PLEASE NOTE: Students matriculating in Summer 2020 will be granted a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design (M.S.AUD) for the post-professional program (formerly M.Arch.II). The curriculum, requirements and credits associated with this program have not changed.

The M.S.AUD is a one-year post-professional degree program that leads to a Masters of Science in Architecture and Urban Design degree. The program is open to students with a NAAB-accredited five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree, a NAAB-accredited graduate degree in architecture, or the foreign equivalent, and is eligible for the STEM OPT Extension for F-1 visa holders.

This unique program offers students with a professional degree in architecture the opportunity to specialize their skills and apply architectural design thinking and capabilities to real-world challenges outside the field. The program is exclusively located at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s IDEAS campus, an incubator for collaborative, cross-disciplinary design research. Through year-long design research topics, students and faculty work with partners working in the areas of entertainment, media, technology, and urbanism. Students apply the analytical and design processes of architecture and urban design to emerging developments in these industries. By engaging with experts from other fields, students have the opportunity to expand architecture’s field of influence and leverage design to propose alternative, more intelligent futures.

Questions? Email us at IDEAS@aud.ucla.edu

Explore Student Projects

Studio: Entertainment


California is home to the largest concentration of high-technology industries in the world and is a global center for entertainment and animation. The IDEAS Entertainment Studio explores the intersection of the built environment and entertainment, integrating large-scale media, interactivity and robotics to animate cities, buildings and spaces. This studio uses narrative and immersive approaches to the design of environments to consider the material expression of popular cultures.

2019-2020 IDEAS Entertainment Studio with Natasha Sandmeier


In a world dominated and organized by the ability to read, decode, and scroll through thousands of images every day, the IDEAS Entertainment Studio is uniquely positioned to provide a platform for architects to engage in the design and shaping of environments as well as their audiences. Architects work in a profession that traditionally privileges form over image, yet live in a world that does the reverse. This studio situates itself at the crosshairs of that reality at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design's IDEAS Campus, fully equipped for students to explore what it means to work and learn as an architect today in a world filled with (and often, consumed by) the tools, techniques and instincts of animators, filmmakers, storytellers and other communicators, as well as their audiences. We will build worlds and stories that align space and form with image and technology, in order to transform the role of the architect in a massively mediated world – and discipline – like the one we all inhabit today. Along the way we will: transgress the authentic with the fantastical; the real with the fictional; the willful and the arbitrary, in order to not only invent, but render, animate and broadcast architectural, visual worlds of tomorrow. 


A fundamental goal of the IDEAS Entertainment Studio is to build new, unexpected kinds of architectural worlds. The studio has a goal as well to build the audiences that will inhabit these worlds. In the hyper-mediated environment of the 21st century, architects need to look beyond their normal audience (of other architects) to embrace as well a larger world now largely living within the stories and images of our time. To be an architect today is to be an individual able to imagine as well as arrange connections – whether in the literal joints and materials of a physical object’s making, no less than the subtler and experiential moments of the people, spaces and events architecture has, more meaningfully, always been made from. That act of imagination, visualization, and communication lies at the center of this studio’s teaching, learning and research. Our interest isn’t just the making of objects, or their images, but instead the new kinds of imagination – and their related media environments – in which the figure of the architect today lives. It’s a world you now already know better than architecture itself. 

Studio: Mobility


Mobility is a challenge that will face architects in the future as they move away from the design of single buildings to projects which wrestle with the very problematic conditions of the modern environment. The IDEAS Mobility Studio program seeks to identify ways in which architecture and urban design can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. The answer may lie in holistic approaches to building and infrastructure, or in a highly specialized building component.  

2018-19 IDEAS Mobility Studio with Greg Lynn

New forms of mobility are being developed currently for both people and things. From autonomous container ships and trucks, to autonomous buses and cars, to autonomous aerial and land drones, logistics and transportation is being reformulated rapidly.These new forms of intelligent motion are impacting urban, suburban and rural infrastructure. However, little thought is being applied to how buildings are impacted; in particular, the interior circulation and building envelope. It is the premise of this research studio that lightweight intelligent electric mobility should enter architecture and provoke a similarly transformation that the elevator and escalator provoked a century ago.

Previously architecture has been defined as static and function has been defined as dynamic.  Necessary for the formulation of architectural responses to autonomous vehicles and intelligent mobility in and out of buildings is the development of numerical and spatial techniques for the quantification of moving people and things in buildings.  The format of these concepts will be spatial diagrams and generic typologies accompanied by numerical and narrative descriptions.  The diagrams and typological speculations can take the form of digital modeling, simulation, robotic physical models, or working full scale mock-ups.  The Suprastudio will begin the year with a series of problem statement concepts such as: Can spaces be more intensively used as furniture gains location awareness and mobility; What new spatial arrangements and opportunities are possible; How are buildings oriented given the various scales, speeds and rhythms of transportation systems that move around, through, between, and within buildings; Do robots enter buildings with people, with vehicles or in new locations; Do people and robots share the same circulation spaces within buildings; How can mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communication and fire suppression systems be mobilized throughout buildings; Can the territory of a building expand and contract throughout the day, season or lifecycle with the introduction of intelligent mobile robotics?
The Mobility SUPRASTUDIO is devoted to the invention of architectural concepts in response to new forms of mobility and several building typologies will be analyzed and transformed by the students including retail markets, workplaces, housing, resorts, medical facilities and educational building types.  Based on the success of these transformations of precedents the studio will focus on specific projects on site around the city of Los Angeles.    

Studio: Urban Strategy


At times the world changes slowly; at others it changes quickly. Right now the world is transforming at a highly accelerated rate. Nowhere is this more visible than in cities. As physical and digital universes converge to create augmented urban environments, cities will soon be the site and substance of all design. Architects will have to put together a new toolkit to engage real life cities and their mirror world. Students in the Urban Strategy studio will develop a set of skills to research today’s colossal shifts and propose urban environments that will thrive.

2019/20 IDEAS Urban Strategy Studio with Jeffrey Inaba

Land – as in land ownership, land development, land planning, endangered land, land disasters, land scarcity, and land redevelopment – is the bottom-line story of Los Angeles as a city. From its settlement to its series of expansions and finally its densification, reimagining the land has been the vehicle for the city to grow. 
One of the most remarkable attempts is Olmsted and Bartholomew’s 1930 plan to create an emerald necklace of parks from the Pacific Ocean through Downtown LA to the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains along the path of the LA River, transforming the land from a handful of disparate municipalities into a new regional geography of open spaces connected by transportation corridors. The ambitious proposal to give LA’s land an urban culture before it had one resonates today as plans for the LA River have prompted discussions about knitting the region together through a series of linked landscapes and urban attractors. 

The yearlong Urban Strategy studio will take the Olmsted and Bartholomew plan as a source of inspiration to imagine the future of Los Angeles at a broad regional scale. As LAND suggests, the studio will work with partners that have a stake in LA’s land, including real estate investors, urban planners, community organizations, and companies with large land holdings.

The design proposals will look at three aspects of future LANDs:

1. Nature – rather than battle nature to build, we’ll use it as a medium to grow the city using geography, landscape, and inclusive habitats

2. Climate – because the land is changing we’ll design infrastructure and urban areas that improve the quality of life in a world of climate risk

3. New building types - the rising value of land means architects will need to create new types of buildings whose urban spaces make the best use of limited area in a city reluctant to densify


Studio: Technology


Architecture is currently at the cusp of a paradigm shift, where the environments we occupy are becoming increasingly virtual and mobile. Considered as an ecosystem of technologies rather than a tectonic assemblage of materials, architecture is shifting toward a non-static and non-physical form of experience. This opens up the potential for it to be considered as a transdisciplinary medium that merges the worlds of fabrication, gaming and media design. The IDEAS technology studio investigates the design of new media in digital and physical forms, and its potential to radically transform the human experience.

2018-19 IDEAS Technology Studio with Guvenc Ozel

“I believe that our contemporary reality is constructed as a fusion of the digital and the physical. I’m interested in exploring artificial intelligence, Virtual Reality, 3D printing and robotics to create an experiential and cognitive continuity between the user and space for an interactive and high-performance architecture.” 

DataSpaces: The Architecture and Urbanism of the Internet

Extending our ongoing research on artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and computational design systems, the DataSpaces studio will explore the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds as a synthesized environment that enhances communication among citizens of the information age. 

Architecture of Data/Data Architecture

As the most dominant platform for communication, the internet is often referred to as “cyberspace”. Current forms of interface design and organizational logics of information over the internet however exist as environments only in the world of allegories, preventing the participants from interacting spatially with these streams of data. Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies have the potential to transform information navigation, social media interaction and other modes of communication, productivity and entertainment into environments that can be designed with architectural considerations. Viewed as an ecosystem of technologies rather than tectonic assemblage of materials, architecture is shifting toward a non-static and non-physical form of experience, opening up potentials for it to be considered as a medium that merges the worlds of media and materiality. Based on these observations, the studio will explore environmental applications of media in the form of virtual and augmented reality, sensor interaction with environments and real time control and transformation of architectural spaces. Primarily concerned with digital display and representation of objects and consumption of media, the studio will translate these ideas by re-thinking architectural conventions and building and urban typologies.  The research will aim to give form to dominant web based platforms, transforming their interaction into an architectural scale through Virtual Reality.  Meanwhile the studio will investigate media integration to existing architectures of communication and socialization, such as museums, convention and performance halls, shared business spaces, spaces of learning and other environments of public display and exchange of information, images and sounds.

Social Media, Telepresence and the New Representation of Self

Constructing architecture enhanced by and built with media, the studio will investigate scenarios where occupants of such architectures travel seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds. Through the proliferation of social media, virtual avatars, sensory simulations and holograms, current and future forms of technological communications simulate experiences with precision and without exclusively relying on the physical presence of their subjects. In these radically different new social environments, architecture is conceived as a cyberphysical system, designed not only for the use of people but also for the digital occupancy of avatars as its new subjects. By questioning the role of representation in the process of constructing realities and environments, the studio will focus on the potentials of such virtual tools to formulate a reformed agenda for the role of the digital in the contemporary practice of architecture.

About The Program

About The Program

Led by professors who are experts in their respective fields — Greg Lynn, Güvenç Özel, Natasha Sandmeier and Jeffrey Inaba — students join a team of educators and industry partners to question, challenge, and expand the current conventions of architectural practice. 

Each year, the program offers concurrent studios that explore a relevant applied research theme. Topics have included strategic thinking, sustainability, contemporary culture, lifestyle, autonomous cars, mobility, sensing technology, robotics, extreme environments, the journey to outer space, virtual reality, entertainment production performances, and media-enhanced experiences. Through intensive research and experimentation, students investigate contemporary technological inventions, capture opportunities for interdisciplinary growth, and create new methodologies for architectural design. 




Industry Partners

Industry Partners

A major factor to the success of IDEAS is the ability to forms teams among SUPRASTUDIOS and collaborators who together explore contemporary urban challenges. The IDEAS incubator has brought design, technology, and research to breakthroughs in high profile crowd-sourced projects such as Hyperloop, high-performance architecture with Boeing and Cirque du Soleil, 3D-printing design and technology with Autodesk and urgent issues of sustainability with UNICEF in Haiti. This new model of education investigates practical matters to prepare graduates who create architecture and design for the future.

For information on partnerships, please contact Valerie Leblond, IDEAS Program Director at valerie.leblond@aud.ucla.edu










IDEAS Campus

IDEAS Campus

To create and build new design concepts, the IDEAS campus provides a studio environment adjacent to technology laboratories with access to two of the largest industrial robots available in a university setting, cutting edge fabrication, 3D-printing and augmented reality tools.

IDEAS operates in a 15,000 square-foot facility located in a dynamic neighborhood of Culver City in Los Angeles, approximately 8 miles south of the main UCLA campus in Westwood. The neighborhood is an eclectic former industrial area transformed through contemporary architectural interventions since the late nineteen-eighties that serves as home to creative design and entertainment companies.

View map here.



“Industry often uses the language of architecture to speculate on the future of their fields. SUPRASTUDIO works with these partners in collaborative research, and opens up the future possibilities for architecture, from the outside in.”

Hitoshi Abe
Chair, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design