Thom Mayne with Eui-Sung Yi

The NOW Institute is an urban research center at AUD, that applies strategic urban thinking to real world issues. Led by distinguished professor Thom Mayne, and directed by assistant adjunct professor Eui Sung-Yi, the team also lead the urban strategy research studio as part of our M.Arch.II program.

The NOW Institute research studio projects range from residential to city-scale thinking and explore topics as diverse as sustainability, contemporary culture, artificial intelligence, autonomous mobility, sensing technology, extreme environments, and media-enhanced experiences.

Past projects include: Haiti NOW, a visual almanac of Haitian history, culture and issues to help the country recover from undirected planning and natural disaster; The Life Tree project, a network of community centers providing clean water, consistent electricity, safety from crime, and educational opportunities; and Farm Box, a bottom-up hydroponic solution that creates equitable food access using interstitial space.

The studio is now building on an understanding of cities’ capacity to absorb spontaneous contingencies of daily life. Beginning with an exploration of the foundational single-family home model, the students defined organizing grids and sets of rules to ground randomizing algorithms within the pragmatic constraints of modern living. In this way, the studio attacks the place of traditional residential programs in a modern, digitally-infused society.

Students: Ju Bu, Qiuju Chen, Yutong Chen, Favio Chumpitaz, Weiyan Dai, Fanghui Ge, Aiswarya Goutham Gouthaman, Hongjia He, Guannan Sun, Christopher Wang, Hansheng Wang, Siqi Xiao