ lecture which takes place tomorrow, January 16, at the W.M. Keck Lecture Hall at 7pm PST. Established in Los Angeles in 2004, , ‘has utilized the last five years to establish a way of working that is committed to experimentation through a relentless hands-on approach to our work’. Also, starting January 18 until March 3, the ‘Marcelyn Gow + Ulrika Karlsson: AQUEOTROPE’ exhibition focuses on materializing the mathematical, the exact translation of virtual instructions in the form of drawings or codes to their material actualization, is a fundamental procedure in the production of architecture. For more information on the events, please visit here.

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

Centerstage: SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion / Oyler Wu Collaborative

© Dwayne Oyler

Oyler Wu Collaborative was once again asked to design the architecture for SCI-Arc‘s graduation ceremony along with other faculty members. The challenge included rethinking the event of the ceremony while keeping the existing pavilion they had previously designed. Essentially, the challenge called for making the existing pavilion new again. Their stage operates as a hybrid of different elements, incorporating into it a large stage with a central podium, seating that is configured much like a bleacher, and a cantilevered shade canopy. While the center of the actual stage is in alignment with the center of the existing pavilion, the overall structure is positioned asymmetrically, with the bleacher and canopy located off axis. More images and architects’ description after the break.

SCI-Arc’s Gehry Prize awarded to ‘Phantom Geometry’

SCI-Arc Masters of Architecture graduates Liz and have been awarded the inaugural Gehry Prize for developing an interruptible method, dubbed Phantom Geometry, that allows designers to make alterations to the design while it is being printed. The Phantom Geometry method is a convenient alternative to the conventional, static 3D printing systems available today. The system’s main components includes a UV light projector, a special photo-sensitive resin, and controlled robotic arms from SCI-Arc’s Robot House.

In their own words, the authors’ describe:

SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion Competition Library Exhibition

Courtesy of Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of PATTERNS

Opening this Friday, October 19th, at 7pm in the SCI-Arc gallery, the Graduation Pavilion Competition Exhibition documents the four faculty entries in the competition organized this past summer to select a winning design for the ArtPlace-funded outdoor pavilion, scheduled to be completed in spring 2013. invited faculty members Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Elena Manferdini, Marcelo Spina (winning entry) and Tom Wiscombe to submit concepts for a design of an innovative, technically implementable, and visually remarkable multi-purpose pavilion. The resulting stage is set to host several upcoming graduation ceremonies, noteworthy symposia and presentations, as well as outreach cultural events developed in partnership with the surrounding Arts Community. The exhibition is on view until December 2. More images and architects’ description of their proposals after the break.

‘Pleated Shell Structures’ Exhibition / 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.

Kalandia Checkpoint. The First New Gate To Jerusalem in 466 Years.

Women going though Kalandia © Harris Silver

SCI-Arc graduate Harris Silver has shared his experience passing through the Kalandia Checkpoint during his quest for “an uncanny truth” that would lead him to develop an architecture project in the city of .

The Kalandia Checkpoint is an opening in what Israel calls “The Security Fence” and what Palestinians call “The Apartheid Wall”. Regardless of what you call the separation infrastructure, the checkpoint acts a modern gate to the city of Jerusalem.

After experiencing Kalendia first hand, I came away realizing that until I personally walked through the checkpoint, I was ignorant of the mechanism and tactics employed to humiliate and dehumanize everyone who passes through it. Which means I was not fully capable of participating in the Israeli-Palestinian discourse.

Continue reading for the full Op-Ed.

Alexis Rochas: STEREO.BOT Exhibition Discussion with Eric Moss

Taking place at SCI-Arc on Friday, September 14th from 7-9pm, Alexis Rochas and Eric Owen Moss will be discussing STEREO.BOT, a library gallery installation that documents the realization of the Coachella Gateway Pavilion, the largest customized structure in the US. Featuring interactive 3D projection mapping content, it was designed and built by design faculty, Alexis Rochas of I/O for the 2012 Coachella Music Festival in Indio, . The exhibition in the library features dynamic architectural models, 3D mapping projections and documentary material that follows the development of the project from inception to realization. For more information, please visit here.

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

© Melissa Majchrzak

SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern 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.

The entire school community, including students, faculty, staff, administration and board, is extremely appreciative of this extraordinary gift to SCI-Arc,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “Thanks to this contribution, we can warranty that SCI-Arc’s advocacy for architecture as a rousing, speculative adventure will endure.”

The Pritzker Prize laureate’s generous giving hasn’t been the only thing making headlines lately. Check out the latest on Gehry’s controversial design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington and the details on his new partnership with Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg.

Via SCI-Arc

SCI-Arc’s Ball-Nogues Studio Installation + 2×8: Taut Exhibitions

Yevrus 1, Negative Impression / Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio

SCI-Arc will be presenting two main exhibitions this upcoming month. The Ball-Nogues Studio: Vevrus 1, Negative Impression exhibition starting June 1 until July 8 that will host Benjamin Ball, Gaston Nogues and Hsinming Fung to discuss the installation on Monday, June 25 at 7pm. The site specific installation 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. Then, two projects by students will be featured this year at the AIA LA hosted 2×8 exhibition, opening June 5, 6-9pm at the A+D Museum in . Fore more information on the events, please visit here.