Professor Mayne, Culture Now Project Expands


The Culture Now Project initiated by Thom Mayne with Karen Lohrmann and first launched as UCLA's 2010-2011 Suprastudio will now expand towards a collaborative effort of eleven universities including Rice, Kentucky, Syracuse, Rensselaer, Pratt, Harvad, Princeton, UPenn, MIT, and Cornell. 

Culture Now investigates the contemporary American condition to shift perspectives in struggling U.S. cities.  By integrating public policy, urban studies, contemporary culture and its spatial manifestations, Culture Now reframes the current conversation.  The use of demographic, infrastructural, and cultural evidence immediately extends this discussion across disciplines, and encompasses institutional and political models of the public.

Since August 2010, Thom Mayne, Design Director of Morphosis, with Karen Lohrmann, and a group of advisors have been leading 14 architecture and urban design graduate students in an inquiry about the dynamics of culture, now.  By identifying existing systems and correlations, dependencies, initiatives and interactions, the studio examines spatial, communal, economic and ecological transformations as instruments of change.

While developing a methodological evaluation approach and applying specific selection criteria, the studio focuses on the following eight cities: Atlantic City, NJ; Mobile, AL; Cleveland, OH; Flint, MI; Merced, CA: New Orleans, LA; Toledo, OH; and Tucson, AZ.  As of fall 2011, in collaboration with 10 other U.S. universities, Culture Now will broaden this endeavor to include additional cities across the country.