Roger Sherman_Studio III


Course: 123 Studio III (Undergrad)

Roger Sherman, Adjunct Assistant Professor
This studio examines contemporary urbanism—no longer a discreetly discipline-based centralist planning, but a “field” of multiple coincident, interactive disciplines that blur conventional areas of expertise, and operate at various scales. Such terms challenge the stasis of architectural objects favoring looser, dynamic relational networks. Oscillation between scales and levels of expertise becomes a necessary modality. Simultaneously we utilize a “mat” strategy: a powerful tool to organize territories, shape matter, enable flows, the “mat” incorporates systemic flexibilities and resiliency to control flux. Resisting stylistic formations it flexibly negotiates scalar indeterminacies (small, medium and large), programmatic admixtures, as well as structure and infrastructure. 
As Los Angeles densifies, it acquires specific moods, patterns, and transportation modes. Venice Beach is one such exemplary territory, coalescing much of the city’s identity while maintaining specific character, an odd mix of progressive ideals, international escape, and day-to-day life. Forces including economic speculation, tourism, discreet-zoning overlays, and inadequate infrastructure shape Venice Beach. Yet the vitality of the boardwalk remains and idiosyncrasy prevails. 
Addressing urban and architectural scales, we re-imagine an urban “chunk” utilizing the “mat” as a loose exploratory framework. Urban constituents (housing, retail, commerce, open space, transportation, and infrastructure) are aligned with this vital center as we focus on a typical Venice Boardwalk block. Using basic spatial units, we grow urban tissues, explore organizational patterns, mix programs, establish moods, remain flexible, and resist stasis. The goal is a localized, high-performance urban matrix, forecasting potential for a much larger urban territory.
Students: Eliza Boghossian, Donald Brosh, Michie Cao, Patricia Chai, Abigail Chang, Esther Chao, Hadin Charbel, Melissa Couch, Sonia Flamberg, Selam Girma, Angel Gonzalez, Kaitlin Groeneweg, Joyce Hahn, Lauren Hale, David Johnson, Austin Kaa, Hae Jin Kim, Karen Kitayama, Arvin Lam, Lucas Lind, Robert Panossian, Patrick Rammelkamp, Isabel Rossa, Anne Schneider, Ming So, Ping Wang, Meaghan York, and Guomei Zhang.