UCLA Architecture and Urban Design has just published The Culture Now Project (part 1) – Midsize America, the first in a series of books chronicling the massive research and design study, The Culture Now Project, led by Pritzker prize-winner and UCLA distinguished professor Thom Mayne, with urbanist Karen Lohrmann and UCLA architecture graduate students.
Distinguished Professor Thom Mayne works with students during a stuido session.
The Culture Now Project connects academic research to real-world professional practice, integrating public policy and urban studies with contemporary culture. The project questions how we approach complex urban problems in a time of great economic and cultural uncertainty or how the current political mood affects the work of architects, urbanists and researchers.
An immersive investigation between the important relationship of public policy and urban design and contemporary cultures and its spatial manifestations, Culture Now extends the dialogue across disciplines and encompasses institutional and political models.
Distinguished Professor Thom Mayne leads discussion at Culture Now Suprastudio review.
Since August 2010, Mayne, Lohrmann and an advisory panel of professionals and public figures have led an exemplary group of architecture and urban design graduate students toward understanding what culture is today. The objective is to identify and use existing networks, projects, events and initiatives that promote economic and ecological transformation as catalysts for addressing urban problems.
This research program introduces current and future systems supporting art, culture, education, media and production to stimulate reactivation and recovery of the America city. The studio originally focused on eight cities as a result of the specific application of selected criteria: Flint, Mich.; Atlantic City, NJ; Mobil, Ala.; Cleveland, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; New Orleans, La.; Tucson, Ariz. and Merced, Calif.
The Culture Now Project (part) 1 – Midsize America sample page.
In fall 2011, The Culture Now Project continued with a new group of UCLA students and expanded to collaborate with 13 universities across the country covering the fields of urban design, architecture, environmental studies, landscape architecture and cultural studies. Partnering schools include Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard Graduate School of Design, University of Kentucky College of Design, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rice University and Syracuse University.
UCLA students involved in The Culture Now Project publication were Dylan Barlow, Emily Cheng, Grady Gillies, Cheng Ha, Christopher Harris, Matthew Kendall, Wayne Ko, Jai Kumaran, Layton Petersen, Stacey Rigley, Clayton Taylor, Bryan Tranbarger, Sepa Sama and Yang Wang.
In spring 2011, Mayne presented The Culture Now Project to fellow members of President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Mayor’s Institute on City Design in Chicago, a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors.
Rumble review for The Culture Now Project.
The first volume in The Culture Now Project series presents impressive graphics that translate abstract statistical data into accessible graphics, helping readers understand the current situation through the findings and solutions proposed for eight cities in the United States. The section High-Speed Small Town looks at hybridizing urban growth and agricultural preservation for Merced, California where the central valley produces 25% of the nation’s produce on 1” of the nation’s farmland. Located in California’s agricultural heartland, the city of Merced is poised to experience rapid transformation from rural town to urban campus. With the establishment in 2005 of the newest University of Californai campus and a proposed high-speed rail station, a town once recognized only for agricultural production is now quickly expanding into the 21st century.
The Culture Now Project (part) 1 – Midsize America Rumble installation in the Perloff Gallery.
UCLA Architecture and Urban Design pursues issues confronting contemporary architecture and urbanism through its bachelor’s of arts program in architectural studies and its four advanced degree programs” master’s of architecture I, master’s of architecture II, master’s of arts in architecture and doctorate of philosophy in architecture. The programs’ primary focus on advanced design is complemented by concentrations in technology and critical studies of architectural culture.