SUPRASTUDIO is a research platform in architecture education that advances experimentation and cross-discipline collaboration among professors, students, and industry partners 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: Greg Lynn


Greg Lynn, Professor
Julia Koerner, Lecturer

In the last decade, our environments have become ever more mobile with increasing sensing and processing capability, and therefore with greater intelligence. The next generation of designers should be trained to engage and imagine the potential of dynamic, deformable environments with the situational awareness to adapt and transform smartly. In an effort to reduce the real estate as well as energy footprint of buildings, transformable structures are inevitable. The next frontier in architectural innovation is not shape and complexity but spectacular motion. This 2015 studio investigates the implications of both moving and intelligent structures.

To view more student work, visit the 2013/14 Lynn Studio Blog.



Studio: Thom Mayne / The Now Institute


Thom Mayne, Distinguished Professor
Eui-Sung Yi, Lecturer

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


Guvenc Ozel

Technology, through material innovation and relentless demand for connectivity, has become ubiquitously present in the sense that it can be applied to, informed by and embedded into practically anything to do with the material world. In parallel, traditionally seen as science fiction, artificial intelligence has become a contemporary reality that is interwoven into our society and economy. Following this fusion between technology, objects and space is an elevated level of interaction between the user and architecture; a form of singularity of cognitive, material, social and spatial logics.

The objective of the studio is to provide a platform of experimental architecture and design where space is no longer a deterministic, final, rigid realm but an environment in transformation and evolution based on human interaction. So far recent experiments in media art, technology and architecture primarily focuses on what the machine can do. The objective of the studio is to explore what space can do in relationship to the human body and human psyche while using technology as the unifying agent.

The studio will explore the concept of Architectural Singularity in multiple scales and think of potential scenarios where emerging technologies in the fields of sensors, mobile devices, wearable technologies, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing can play a role in the construction, daily operation, maintenance, transformation and overall user experience of contemporary social spaces.

Studio: Craig Hodgetts


Craig Hodgetts 

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. 

Less than one hundred years ago, the majority of roadways had no paving, the telephone was a rarity, and most homes had no indoor plumbing. The introduction of these and other innovations significantly changed the structure of cities, commerce, and the family unit.

Now is the time to recognize their potential of today’s technologies to bring about similar responses, and to set about recognizing their impact, giving cities new form, dwellings new functions, and environments new expression.

For this SUPRASTUDIO we envision a conjunction of radical social, technologic, and communications innovations to propose a new urban framework in which transport, energy, domestic activity and work effort are redistributed according to profound changes in the human enterprise. The tools for such a revolutionary approach to architecture and urbanism are by now firmly in place, lacking only the vision and political will to put them all together.

The disintegrated element of our approach can be identified by the newly–formed, booming commercial entities which offer lodging, transportation, and cash-free transactions, disruptive fabrication and production technology, and the potential of self-sufficiency offered by innovations in energy production and storage.

Presently these innovations and more are layered more or less haphazardly onto extant structures, resulting in compounding of incongruities.

By identifying and analyzing transformative innovation, the studio will propose a new, integrated blueprint for urban development



      STUDIO HODGETTS/      











Frank Gehry:


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?

Greg Lynn:


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).


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.


Greg Lynn:

Masses in Motion

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


Neil Denari:


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


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.


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.


Neil Denari:


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.






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.


  • 150kg payload Kuka Robotic Arms donated by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc

    150kg payload Kuka Robotic Arms donated by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc


  • 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


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.




“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