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: Craig Hodgetts/ Hyperloop


One of the clearest indicators of technological growth through the centuries can be traced in the evolution of transportation and communication systems. Both systems act as primary generators of social and cultural change, and as indispensible promoters of economic vitality. They shape our cities physically, and affect the daily activities of every individual. And yet transportation is rarely if ever addressed within those intellectual frameworks. Market forces and engineering criteria contribute to a lack of meaningful critical discussion, leading to our present seemingly intractable conditions.

The HYPERLOOP STUDIO will provide a platform for critical appraisal, analysis, and research leading to the creation of an innovative, global way out of at least a few of the mis-steps of the past, and the first steps towards making such a system practical and user-friendly.

The studio subject will be based on a concept first proposed in the early twentieth century, and revisited many times since – most recently by Elon Musk – whose SpaceX Technologies have performed in depth engineering analyses of the concept.

As this is a completely unique system of transport, further development of the concept will involve analysis of possible station locations based on demographics, availability of sites, and local traffic; investigation of the passenger compartment and issues of comfort, entry and exit; creation of preliminary design concepts for terminals and adjacent urban areas; and exploration of structural concepts for the right-of-way.

Teams selected from the studio will be working in parallel with other teams to address each of these aspects, so that the entire scope of the proposal can be investigated in depth. We hope to employ the robotics laboratory at the IDEAS satellite campus where the SUPRASTUDIO program is based to create full-scale mock-ups where appropriate, and to experiment with projected digital media, fluid dynamics, exotic materials, and ergonomic studies in order to bring creative design solutions to the table.

Studio: Greg Lynn


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 2013 studio will investigate the implications of both moving and intelligent structures.

Studio: Thom Mayne / The Now Institute


This studio will be led by UCLA Distinguished Professor and Pritzker Prize winning architect Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Yi as a year-long research investigation at the graduate level in collaboration with The Now Institute, UCLA’s dedicated urban planning and research center with a history of over 10 years of initiatives that span the greater Los Angeles region and abroad. A core advisory group includes Charles Waldheim, Harvard GSD Chair of Landscape Architecture; Alan Berger, MIT Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture; Albert Pope, Rice Professor of Architecture; David Herd, Principal, Buro Happold; and Greg Otto, Principal, Buro Happold. 

Birthed from the idea that education should not be pursued in a vacuum, The Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO challenges the paradigm of pure academia with a hybrid approach into new territory that combines disciplined research and professional rigor. Past projects include the award-winning L.A. Now series, new town planning for the City of Madrid, the Float House for residents of New Orleans, and consulting for shrinking post-industrial cities across America. The Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO expands beyond architecture and urban research in the academic sphere to respond to complex, real issues and their spatial manifestations. The complexity of urban phenomena is studied through an interdisciplinary, integrative approach and hybridizes interactions across diverse disciplines. The social, cultural, historical, economic, and political layers that generate today’s modern condition are analyzed before a problem is stated. Prescriptive solutions are replaced with reasoning and relevant design. This model of research, problem formation, and design is the blueprint that will drive intelligent, informed solutions for any other independent scenario. 

In facing our complex modern urban condition, SUPRASTUDIO and The Now Institute maintain a rigorous research and design methodology and anticipate an outcome of cultural intelligence, social relevance, and the broader advancement of our urban environment.





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. 


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.


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.


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.


Greg Lynn:

Masses in Motion

Greg Lynn will focus on robotics at the scale of large-scale buildings.


IDEAS Campus

IDEAS Campus

Removed from the constraints of a traditional university context, SUPRASTUDIO’s satellite campus at IDEAS facilitates more intensive collaborations with L.A. 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.




About The Program

About The Program

Each academic year, students can apply to one of the three 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.






“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