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SCI-Arc: The Latest Architecture and News

BAM Ranking 2023: Top International Master's Programs in Architecture Revealed

The annual BAM ranking of International Master’s Programs in Architecture aims to assist architects and students in identifying the top international Master’s programs globally. Assessing programs from various leading architecture schools, it evaluates degrees through a comparative approach developed by a panel of 15 professors and international experts. For this edition, different Architecture and Built Environment programs have been selected to be part of the BAM Ranking 2023, and 18 Universities worldwide were featured in the 2023 edition of the BAM Ranking.

Similar to the past few years, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid maintained their position at the top of the ranking. MIT has made the list with two programs, one focused on urbanism and the other on design. Moreover, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, made the list with their English Program for Master in Architecture. The ranking also features TUDelft (Netherlands), TUM (Munich), and TUBerlin (Berlin) in Europe.

Now Accepting Applications: SCI-Arc Bachelor of Science in Design

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The Bachelor of Science in Design* (BS Design) program at SCI-Arc is a 4-year degree preparing students for interdisciplinary creative careers in cinematic design, gaming, and data-based urban planning and design, using architecture as a platform for exploration.

Design Immersion Days: Introducing Architecture and Design to High School Students

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Introducing high school students to their potential future careers is key in helping them to envision how the next years of their lives may be. With an immersive four-week summer program, Design Immersion Days (DID) gives an insight into design and architecture experimentation to high school students. Aiming to inspire their curiosity about architecture, the program’s proposal integrates the introduction of basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills, as well as familiarizing them with the wider architecture and design culture of Los Angeles.

Known for their innovative approach, SCI-Arc is characterized for encouraging their students to take the lead in reimagining the limits of architecture. Through their Youth and Summer Programs, they start building connections –both locally and internationally– with those interested in a future inside the discipline and provide them with design tools and architectural thinking.

Immersive Learning: From Novice to Designer at SCI-Arc's Architecture Program

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Providing an overview of the profession and discipline of architecture can be a complex task given the diversity of people's backgrounds, personal interests, and experimentation techniques. Therefore, many processes related to architecture are based on speculation and innovation, taking the initiative to reimagine established limits. Architecture schools, such as École des Beaux-Arts, Vkhutemas, and Paulista School, were progressive schools of their time that developed their style led by experimental and curious minds. Thanks to these experimental processes, each developed its architectural style, characterized by factors such as philosophy, location, and the era in which the school was born.

Since its creation in Santa Monica in 1972, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has been a world-renowned center of innovation and one of the few independent schools of architecture in the United States. It excels in challenging its students through various programs to stretch their imaginations by experimenting with non-traditional materials and approaches. Through the renowned Making+Meaning program, SCI-Arc provides an immersive introduction to students and creative professionals from diverse disciplines, who have the opportunity to explore the field of design and emphasize the fundamentals of experimentation and architecture. The return to face-to-face teaching this year infuses new energy into the program for both students and instructors, given the value of collaborating in a physical space for the development of studio-based projects.

Priority Admissions Deadline to Jumpstart Scholarships Approaches January 15

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As the holiday season approaches, so do college application deadlines. SCI-Arc’s priority deadline is January 15, 2023, at 11:59pm. All applicants that submit by the priority deadline will have their application reviewed for merit-based scholarship consideration.

SCI-Arc’s New Robot Annex: Exploring the Use of AI for Affordable Housing Solutions

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SCI-Arc’s New Robot Annex: Exploring the Use of AI for Affordable Housing Solutions - Featured Image
SCIARC Robot House. Image Courtesy of SCI-Arc

Access to adequate housing is a human right. But with prices rising dramatically, incomes not growing proportionally and ineffective public policies, the lack of secure, affordable homes is fueling an ongoing global housing crisis. In fact, 90% of 200 polled cities were found to be unaffordable to live in, with the impact of COVID-19 only worsening the situation and forcing much of the world’s population to settle for precarious living conditions. This is only expected to aggravate in the not-too-distant future; by 2025, the World Bank estimates that 1.6 billion people will be affected by the housing shortage.

A Deep Dive into Architecture: SCI-Arc's Design Immersion Days (DID)

A Deep Dive into Architecture: SCI-Arc's Design Immersion Days (DID) - Featured Image
Cortesia de SCI-Arc

Choosing a career as soon as we leave high school can be somewhat challenging and even tormenting. Although it has been said that in the future it will be common to change careers or have various overlapping jobs, the fear of making the "wrong" choice causes many soon-to-be graduates to lose sleep. Having a good overview of what each profession entails is important to understand whether or not it is a good fit, especially in creative areas or newer and more dynamic professions. Architecture, for example, is a career that is well known for covering several areas - from mathematics to art history - but also for requiring many hours of dedication, critical thinking and mastery of computational tools. To give prospective students a taste of the experience of being an architect or an architecture student, Design Immersion Days (DID) is a four-week immersive summer program for future high school graduates to experience the world of design and architecture.

Five Decades of SCI-Arc Celebrated with a Year of Public Programs

SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) was created in 1972 and based on the concept of a "college without walls". Its original name was New School, which symbolized a paradigm shift in teaching architecture, focusing on a horizontal relationship between teachers and students and on experimentation, making it one of the few independent architecture schools in the world. In 2022, the institution turns 50 and has planned a calendar full of events and projects to take place throughout the year.

2021 Best Architecture Masters According to the BAM Ranking

In order “to help architects and students to get to know the best International Master’s programs available”, the Best Architecture Masters (BAM) has established its annual list of top postgraduate architecture curriculums. Based on the QS Ranking by Subjects – Architecture / Built Environment, for the 2021 edition, 22 Universities were selected to be evaluated, by an Expert Committee, formed by 15 professors from all over the world.

In 2021, the Harvard Master in Architecture II continued to lead the ranking, and Colombia maintained second place with its Master of Science Degree in Advanced Architectural Design. TU Delft in the Netherlands took on the third position, becoming the best in Europe while Tsinghua University in China followed in the fourth position, becoming the best in Asia. The Master in Architecture of the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile occupied the 15th position and was named the best program in Latin America.

Apply to SCI-Arc Making+Meaning Summer Program 2021

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SCI-Arc's Making+Meaning is a career exploration and portfolio building program for college students, professionals, and students looking to apply to graduate architecture programs.

SCI-Arc Edge Offers Innovative Master of Science Programs

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SCI-Edge, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, offers 5 postgraduate Master of Science degree programs. This year is the fourth class at SCI-Arc Edge and previous graduates are already establishing themselves as innovative voices defining what it means to be an architect in the twenty-first century. The current students have just completed the fall semester, which is the first of the three-semester sequences of the programs. The students coming into the programs represent an astonishingly wide range of backgrounds and research interests. We have asked two of them to describe their research interests and how they are beginning to bridge between their previous education and their new experiences at SCI-Arc Edge.

SCI-Arc Grad Thesis Weekend 2020 Presents a Thrilling Virtual Smorgasbord

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SCI-Arc convened to present its globally renowned Graduate Thesis Weekend, as the culmination of the 2020 graduate programs curricula. Complete with wall-to-wall livestreamed final reviews, SPIN Room commentary sessions throughout, as well as rich and engaging discourse and feedback from a wide range of experts in the field of architecture, this year’s graduating M.Arch 1 and 2 students took the virtual stage via Twitch and YouTube Live to present their final thesis projects.

The Future of Universities, Offices and Cities: Highlights From Digital Futures 2020

Like most functions in recent months, this year’s Digital FUTURES, which is held annually since 2011 at Tongji University in Shanghai, had to move online due to the pandemic. The organizers took this as an opportunity to give the event a global dimension, turning the festival into what they rightfully call the most significant worldwide event for architectural education ever staged, with a 24/7 display of workshops, lectures and panel discussions involving some of the most prominent architects and educators. Here is an overview of the festival, together with a selection of lectures from Digital FUTURES World.

Material of the Future: 4 Architects that Experiment with Cross Laminated Timber

This article was originally published on The Architect's Newspaper as "Architects apply the latest in fabrication, design, and visualization to age-old timber."

Every so often, the field of architecture is presented with what is hailed as the next “miracle building material.” Concrete enabled the expansion of the Roman Empire, steel densified cities to previously unthinkable heights, and plastic reconstituted the architectural interior and the building economy along with it.

But it would be reasonable to question why and how, in the 21st century, timber was accorded a miracle status on the tail-end of a timeline several millennia-long. Though its rough-hewn surface and the puzzle-like assembly it engenders might seem antithetical to the current global demand for exponential building development, it is timber’s durability, renewability, and capacity for sequestering carbon—rather than release it—that inspires the building industry to heavily invest in its future.

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Dwayne Oyler on Digital and Physical Making

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The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Dwayne Oyler, Architect, Professor at SCI-Arc, and Co-Founder of Oyler Wu Collaborative, to discuss the pros and cons of digital and physical making, building tricycles, the evolution of their office, translating conceptual work to buildings, welding, power tools, the importance of being selective in your work, and more!

Ray Kappe, Founding Director of SCI-Arc, Passes Away at 92

Architect, educator and founding director of SCI-Arc, Ray Kappe, FAIA, passed away last week at the age of 92. Kappe experienced lung failure after battling pneumonia. As a renowned architect, Kappe designed more than 100 residences, pioneered a new approach to architectural education, and shaped both Los Angeles and California Modernism as we know it.

America's Most Admired Architectural Schools 2020 Ranked

The annual DesignIntelligence architecture school ranking for 2020 classified the establishments according to the “most admired” rather than the “best”, for the second year in a row. The subjective classification is based on the responses of hiring professionals.