UCLA

SUPRASTUDIO EVOLVES Video

The M.Arch II is a post-professional degree program that leads to a Masters of Architecture II degree. This unique program offers students with a professional degree in architecture the opportunity to specialize their skills and apply architectural design thinking and capabilities to real-world challenges outside the field.

The program is located at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s IDEAS campus, an incubator for collaborative, cross-disciplinary design research. Through year-long design research topics (referred to as SUPRASTUDIOS), students and faculty work with partners working in the areas of entertainment, media, technology, and urbanism. Students apply the analytical and design processes of architecture and urban design to emerging developments in these industries. By engaging with experts from other fields, students have the opportunity to expand architecture’s field of influence and leverage design to propose alternative, more intelligent futures. 

2018-19 SUPRASTUDIO LEADERS

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Applications due January 6, 2019

STEM eligible beginning 2018-19 for new students.

Studio: Jimenez Lai

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ENTERTAINMENT with Jimenez Lai

Architecture and Storytelling: Worlds in Other Worlds

"Architecture tells stories, and human stories are enhanced by architecture. If architecture (hardware) is a backdrop for humanity (software), my focus is the oscillation between the many worlds these two ends of the spectrum imply. Architecture is a cultural project that encompasses art, cinema, storyboards, entertainment - all human communication. There is no better place to explore storytelling than Los Angeles.”

“Supra”
prefix

1.     “above, over” (supraorbital) or “beyond the limits of, outside of” (supramolecular, suprasegmental).

Architecture is a platform for me to tell stories from a multimedia approach. From comic books, small buildings, full-scale installations, short films, big models, or field drawings – my projects have always focused on the characters of architecture, as well as architecture as characters. There is a cultural discourse within the graphic, material, and environmental qualities that allows us to contemplate politics, philosophy, pedagogy, and performances through a medium that is architecture. 

For example, Citizens of No Place (2012) was a graphic novel that dove deep into the impacts of many plausible realities. One recurring subplot in this book is a story about spaceships, a home for a human journey to another planet traveling near the speed of light. The realities of intergalactic space travel in turn allowed me to ask questions about the status of gravity (orientation-less drawings), envelope (non-expansive urbanism), technology (total artificial environments), metaphysics (time-space continuum) and so much more.

The entertainment studio is a step beyond pure speculations – I propose to work with storyboards, models, and short films to reflect upon the world we already live in. As a long lens looking back at earth, I would like this studio to be pedagogically well-grounded and provide a strong overview of the contemporary architects working today. While expanding the capacity of architects to engage in storytelling techniques.

We will work with experts within the film industry to enhance our skillsets. Being in Los Angeles, we are in the de facto capitol city of American cinema. Many of our allies in the film industry are within reach, and we can take this opportunity to contemplate the effects of contemporary media culture, including YouTube.

Additionally, we will reach out to organizations such as SpaceX to make this research a grounded conversation with experts within the field. From possible field trips to interviews with experts within the field, we will fine-tune the realisms within the stories we will tell. We will develop our year-long effort into a series of publication proposals.

Architecture tells stories, and human stories are enhanced by architecture. If architecture (hardware) is a backdrop for humanity (software), my focus is the oscillation between the many worlds these two ends of the spectrum imply. Architecture is a cultural project that encompasses art, cinema, storyboards, entertainment – all human communication.  

Studio: Greg Lynn

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MOBILITY with Greg Lynn

New forms of mobility are being developed currently for both people and things. From autonomous container ships and trucks, to autonomous buses and cars, to autonomous aerial and land drones, logistics and transportation is being reformulated rapidly.These new forms of intelligent motion are impacting urban, suburban and rural infrastructure. However, little thought is being applied to how buildings are impacted; in particular, the interior circulation and building envelope. It is the premise of this research studio that lightweight intelligent electric mobility should enter architecture and provoke a similarly transformation that the elevator and escalator provoked a century ago.

Previously architecture has been defined as static and function has been defined as dynamic.  Necessary for the formulation of architectural responses to autonomous vehicles and intelligent mobility in and out of buildings is the development of numerical and spatial techniques for the quantification of moving people and things in buildings.  The format of these concepts will be spatial diagrams and generic typologies accompanied by numerical and narrative descriptions.  The diagrams and typological speculations can take the form of digital modeling, simulation, robotic physical models, or working full scale mock-ups.  The Suprastudio will begin the year with a series of problem statement concepts such as: Can spaces be more intensively used as furniture gains location awareness and mobility; What new spatial arrangements and opportunities are possible; How are buildings oriented given the various scales, speeds and rhythms of transportation systems that move around, through, between, and within buildings; Do robots enter buildings with people, with vehicles or in new locations; Do people and robots share the same circulation spaces within buildings; How can mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communication and fire suppression systems be mobilized throughout buildings; Can the territory of a building expand and contract throughout the day, season or lifecycle with the introduction of intelligent mobile robotics?
 
The Mobility SUPRASTUDIO is devoted to the invention of architectural concepts in response to new forms of mobility and several building typologies will be analyzed and transformed by the students including retail markets, workplaces, housing, resorts, medical facilities and educational building types.  Based on the success of these transformations of precedents the studio will focus on specific projects on site around the city of Los Angeles.    

Studio: Thom Mayne/The Now Institute

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URBAN STRATEGY with Thom Mayne/The Now Institute

"The complexity of global problems require intelligent solutions that begin at an urban scale. With the Now Institute, we work with non-profit, government and industry partners in megalopolises and informal settlements to question, expand and implement the urban strategies borne of our collaborative partnerships.”

Led by Pritzker Prize-winning architect and UCLA Architecture and Urban Design Distinguished Professor Thom Mayne and Director Eui-Sung Yi, The Now Institute is a dedicated urban planning and research center that focuses on the implementation of urban strategies. 

Complex problems in modern advanced metropolises and advanced metropolises and informal settlements demand the interrogation and strategic planning borne from urban research. For the past 15 years, The Now Institute have partnered with various private and public entities to address real urban issues of cultural and resource sustainability, resilience, mobility, migration and density.  Spanning cities across the world, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, Madrid, Beijing and Port-au-Prince, The Now Institute establishes new territory that synergizes ideas and action between research and professional pursuits.

The complexity of contemporary urbanism demands an inquisitive and knowledgeable mind that spans the spectrum from policy to physical planning. Within this spectrum, we locate strategic solutions that addresses the challenges and problems facing our built environment. As urban designers and physical planners, we are interested in the physical geo-spatial realities of our cities to enhance, form and catalyze the urban solutions. 

Studio: Guvenc Ozel

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TECHNOLOGY with Guvenc Ozel

“I believe that our contemporary reality is constructed as a fusion of the digital and the physical. I’m interested in exploring artificial intelligence, Virtual Reality, 3D printing and robotics to create an experiential and cognitive continuity between the user and space for an interactive and high-performance architecture.” 

DataSpaces: The Architecture and Urbanism of the Internet

Extending our ongoing research on artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and computational design systems, the DataSpaces studio will explore the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds as a synthesized environment that enhances communication among citizens of the information age. 

Architecture of Data/Data Architecture

As the most dominant platform for communication, the internet is often referred to as “cyberspace”. Current forms of interface design and organizational logics of information over the internet however exist as environments only in the world of allegories, preventing the participants from interacting spatially with these streams of data. Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies have the potential to transform information navigation, social media interaction and other modes of communication, productivity and entertainment into environments that can be designed with architectural considerations. Viewed as an ecosystem of technologies rather than tectonic assemblage of materials, architecture is shifting toward a non-static and non-physical form of experience, opening up potentials for it to be considered as a medium that merges the worlds of media and materiality. Based on these observations, the studio will explore environmental applications of media in the form of virtual and augmented reality, sensor interaction with environments and real time control and transformation of architectural spaces. Primarily concerned with digital display and representation of objects and consumption of media, the studio will translate these ideas by re-thinking architectural conventions and building and urban typologies.  The research will aim to give form to dominant web based platforms, transforming their interaction into an architectural scale through Virtual Reality.  Meanwhile the studio will investigate media integration to existing architectures of communication and socialization, such as museums, convention and performance halls, shared business spaces, spaces of learning and other environments of public display and exchange of information, images and sounds.

Social Media, Telepresence and the New Representation of Self

Constructing architecture enhanced by and built with media, the studio will investigate scenarios where occupants of such architectures travel seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds. Through the proliferation of social media, virtual avatars, sensory simulations and holograms, current and future forms of technological communications simulate experiences with precision and without exclusively relying on the physical presence of their subjects. In these radically different new social environments, architecture is conceived as a cyberphysical system, designed not only for the use of people but also for the digital occupancy of avatars as its new subjects. By questioning the role of representation in the process of constructing realities and environments, the studio will focus on the potentials of such virtual tools to formulate a reformed agenda for the role of the digital in the contemporary practice of architecture.

About The Program

About The Program

Led by professors who are experts in their respective fields — Thom Mayne, Craig Hodgetts, Mark Mack, and Güvenç Özel (2017–18) — students join a team of educators and industry partners to question, challenge, and expand the current conventions of architectural practice. 

Each year, the program offers concurrent studios that explore a relevant applied research theme. Topics have included 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. Through intensive research and experimentation, students investigate contemporary technological inventions, capture opportunities for interdisciplinary growth, and create new methodologies for architectural design. 

ADMISSION AND APPLICATIONS PROCESS

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TYPICAL STUDY PROGRAM

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Industry Partners

Industry Partners

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.

For information on partnerships, please contact Valerie Leblond, IDEAS Program Director at valerie.leblond@aud.ucla.edu

IDEAS LECTURE SERIES 2017-18

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IDEAS LECTURE SERIES 2016-17

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IDEAS LECTURE SERIES 2014-15

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PAST PARTNERS

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IDEAS LECTURE SERIES 2013-14

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IDEAS Campus

IDEAS Campus

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.

View map here.

 

TECHNOLOGY LAB

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IDEAS

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“Industry often uses the language of architecture to speculate on the future of their fields. SUPRASTUDIO works with these partners in collaborative research, and opens up the future possibilities for architecture, from the outside in.”

Hitoshi Abe
Chair, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design