Winner, 2x8: Taut


AIA LA 2012 exhibition
Congratulations to recent A.UD graduates Jessica Dovletian and Aleris Rodgers. Their project, Solar Grain from Neil Denari’s 2011 Research Studio Geographics took 1st prize at the 2012 AIA LA 2×8:Taut exhibition. The award comes with a scholarship provided by Gensler.

"This award means a lot to us, it reaffirms our decision in this field and makes us more confident in what we're doing." Jessica Dovletian and Aleris Rodgers
Research Studio: Geographics

Professor Neil Denari
The current image of sustainable design relies on nature as the primary element in the codification of its intentions.  Because of this, the current discourse on sustainability overlooks the fact that the most sustainable cities have active cultural agendas that, quite frankly, include the culture of consumption. The Geo-Graphics studio has cut across this dividing line to support consumption at the level of economic vitality and at the level of cultural necessity, yet we have aspired to reject overconsumption at the level of energy use.
Through the use of upgradable technologies such as thin film solar PV’s and aeroponic farming, the studio has endeavored to merge or even submerge energy production into advanced media and advertising systems within a hyper dense redesign of Westwood Village. Seen as an underproductive (actually underconsuming) territory, the site mixes student housing and UCLA related program with extensive shopping networks among other programs. 
Geography + Geometry x Graphics  = The Geo-Graphic City / G3
Solar Grain: Jessica Dovletian and Aleris Rodgers
Based on our experiences in Tokyo, we sought to redesign Westwood around the human scale. Our scheme proposes a density inversely related to height--our lowest neighborhoods are the most dense, while the highest are the least dense.
In order to explore a variation in grain, we established four standard geometric types that could be modified--by stacking, mirroring, and scaling--from buildings 6 meters to buildings 72 meters tall. While economical, this method allowed us to produce a vast number of different buildings over 8 highly differentiated neighborhoods.
The basic massing of the site is informed by previous research into solar gains; it would form one continuous blanket were it not for six shifted gaps placed throughout the site. These shifts operate in both plan and section, connecting the above-ground terraces laterally as well as connecting the surface level (for pedestrians and cyclists) with the service level below (for local and thru vehicular traffic).
The 2012 2×8:Taut student competition and exhibition showcases outstanding work from students from around California. The opening and awards ceremony marked the 10th year 2×8 has honored excellence in student architectural work.  With encouragement and motivation from AIA|LA, the 2×8 scholarship provides students with the confidence to realize that their ideas do matter. Winning an award for AIA LA is indicative for what will come for these future architects.
Jessica Dovletian and Aleris Rodgers project is also included in the Student project section.