UCLA

SUPRASTUDIO EVOLVES Video

SUPRASTUDIO is a research platform in architecture education that advances experimentation and cross-discipline collaboration among professors, students, and industry collaborators to expand the boundaries of architectural practice.

The program is a one-year post-professional course of study that leads to a Masters of Architecture degree. Throughout the year, students work on a dedicated research topic to build a continuous and in depth line of study. Under the umbrella of UCLA, a premier global research institution, SUPRASTUDIO fills a current void in architecture education by providing a dedicated program and satellite campus for advanced applied research for the future of architecture and urban design.

The compressed and intensive timeline for this program requires an advanced background in architectural studies and is open to students with a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree from an NAAB accredited program in the U.S., foreign equivalent, or graduate degree in architecture.

Studio: Craig Hodgetts

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Craig Hodgetts 
SUPRASTUDIO 2016-17

Craig Hodgetts is known for employing an imaginative weave of high technology and story-telling to invigorate his designs, producing an architecture that embraces contemporary ideology, information culture and evolving lifestyles. 

Far from the comforting Hosanahs of Parametrics and Grasshopper can be found conditions which require the architect to reconsider the priorities of practice. What is to be done to house the spiraling population growth? How can the infrastructure respond to the arterial sclerosis which clogs transportation corridors? How can architecture adopt to climatic change such as extreme heath or extreme cold? How can life be sustained in environmentally challenging conditions? What can be done to create safe spaces in the nexus of terror? Architects, with their over-arching skills and lateral perspectives are among a shrinking number of professionals who might provide answers to these and other pressing issues of global waste, climate change, shrinking resources, and cavalier planning.

We propose to uncover the underlying structures of such EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS, analyze their attributes, and create positive design solutions. Our work will focus on the human and environmental consequences for which architects can claim responsibility, with support and insight from other members of the global community.

The studio will travel locally to observe and experience some of the most extreme environmental conditions.

Studio: Mark Mack

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MARK MACK
SUPRASTUDIO 2016-17

ARCHITECTURE PERFORMANCE ARCHITECTURE

1/Architecture as Performance or Performance based on Architecture is the focus of this SUPRASTUDIO. These two definitions conjure up the divide Architecture finds itself in today. On one hand, Architecture performs as a static and material stepping stone in the making of an urban experience, yet the duration and financial expanse limits the a priori and exiting possibilities of an architectural un-reality free of these constraints. These freedoms release architecture of its Vitruvian foundation allowing for a lighter, ephemeral, and soaring expression of spatial and experiential ideas.

2/Los Angeles, as the entertainment capital of the world, trumpets its’ vision of entertainment related images constantly into the world from the Oscars to the Grammys, from Coachella to Burning Man; architects and designers are constantly involved in the emergence of these new images, sounds, and short-lived environments. Staging and exploring ideas, architects and designers use these new technologies and materials to create these progressive. Rather than think of architecture as a static housing for events or performances, a new architecture using advances in temporary staging/pop ups, robotized movements, and light where visual eruptions can emerge. These opportunities stimulate new experiences achieved through using the latest technologies catapulting the results into the public realm expanding the definition of what we expect from architecture and urban design into a performance space.

Music, Theater, and Visual Art conspire in their desire to remove us from of the normative world and transport us in to the realm of sensual new possibilities. Conceptual architectural thinking and spatial speculations inherent in the discipline of academic architecture will infuse this SUPRASTUDIO to consider performance-based disciplines transforming spatial ideas beyond the limitations usually connected to real architecture.

3/This SUPRASTUDIO will explore the topic of performance and how it relates to architecture as an open idea workshop of unlimited potential through using the mind and reality bending achievements of A.UD’s IDEAS campus including previous research topics, Robotics Lab, and its physical independence.

The studio will use the fantastic talent pool from Tinseltown, Silicon Beach startups and our own industry collaborators as workshop leaders and guest lectures. In addition field trips to current and future installations in California and Nevada are planned. Internationally acclaimed special guests and studio visits to local artists in the field will support the intensive studio setting, prototyping and ultra visualizations of temporary installations are only limited by the innovative capacity of the participants. This studio will shape a new formation of an architectural reality as it creates new definitions of size, material, and permanence.

4/ Commit to shatter what you think architecture can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio: Thom Mayne / The Now Institute

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Thom Mayne, Distinguished Professor
Eui-Sung Yi, Lecturer
SUPRASTUDIO 2016-17


Per capita, the United States consumes more than twice the energy than the average citizen of the European Union. Over 40% of the total US energy consumption is consumed by buildings and the built environment.

UCLA has asked The Now Institute to join in launching the UCLA Grand Challenges project. This project brings together UCLA faculty from across disciplines to study L.A. County and work towards making the L.A. region operate with 100% renewable energy and 100% local water supply.

The Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO will contribute to the Grand Challenges initiative by extensively analyzing the energy and water consumption of L.A.’s built environment along with the social, cultural, political and economic issues associated. The Now Institute will propose design strategies through data-driven research, utilizing city resources, collaboration with cross-disciplinary researchers, experts, community partners and governing bodies. Over the course of the entire Grand Challenge initiative, the Now Institute will lead the spatial and disciplinary integration of Grand Challenge’s research and will play an important part in the final development of the collective’s urban strategies and proposal.

To view more student work, visit the 2014/15 Mayne / Now Institute Studio Blog.

           

 

Studio: Guvenc Ozel

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Guvenc Ozel
SUPRASTUDIO 2016-17

Proliferation of additive manufacturing, robotics and artificial intelligence coupled with climate change and political tensions in the horizon are some of the strong influences for a renewed interest in space travel, space tourism and eventual colonization of extraterrestrial contexts. Not since the Cold War, has space exploration captured the imagination of humankind as vividly as it does now. As private companies compete with government agencies to lead the efforts into increased human presence in outer space, both in volume and duration, it is ever more important for architects to be engaged with the design of environments suitable for human habitation in orbital and extraterrestrial contexts.
 
As a continuation of his architectural research in artificial intelligence, generative design, technologically enhanced spaces and interactive environments supported by Autodesk, as well as his recent collaboration with the UCLA Department of Engineering in creating building scale 3D printing technologies for use on Earth and colonization of Mars, Ozel will use SUPRASTUDIO as a platform to exploit the potential for robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, interactive environments and virtual reality for designing environments suitable for extended human presence in extraterrestrial contexts. The studio will imagine scenarios for intelligent architectures that can self- generate, adapt and autonomously fabricate through employing novel technologies and high performance materials.
 

CURRENT STUDIO BLOGS

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STUDIO HODGETTS/
CYBERTOPIA

 

 

STUDIO GREG LYNN

STUDIO THOM MAYNE/
THE NOW INSTITUTE

STUDIO OZEL/
SINGULARITY

 

 

2014/15 STUDIO BLOGS

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      STUDIO HODGETTS/      
HYPERLOOP

STUDIO GREG LYNN

STUDIO THOM MAYNE/
THE NOW INSTITUTE

 

2013/14 STUDIO BLOGS

STUDIO GEHRY PARTNERS/
GEHRY TECHNOLOGIES

STUDIO GREG LYNN
 

STUDIO THOM MAYNE/
NOW INSTITUTE

 

 

PAST STUDIOS

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2013-2014

Frank Gehry:

Powerpack

This SUPRASTUDIO was about going off the grid at an urban scale.

Distribution infrastructures - for power, water, heat, fuel, information, and waste - have dramatically expanded their impact on the built environment over the last century. As technical networks penetrate more pervasively the contemporary way of life, the form and construction of homes, schools, workplaces, and cities becomes beholden to the physical organizations of these nodal and networked systems. Building designs are dictated by the expense and form of mechanical, circulation and distribution systems. The human form of cities are themselves distorted through the infrastructure required for massive car use. Our modern cities and homes are thus shaped and ordered by the requirements of equipment as opposed to de- signs for people.

The cost of these networks in terms of form, energy, environmental im- pact, is increasingly apparent. The challenges to the premise of the grid are urgent. What if the grid itself were unnecessary? Are there solutions that liberate design from the physicality of infrastructure? What if you could generate all the energy you needed in your own home? What new, local infrastructures could appear in place of the old?
 
POWERPACK takes as a hypothesis that local power generation is possible, literally that a small powerpack could substitute for all the current infrastructure of a building. Power becomes local and portable. It also considers local material cycles - recycling material directly into the powerpack, or harvesting waste material for unprecedented uses or even tectonic expression. What role could machines and robots play in this new ecology? What forms might emerge when the city itself goes off the grid?
2013-2014

Greg Lynn:

SuperAeroRoboSpatial

This studio began with the assumption that robotic technology might contribute to a dynamic spatial experience. Boeing collaborated with the studio as a thought leader, enabling the students to work in partnership with an industry, who is in the business of innovating and thinking decades into the future as a core aspect of their business. This provoked the studio to formulate concepts and develop design proposals that en- gaged innovation and conceptual thinking about robotics beyond replacing menial tasks or increasing complexity through precision. In addition, the fact that Boeing is in the business of motion has made this a vibrant collaboration.

Despite all the moving parts in any building; from doors and windows to elevators, architecture assumes that people and things move while buildings remain static. One of the ways people are provoked to move is by spatial inflection and formal gestures. This idea of buildings being imbued with dynamism is an old idea. When deciding what small percentage of a room moves the question of the relationship between the moving elements and the static elements was posed at the outset. A main focus of the year was the relationship between literal motion and phenomenal motion. The studio explored reorientation and movement of spaces and rooms at a variety of scales but always from the inside out.

Each student worked individually on three projects during the year: the first an abstract motion study; the second rethinking an aircraft factory hangar using alternative moving rooms and structures; and the third one of four building types that can be transformed by the use of a small percentage of moving room(s).

2013-2014

Thom Mayne/ Now Institute:

Haiti Now/Cap Haitian Now

In 2012, The Now Institute initiated Haiti Now as an intensive, cross disciplinary research and design project dedicated to contemporary urban issues and design potentials in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. The project encompassed a comprehensive critical analysis of Haitian modern history and politics, a data-driven research investigation of planning, infrastructural, and social issues, and a set of collaborative design propos- als developed in concert with Haitian governing and community partners to target reconstruction through the lenses of resilience and culture. A comprehensive publication of the same name is expected in Spring 2014.

In 2013, the Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO brought the focus of the study to Cap-Haïtien, the historical and former capital of Haiti, which has experienced dramatic growth in population and commercial activity in the past 20 years. These changes have fueled an uncontrolled growth in informal settlements and strained the capacity of the city’s roads, utilities and the ecology to meet and mitigate the burgeoning demand. As a result, the operations and locations of the city market, the quality of residential neighborhoods and access to cultural centers have diminished. According to studies by the Word Bank, the population of the city has more than doubled between 1995 and 2005 and its area has increased tenfold in forty years, from 1.22 km2 in 1960 to 12.39 km2 in 2002. The Institute’s aim is to respond to these conditions and recognize Cap-Haïtien’s existing cultural and natural assets as opportunities for urban development, economic growth and community enhancement.

With support from UNESCO, World Bank, Government of Haiti Minis- try of Tourism and the Office of the Mayor of Cap-Haïtien, the Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO aims to provide integrative research, ur- ban and social analysis and strategic masterplanning proposals that will be presented to these authorities. Project advisors include: CIAT (Comité Interministériel d’Aménagement du Territoire), FOKAL (La Fondation Con- naissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète), Haiti Soleil and the Center for Black Studies.

2012-2013

Greg Lynn:

Masses in Motion

For this studio, Greg Lynn focused on robotics at the scale of large-scale buildings.

2011-2012

Neil Denari:

Geo-Graphics

Neil Denari focused inquiries into urban form and human interface in the city on a well known site in Los Angeles: Westwood Village.

2010-2011

Thom Mayne:

Culture Now

Thom Mayne, with additional support provided by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, investigated the impact of contemporary cultural and artistic events on struggling U.S. cities. By integrating public policy, urban studies, contemporary culture, and its spatial manifestations, Culture Now reframes the current conversation in urban design.

2009-2010

Greg Lynn:

Technology Transfer

Greg Lynn collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering to explore the impact of new manufacturing and digital technologies on past and future design and technological innovations in urban resorts, theme parks, and creative campuses.

2008-2009

Neil Denari:

Megavoids

Neil Denari engaged in a collaboration with Toyoto Motor Sales, Inc., Buro Happold, and AECOM to examine future urban scenarios played out across “superlarge” open sites.

 

About The Program

About The Program

Each academic year, students can apply to one of the four independent studios led by A.UD’s distinguished senior faculty and select invited guest professors. Research themes, seminars, and cross disciplinary teaching teams, including outside consultants and partners, are assembled by each SUPRASTUDIO professor. An innovative team of faculty, visiting designers, and lecturers further enhance the program by offering a common platform for critical studies and technical seminars where students can consider a fresh perspective on architecture in the contemporary post urban condition.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

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TYPICAL STUDY PROGRAM

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APPLICATION PROCESS

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IDEAS Campus

IDEAS Campus

Removed from the constraints of a traditional university context, SUPRASTUDIO’s satellite campus at the IDEAS facilitates more intensive collaborations with Los Angele based industry partners in adjacent fields including transportation, entertainment, technology, non-profit, and development arenas. The campus is equiped with a 5,000 square-foot Advanced Technologies Laboratory to further facilitate cross-industry research and development.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES LAB

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HERCULES HISTORY

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  • The Hughes Flying Boat is moved out of the Hughes Aircraft assembly building to Terminal Island for final assembly

    The Hughes Flying Boat is moved out of the Hughes Aircraft assembly building to Terminal Island for final assembly

  • View aft through the fuselage of the Hughes Flying Boat under construction from the cargo deck

    View aft through the fuselage of the Hughes Flying Boat under construction from the cargo deck

2013/14 IDEAS LECTURE SERIES

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Industry Partners

Industry Partners

Rapid advances in technology have created greater areas of overlap among adjacent industries. As design problems become more interwoven and complex, a new collaborative approach is needed to both define and solve the issues facing the next generation of designers and industry leaders. SUPRASTUDIO serves as a new platform in architecture education to work with outside partners who come to our program as catalysts and partners in research and development. Together, our students, professors, and larger group of consultants and collaborators work to anticipate where a partner’s field is headed, and how design can plug in to address future areas of growth.

PARTNERS & SPONSORS

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PAST PARTNERS

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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