Serving as an incubator for the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, IDEAS is at the vanguard of the 21st century with a post-professional degree program focused on real-world issues. IDEAS differs from a traditional educational model in its ambition to develop new methodologies for creating architectural design.

Globally recognized for its innovative platform that aggregates rigorous cross-disciplinary design research, IDEAS creates successful collaborations among students, faculty, and industry leaders to question, challenge and expand the current parameters of architectural practice. The platform is also an engine to explore architecture in conjunction with Los Angeles’s most prevalent industries and forward thinkers leading the fields of design, entertainment, aerospace, transportation, and technology. Through yearlong research initiatives, the program focuses on relevant applied research themes to investigate the wave of contemporary breakthroughs and capture opportunities for interdisciplinary growth and new applications. IDEAS also cultivates long-term relationships with industries and world influencers through a popular cross-disciplinary public lecture series. 

IDEAS offers a unique environment for the vibrant and intensive program SUPTRASTUDIO with four concurrent studios running parallel and taught by professors who are leaders in their field — Thom Mayne, Craig Hodgetts, Mark Mack, and Guvenc Ozel. SUPRASTUDIO connects each studio to a related theme such as strategic thinking, sustainability, contemporary culture, lifestyle, autonomous cars, mobility, sensing technology, robotics, extreme environments, the journey to outer space, virtual reality, entertainment production performances, and media-enhanced experiences.

A major factor to the success of IDEAS is the ability to forms teams among SUPRASTUDIOS and collaborators who together explore contemporary urban challenges. The IDEAS incubator has brought design, technology, and research to breakthroughs in high profile crowd-sourced projects such as Hyperloop, high-performance architecture with Boeing and Cirque du Soleil, 3D-printing design and technology with Autodesk and urgent issues of sustainability with UNICEF in Haiti. This new model of education investigates practical matters to prepare graduates who create architecture and design for the future.
To create and build new design concepts, the IDEAS campus provides a studio environment adjacent to technology laboratories with access to two of the largest industrial robots available in a university setting, cutting edge fabrication, 3D-printing and augmented reality tools.
IDEAS operates in a 15,000 square-foot facility located in a dynamic neighborhood of Culver City in Los Angeles, approximately 8 miles south of the main UCLA campus in Westwood. The neighborhood is an eclectic former industrial area transformed through contemporary architectural interventions since the late nineteen-eighties that serves as home to creative design and entertainment companies.