CRAIG HODGETTS with Marta Nowak

Hyperloop is a unique transportation technology based on centuries-old pneumatic tube principles, promising to provide ultra-clean, ultra safe, affordable, intra-urban travel at super-high speed. It will achieve these goals by employing a high-tech mix of physics, material science, and highly efficient engineering principles to minimize its impact on the environment while offering trip times as short as thirty minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Hyperloop concept, like most transforming innovations, is not an elaboration on existing technologies, it is a comprehensive new system-wide, highly integrated transportation utility. There is no precedent that exists for this new transportation system including station design, right-of-way, capsule movement along the tracks, or even how to address safety regulations.

The Hyperloop, like the internet and the smart phone ten to fifteen years ago, will represent the coming together of technologies never before employed into mass transportation.

UCLA’s Hyperloop SUPRASTUDIO with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc. Powered by JumpStartFund in conjunction with engineers and expert consultants are having a meaningful critical discussion to begin the process to impact the way we think about high-speed transit tube systems for the future.


UCLA’s HYPERLOOP SUPRASTUDIO is a platform for critical appraisal, analysis, and research leading to the creation of an innovative, global way to develop a practical and passenger friendly transit tube system.


Based on the demographic, geologic, and economic analysis concluded over the last two quarters, and on the realities of the existing Los Angeles transportation infrastructure, the site selection committee has identified the area East of Union Station on the Eastern bank of the Los Angeles River as the most likely location for the initial terminal for the Hyperloop system.

This location will lend impetus to the development of a more robust urban environment in the Boyle Heights area of the city, as well as the increase the potential for the restoration and eventual reclaiming of the River itself, with immeasurable benefits to the downtown area and those who live in it.

Proximity to Union Station with its extensive connections to various transit systems throughout the City, and to the Boyle Heights Metro station, as well as to the 5, 10, and 60 freeways will consolidate transit operations without the necessity to construct new infrastructure and may eventually contribute to a reduction in transit-related automobile traffic.


Utilizing studies and practical solutions developed in the preceding quarter, design a Hyperloop station and its supporting urban infrastructure, to include parking, off ramps, connections to Union Station, and river-edge amenities appropriate to the location, such as appropriate retail, food and beverage services, conference facilities, etc. Consider that developing the station on the site may serve as a catalyst for other, complementary uses, and provide a vision for those uses.

A suggested route for the Hyperloop in order to depart from urbanized Los Angeles will be part of the study – however it will not be emphasized, as the focus will be on the architecture and urban design aspects of the proposal.

During the 2014-15 academic year Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. worked closely with UCLA Architecture and Urban Design’s SUPRASTUDIO. UCLA’s Hyperloop SUPRASTUDIO provided leading edge design efforts through their graduate M.Arch. II degree program with 25 students from around the world. Under the direction of professor Craig Hodgetts, students will contemplate where stations in major cities could be based, what the urban planning around those areas might look like, what design solutions could enhance the experience for travelers (as it relates to station design, vessel/capsule design and local transportation options to and from Hyperloop stations) and how such a project could be brought to life.

Students: Milagro Jassmine Carpio, Danfeng Chen, Jinliang Chen, Chun-Hua Chiu, Hui Feng, Junfeng Hong, Puyang HOU, Shuangjiao Hu, Sruthi Kumar, Christos Kyratsous, Jie Li, Xiaoyuan Li, Hanxiong Liu, Kai Qian, Zeynep Aysu Unal, Qiaoyue Wang, Suhua Wang, Matthew Lynn Whitham, Xianshuang Zeng, Shijie Zhang, Shuyan Zhang, Weizhong Zhang, Yafei Zhang, Yifan Zhang, Yayun Zhou.

GREG LYNN with Julia Koerner

During the year this SUPRASTUDIO was asked to design a building that can be demounted, relocated and potentially reconfigured. The second task was to redefine a city for a short term by locating multiple small buildings throughout that will then be later consolidated for a longer duration.

DYNAMIC SPATIAL MORPHOLOGY Each student designed a spatial morphology that addresses the transformation from “compact” to “expanded”. The mission is to formulate a design concept that is generic enough to work at many scales but architectural enough that it has some formal language associated with it. This should be personal and transportable across a variety of project constraints and scales like any good architectural idea. It should be compelling enough for others to copy so it must be immediately understandable without need for your further work or explanation. Dynamic meaning it has more than one arrangement or position not that it is moving or difficult to place.

Students: Nick Issa Aho, Yingnan Bao, Xiao Chen, Ronald John Culver, Bing Guo, Jae Hwan Lee, Wonjun Lee, Heyi Li, Jingjun Li, Charles Proffitt, Khaled Sadiyyah, Joseph Sarafian, Hao Weng, Qi Zhang, Yuan Zhou.

THOM MAYNE/Now Institute with Eui-Sung Yi
Haiti Now and Grand Challenge

This academic year, the Now Institute has been working on two projects. The first continues our work in Haiti for a third consecutive year and reintroduces a new project scale. The studio has designed and developed an off-grid pod for infrastructure including portable water and energy. The students have spent the year immersing themselves in research, data and on-the-ground exploration to design and develop a unit and a sustainable program that can change social and infrastructure in Haiti.

The Now Institute studio is also participating in UCLA’s Grand Challenge. Grand Challenge connects UCLA faculty, students and supporters from all disciplines, working together to strategize how the city of Los Angeles can become 100% renewable energy, 100% locally sourced water by 2050. Students will present the conclusions of this first year’s work toward the three-year initiative. As the first step to analyze the spatial integration of Grand Challenges, the Now Institute will present and urban design for Los Angeles’s Wilshire Boulevard.

Students: Xueqi Bai, Samuel Allen Bent, Omar Jamilul Haque, Shobitha Jacob, Chenguang Li, Xi Liao, Marieh Mehrannezhad, Apurva Purandare, Andre Simapranata, Jiani Song, Tuo Sun, Wei-Chieh Tsai, Duo Wang, Jue Wang, Runzhi Wang, Shuoyang Wang, Kun Yang, Jun Tao Yu.