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Mission & Vision

A thriving creative community is the alchemy of ideas, values, talent, and technique.

UCLA Architecture and Urban Design is a champion of ideas and their articulate expression. Our exceptional faculty teach students to engage the world around them, to see ideas as productive forms of response, and to leverage design and writing as expressions of newly curated perspectives.

Through rigorous inquiry, we interrogate contemporary urban issues and propose possible futures with equal measures of expertise, optimism, and vision. These ideas are grounded in a critical engagement with the history and theory of architecture and the future contingencies of contemporary culture.

As part of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, our department is in close contact with other forms of creative cultural production, including the UCLA Departments of Art, Design Media Arts, and World Arts and Cultures/Dance, as well as UCLA’s public arts institutions—the Center for Art and Performance and the Hammer and Fowler Museums.

Our faculty and students represent a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. We see this as crucial to fostering a robust intellectual and ideological debate. Across our collective work, a number of values are shared.

Design and its Intellection

The design process is complex alchemy, resulting from clarity of thought and the application of interdisciplinary forms of expertise. We focus on design AND its intellection by teaching rigorous methods of inquiry and research. Design is shaped by the questions we ask, the contexts we interrogate, and the methods of engagement we adopt.

Critical Exploration of Technology

Technology accelerates change to our methods and tools as well as to our contexts. This change often occurs more quickly than our analysis of technology’s effects. We attempt to predict technology’s role in the built environment, envisioning its possible effects for critical reflection.

Cultivating the Transformative Effects of Media

Ideas are communicated through text, drawings, images, simulations and other forms of representation. As media changes, so too does our ability to communicate and indeed, imagine. We investigate the role of media in the construction and communication of thought.

Engaging Urban Cultures

The built environment is an expression of culture. It supports social and technological structures, connecting people, environment and machine in ever-evolving, and increasingly urban, networks.