Dana Cuff engages architecture and the city as cultural production. She publishes and lectures widely on issues concerning the postsuburban condition, the architectural profession, affordable housing, urban sensing, and the politics of place. As Director of A.UD’s think tank, cityLAB, Cuff brings a vital discourse to UCLA about the architecture of contemporary urbanism along with a series of design-research projects that engage both students and faculty. She founded cityLAB in 2006 to explore the challenges facing the contemporary metropolis. Since then, the lab has grown in scope, stature, and public awareness: cityLAB was invited to exhibit at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, featured on CNN and in Newsweek Magazine, and named one of the top four urban think tanks in the country by Architect Magazine. Among projects in the lab is Backyard Homes, an investigation into doubling the capacity of single-family lots in Los Angeles, Westwood Village Vision, proposals for rethinking cars and cultural institutions around UCLA, and WPA 2.0, a competition that generated innovative, implementable proposals to place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding our cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. In 2013, Cuff headed a multi-disciplinary team that was awarded a major grant from the Mellon Foundation called “The Urban Turn: Collective Life in Pacific Rim Megacities.” The initiative supports three years of graduate-level coursework, travel, and research at UCLA to bring design and the humanities together around the study of Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Mexico City.
Dr. Cuff has written and edited a number of books, including Fast Forward Urbanism (with R. Sherman, Princeton Architectural Press), The Provisional City, and Architecture: The Story of Practice (both MIT Press). The latter is a seminal text about architectural practice that is itself the subject of a recent issue of Architectural Theory Review and a lecture at the Berlage. Cuff’s current research explores the problematics of new modernities where tabula rasa, mass housing, and urban development intersect. Focusing on Scandinavia, she examines the vast, aging waterfront infrastructure that is being replaced by new residential districts in order to create more cosmopolitan strategies for intervention.
Image credits from left to right:
Position 1) Accredit 14-12..: Rx for the R1, Backyard Homes project
Position 2) FFU_Cover: Cuff and Sherman, Editors. Fast-Forward Urbanism. Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.
Position 3) VB10_Dahl...: cityLAB installation at 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, American Pavilion
Postiion 4) Blast 1...: WPA2.0: Working Public Architecture, cityLAB's international design competition
Position 5) Cuff_CNN: Cuff on CNN International, Future of Cities series
Position 6) DSC 4353: Cuff leads cityLAB's workshop on Westwood Village Visions
Ph.D., Architecture, UC Berkeley
B.A., Psychology and Design, UC Santa Cruz
2004 Lise Meitner Endowed Chair at Lund University in Sweden
2004-2006 Fellow of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA