Extreme Environments: Design for Unfamiliar Terrain

UCLA A.UD Professor Craig Hodgetts leads a panel discussion to explore new frontiers for architecture in extreme environments from the arctic to the desert to outer space.

Free and open to the public. RSVP is required. To make a reservation, click here.


Craig Hodgetts
Principal, Hodgetts + Fung; Professor, UCLA A.UD

Craig Hodgetts, a member of UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s faculty since 1972, worked for Sir James Stirling and formed StudioWorks before opening a firm with his partner, Hsinming Fung, in 1984. The work of Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture has been published extensively and has received numerous awards, including First Design Awards from Progressive Architecture, an AIA Library Buildings Award for UCLA Towell Library, the National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award for the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. In 2005 the Los Angeles Architectural Forum honored Hodgetts and his partner for career contributions to the architectural culture of Los Angeles and he is the recipient of the Los Angeles American Institute of Architecture teacher of the year award in recognition of the continuing influence of his teaching upon students. Hodgetts is also the recipient in 2006 of the Los Angeles American Institute of Architecture Gold Medal Award and in 2008 received the AIACC Firm of the Year Award. A monograph of his firm’s work Hodgetts + Fung (United Asia Art and Design Corporation) was published in 2005.

Christopher Ferguson
Retired U.S. Navy captain, former NASA Astronaut; Director of Commercial Crew Interface, Space Exploration, Boeing

Christopher. J. Ferguson (Captain, USN, Ret.; former NASA Astronaut) was named Director of Crew and Mission Operations in the Boeing Commercial Crew program, in December 2011. A veteran of three shuttle missions, he reports to John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs.

In this essential role in Boeing’s human spaceflight program, Ferguson has comprehensive oversight for crew Interface in the design of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Transportation System. In this capacity, he works with NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, Johnson Space Center’s Engineering, Flight Crew and Mission Operations organizations and Kennedy Space Center’s Commercial Crew Program, to ensure Boeing’s design supports NASA’s Human Rating Requirements. He also plays a key leadership role in the development and testing of system concepts and key technologies for the Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and integrated launch and ground systems.

Bran Ferren
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds

Bran Ferren, a designer and technologist, is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, LLC, where he invents and prototypes high technology products and innovative business concepts for the entertainment, media, aerospace, defense, intelligence, automotive, architecture, computing, and consumer products sectors. Bran is the former President of Research and Development and Creative Technology for the Walt Disney Company, where he was responsible for advanced technology and innovation projects, company-wide. Before that, he was President and Senior Designer for Associates & Ferren, a company Disney acquired in 1993, where his creative work was seen in many Hollywood Movies, Broadway Shows, and Rock Tours, as well as inventing consumer products such as Revo sunglasses. He works regularly as lead concept designer, creative consultant, systems engineer, and technologist, and is a named inventor on approximately 300 issued and pending US and international patents. He has received many awards for his work on Broadway and in film, as well as the LDI Lifetime Achievement Award in Lighting, and the Kilby International Award for Contributions to Society.

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides
Flight Director, Zero Gravity Group; Future Astronaut, Virgin Galactic

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is an FAA certified Flight Attendant for Zero Gravity Corp's 727,  "G-Force One." She has been on over 85 "weightless" flights and has adapted to the other ways of doing things that you adopt to in a world where everything floats. Her five submersible dives to the vent fields at the bottom of the ocean are captured in James Cameron's 3D IMAX film Aliens of the Deep where the team explores a remote, dark, high-pressure world. Loretta has also worked in the Canadian Arctic at Haughton Crater (a Mars analog site), doing research on plant biology in extreme environments for NASA. In 2005 she and her husband George bought tickets to take a sub-orbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and in 2010 her husband George became the CEO of Virgin Galactic. These days, a lot of their attention is on designing for the next phase of human space travel.