Course: Craig Hodgetts SUPRASTUDIO with Marta Nowak
Craig Hodgetts, Professor, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Marta Nowak, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

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The work of the Hodgetts SUPRASTUDIO explored contemporary issues in the realms of architecture, settlements, and habitationfrom the perspective of future developments in technology, energy, and material science. The carefully chosen projects enabled students to learn from a holistic approach to these issues by combining research, design, and practical applications within the framework of three ten-week residencies at the IDEAS studio/workshop facility, which is fully equipped to enable the use of large-scale fabrication tooling as well as a full complement of presentation equipment and individual student work spaces. Recent projects included an in-depth development of the Hyperloop transportation system, research and development of a prototype community based upon recent technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and internet communications, and the design and construction of a full-size research capsule based upon research into the methods used by indigenous cultures to combat extreme environments.

During the 2017-2018 academic year the Hodgetts SUPRASTUDIO explored the issues of GRIDLOCK through the investigation of new transportation and delivery methods and their impact on the city of Los Angeles. The studio studied network systems and proposed ideas to solve problems ranging from urban interventions to proposals of new modes of mobility such as autonomous vehicles, straddle buses, drones, etc. Examining the design of these new mobility systems, the students built full scale prototypes, used augmented reality to simulate the experience of travel, and used digital fabrication techniques. In the technology seminars students focused on digital fabrication, projection mapping and materials. In the fall seminar, the students experimented with unconventional and recycled materials and construction techniques. In the winter quarter the students investigated the issue of the organic body and its relationship to building components. Students built wearable prosthetics that advanced the body’s functions.

Course: Mack Mack SUPRASTUDIO
Mark Mack, Professor, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Steve Lee, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

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MACK SUPRASTUDIO 2016 / 2017 explored the top­ic of performance and how it relates to architecture and urban design. As an open idea of unlimited portenital, the course explored different realities of performance using architecture and design discpline. Students examined various per­formance-based disciplines including visual art, music, entertainment and digital technologies that transform spatial ideas beyond their limitations typically connect­ed to real architecture.

MACK SUPRASTUDIO collaboratively worked on a two-week design charrette with Coachella Music Festival or­ganizers and event designers to develop conceptual design proposals for the upcoming 2017 festival.

For the 2016 Fall Design Studio, students teamed up to create temporary installations exploring various sound responsive systems, projection mapping techniques and digital fabrication methods. Projects were built in full scale and displayed at the IDEAS campus.

Temporary DJ booths and performance stages were de­signed based on the students’ favorite musicians using an existing downtown Los Angeles performance space named Lot 613. The project was required to be flexible to host various activities and create spectacles for live performances.

For Tech Seminar, students designed visual + musical in­struments using acoustic and digital technologies to alter atmospheres interactively and sensibly. Students were grouped together for a visual + musical performance for the finals called Supraband.

Professor Mark Mack hosted a series of lunch time lec­tures inviting architects working on projects related to temporary architecture and performance. Speakers in­cluded D3 technologies, Wil Carson from 64 North, Heidi Lawden and Alexis Rochas from Stereobot.

Course: Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO
Thom Mayne, Professor, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Eui-Sung Yi, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

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The Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO expands beyond architecture and urban research in the academic sphere to respond to complex, real issues and their spatial manifestations. The complexity of urban phenomena is studied through an interdisciplinary, integrative approach and hybridizes interactions across diverse disciplines. The social, cultural, historical, economic, and political layers that generate today’s modern condition are analyzed before a problem is stated. Prescriptive solutions are replaced with reasoning and relevant design. This model of research, problem formation, and design is the blueprint that will drive intelligent, informed solutions for any other independent scenario.

Previous research for the UCLA Grand Challenge: Sustainable Los Angeles was published. As part of the larger UCLA Grand Challenge: Sustainable LA initiative, Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO worked with ESRI to map and analyze the energy, water, and environmental resources of LA County. Wilshire Boulevard: Densify 1% to Preserve 99%. As an extension of the Sustainable LA project, Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO continued to develop a densification study of Wilshire Boulevard, intended to preserve the lifestyle of 99% of LA County.

Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO developed a series of iterative urban strategies Eco Islands, for a man-made island in the South China Sea. Operating as an ecotourist destination, the project challenged traditional notions of landscape and building typology by investigating the overlap of disparate infrastructural systems.

For Urban Hydroponics: The Farm in the City, Thom Mayne / Now Institute SUPRASTUDIO has partnered with Community Health Councils (CHC), working to develop an urban Food HUB and a series of POD designs that utilize hydroponics to address issues of food equity in Los Angeles. Students investigated the opportunities created by the LA Promise School Zone and other community groups.

Guvenc Ozel, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Benjamin Ennemoser, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

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The Ozel SUPRASTUDIO focused their architectural research in 2016-17 on artificial intelligence, generative design, technologically enhanced spaces and interactive environments. SUPRASTUDIO was used as a platform to exploit the potential for robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, interactive environments and virtual reality for designing spaces suitable for extended human presence in new modes of mobility on earth and extraterrestrial contexts while working with the contributions of various industry partners and experts from the field such as Autodesk, Microsoft and Oculus. The studio imagined scenarios for intelligent architectures that can move, self-generate, adapt, interact and autonomously fabricate through the employment of novel technologies, media interfaces and high performance materials. In the Fall 2016 quarter, in order to understand the logics that lead to the formulation of artificially intelligent cognitive material systems, the studio conducted research to better understand the generative nature of contemporary design models and their mathematical foundations. The intent of this quarter was to explore the logics and formal outputs of organizational behaviors. Through researching specific terminologies and finding exemplary projects in the field of digital and interactive art, architecture and industrial design, the students developed a formal language of interactive motion.

In the Fall Tech Seminar course, the goal was to develop a series of soft robotic end effectors and prostethics for the Agilus KUKA robots that could be controlled in real time, by a user or an artificial intelligence, in a process of interaction with a given distinct object. The course included the use of various sensors and actuators to fabricate complex tools that only work with a specific form.

This formal logic—elasticity, plasticity and shape-shifting— focuses on the ability of an object to change shape through material properties. Elastic materials, fluid dynamics, smart materials, tensile structure, inflatables and other systems that rely on the relationship between material science and geometry fall into this category. This project explores this system in the form of soft robotics. A dynamic curvature through graded cellular pneumatics examines shape-shifting as a tool to create and alter dynamic architectural spaces.

During the Spring quarter the Ozel SUPRASTUDIO explored autonomous transportation on earth: autonomous vehicles as an extension of architecture (or “moving rooms”), networks and logistics of autonomous vehicles and their impact on the built environment. Mobility systems emerged as the entry point for many of these new technological developments. On Earth, intelligent transport systems are changing the way we envision and inhabit spaces as the nature, speed and range of transport change. Although the speed of transport is increased and made more efficient, the amount of time spent during transport is increasing as the distinctions between work and leisure spaces blur. The notions of architecture and transportation are starting to merge as autonomous vehicles are exceedingly being considered as extensions of architectural spaces; enhanced with interactive technologies and media interfaces. These new media interfaced in the form of virtual and augmented reality were used to construct larger interactive digital worlds in confined physical spaces. As a consequence, the autonomous transportation vehicle becomes an architecture in motion in the digital and the physical worlds.

The studio project explored shape-shifting in the form of responsive transformation. The capacitive touch sensor located in every vertex responded to human interaction with various behaviors, from changing its local proximity to triggering an overall shift in its form.

This proposal focused on offering potential experimental shelter and transportation solutions to users and communities intent on occupying areas prone to current and future sea level rise. Fundamental to this research is the concept of autonomous devices which design, through sensor and user data, highly customized and self-sustainable habitats through the utilization of harvesting localized materials for additive manufacturing. In this circumstance, the vehicle will both serve as the manufacturing generator and have the ability to intervene as a functional appendage with its built habitat.

The current quarter’s tech seminar course aims to develop various fabrication techniques through robot human interaction and telepresence. The students are producing robotic arms which are to be end-arm tools for the KUKA Agilus robots. Exploring robotic fabrication at the intersection of telepresence, cyber-physical systems and virtual & augmented reality, these tools aim to bridge the gap between humans and robots, and allow them to collaborate. The augmented reality interface helps to control the parameters of the fabrication process. Two main categories of this course are Subtraction & Dissolving and Addition & Aggregation. Students are testing various materials such as wax, foam and UV resin, testing their capabilities and reactions to certain operations. At the end of this course, the students will present the final results as well as their end effectors.