cityLAB, founded in 2006 as a think tank within UCLA's Department of Architecture and Urban Design, is concerned with contemporary urban issues, urban design, and the architecture of the city. Specifically, cityLAB explores the challenges facing the 21st century metropolis through research and design, expanding the possibilities for our cities to grow more livably, sustainably, and beautifully. cityLAB's investigations comprise rigorous scholarship as well as practical implication, design and theory, and formal exploration of cultural and political consequence. The lab is a UCLA research center, undertaking projects related to its four core initiatives: the postsuburban metropolis, rethinking green, urban sensing, and new infrastructures.
Its significant endeavors include:
• PropX, an investigation to test new strategies for transforming the city through agile planning and constructive collaboration,
• Backyard Homes, which develops innovative and flexible solutions to the regional housing shortage,
• a series of studies about ways high speed rail can enhance urban design around stations, and
• WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture, an international design ideas competition to reinvent urban infrastructure as hybrid community amenities.
The UCLA Experiential Technologies Center (ETC)
The ETC promotes cross-disciplinary collaborative research by UCLA faculty and students, develops new learning environments, and runs a robust outreach program.
Recently team-members have received over $1,000,000 in grants for transformative digital projects in the arts, architecture, humanities and social sciences. The innovative Hypercities Project was awarded a prestigious HASTAC/MacArthur grant to support a geo-temporal human web irrevocably linked to physical environments. A preliminary pilot on Los Angeles integrates the work of community groups into a complex semantic network.
The ETC is known world-wide for historical research exploiting real-time simulations. The NEH-funded Karnak project integrates a temporalized digital model of the Egyptian temple of Amon over 1000 years with extensive research and teaching resources. The Digital Roman Forum Project was recently included on the prestigious NEH EDSITEment list of the best online resources for education in the humanities. Working with the BWAF, the ETC created the Dynamic National Archive of American Women of Architecture, a wiki-style aggregating platform documenting women’s contributions to the field.
The ETC regularly co-hosts events such as the HASTAC II: Techno Travels conference and the EXP lecture series. The ETC trains dozens of students in new technologies and sends representatives to archaeological excavations worldwide with support from the Steinmetz foundation. The center also holds workshops for faculty and staff on such topics as GIS, and manages the technology sandbox which operates as a laboratory for humanists.
In addition, the ETC has a robust outreach program introducing K-12 students to architecture, urbanism, and new technologies. In summer 2008 the W.M. Keck Foundation awarded an interdisicplinary ETC collaboratory team $500,000 to establish a campus-wide program in geo-temporal digital cultural mapping at UCLA.