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.

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Join us for Graduate Open House
Monday, October 27, 2014 
Learn more about the graduate programs offered at A.UD. Meet faculty and students, participate in a portfolio workshop and hear more about our curricululm.

Studio: Gehry Partners / Gehry Technologies

Frank Gehry, Visiting Professor
Dennis Shelden, Visiting Professor

Craig Webb, Visiting Professor
Kiduck Kim, Lecturer
This 2013/14 SUPRASTUDIO wass 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?

To view more student work, visit the 2013/14 Mayne / Now Institute Studio Blog.



Studio: Greg Lynn


Greg Lynn, Professor
Julia Koerner, Lecturer

The 2013/14 Lynn SUPRASTUDIO 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 collaborator in the business of innovating and thinking decades into the future. This provoked the studio to formulate concepts and develop design proposals that engaged innovative 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 project was of four building types that can be transformed by the use of a small percentage of moving room(s).

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

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 proposals 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 Ministry of Tourism and the Office of the Mayor of Cap-Haïtien, the Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO aims to provide integrative research, urban 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 Connaissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète), Haiti Soleil and the Center for Black Studies.

To view more student work, visit the 2013/14 Mayne / Now Institute Studio Blog.



2013-2014 STUDIO BLOGS




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.


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.






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.




“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