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SCI-ISSUE 004

1 lady macbeth Eric Owen Moss 3

Public Programs

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Faculty Profile: Andrew Zago Peter Zellner

7 march madness Todd Gannon 11 keep it all inside Hernan Diaz Alonso 13 Campus News 17 Alumni News and Events 22 class notes


Peter Eisenman has spent a life looking for that place to screw his courage to. What is it?

Addressing a recent gathering of architects, Lady Macbeth advised: “screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail.” Then she left the room. Never identified the sticking venue. Left that task to each architect.

Maybe Eisenman can say.

Answer: You can say, if you can say. [You can take a position if you can substantiate that position].

What’s architecture?

Whoever puts a column in the middle of a bed speculates: What’s a column? What’s a bed? And [it follows], What’s a wall, A roof, A floor, A window?

Could Peter Eisenman be an LA architect?

Los Angeles at its best is an aspiration: The city of the architect as introvert. Teaching itself its own lesson. No search for consensus. No promulgating of generic design doctrine. Manifestos one architect at a time.

Eric Owen Moss

lady macbeth

1


You find it,

And just when he’d locate Macbeth’s sticking place, Pete realized he’d entered A perpetual race.

Method won’t solve it When instinct will do. Nor is logic the answer, When guessing pulls through.

Sometimes it’s pleasure, Sometimes it’s pain, Sometimes it’s easy, Sometimes a strain.

It’s not what architecture is, Peter found. It’s what architecture sits on That makes it resound.

It’s not the doctrine, Nor the tools. When journeying there, Pete was looking for rules. From axons to parametrics, Ends can’t be the means, The secret more likely Resides in our dreams.

It’s not the city, It’s not the site, It’s not the day, But it might be the night. It ain’t the program, Nor the cost. Wandering there He was certainly lost.

Where is it? In a decades long search for the sticking place, Here’s what Peter learned:

Eric Owen Moss, Introduction to Peter Eisenman lecture, March 5, 2012.

[with apologies to Adele]

Peter’s sticking place search ends And begins with a famous refrain: If you’re looking for architecture, Set fire to the rain.

Then, like magic, he learned The secret’s hidden in song. If you sing it you’ll grasp it And never go wrong.

So surprise ain’t surprising. It’s not below or above. Pete’s convinced architecture’s obligated To burn what it loves.

Where you look you don’t find it, And where you find it, don’t look. It’s not something discovered In the most learned book.

You lose it, You find it again. And finally discover There’s no pattern For when.

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PUBLIC PROGRAMS

About Public Programs Lectures and discussions are webcast live at sciarc.edu/live.

RECENT

Lecture Series

The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm. The Library Gallery is open Monday–Friday from 10am– 7pm and Saturday–Sunday from 12pm–6pm.

Peter Eisenman

Projects & Practice Principal, Eisenman Architects, New York March 5

James Frazier Stirling: Notes from the Archive–Crisis of Modernism Dean and Professor, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, New York March 21

Lecture

Lecture Series

Who is Moss? Professor, Architectural Design and Theory, Ohio State Knowlton School of Architecture March 6

Fashioning Apollo Assistant Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, UC Berkeley March 28

Lecture Series

Peter Cook and CRAB

SCI-Arc is located at 960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. The building entrance and parking lot are located at 350 Merrick Street, between 4th Street and Traction Avenue. SCI-Arc Public Programs are subject to change beyond our control. For the most current information, please visit sciarc.edu or call 213.613.2200. To join SCI-Arc’s Public Programs email list, contact public_programs@ sciarc.edu.

Lecture

Jeffrey Kipnis

Anthony Vidler

Nicholas de Monchaux

SCI-Arc Gallery Exhibition

Meteorological Architecture Principal, Philippe Rahm Architectes, Paris March 7

Towards Comfo-Veg Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham, Principals, Cook-Robotham Architecture Bureau (CRAB), London April 6–May 13

Lecture Series

SCI-Arc Exhibition

What’s Next? 2012 Raimund Abraham Lecture Founder and Design Director, Morphosis, Los Angeles March 14

April 20–May 6

Philippe Rahm

Thom Mayne

Sixth Annual Spring Show current SCI-Arc Gallery Exhibition

Ball-Nogues Studio

Yevrus 1, Negative Impression Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, Ball-Nogues Studio, Los Angeles June 1–July 8

upcoming SCI-Arc Library Gallery Exhibition

ALEXIS ROCHAS

STEREO.BOT Alexis Rochas, Founder, I/O, Los Angeles August 3-September 23 SCI-Arc Gallery Exhibition

Selected Thesis Exhibition September 17–28

SCI-Arc Gallery Exhibition

Zaha Hadid Architects October 12–December 2 Lecture Series Nicolas de Monchaux Fashioning Apollo Lecture

Charles Correa

Principal, Charles Correa Associates; Farwell Bemis Professor, MIT, School of Architecture and Planning October 17, 7pm Lecture Series

Sylvia Lavin

Chair, Ph.D. in Architecture Program and Professor of Architectural History & Theory, UCLA November 14, 7pm


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OUTSIDE SCI-ARC Exhibition

The [Secret] Return of Peter Noever

ACE Museum, Los Angeles December 12–30, 2011 A special SCI-Arc-hosted exhibition documenting twenty-five years of Peter Noever’s curatorial adventurism as Director of the MAK (Museum of Applied Art / Contemporary Art), Vienna and founder of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, California as well as of the MAK Artists-and-Architects-inResidence scholarship program in Los Angeles. Exhibition

Out Spoken: Lectures from the SCI-Arc Archive

Faculty Lectures, Exhibits, Awards & Competitions VOLKAN ALKANOGLU

1st Prize, Fenton Hall Project, Eugene, Oregon JOHN ENRIGHT

Elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows (FAIA), National AIA Convention, May 2012 HSINMING FUNG

Hodgetts + Fung invited to participate in upcoming exhibition Committed Architecture—Manifestos for Changing the Society, Museum Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich MARCELYN GOW

Graham Foundation Award, 2012 Grants to Individuals recipient ERIC OWEN MOSS

The MAK Center for Art & Architecture, Los Angeles May 15–August 12, 2012 The MAK has invited noted architects and scholars to mine the rich history of public presentations hosted by the Southern California Institute of Architecture, collected in the SCI-Arc Media Archive.

“Outside the Box” There’s Another Box Urban Environment Design Magazine Lecture Tour, Tsinghua University in Beijing and Hangzhou, China, February/March 2012 Oklahoma State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, Columbus, Ohio, February 2012 What If Tears Were Really Laughter? Pontifical Catholic University in Puerto Rico, Ponce, Puerto Rico, December 2012

Exhibition

Emily White

3rd Moscow Biennale of Architecture

Layer: A Loose Horizon, Installation at Pasadena Museum of California Art, June 3–October 14, 2012

Central House of Artists, Moscow May 23–May 27, 2012 Featuring the panorama of the future urban and world architecture, architectural and design bureaus from 20 countries will participate at the Biennale, including Eric Owen Moss and Tom Wiscombe. Exhibition

2x8

A+D Museum, Los Angeles June 5–June 30, 2012 2x8 is an annual exhibition sponsored by the AIA|LA, showcasing exemplary student work from architecture and design institutions throughout California. Matthew Gillis, a faculty member at SCIArc, was chosen as the designer to create the exhibition. Conference and Exposition

Dwell on Design

LA Convention Center June 22–June 24, 2012 The 7th Annual Dwell on Design will feature original design installations by local creatives, including Oyler Wu Collaborative. SCI-Arc will also have an official exhibit presence on the show floor.

Peter Cook and CRAB Towards Comfo-Veg SCI-Arc Gallery

SCI-Arc Spring Show Nelson Almendarez (top) Emmy Maruta (bottom)


5

space oddities: andrew zago faculty profile Peter Zellner

ANDREW ZAGO Andrew Zago is the coordinator of the Visual Studies program at SCI-Arc. The principal of Zago Architecture, he has over twenty years of professional experience in architecture, urbanism, and education and began his professional practice in 1987. From 2003 to 2007 he was the founding director of the Master of Architecture program at the City College of New York, and he has also taught at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, UCLA and the Ohio State University. He is currently also a Clinical Professor in Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Zago frequently lectures, and his work has been exhibited in Berlin, New York, Detroit, Princeton and Los Angeles. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a member of the National Register of Peer Professionals of the General Services Administration in Washington, as well as a recipient of both an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellowship Grant from the United States Artists organization. PETER ZELLNER Peter Zellner is the co-coordinator of the SCI-Arc Future Initiatives (SCIFI) program together with David Bergman. He is the founding principal of ZELLNERPLUS, an award winning architectural design, planning and research firm located in Culver City, California. In 2009, Domus (Russia) and the organizational committee of the ARCHIP International architectural competition named Zellner the laureate and winner of the ARCHIP 2009 Interior/Innovations award. He has been recognized as an emerging architectural voice in national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times. Zellner was named by The Los Angeles Times as one of 10 ‘Faces to Watch in 2012 in Dance, Theater, Architecture and Art.’ Zellner has held Visiting Professorships in Architecture at University of California at Berkley, Florida International University, University of Southern California, Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris and at the Institut fur Stadtebau und Raumplanung (Institute for Urban Design & Urban Planning) at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Most schools of architecture cultivate the sort of architectural personality for whom the usual career arc—from anointed protégé to mid-career “emerging professional” to established practitioner— is a given condition of engagement. SCI-Arc is a different sort of academic establishment. SCI-Arc made a reputation for itself as a home and a safe haven for, to appropriate a [Eric Owen] Moss neologism, different sorts of architectural “characters.” The wild wo/men of architecture— the acrobat, the gadfly, the mad scientist and, of course, the rebel’s rebel. If there is a criticism that could be leveled at SCI-Arc it is that it always makes the game of architecture appear endlessly fascinating and the characters that play there seem perhaps too like the original cast from SNL: The Not Ready for Prime Time Players. If SCI-Arc has endorsed figures that have made specific contributions to the discipline, it has also willfully encouraged a culture of active resistance to wider recognition and, one could argue, deeper relevance. Thankfully, SCI-Arc has also engaged and sustained the careers of other architects who may be said to have been too far ahead of the curve at times (or ‘the fold’ in this case) to align comfortably with the larger culture. Like a number of early proto-punk acts that later influenced the alternative rock movement of the 1990’s (Iggy Pop, another Detroiter, for instance), Andrew Zago is an architect whose early works were so seminal that they would threaten to nearly eclipse his later work. But, like a number of cultural figures who have displayed an uncanny sense for personal and professional reinvention (again referring to “pre-Alternative” music, David Bowie comes to mind), Zago is an architect whose commitment to the discipline has brought his work once again into the enviable

position of being both endlessly fascinating from a disciplinary perspective and increasingly engaged with issues relevant to a larger public and professional audience. How has teaching at SCI-Arc been beneficial to you, specifically, because of the culture of the school that you refer to?

Peter:

Andrew: I see my studio not only as a business and professional practice but also as a kind of laboratory for the projects of my firm. I bring that to the school. In other words, through teaching I can see other kinds of unexpected permutations and ramifications of things that we’re working on. So that’s important. The other part of it is I came into a school that had developed an unbelievable degree of expertise. And I think that’s both on the part of my colleagues and on the part of the students that we teach. It’s probably a little simplistic to talk about that merely as a digital expertise. There was that, certainly, but it was a digital expertise being applied to some very unusual—some would say ‘outlandish and unreasonable propositions’—that was quite surprising to me. Although, perhaps, I didn’t think of it at first, that also had quite a deep influence on my teaching as well as my practice. Thinking through, it seems like three different strands came together at SCI-Arc. One was, of course, my own evolving interests through my own practice and experience. The second had to do with, for lack of a better word, the tradition of the school—the unreasonable ability to make virtually anything. And then the third was this sort of very unusual and very sophisticated digital exploration. And so I think what I was able to do at SCI-Arc, to some degree, was not only mix this expertise with some of my own growing concerns, but also to try to instill that original sense of unreasonable construction that was always a hallmark of the school. That’s certainly affected my teaching. It’s affected my work to some degree—although I wouldn’t credit my influence, solely, by any means—but I think that’s also been an influence on the school. There is a very healthy and unorthodox willingness to produce things across a range of new techniques, traditional skills, and unusual—in some cases highly unusual—topics of interest that, in terms of the graduate thesis projects at least, are perhaps things that are important not just as student work, but also as hopefully a new front in architecture and architectural education. Peter: At SCI-Arc, we’ve recently had a series of public discussions—a provocative lecture by Peter Eisenman, a public essay by Jeffrey Kipnis that attempted to unravel the work of Eric Owen Moss, and an ambitious lecture by Thom Mayne. All these talks were framed around the relationship between ideas and practice or, as Eisenman put it, of Project and Practice. Where do you see the role of education relative to the discipline these days?

It’s a changing landscape. I think Peter Eisenman’s model of teaching and practice is born of a situation in which the important advances in architecture were happening in schools primarily, because of the state of practice at that time. I think what we saw over the last fifteen years—unfortunately not so much in the U.S. but certainly in Europe and other parts of the world—were the advances in terms of technology, creativity, which far outstripped academic exercises. I think that’s largely still true today. SCI-Arc has a special place in that dichotomy. I think that has to do with a couple of things: the unique nature of the school as a stand alone architecture school; the fact that the design studios are taught, virtually without exception, by small independent practitioners; and the close relationship between the teaching and

Andrew:

Boing! Chair, 2011.


6

the work in our practices that provides a kind of unified front between those two things acting to take architecture forward. I would say what’s quite difficult, but at the same time exciting, is to look at this work that’s been emerging over the last few years. There has been a certain kind of scrutiny, and I would even say anxiety, on the part of faculty in their own work, not just in the work of the studio, that there are things that are being worked on and advances being made in advance of a theorization about them. It is important and necessary that there is an intuition of what SCI-Arc is doing, how it goes forward. There’s a sense of when important, new accomplishments are made that haven’t been codified into a school of thought or into a theory. It no doubt will happen. It may be when that does happen, that when it’s over. Something that you and I have been talking about for a few years, at least since you began teaching in the Future Initiatives program, is the relationship or role or architecture in the city. In the SCIFI program you ran an urban design studio in Detroit in 2009, and in 2010 you took on the Cleantech Corridor project as a studio topic. More recently, your involvement in the “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” exhibition at MoMA allowed you to work at quite a large scale, at a suburban scale in fact. How has working at SCI-Arc and thinking about the city has been instrumental for you in the development of that project?

Peter:

MOCAPE: Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition, Shenzhen, China, 2007.

My assertion is that the most important element that’s missing in urban discussions today is not the role of architects, but rather the role of architecture itself. There are two answers to that question in terms of SCIArc’s role. Firstly I must mention the unbelievable amount of direct and indirect support that SCI-Arc gave me for the MoMA project. I had what was, without doubt, the most talented group of people I’ve ever had in my office, and most of them were either SCI-Arc students or recent SCI-Arc graduates. Of the five core team members, one was David Bergman, the co-coordinator of the SCIFI program who came in as an urban economist, absolutely essential to the project. The other was Bruce Danziger of Arup, once faculty and collaborator with many of the faculty here at SCI-Arc, who came on as a structural engineer. So, SCI-Arc was imprinted on the entire possibility of the project and the team. I think the other question, though—the question of the relationship of architecture to urbanism—is either framed or not framed in ways that are very unhelpful within the discipline. My assertion is that the most important element that’s missing in urban discussions today is not the role of architects, but rather the role of architecture itself. In other words, I think there are a lot of discussions about ways in which architects can get involved in urbanism but frankly, it typically comes down to architects taking on the mantle of the planner, sociologist, economist, or ecologist—which in the context of the somewhat generalist profession that we have, we do anyway, just in the course of developing projects. But the idea that the core efficacy and possibility of what architecture itself does—the bringing of form and space as a creative work that can foster novel kind of public imagination—is something that is not discussed at all or discussed only with a certain degree of embarrassment. In other words, there is always a need for justification for the architect’s role in terms of defining its relevance as other disciplines define them. Admittedly, the thing that we do is sometimes ephemeral. It is a dull instrument Andrew:

1

2

for change as opposed to say policy or economics, but it provides an absolutely essential part of the very imagination of what a city and the very imagination of what public life is. And so, with the MoMA project, that was always our primary goal even from when we were first asked to present our approach to the end. At the final symposium that was held after the opening, they asked each of the architects to name a topic that they would like to discuss. When the list of the various topics came back for all of the teams to discuss there was public health, economics, community involvement, etc. The topic our team put forward was architecture. Frankly, I thought there should have been more than a little bit of embarrassment on the part of the other teams. The most inspired part of Barry Bergdoll’s formulation of the entire enterprise was, in my estimation, that these would be teams that are not just led by architects, but that would be led by architecture.

1. Museum of Polish History, Competition Entry, Warsaw, Poland, 2009. 2/4. 2012 Yeosu Expo Pavilion, Competition Entry with David Fletcher Studio and Arup, Yeosu, Korea, 2009. 3. The Greening of Detroit Pavilion, Detroit Michigan, 2009. 5. Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, 2011-12.


5

space oddities: andrew zago faculty profile Peter Zellner

ANDREW ZAGO Andrew Zago is the coordinator of the Visual Studies program at SCI-Arc. The principal of Zago Architecture, he has over twenty years of professional experience in architecture, urbanism, and education and began his professional practice in 1987. From 2003 to 2007 he was the founding director of the Master of Architecture program at the City College of New York, and he has also taught at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, UCLA and the Ohio State University. He is currently also a Clinical Professor in Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Zago frequently lectures, and his work has been exhibited in Berlin, New York, Detroit, Princeton and Los Angeles. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a member of the National Register of Peer Professionals of the General Services Administration in Washington, as well as a recipient of both an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellowship Grant from the United States Artists organization. PETER ZELLNER Peter Zellner is the co-coordinator of the SCI-Arc Future Initiatives (SCIFI) program together with David Bergman. He is the founding principal of ZELLNERPLUS, an award winning architectural design, planning and research firm located in Culver City, California. In 2009, Domus (Russia) and the organizational committee of the ARCHIP International architectural competition named Zellner the laureate and winner of the ARCHIP 2009 Interior/Innovations award. He has been recognized as an emerging architectural voice in national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times. Zellner was named by The Los Angeles Times as one of 10 ‘Faces to Watch in 2012 in Dance, Theater, Architecture and Art.’ Zellner has held Visiting Professorships in Architecture at University of California at Berkley, Florida International University, University of Southern California, Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris and at the Institut fur Stadtebau und Raumplanung (Institute for Urban Design & Urban Planning) at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Most schools of architecture cultivate the sort of architectural personality for whom the usual career arc—from anointed protégé to mid-career “emerging professional” to established practitioner— is a given condition of engagement. SCI-Arc is a different sort of academic establishment. SCI-Arc made a reputation for itself as a home and a safe haven for, to appropriate a [Eric Owen] Moss neologism, different sorts of architectural “characters.” The wild wo/men of architecture— the acrobat, the gadfly, the mad scientist and, of course, the rebel’s rebel. If there is a criticism that could be leveled at SCI-Arc it is that it always makes the game of architecture appear endlessly fascinating and the characters that play there seem perhaps too like the original cast from SNL: The Not Ready for Prime Time Players. If SCI-Arc has endorsed figures that have made specific contributions to the discipline, it has also willfully encouraged a culture of active resistance to wider recognition and, one could argue, deeper relevance. Thankfully, SCI-Arc has also engaged and sustained the careers of other architects who may be said to have been too far ahead of the curve at times (or ‘the fold’ in this case) to align comfortably with the larger culture. Like a number of early proto-punk acts that later influenced the alternative rock movement of the 1990’s (Iggy Pop, another Detroiter, for instance), Andrew Zago is an architect whose early works were so seminal that they would threaten to nearly eclipse his later work. But, like a number of cultural figures who have displayed an uncanny sense for personal and professional reinvention (again referring to “pre-Alternative” music, David Bowie comes to mind), Zago is an architect whose commitment to the discipline has brought his work once again into the enviable

position of being both endlessly fascinating from a disciplinary perspective and increasingly engaged with issues relevant to a larger public and professional audience. How has teaching at SCI-Arc been beneficial to you, specifically, because of the culture of the school that you refer to?

Peter:

Andrew: I see my studio not only as a business and professional practice but also as a kind of laboratory for the projects of my firm. I bring that to the school. In other words, through teaching I can see other kinds of unexpected permutations and ramifications of things that we’re working on. So that’s important. The other part of it is I came into a school that had developed an unbelievable degree of expertise. And I think that’s both on the part of my colleagues and on the part of the students that we teach. It’s probably a little simplistic to talk about that merely as a digital expertise. There was that, certainly, but it was a digital expertise being applied to some very unusual—some would say ‘outlandish and unreasonable propositions’—that was quite surprising to me. Although, perhaps, I didn’t think of it at first, that also had quite a deep influence on my teaching as well as my practice. Thinking through, it seems like three different strands came together at SCI-Arc. One was, of course, my own evolving interests through my own practice and experience. The second had to do with, for lack of a better word, the tradition of the school—the unreasonable ability to make virtually anything. And then the third was this sort of very unusual and very sophisticated digital exploration. And so I think what I was able to do at SCI-Arc, to some degree, was not only mix this expertise with some of my own growing concerns, but also to try to instill that original sense of unreasonable construction that was always a hallmark of the school. That’s certainly affected my teaching. It’s affected my work to some degree—although I wouldn’t credit my influence, solely, by any means—but I think that’s also been an influence on the school. There is a very healthy and unorthodox willingness to produce things across a range of new techniques, traditional skills, and unusual—in some cases highly unusual—topics of interest that, in terms of the graduate thesis projects at least, are perhaps things that are important not just as student work, but also as hopefully a new front in architecture and architectural education. Peter: At SCI-Arc, we’ve recently had a series of public discussions—a provocative lecture by Peter Eisenman, a public essay by Jeffrey Kipnis that attempted to unravel the work of Eric Owen Moss, and an ambitious lecture by Thom Mayne. All these talks were framed around the relationship between ideas and practice or, as Eisenman put it, of Project and Practice. Where do you see the role of education relative to the discipline these days?

It’s a changing landscape. I think Peter Eisenman’s model of teaching and practice is born of a situation in which the important advances in architecture were happening in schools primarily, because of the state of practice at that time. I think what we saw over the last fifteen years—unfortunately not so much in the U.S. but certainly in Europe and other parts of the world—were the advances in terms of technology, creativity, which far outstripped academic exercises. I think that’s largely still true today. SCI-Arc has a special place in that dichotomy. I think that has to do with a couple of things: the unique nature of the school as a stand alone architecture school; the fact that the design studios are taught, virtually without exception, by small independent practitioners; and the close relationship between the teaching and

Andrew:

Boing! Chair, 2011.

4


6

the work in our practices that provides a kind of unified front between those two things acting to take architecture forward. I would say what’s quite difficult, but at the same time exciting, is to look at this work that’s been emerging over the last few years. There has been a certain kind of scrutiny, and I would even say anxiety, on the part of faculty in their own work, not just in the work of the studio, that there are things that are being worked on and advances being made in advance of a theorization about them. It is important and necessary that there is an intuition of what SCI-Arc is doing, how it goes forward. There’s a sense of when important, new accomplishments are made that haven’t been codified into a school of thought or into a theory. It no doubt will happen. It may be when that does happen, that when it’s over. Something that you and I have been talking about for a few years, at least since you began teaching in the Future Initiatives program, is the relationship or role or architecture in the city. In the SCIFI program you ran an urban design studio in Detroit in 2009, and in 2010 you took on the Cleantech Corridor project as a studio topic. More recently, your involvement in the “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” exhibition at MoMA allowed you to work at quite a large scale, at a suburban scale in fact. How has working at SCI-Arc and thinking about the city has been instrumental for you in the development of that project?

Peter:

MOCAPE: Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition, Shenzhen, China, 2007.

My assertion is that the most important element that’s missing in urban discussions today is not the role of architects, but rather the role of architecture itself. There are two answers to that question in terms of SCIArc’s role. Firstly I must mention the unbelievable amount of direct and indirect support that SCI-Arc gave me for the MoMA project. I had what was, without doubt, the most talented group of people I’ve ever had in my office, and most of them were either SCI-Arc students or recent SCI-Arc graduates. Of the five core team members, one was David Bergman, the co-coordinator of the SCIFI program who came in as an urban economist, absolutely essential to the project. The other was Bruce Danziger of Arup, once faculty and collaborator with many of the faculty here at SCI-Arc, who came on as a structural engineer. So, SCI-Arc was imprinted on the entire possibility of the project and the team. I think the other question, though—the question of the relationship of architecture to urbanism—is either framed or not framed in ways that are very unhelpful within the discipline. My assertion is that the most important element that’s missing in urban discussions today is not the role of architects, but rather the role of architecture itself. In other words, I think there are a lot of discussions about ways in which architects can get involved in urbanism but frankly, it typically comes down to architects taking on the mantle of the planner, sociologist, economist, or ecologist—which in the context of the somewhat generalist profession that we have, we do anyway, just in the course of developing projects. But the idea that the core efficacy and possibility of what architecture itself does—the bringing of form and space as a creative work that can foster novel kind of public imagination—is something that is not discussed at all or discussed only with a certain degree of embarrassment. In other words, there is always a need for justification for the architect’s role in terms of defining its relevance as other disciplines define them. Admittedly, the thing that we do is sometimes ephemeral. It is a dull instrument Andrew:

for change as opposed to say policy or economics, but it provides an absolutely essential part of the very imagination of what a city and the very imagination of what public life is. And so, with the MoMA project, that was always our primary goal even from when we were first asked to present our approach to the end. At the final symposium that was held after the opening, they asked each of the architects to name a topic that they would like to discuss. When the list of the various topics came back for all of the teams to discuss there was public health, economics, community involvement, etc. The topic our team put forward was architecture. Frankly, I thought there should have been more than a little bit of embarrassment on the part of the other teams. The most inspired part of Barry Bergdoll’s formulation of the entire enterprise was, in my estimation, that these would be teams that are not just led by architects, but that would be led by architecture.

1. Museum of Polish History, Competition Entry, Warsaw, Poland, 2009. 2/4. 2012 Yeosu Expo Pavilion, Competition Entry with David Fletcher Studio and Arup, Yeosu, Korea, 2009. 3. The Greening of Detroit Pavilion, Detroit Michigan, 2009. 5. Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, 2011-12.


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7

march madness Todd Gannon

Peter Eisenman is an internationally recognized architect and educator— currently the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice at the Yale School of Architecture—whose award-winning large-scale housing and urban design projects, innovative facilities for educational institutions, and series of inventive private houses attest to a career of excellence in design. Prior to establishing a full-time architectural practice in 1980, Mr. Eisenman worked as an independent architect, educator, and theorist. In 1967, he founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS), an international think tank for architecture in New York, and served as its director until 1982. Eisenman is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among other awards, in 2001 he received the Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Smithsonian Institution’s 2001 CooperHewitt National Design Award in Architecture. He was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale.

For the Spring 2012 semester, SCI-Arc assembled one of the most ambitious line-ups of lectures and presentations in recent memory. In twenty-one individual events, speakers from Los Angeles and around the world presented projects, tested hypotheses, and engaged ideas from across contemporary architectural discourse. The relentless activity reached a fever pitch in March. On March 5, Peter Eisenman addressed a packed auditorium on a distinction between “Project and Practice.” The following evening, Jeffrey Kipnis attempted to answer the question, “Who is Moss?” And on March 11, Thom Mayne delivered the second annual Raimund Abraham Memorial Lecture with a presentation entitled “What’s Next?” These three lectures formed something of a set within the broader collection of events, with the speakers countering each other’s claims, riffing on each other’s ideas, and provoking intense debate in the post-lecture question-and-answer sessions. SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss opened with the proposal that Eisenman, in his commitment to architecture qua architecture, might be an LA architect. As he would do the following week with Mayne and throughout the post-lecture Q&A sessions, Moss focused his introductory remarks on the personal, individual motivations he believes to be the heart of any serious architectural inquiry. Outlining his titular distinction, Eisenman followed suit: “For me,” he claimed, “an architectural project is one where the architect defines the world, that is, in his or her own image. And practice is where the world defines the architect—that is, where the

client, in a sense, suggests what one is to do.” And while ‘practice architects’ generally enjoyed more power (and commissions) than ‘project architects,’ history tended to favor those architects that had had a project. Nevertheless, he concluded, it was the practice of architecture—responding to obligations and challenges outside one’s individual motivations—that consumes the bulk of any architect’s time and attention, including his own. Eisenman then outlined six historical “meta-projects”— paradigmatic achievements by Vitruvius, Alberti, Perrault, Piranesi, the French Royal Academy, and Le Corbusier—that propelled architecture forward by motivating projective ambitions well beyond individual concerns. After suggesting that the discipline is due for a new meta-project to succeed Corbusier’s modernism, Eisenman concluded with a presentation of two of his own works: an apartment building in Milan representing architecture as practice, and a recently completed section of his City of Culture complex in Santiago de Compostela representing architecture as project. Despite his suggestion that the two works represented drastically different approaches to the task of making architecture, Eisenman’s descriptions were surprisingly similar. In each, he highlighted the use of syncopated grid systems to articulate plan organizations and building surfaces with complex contrapuntal rhythms of fenestration, material assemblies, building mass, and structure. And while his assessment of the Milan scheme as practice was undeniably dismissive (“Is there anything of

For me, an architectural project is one where the architect defines the world...And practice is where the world defines the architect... —Peter Eisenman

City of Culture of Galacia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Peter Eisenman Architects, 1999-present.


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Peter Eisenman

architectural value in the project? I think very little, to be honest.”), his brief description of Santiago’s ambitions as a project was strikingly vague: “…what we were doing was a project that looked like the ground. And the whole notion of the ground becoming figure or figuring the ground—anyway that you want to look at it—was something that we had begun and worked on for a long time and culminated in this project.” Architects, of course, long have been known to obfuscate the true motivations of their work. Eisenman’s reticence, though disappointing, should not have come as a surprise. But something in the presentation struck a chord with the audience, and a spirited question-and-answer session ensued. Several audience members pressed Eisenman to further articulate what distinguished a project from practice, while Mayne took issue with his polemical claim that architecture has little to contribute to the solution of political and social problems. Moss then turned the conversation back toward Eisenman’s individual subjectivity: “We’re looking for the reasons that belong to you and the reasons that belong to the client, and we’re trying to juxtapose those. The project in Spain is personal, introverted. It belongs to you in a solitary way; the other one belongs to a tradition of rules and obligations.” Despite additional efforts by the audience to provoke it, the evening concluded without further explication of Eisenman’s personal motivations. The topic of the self returned more emphatically the following evening. Mayne introduced Kipnis by predicting he would examine “self as a density and origin of thought and experience, EOM’s exegesis of exegesis; self as a propensity for an enigmatic (or is it oxymoronic?) display of connections of non-sequiturs, produced in a framework where project and practice are inseparable.” Kipnis obliged by invoking what he called “the contingent self” to account for Moss’s deeply personal and idiosyncratic architecture. As opposed to the radical individualism afforded the self by the concept’s first philosophers, Kipnis proposed the contingent self as fundamentally contested and compromised by its context—a self not fully in control. To illustrate, he first played a clip from the 1948 film adaptation of Hamlet in which Laurence Olivier famously edited Shakespeare’s original text in order to align the title character with the actor’s interest in the writings of Sigmund Freud. Contrasting Olivier’s deterministic agency, Kipnis then showed a 1980 photograph of Los Angeles architects in which Moss is mistakenly captioned as Michael Rotondi. Beyond winning a laugh, the photo prompted Kipnis to offer a more serious meditation on the idea of the contingent self. “This

looks like a bunch of guys who knew who they were, knew what they were going to do, knew in a certain sense that they were part of the future of architecture,” he stated. “But what this really is a picture of is misfits. They got together to form a kind of bohemian demi-monde based on arrogance and presumptuousness and the fact that nobody else in the world would recognize their important qualities.” Kipnis then recounted a similar situation among East Coast architects of the period. But where East Coast “misfits” banded together in coherent factions (the Whites, the Grays), West Coast architects remained far more committed to their personal idiosyncrasies. These contrasting tendencies, Kipnis continued, were reflected in distinctive formal proclivities on each coast. On the West Coast, a tectonically driven interest in part-towhole relationships seemed to dominate. On the East Coast, a linguistically inspired interest in what Kipnis called “rhetorical figures” took precedence. This partitioning, however, failed to account for Moss’s output. Despite the architect’s attentiveness to tectonic assemblies (as seen in his obsessively elaborated projects in Culver City’s Hayden Tract), Kipnis demonstrated an equally obsessive concern

Architectural theorist Jeffrey Kipnis is professor of architectural design and theory at the Ohio State Knowlton School of Architecture. For more than two decades Jeffrey Kipnis’s work has shaped the thinking, imagination and creative work of architects and critics. From seminal studies of the work of such key practitioners as Philip Johnson, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind, to theoretical reflections on the intellectual, cultural and political role of contemporary architecture in such essays as “Toward a New Architecture,” “Twisting the Separatrix” and “Political Space I,” to his award-winning film on the work of Frank Gehry, to exhibitions on architectural drawing and design, Kipnis has brought a restless, generous and provocative originality to bear on the issues that have defined contemporary architecture.

The consistency is probably more profound, in a certain way, than I think any of the other architects I’ve showed you. Not as an act of self plagiarism, but as an act of finding the agon— finding the context—and making sure that when he passes through his projects, they’re constantly and permanently unsettled. And permanently unsettled, I think, is the state of the contingent self. —Jeffrey Kipnis

Angewandte design proposal, Vienna, Austria. Eric Owen Moss Architects, 2012.


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march madness

for “rhetorical figures” (such as the “alphabet” of truss fragments and other recurrent elements in those same projects). These overtly linguistic tropes compelled Kipnis to parallel Moss’s complexly layered compositions with James Joyce’s dense literary constructions in Finnegan’s Wake. Yet this promising comparison unraveled almost as soon as it was delivered. Kipnis quoted Moss describing his methodology: “I think there is something in the thinking and the making of these buildings that has to do with that tension about what we know and what we don’t know or what might be understandable and what might be less understandable… So it seems to be more a tension between possibilities than a definitive solution.” If Joyce’s “assured self,” like Olivier’s Hamlet and Eisenman’s project architect, was firmly in control of what he was doing, Moss’s contingent self, Kipnis concluded, enacted a productive loosening of control. Mayne countered this attitude a week later in his presentation. Outlining his early development as an architect against the turbulent political and social context of the late 1960s, he noted “the importance of locating your own voice…an understanding that one has to control the conditions of one’s own artistic methods and processes.” Indeed, the lecture unfolded as a struggle for

Jeff Kipnis Thom Mayne is founder and design director of Los Angeles-based Morphosis. He founded his firm in 1972 as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and research. He is a founding faculty member of SCI-Arc and Distinguished Professor at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010, appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and honored with the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2000. Mayne’s distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005). He was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and was honored with the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2000. With Morphosis, Thom Mayne has been the recipient of 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, over 100 American Institute of Architecture Awards and numerous other design recognitions.

I’m going to suggest that the avant garde and idea of revolution, as we knew it and as an agent of change, is somewhat nostalgic and romantic and is ready for some sort of realignment. Not the impulse—not the desire for change—but the mechanism and the emotional attachment, let’s say, of avant gardism which propelled me as a young man. —Thom Mayne

The 2012 Raimund Abraham Lecture was generously supported by gifts from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and John Cordic/RJC Builders.

Thom Mayne

control of increasingly large and more complex projects with obligations to increasingly broad and more complex constituencies. Early Morphosis projects such as the Sixth Street house, Mayne argued, had to do with “autonomy and resistance…with authenticity…with various notions of contamination, with the idiosyncratic, with the use of found material…with the notion of oppositions…with the radicalism of the contradictions of dayto-day life.” A crucial shift came in 1999 with Diamond Ranch High School. In the earlier work, the firm’s desire for tension and complexity in the finished work often had to be sought outside the relatively straightforward programs they faced and tended to result in elaborate details, obsessively articulated elements, and intensively crafted drawings and models. After Diamond Ranch, Mayne argued, the desired complexity was supplied almost entirely by the conflicting demands of far more complex program briefs, technical and budgetary constraints, and an array of clients, consultants, and end users, which he illustrated with a survey of recent projects including the Cal Trans District 7 Headquarters (2002), the Cooper Union building (2010), and the Giant Group complex (2011). This shift in the kind of work Morphosis was doing brought with it a shift in Mayne’s attitude about his own role as an architect. Contrasting the resistant individualism that had shaped his early career, Mayne proposed the idea of a “collaborative self” as better equipped to face the challenges of contemporary practice. Such a radically distributed sense of self, he surmised, could more effectively engage both the increasing technical sophistication of contemporary building systems as well as the myriad ecological,


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todd gannon Todd Gannon is a registered architect, writer and curator based in Los Angeles. He taught at Ohio State, Otis College, and UCLA before joining the faculty at SCI-Arc in 2008. He currently teaches history, theory, and the occasional design studio, and serves as Graduate Thesis Research Advisor and Cultural Studies Coordinator. Dr. Gannon’s research focuses on the history and theory of late 20th-century and contemporary architecture. His published books include The Light Construction Reader (2002), Pendulum Plane/Oyler Wu Collaborative (2009), and monographs on the work of Morphosis, Bernard Tschumi, UN Studio, Steven Holl, Mack Scogin/Merrill Elam, Zaha Hadid, and Peter Eisenman. Dr. Gannon has lectured at institutions across the United States and in Europe, and is a frequent conference participant and jurist.

Diamond Ranch High School, Diamond Bar, CA. Thom

social, and ethical inflections of today’s large-scale urban undertakings. Despite Mayne’s plea for a new, collaborative self, audience questions focused on the more personal aspects of his work. Moss addressed the issue directly: “[Your work] is peculiar in its nuance and its shape and its language. And, actually, for all the differences in projects and sites, there is a very large consistency to it. So, to explain it in a pragmatic way from site to site doesn’t explain the consistencies. I do not mean this pejoratively, but there’s something else which is dragging it along.” Mayne’s response, in which he outlined what he admitted was probably a “hopeless” personal struggle to overcome his own sensibility, brought the three lectures—and their various postulations of an architectural self—full circle. For Eisenman, the vicissitudes of professional practice militated against the nobler ambitions of an individual project, while, for Mayne, it was exactly those individual ambitions that thwarted the possibility of a truly collective practice. Despite the undeniable strength of the architecture they produced, both architects, in a sense, outlined a disciplinary tragedy in which an ambition to achieve an idealized

notion of the self appeared to fall somewhere short of its goal. Kipnis, on the other hand, offered a way out that paradoxically would maintain the struggle indefinitely. By acknowledging the inability of any individual to fully control the results of his or her actions, the contingent self as personified by Moss was liberated from the impossible tasks set out by Eisenman and Mayne. To account for what might at first appear to be an even greater tragedy of having to do battle without any hope of winning, Kipnis invoked the Greek concept of agon, which he defined as “a kind of neverending fight with very specific rules…the point of it was not winning and losing but the working out of the possibilities of the argument within the context of those rules.” This, I would argue, was not only a useful characterization of Moss’s method, but also of the kind of contest that unfolded at SCI-Arc this past March— not a Final Four-style showdown in which one winner takes all, but rather an eternal, highly disciplined struggle against both oneself and the world that has compelled Peter Eisenman, Eric Owen Moss, and Thom Mayne to innovate relentlessly for over four decades and, it seems, has sustained both the practice and the project of architecture since its inception.

An architect’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a building for? —Eric Owen Moss


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KEEP IT ALL INSIDE Hernan Diaz Alonso

HERNAN DIAZ ALONSO Hernan Diaz Alonso is founder and principal of Xefirotarch, a Los Angelesbased design practice. Considered one of the most influential voices of his generation, Diaz Alonso assumed the role of Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc, after having coordinated the school’s graduate thesis process for several years. He was honored by Yale University with the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design for fall 2010. Diaz Alonso has lectured extensively at major institutions around the world. His architecture designs have received numerous awards and have been displayed in both architecture and art museum exhibitions, and published in magazines, books, and periodicals worldwide. Selections from the Fall 2011 Vertical Studios: 1. Jason Orbe-Smith. Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso. Vertical Studio: Rituals of Form (ESTm ) 2/3. Ayaka Ono. Instructor: Elena Manferdini. Vertical Studio: Elena Manferdini 4. Gustavo Omar Gonzalez. Instructor: Xu Weigu. Vertical Studio: Digital Diagram for Form Finding 5. Vehbiye Inal. Instructor: Peter Zellner. Vertical Studio: Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) 6. Dale Strong. Instructor: Ben Nicholson. Vertical Studio: Who Goes & Who Stays 7. Erin Besler, Eugene Kosgoron, Siim Tuksam (exchange student from the Vienna University of Applied Art), Peter A. Vikar. Instructor: Peter Testa. Vertical Studio: ‘Real-Time’ 8. Wisarut Wattanachote. Instructors: Michael Rotondi, Wes Jones. Vertical Studio: Roto/Jones 9. Ta (David) Yu. Instructor: Eric Owen Moss, Hsinming Fung, John Enright. Vertical Studio: Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc 10. Zidan Zhao. Instructor: Tom Wiscombe. Vertical Studio: Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm )

“You do an expansive celebration of a dance! First you do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. But you keep it all inside.” - Armand Goldman (Robin Williams), The Birdcage I know this is not an academic quote, but the truth is that I could not come up with anything that could better define the wonderful cacophony of Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc. My interpretation of what Robin William’s character established in the aforementioned quote is about a desire to overreach and be grandiose about a disciplinary knowledge, but at the same time being coherent and elegant within the confines of its expression. Therefore my argument (and now I am talking about Vertical Studios) is that it is possible for a system of parts that has an abundance of different ideas, gestures, movements and ideologies, to become a coherent, long-formed argument. One that necessitates the exuberant and the restrained in a single take. I think that SCI-Arc is a test probe of architecture itself, the stage of a cast of characters that play different roles within the school, all for the setting of a larger narrative. SCI-Arc is an argument about architecture—not just the cast of characters, but also the school itself.

Indeed, in many academic environments the act of teaching and the curricular content aren’t supposed to be personal, they are supposed to be part of some sort of clever critical comment on the state of the profession and the discipline of architecture. But what happens at SCI-Arc is that curricular content is not defined as a top-down structure, where course requirements, disciplinary focus and typological basis are pre-defined. Here it is actually a bottom-up network—it starts from the personal interests of its faculty and it trickles up to the consolidation of an ‘academic curriculum.’ I believe that this bottom-up arrangement allows the school to always question the state of the discipline, and to come up with unique and original ways that architecture can be challenged. Therefore, Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc, are—and must be—personal.

“You do an expansive field of Architecture! First you do Zago’s Awkward, Awkward, Awkward! You do Wes Jones’ Solar, Solar, with a hint of Oil Ring(intrinsic contradiction)! Or Wiscombe’s Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly! Or Spina’s Stacked, Stacked, Stacked! Or a Manferdini Paintbrush, Paintbrush, Paintbrush! Gow’s Sticky, Sticky, Sticky! Diaz Alonso’s Grotesque, Grotesque, Grotesque! Or the Directors’ Policy, Politics, and City! Or Testa’s Robots, Robots, Robots. But you keep it all inside.”


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Each character has a unique vision on what the discipline is, needs, lacks or should be. All points of view are expansive and euphoric; actually we like to think that the discipline is at a critical inflection point, and therefore it needs fixing, a call to duty. I believe this to be the delusional mindset of all architects, as there is notsuch thing as a critical moment to the discipline—every generation thinks it is in one of those unique moments, so we’ve had plenty of them. Therefore the alternative to paranoid delusion, the fact of reality is that the discipline of architecture is a less serious endeavor; one that does not necessitate the strength of the manifesto, nor the challenge of a revolution, but actually creative and ingenious ways to find multiple directions. The ‘conversation’ style discourse that happens between Verticals at SCI-Arc is similar to Robert Altman’s narrative technique of ‘overlapping dialogues,’ where the script is just a blueprint, and the actors become more significant as they improvise the dialogues, making them more relevant than intricate plots. There is no intricate plot at SCI-Arc; there are just a lot of short stories. Architecture should not be (believe it or not) about inventing something completely from scratch (even though this is preached as something highly desired), or something that has never been seen before (we actually have seen it all). Architecture is a very old discipline, one that has actually had a great life, with moments of extreme sobriety (such as Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier) and moments highly inebriated (such as well, too many names); neither state of consciousness describes a very stable personality (by switching the levels of alcohol, Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp almost reaches the level of a DUI, but Gropius’ Pan Am building is definitely a designated driver in the big party of modern architecture). Architecture goes back and forth—it is sometimes acute to the context of its zeitgeist, other times is simply bored with it—and therefore looking backward or forward. Looking back did not do much good in the 80’s, and looking forward did maybe just too much in the 90’s. So today is maybe the tomorrow that did not happen, since today we still build houses with pretty pitched roofs, and towers that look as new as they did in the 50’s. My point is (returning to the issue of verticals), at SCI-Arc we are not designing for tomorrow, we are not designing something totally new, we are designing today, and we are playing the stories anew. So the Vertical Studios are trading on an emergency of the now, in which some of them clearly focus on the technique/technology apparatus but always as architecture design problem; some of them trade in the reconfiguration of the disciplinary rigor; some in the relation between program, policy, and form; and some others are in a category of their own. But at the end of the day, the common ground is how each of the studios challenge the convention of what is right or wrong in architecture, defining a plateau in which the work can aspire to rattle and radicalize—we can hope— the limits of Architecture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios are not just pushing the limits, but are actually redefining the limits; using disciplinary knowledge as the solid platform where SCI-Arc is now continuing to grow, and moving forward instead of relaxing with a proven formula. It is clear that the main mission of these studios is not to think outside the box, or inside or both, but to define and redefine the box every time. So the question posed to the Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc is how can this seemingly chaotic ensemble produce harmony? What are the stories told anew that could extrapolate projects that are relevant to the discipline? The answers might be found in contemporary culture, were we have an abundance of information— information that comes in the manner of text, images and media. We read, see and gather as much as we can collect or as little as we can process. So, if things are in constant movement, being constantly updated, then we do need to move faster, to keep a 1

steady pace so we can always be ahead of the curve, or at least within range of the curve. In most cases, as architects, we have some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and morals, which is totally paralyzing in today’s culture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios should defy this, and try to move us outside of that moral comfort zone, to test new territories and promote new dialogues.

As the Joker in The Dark Knight stated: “See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” SCI-Arc’s elective Vertical Studios pair small groups of upper-level students with elite faculty and international architects. As part of these studios, students develop projects that explore particular interests and focus. They have the opportunity to work with architects visiting the school, and gain insight into a broad range of issues concerning approaches to building, the environment, technology, theoretical stances, and personal interests. Approximately ten vertical studios are offered each term and students are usually selected following a vertical studio lottery in which portfolios are reviewed.

Roto/Jones Michael Rotondi & Wes Jones

The Fall 2011 Vertical Studios included:

This two-semester studio sequence explores architectural paradigms at the convergence of generative computing, advanced materials, and collaborative robotics. The studio and affiliated Synchronous Robotics seminar operate for the first time in SCI-Arc’s Robot House using purpose built software toolset for the Maya platform.

Who Goes & Who Stays Ben Nicholson The concept of Heaven On Earth is a constant theme in architecture, for a house or an ideal city. The studio is structured to work on a range of independent but interconnected designs addressing an imagined aftermath of ‘The Rapture’. Studio researches into notions of heaven, rapture, eschatology, military arms & architecture and energy & food production will open up the project. Digital Diagram for Form‐Finding Xu Weiguo (Tsinghua University) Diagram as a tool has been widely used in architectural design. Digital Diagram, the combination of diagram and computer technology, can greatly expand the potential of the diagram. This studio explores the design process of Digital Diagram.

Students will address some contemporary issues that they are confronted with through the medium of a specific project. The project will be in the city on two sites, one a large interior space that will give the students more experience with interior architecture and the other a large new building complex across the street on vacant land that will give the student more experience with urban design and architecture. ‘Real-Time’ (ESTm ) Peter Testa

Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm ) Tom Wiscombe Building on previous research on surface-to-strand morphologies, this studio focuses on surface-to-volume morphologies. The intent will be to explore extreme fluctuations between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, producing the effect of appearance and disappearance of volume and depth across architectural surfaces.

Painted Canvas (ESTm ) Elena Manferdini This studio will take the specific issue of the relationship between geometry and color as its mission statement and will try to advance the discourse through a highly directed technical approach that begins with the problem

of creating an impressionistic architectural envelope through the use of scalloped geometry and chromatic applications. Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc Eric Moss, Hsinming Fung, & John Enright This studio posits a series of questions that will be investigated, including: What future needs of SCI-Arc are to be analyzed, prioritized and considered in looking towards the future of the institution; How do these needs differ, or align, with how the future of the Arts District and the greater downtown Los Angeles area can be conceived; and is there a new model for urban development that has thus far not been investigated that can shed new light on the future possibilities for SCI-Arc? Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) Peter Zellner This studio allows students to pursue collective and semi-independent investigations within a highly structured and supported semester program focused on the development and documentation of 2-3 comprehensive transit oriented planning projects located in Downtown Los Angeles. Rituals of Forms (ESTm ) Hernan Diaz Alonso The studio proposes to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity through the understanding of Rituals. The studio will focus in the generation and production of mutant rituals of architecture mutilations of micro-behaviors, which will accumulate to create species from systems.


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KEEP IT ALL INSIDE Hernan Diaz Alonso

HERNAN DIAZ ALONSO Hernan Diaz Alonso is founder and principal of Xefirotarch, a Los Angelesbased design practice. Considered one of the most influential voices of his generation, Diaz Alonso assumed the role of Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc, after having coordinated the school’s graduate thesis process for several years. He was honored by Yale University with the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design for fall 2010. Diaz Alonso has lectured extensively at major institutions around the world. His architecture designs have received numerous awards and have been displayed in both architecture and art museum exhibitions, and published in magazines, books, and periodicals worldwide. Selections from the Fall 2011 Vertical Studios: 1. Jason Orbe-Smith. Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso. Vertical Studio: Rituals of Form (ESTm ) 2/3. Ayaka Ono. Instructor: Elena Manferdini. Vertical Studio: Elena Manferdini 4. Gustavo Omar Gonzalez. Instructor: Xu Weigu. Vertical Studio: Digital Diagram for Form Finding 5. Vehbiye Inal. Instructor: Peter Zellner. Vertical Studio: Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) 6. Dale Strong. Instructor: Ben Nicholson. Vertical Studio: Who Goes & Who Stays 7. Erin Besler, Eugene Kosgoron, Siim Tuksam (exchange student from the Vienna University of Applied Art), Peter A. Vikar. Instructor: Peter Testa. Vertical Studio: ‘Real-Time’ 8. Wisarut Wattanachote. Instructors: Michael Rotondi, Wes Jones. Vertical Studio: Roto/Jones 9. Ta (David) Yu. Instructor: Eric Owen Moss, Hsinming Fung, John Enright. Vertical Studio: Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc 10. Zidan Zhao. Instructor: Tom Wiscombe. Vertical Studio: Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm )

“You do an expansive celebration of a dance! First you do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. But you keep it all inside.” - Armand Goldman (Robin Williams), The Birdcage I know this is not an academic quote, but the truth is that I could not come up with anything that could better define the wonderful cacophony of Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc. My interpretation of what Robin William’s character established in the aforementioned quote is about a desire to overreach and be grandiose about a disciplinary knowledge, but at the same time being coherent and elegant within the confines of its expression. Therefore my argument (and now I am talking about Vertical Studios) is that it is possible for a system of parts that has an abundance of different ideas, gestures, movements and ideologies, to become a coherent, long-formed argument. One that necessitates the exuberant and the restrained in a single take. I think that SCI-Arc is a test probe of architecture itself, the stage of a cast of characters that play different roles within the school, all for the setting of a larger narrative. SCI-Arc is an argument about architecture—not just the cast of characters, but also the school itself.

Indeed, in many academic environments the act of teaching and the curricular content aren’t supposed to be personal, they are supposed to be part of some sort of clever critical comment on the state of the profession and the discipline of architecture. But what happens at SCI-Arc is that curricular content is not defined as a top-down structure, where course requirements, disciplinary focus and typological basis are pre-defined. Here it is actually a bottom-up network—it starts from the personal interests of its faculty and it trickles up to the consolidation of an ‘academic curriculum.’ I believe that this bottom-up arrangement allows the school to always question the state of the discipline, and to come up with unique and original ways that architecture can be challenged. Therefore, Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc, are—and must be—personal.

“You do an expansive field of Architecture! First you do Zago’s Awkward, Awkward, Awkward! You do Wes Jones’ Solar, Solar, with a hint of Oil Ring(intrinsic contradiction)! Or Wiscombe’s Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly! Or Spina’s Stacked, Stacked, Stacked! Or a Manferdini Paintbrush, Paintbrush, Paintbrush! Gow’s Sticky, Sticky, Sticky! Diaz Alonso’s Grotesque, Grotesque, Grotesque! Or the Directors’ Policy, Politics, and City! Or Testa’s Robots, Robots, Robots. But you keep it all inside.”

10


12

Each character has a unique vision on what the discipline is, needs, lacks or should be. All points of view are expansive and euphoric; actually we like to think that the discipline is at a critical inflection point, and therefore it needs fixing, a call to duty. I believe this to be the delusional mindset of all architects, as there is notsuch thing as a critical moment to the discipline—every generation thinks it is in one of those unique moments, so we’ve had plenty of them. Therefore the alternative to paranoid delusion, the fact of reality is that the discipline of architecture is a less serious endeavor; one that does not necessitate the strength of the manifesto, nor the challenge of a revolution, but actually creative and ingenious ways to find multiple directions. The ‘conversation’ style discourse that happens between Verticals at SCI-Arc is similar to Robert Altman’s narrative technique of ‘overlapping dialogues,’ where the script is just a blueprint, and the actors become more significant as they improvise the dialogues, making them more relevant than intricate plots. There is no intricate plot at SCI-Arc; there are just a lot of short stories. Architecture should not be (believe it or not) about inventing something completely from scratch (even though this is preached as something highly desired), or something that has never been seen before (we actually have seen it all). Architecture is a very old discipline, one that has actually had a great life, with moments of extreme sobriety (such as Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier) and moments highly inebriated (such as well, too many names); neither state of consciousness describes a very stable personality (by switching the levels of alcohol, Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp almost reaches the level of a DUI, but Gropius’ Pan Am building is definitely a designated driver in the big party of modern architecture). Architecture goes back and forth—it is sometimes acute to the context of its zeitgeist, other times is simply bored with it—and therefore looking backward or forward. Looking back did not do much good in the 80’s, and looking forward did maybe just too much in the 90’s. So today is maybe the tomorrow that did not happen, since today we still build houses with pretty pitched roofs, and towers that look as new as they did in the 50’s. My point is (returning to the issue of verticals), at SCI-Arc we are not designing for tomorrow, we are not designing something totally new, we are designing today, and we are playing the stories anew. So the Vertical Studios are trading on an emergency of the now, in which some of them clearly focus on the technique/technology apparatus but always as architecture design problem; some of them trade in the reconfiguration of the disciplinary rigor; some in the relation between program, policy, and form; and some others are in a category of their own. But at the end of the day, the common ground is how each of the studios challenge the convention of what is right or wrong in architecture, defining a plateau in which the work can aspire to rattle and radicalize—we can hope— the limits of Architecture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios are not just pushing the limits, but are actually redefining the limits; using disciplinary knowledge as the solid platform where SCI-Arc is now continuing to grow, and moving forward instead of relaxing with a proven formula. It is clear that the main mission of these studios is not to think outside the box, or inside or both, but to define and redefine the box every time. So the question posed to the Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc is how can this seemingly chaotic ensemble produce harmony? What are the stories told anew that could extrapolate projects that are relevant to the discipline? The answers might be found in contemporary culture, were we have an abundance of information— information that comes in the manner of text, images and media. We read, see and gather as much as we can collect or as little as we can process. So, if things are in constant movement, being constantly updated, then we do need to move faster, to keep a

steady pace so we can always be ahead of the curve, or at least within range of the curve. In most cases, as architects, we have some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and morals, which is totally paralyzing in today’s culture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios should defy this, and try to move us outside of that moral comfort zone, to test new territories and promote new dialogues.

As the Joker in The Dark Knight stated: “See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” SCI-Arc’s elective Vertical Studios pair small groups of upper-level students with elite faculty and international architects. As part of these studios, students develop projects that explore particular interests and focus. They have the opportunity to work with architects visiting the school, and gain insight into a broad range of issues concerning approaches to building, the environment, technology, theoretical stances, and personal interests. Approximately ten vertical studios are offered each term and students are usually selected following a vertical studio lottery in which portfolios are reviewed.

Roto/Jones Michael Rotondi & Wes Jones

The Fall 2011 Vertical Studios included:

This two-semester studio sequence explores architectural paradigms at the convergence of generative computing, advanced materials, and collaborative robotics. The studio and affiliated Synchronous Robotics seminar operate for the first time in SCI-Arc’s Robot House using purpose built software toolset for the Maya platform.

Who Goes & Who Stays Ben Nicholson The concept of Heaven On Earth is a constant theme in architecture, for a house or an ideal city. The studio is structured to work on a range of independent but interconnected designs addressing an imagined aftermath of ‘The Rapture’. Studio researches into notions of heaven, rapture, eschatology, military arms & architecture and energy & food production will open up the project. Digital Diagram for Form‐Finding Xu Weiguo (Tsinghua University) Diagram as a tool has been widely used in architectural design. Digital Diagram, the combination of diagram and computer technology, can greatly expand the potential of the diagram. This studio explores the design process of Digital Diagram.

Students will address some contemporary issues that they are confronted with through the medium of a specific project. The project will be in the city on two sites, one a large interior space that will give the students more experience with interior architecture and the other a large new building complex across the street on vacant land that will give the student more experience with urban design and architecture. ‘Real-Time’ (ESTm ) Peter Testa

Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm ) Tom Wiscombe Building on previous research on surface-to-strand morphologies, this studio focuses on surface-to-volume morphologies. The intent will be to explore extreme fluctuations between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, producing the effect of appearance and disappearance of volume and depth across architectural surfaces.

Painted Canvas (ESTm ) Elena Manferdini This studio will take the specific issue of the relationship between geometry and color as its mission statement and will try to advance the discourse through a highly directed technical approach that begins with the problem

of creating an impressionistic architectural envelope through the use of scalloped geometry and chromatic applications. Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc Eric Moss, Hsinming Fung, & John Enright This studio posits a series of questions that will be investigated, including: What future needs of SCI-Arc are to be analyzed, prioritized and considered in looking towards the future of the institution; How do these needs differ, or align, with how the future of the Arts District and the greater downtown Los Angeles area can be conceived; and is there a new model for urban development that has thus far not been investigated that can shed new light on the future possibilities for SCI-Arc? Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) Peter Zellner This studio allows students to pursue collective and semi-independent investigations within a highly structured and supported semester program focused on the development and documentation of 2-3 comprehensive transit oriented planning projects located in Downtown Los Angeles. Rituals of Forms (ESTm ) Hernan Diaz Alonso The studio proposes to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity through the understanding of Rituals. The studio will focus in the generation and production of mutant rituals of architecture mutilations of micro-behaviors, which will accumulate to create species from systems.


11

KEEP IT ALL INSIDE Hernan Diaz Alonso

HERNAN DIAZ ALONSO Hernan Diaz Alonso is founder and principal of Xefirotarch, a Los Angelesbased design practice. Considered one of the most influential voices of his generation, Diaz Alonso assumed the role of Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc, after having coordinated the school’s graduate thesis process for several years. He was honored by Yale University with the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design for fall 2010. Diaz Alonso has lectured extensively at major institutions around the world. His architecture designs have received numerous awards and have been displayed in both architecture and art museum exhibitions, and published in magazines, books, and periodicals worldwide. Selections from the Fall 2011 Vertical Studios: 1. Jason Orbe-Smith. Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso. Vertical Studio: Rituals of Form (ESTm ) 2/3. Ayaka Ono. Instructor: Elena Manferdini. Vertical Studio: Elena Manferdini 4. Gustavo Omar Gonzalez. Instructor: Xu Weigu. Vertical Studio: Digital Diagram for Form Finding 5. Vehbiye Inal. Instructor: Peter Zellner. Vertical Studio: Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) 6. Dale Strong. Instructor: Ben Nicholson. Vertical Studio: Who Goes & Who Stays 7. Erin Besler, Eugene Kosgoron, Siim Tuksam (exchange student from the Vienna University of Applied Art), Peter A. Vikar. Instructor: Peter Testa. Vertical Studio: ‘Real-Time’ 8. Wisarut Wattanachote. Instructors: Michael Rotondi, Wes Jones. Vertical Studio: Roto/Jones 9. Ta (David) Yu. Instructor: Eric Owen Moss, Hsinming Fung, John Enright. Vertical Studio: Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc 10. Zidan Zhao. Instructor: Tom Wiscombe. Vertical Studio: Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm )

“You do an expansive celebration of a dance! First you do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. But you keep it all inside.” - Armand Goldman (Robin Williams), The Birdcage I know this is not an academic quote, but the truth is that I could not come up with anything that could better define the wonderful cacophony of Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc. My interpretation of what Robin William’s character established in the aforementioned quote is about a desire to overreach and be grandiose about a disciplinary knowledge, but at the same time being coherent and elegant within the confines of its expression. Therefore my argument (and now I am talking about Vertical Studios) is that it is possible for a system of parts that has an abundance of different ideas, gestures, movements and ideologies, to become a coherent, long-formed argument. One that necessitates the exuberant and the restrained in a single take. I think that SCI-Arc is a test probe of architecture itself, the stage of a cast of characters that play different roles within the school, all for the setting of a larger narrative. SCI-Arc is an argument about architecture—not just the cast of characters, but also the school itself.

Indeed, in many academic environments the act of teaching and the curricular content aren’t supposed to be personal, they are supposed to be part of some sort of clever critical comment on the state of the profession and the discipline of architecture. But what happens at SCI-Arc is that curricular content is not defined as a top-down structure, where course requirements, disciplinary focus and typological basis are pre-defined. Here it is actually a bottom-up network—it starts from the personal interests of its faculty and it trickles up to the consolidation of an ‘academic curriculum.’ I believe that this bottom-up arrangement allows the school to always question the state of the discipline, and to come up with unique and original ways that architecture can be challenged. Therefore, Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc, are—and must be—personal.

“You do an expansive field of Architecture! First you do Zago’s Awkward, Awkward, Awkward! You do Wes Jones’ Solar, Solar, with a hint of Oil Ring(intrinsic contradiction)! Or Wiscombe’s Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly! Or Spina’s Stacked, Stacked, Stacked! Or a Manferdini Paintbrush, Paintbrush, Paintbrush! Gow’s Sticky, Sticky, Sticky! Diaz Alonso’s Grotesque, Grotesque, Grotesque! Or the Directors’ Policy, Politics, and City! Or Testa’s Robots, Robots, Robots. But you keep it all inside.”

3


12

Each character has a unique vision on what the discipline is, needs, lacks or should be. All points of view are expansive and euphoric; actually we like to think that the discipline is at a critical inflection point, and therefore it needs fixing, a call to duty. I believe this to be the delusional mindset of all architects, as there is notsuch thing as a critical moment to the discipline—every generation thinks it is in one of those unique moments, so we’ve had plenty of them. Therefore the alternative to paranoid delusion, the fact of reality is that the discipline of architecture is a less serious endeavor; one that does not necessitate the strength of the manifesto, nor the challenge of a revolution, but actually creative and ingenious ways to find multiple directions. The ‘conversation’ style discourse that happens between Verticals at SCI-Arc is similar to Robert Altman’s narrative technique of ‘overlapping dialogues,’ where the script is just a blueprint, and the actors become more significant as they improvise the dialogues, making them more relevant than intricate plots. There is no intricate plot at SCI-Arc; there are just a lot of short stories. Architecture should not be (believe it or not) about inventing something completely from scratch (even though this is preached as something highly desired), or something that has never been seen before (we actually have seen it all). Architecture is a very old discipline, one that has actually had a great life, with moments of extreme sobriety (such as Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier) and 4 moments highly inebriated (such as well, too many names); neither state of consciousness describes a very stable personality (by switching the levels of alcohol, Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp almost reaches the level of a DUI, but Gropius’ Pan Am building is definitely a designated driver in the big party of modern architecture). Architecture goes back and forth—it is sometimes acute to the context of its zeitgeist, other times is simply bored with it—and therefore looking backward or forward. Looking back did not do much good in the 80’s, and looking forward did maybe just too much in the 90’s. So today is maybe the tomorrow that did not happen, since today we still build houses with pretty pitched roofs, and towers that look as new as they did in the 50’s. My point is (returning to the issue of verticals), at SCI-Arc we are not designing for tomorrow, we are not designing something totally new, we are designing today, and we are playing the stories anew. So the Vertical Studios are trading on an emergency of the now, in which some of them clearly focus on the technique/technology apparatus but always as architecture design problem; some of them trade in the reconfiguration of the disciplinary rigor; some in the relation between program, policy, and form; and some others are in a category of their own. But at the end of the day, the common ground is how each of the studios challenge the convention of what is right or wrong in architecture, defining a plateau in which the work can aspire to rattle and radicalize—we can hope— the limits of Architecture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios are not just pushing the limits, but are actually redefining the limits; using disciplinary knowledge as the solid platform where SCI-Arc is now continuing to grow, and moving forward instead of relaxing with a proven formula. It is clear that the main mission of these studios is not to think outside the box, or inside or both, but to define and redefine the box every time. So the question posed to the Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc is how can this seemingly chaotic ensemble produce harmony? What are the stories told anew that could extrapolate projects that are relevant to the discipline? The answers might be found in contemporary culture, were we have an abundance of information— information that comes in the manner of text, images and media. We read, see and gather as much as we can collect or as little as we can process. So, if things are in constant movement, being 5

constantly updated, then we do need to move faster, to keep a steady pace so we can always be ahead of the curve, or at least within range of the curve. In most cases, as architects, we have some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and morals, which is totally paralyzing in today’s culture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios should defy this, and try to move us outside of that moral comfort zone, to test new territories and promote new dialogues.

As the Joker in The Dark Knight stated: “See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” SCI-Arc’s elective Vertical Studios pair small groups of upper-level students with elite faculty and international architects. As part of these studios, students develop projects that explore particular interests and focus. They have the opportunity to work with architects visiting the school, and gain insight into a broad range of issues concerning approaches to building, the environment, technology, theoretical stances, and personal interests. Approximately ten vertical studios are offered each term and students are usually selected following a vertical studio lottery in which portfolios are reviewed.

Roto/Jones Michael Rotondi & Wes Jones

The Fall 2011 Vertical Studios included:

This two-semester studio sequence explores architectural paradigms at the convergence of generative computing, advanced materials, and collaborative robotics. The studio and affiliated Synchronous Robotics seminar operate for the first time in SCI-Arc’s Robot House using purpose built software toolset for the Maya platform.

Who Goes & Who Stays Ben Nicholson The concept of Heaven On Earth is a constant theme in architecture, for a house or an ideal city. The studio is structured to work on a range of independent but interconnected designs addressing an imagined aftermath of ‘The Rapture’. Studio researches into notions of heaven, rapture, eschatology, military arms & architecture and energy & food production will open up the project. Digital Diagram for Form‐Finding Xu Weiguo (Tsinghua University) Diagram as a tool has been widely used in architectural design. Digital Diagram, the combination of diagram and computer technology, can greatly expand the potential of the diagram. This studio explores the design process of Digital Diagram.

Students will address some contemporary issues that they are confronted with through the medium of a specific project. The project will be in the city on two sites, one a large interior space that will give the students more experience with interior architecture and the other a large new building complex across the street on vacant land that will give the student more experience with urban design and architecture. ‘Real-Time’ (ESTm ) Peter Testa

Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm ) Tom Wiscombe Building on previous research on surface-to-strand morphologies, this studio focuses on surface-to-volume morphologies. The intent will be to explore extreme fluctuations between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, producing the effect of appearance and disappearance of volume and depth across architectural surfaces.

Painted Canvas (ESTm ) Elena Manferdini This studio will take the specific issue of the relationship between geometry and color as its mission statement and will try to advance the discourse through a highly directed technical approach that begins with the problem

of creating an impressionistic architectural envelope through the use of scalloped geometry and chromatic applications. Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc Eric Moss, Hsinming Fung, & John Enright This studio posits a series of questions that will be investigated, including: What future needs of SCI-Arc are to be analyzed, prioritized and considered in looking towards the future of the institution; How do these needs differ, or align, with how the future of the Arts District and the greater downtown Los Angeles area can be conceived; and is there a new model for urban development that has thus far not been investigated that can shed new light on the future possibilities for SCI-Arc? Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) Peter Zellner This studio allows students to pursue collective and semi-independent investigations within a highly structured and supported semester program focused on the development and documentation of 2-3 comprehensive transit oriented planning projects located in Downtown Los Angeles. Rituals of Forms (ESTm ) Hernan Diaz Alonso The studio proposes to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity through the understanding of Rituals. The studio will focus in the generation and production of mutant rituals of architecture mutilations of micro-behaviors, which will accumulate to create species from systems.


11

KEEP IT ALL INSIDE Hernan Diaz Alonso

HERNAN DIAZ ALONSO Hernan Diaz Alonso is founder and principal of Xefirotarch, a Los Angelesbased design practice. Considered one of the most influential voices of his generation, Diaz Alonso assumed the role of Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc, after having coordinated the school’s graduate thesis process for several years. He was honored by Yale University with the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design for fall 2010. Diaz Alonso has lectured extensively at major institutions around the world. His architecture designs have received numerous awards and have been displayed in both architecture and art museum exhibitions, and published in magazines, books, and periodicals worldwide. Selections from the Fall 2011 Vertical Studios: 1. Jason Orbe-Smith. Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso. Vertical Studio: Rituals of Form (ESTm ) 2/3. Ayaka Ono. Instructor: Elena Manferdini. Vertical Studio: Elena Manferdini 4. Gustavo Omar Gonzalez. Instructor: Xu Weigu. Vertical Studio: Digital Diagram for Form Finding 5. Vehbiye Inal. Instructor: Peter Zellner. Vertical Studio: Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) 6. Dale Strong. Instructor: Ben Nicholson. Vertical Studio: Who Goes & Who Stays 7. Erin Besler, Eugene Kosgoron, Siim Tuksam (exchange student from the Vienna University of Applied Art), Peter A. Vikar. Instructor: Peter Testa. Vertical Studio: ‘Real-Time’ 8. Wisarut Wattanachote. Instructors: Michael Rotondi, Wes Jones. Vertical Studio: Roto/Jones 9. Ta (David) Yu. Instructor: Eric Owen Moss, Hsinming Fung, John Enright. Vertical Studio: Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc 10. Zidan Zhao. Instructor: Tom Wiscombe. Vertical Studio: Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm )

“You do an expansive celebration of a dance! First you do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. But you keep it all inside.” - Armand Goldman (Robin Williams), The Birdcage I know this is not an academic quote, but the truth is that I could not come up with anything that could better define the wonderful cacophony of Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc. My interpretation of what Robin William’s character established in the aforementioned quote is about a desire to overreach and be grandiose about a disciplinary knowledge, but at the same time being coherent and elegant within the confines of its expression. Therefore my argument (and now I am talking about Vertical Studios) is that it is possible for a system of parts that has an abundance of different ideas, gestures, movements and ideologies, to become a coherent, long-formed argument. One that necessitates the exuberant and the restrained in a single take. I think that SCI-Arc is a test probe of architecture itself, the stage of a cast of characters that play different roles within the school, all for the setting of a larger narrative. SCI-Arc is an argument about architecture—not just the cast of characters, but also the school itself.

Indeed, in many academic environments the act of teaching and the curricular content aren’t supposed to be personal, they are supposed to be part of some sort of clever critical comment on the state of the profession and the discipline of architecture. But what happens at SCI-Arc is that curricular content is not defined as a top-down structure, where course requirements, disciplinary focus and typological basis are pre-defined. Here it is actually a bottom-up network—it starts from the personal interests of its faculty and it trickles up to the consolidation of an ‘academic curriculum.’ I believe that this bottom-up arrangement allows the school to always question the state of the discipline, and to come up with unique and original ways that architecture can be challenged. Therefore, Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc, are—and must be—personal.

“You do an expansive field of Architecture! First you do Zago’s Awkward, Awkward, Awkward! You do Wes Jones’ Solar, Solar, with a hint of Oil Ring(intrinsic contradiction)! Or Wiscombe’s Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly! Or Spina’s Stacked, Stacked, Stacked! Or a Manferdini Paintbrush, Paintbrush, Paintbrush! Gow’s Sticky, Sticky, Sticky! Diaz Alonso’s Grotesque, Grotesque, Grotesque! Or the Directors’ Policy, Politics, and City! Or Testa’s Robots, Robots, Robots. But you keep it all inside.”

6


12

Each character has a unique vision on what the discipline is, needs, lacks or should be. All points of view are expansive and euphoric; actually we like to think that the discipline is at a critical inflection point, and therefore it needs fixing, a call to duty. I believe this to be the delusional mindset of all architects, as there is notsuch thing as a critical moment to the discipline—every generation thinks it is in one of those unique moments, so we’ve had plenty of them. Therefore the alternative to paranoid delusion, the fact of reality is that the discipline of architecture is a less serious endeavor; one that does not necessitate the strength of the manifesto, nor the challenge of a revolution, but actually creative and ingenious ways to find multiple directions. The ‘conversation’ style discourse that happens between Verticals at SCI-Arc is similar to Robert Altman’s narrative technique of ‘overlapping dialogues,’ where the script is just a blueprint, and the actors become more significant as they improvise the dialogues, making them more relevant than intricate plots. There is no intricate plot at SCI-Arc; there are just a lot of short stories. Architecture should not be (believe it or not) about inventing something completely from scratch (even though this is preached as something highly desired), or something that has never been seen before (we actually have seen it all). Architecture is a very old discipline, one that has actually had a great life, with moments of extreme sobriety (such as Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier) and moments highly inebriated (such as well, too many names); neither state of consciousness describes a very stable personality (by switching the levels of alcohol, Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp almost reaches the level of a DUI, but Gropius’ Pan Am building is definitely a designated driver in the big party of modern architecture). Architecture goes back and forth—it is sometimes acute to the context of its zeitgeist, other times is simply bored with it—and therefore looking backward or forward. Looking back did not do much good in the 80’s, and looking forward did maybe just too much in the 90’s. So today is maybe the tomorrow that did not happen, since today we still build houses with pretty pitched roofs, and towers that look as new as they did in the 50’s. My point is (returning to the issue of verticals), at SCI-Arc we are not designing for tomorrow, we are not designing something totally new, we are designing today, and we are playing the stories anew. So the Vertical Studios are trading on an emergency of the now, in which some of them clearly focus on the technique/technology apparatus but always as architecture design problem; some of them trade in the reconfiguration of the disciplinary rigor; some in the relation between program, policy, and form; and some others are in a category of their own. But at the end of the day, the common ground is how each of the studios challenge the convention of what is right or wrong in architecture, defining a plateau in which the work can aspire to rattle and radicalize—we can hope— the limits of Architecture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios are not just pushing the limits, but are actually redefining the limits; using disciplinary knowledge as the solid platform where SCI-Arc is now continuing to grow, and moving forward instead of relaxing with a proven formula. It is clear that the main mission of these studios is not to think outside the box, or inside or both, but to define and redefine the box every time. So the question posed to the Vertical Studios at SCI-Arc is how can this seemingly chaotic ensemble produce harmony? What are the stories told anew that could extrapolate projects that are relevant to the discipline? The answers might be found in contemporary culture, were we have an abundance of information— information that comes in the manner of text, images and media. We read, see and gather as much as we can collect or as little as we can process. So, if things are in constant movement, being 9

constantly updated, then we do need to move faster, to keep a steady pace so we can always be ahead of the curve, or at least within range of the curve. In most cases, as architects, we have some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and morals, which is totally paralyzing in today’s culture. SCI-Arc’s Vertical Studios should defy this, and try to move us outside of that moral comfort zone, to test new territories and promote new dialogues.

As the Joker in The Dark Knight stated: “See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” SCI-Arc’s elective Vertical Studios pair small groups of upper-level students with elite faculty and international architects. As part of these studios, students develop projects that explore particular interests and focus. They have the opportunity to work with architects visiting the school, and gain insight into a broad range of issues concerning approaches to building, the environment, technology, theoretical stances, and personal interests. Approximately ten vertical studios are offered each term and students are usually selected following a vertical studio lottery in which portfolios are reviewed.

Roto/Jones Michael Rotondi & Wes Jones

The Fall 2011 Vertical Studios included:

This two-semester studio sequence explores architectural paradigms at the convergence of generative computing, advanced materials, and collaborative robotics. The studio and affiliated Synchronous Robotics seminar operate for the first time in SCI-Arc’s Robot House using purpose built software toolset for the Maya platform.

Who Goes & Who Stays Ben Nicholson The concept of Heaven On Earth is a constant theme in architecture, for a house or an ideal city. The studio is structured to work on a range of independent but interconnected designs addressing an imagined aftermath of ‘The Rapture’. Studio researches into notions of heaven, rapture, eschatology, military arms & architecture and energy & food production will open up the project. Digital Diagram for Form‐Finding Xu Weiguo (Tsinghua University) Diagram as a tool has been widely used in architectural design. Digital Diagram, the combination of diagram and computer technology, can greatly expand the potential of the diagram. This studio explores the design process of Digital Diagram.

Students will address some contemporary issues that they are confronted with through the medium of a specific project. The project will be in the city on two sites, one a large interior space that will give the students more experience with interior architecture and the other a large new building complex across the street on vacant land that will give the student more experience with urban design and architecture. ‘Real-Time’ (ESTm ) Peter Testa

Thick Skins and Deep Cavities (ESTm ) Tom Wiscombe Building on previous research on surface-to-strand morphologies, this studio focuses on surface-to-volume morphologies. The intent will be to explore extreme fluctuations between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, producing the effect of appearance and disappearance of volume and depth across architectural surfaces.

Painted Canvas (ESTm ) Elena Manferdini This studio will take the specific issue of the relationship between geometry and color as its mission statement and will try to advance the discourse through a highly directed technical approach that begins with the problem

of creating an impressionistic architectural envelope through the use of scalloped geometry and chromatic applications. Urban Strategies for the Future of SCI-Arc Eric Moss, Hsinming Fung, & John Enright This studio posits a series of questions that will be investigated, including: What future needs of SCI-Arc are to be analyzed, prioritized and considered in looking towards the future of the institution; How do these needs differ, or align, with how the future of the Arts District and the greater downtown Los Angeles area can be conceived; and is there a new model for urban development that has thus far not been investigated that can shed new light on the future possibilities for SCI-Arc? Re-Envisioning Downtown Los Angeles (SCIFI) Peter Zellner This studio allows students to pursue collective and semi-independent investigations within a highly structured and supported semester program focused on the development and documentation of 2-3 comprehensive transit oriented planning projects located in Downtown Los Angeles. Rituals of Forms (ESTm ) Hernan Diaz Alonso The studio proposes to re-examine the possibilities of form generation as an autonomous entity through the understanding of Rituals. The studio will focus in the generation and production of mutant rituals of architecture mutilations of micro-behaviors, which will accumulate to create species from systems.


7

some horizonta bottom and ball top

8


al on ls on


13

Campus news

ESTM APPLIED STUDIES SEMINAR VISITS NORTH SAILS NEVADA FACILITY

SCI-Arc Magazine Issue 004 Editor-in-Chief Hsinming Fung Contributing Writers Hernan Diaz Alonso Georgiana Ceausu Hsinming Fung Todd Gannon Eric Owen Moss Aimee Richer Justine Smith Sarah Sullivan Peter Zellner SCI-Arc Publications Project Manager Justine Smith Online Media and Public Relations Georgiana Ceausu Senior Graphic Designer Alicia Patel Graphic Designer Kate Merritt Manufacturing equipment at North Sails. Photographers Nicolas Backal Julian Brummit Laura Kwak Chung Ming Lam Ryan Tyler Martinez Bryant Suh Joshua White

A team of students in the ESTm Textile Tectonics class led by Bill Pearson of North Sails and Marcelo Spina of SCI-Arc completed a site visit at the North Sails facilities in Minden, Nevada. The highlight of the trip was the chance to observe the evolution of a sail, from a computer model all the way to its final details. Students also presented their research to North Sails engineers. A first collaboration between SCI-Arc’s Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media (ESTm) post-graduate program and North Sails, the course offered at SCI-Arc this Spring aimed to speculate on the future of extreme light materials in architecture by experiments in the design and fabrication of quasi-rigid, and quasi-flexible, objects that blur the threshold between hard and soft, textile and composite. Taking advantage of the advanced manufacturing knowledge and capabilities from North Sails 3DL systems and technology, the class focused on the possibilities offered by composite materials for architecture and design, paying close attention to the role of computation and robotic manufacturing in the fabrication and new modes of adhesive assembly in its construction. The course encompassed several areas of design, from digital computation needed to digitally and physically distribute yarn pattern over complex surfaces, to the construction of necessary intricate mechanisms for laying carbon fiber, aramid and other yarn reinforcements within a resin matrix.

Designed by SCI-Arc Publications © 2012 SCI-Arc Publications

Rendering of Screenplay, installation featured at Dwell on Design 2012.

2012 EMERGING VOICES AWARD GOES TO OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE Faculty members Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler of Oyler Wu Collaborative are among eight emerging practitioners winners of the 2012 Emerging Voices Awards from the Architectural League. Oyler Wu’s installations, pavilions, and façade experimentations are informed by and explore fabrication processes and materials. Most recently, they completed Netscape, SCI-Arc’s 2011 Graduation Pavilion—a hand-woven canopy made from 45,000 feet of rope, and reALIze, a tribute installation dedicated to Muhammad Ali, designed in collaboration with artist Michael Kalish. Currently, Oyler Wu is at work completing Screenplay, an installation to be featured at Dwell on Design 2012. Celebrating its 30th annual edition, the Architectural League award spotlights individuals and firms based in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to

influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design and urbanism. Winners were invited to present lectures at the Cooper Union in New York in March. Being named an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture, and the program has a superb track record of identifying firms that go on to have influential practices. SCI-Arc alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ’03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ’93) of BallNogues Studio, and design faculty Marcelo Spina of Patterns were awarded the 2011 Emerging Voices Award. Other SCI-Arc related winners include Director Eric Owen Moss, alumni Jennifer Siegal (M.Arch ’94) and An Te Liu (M.Arch ’95), faculty members George Yu, Wes Jones and Andrew Zago, and former directors Chris Genik and Neil Denari. Past Emerging Voices have included Morphosis, Steven Holl, Tod Williams, Toshiko Mori, Enrique Norten, Brad Cloepfil, Michael Maltzan, Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, James Corner of Field Operations, SHoP Architects, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects, and Office DA.


14

STUDENT TEAM SHORTLISTED IN LABC YOUNG TALENT COMPETITION A team of three from SCI-Arc participated in the 2012 edition of the Julius Schulman Talent Award competition hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) in February. Ronald Eckels (M.Arch 2 ’13), Paul Trussler (M.Arch 1 ’12) and David Ta Yu (M.Arch 2 ’12) teamed up to attend an intensive 3-day design charrette held at the Gensler offices in downtown Los Angeles. They competed against architecture students from UCLA, USC, Cal Poly, CSULB, Woodbury, OTIS and Arts Center. Student groups were tasked to develop a large scale, mixeduse project for an existing Los Angeles area facility in need of transformation. Following the announcement of the site, students had only three days to complete the project. Aside from the prestigious award, teams competed for a scholarship prize and the opportunity to present their site plans, site sections, renderings, and drawings, to a professional jury made up of principals from Mia Lehrer Associates, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Moule & Polyzoides, and Perkins & Will Architects, among others. Winners will be announced at LABC’s 2012 Architectural Awards award ceremony in June.

SCI-Arc students’ project for the Julius Schulman Talent Award Competition.

ELENA MANFERDINI RECEIVES UNITED STATES ARTISTS GRANT

Inverted Crystal Cathedral, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 2011.

In December 2011, SCI-Arc faculty and graduate thesis coordinator Elena Manferdini was awarded one of 50 coveted 2011 grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the category of Architecture and Design. “Elena is a unique and idiosyncratic voice,” said Director Eric Owen Moss. “Award is well deserved.” Each year, USA recognizes artists or artist teams with a $50,000 fellowship grant. Manferdini is one of five 2011 fellows based in Southern California, alongside independent filmmaker Dee Rees, playwright Nancy Keystone, and visual artists John Outterbridge and Allen Ruppersberg. Previous USA fellows include SCI-Arc faculty Andrew Zago of Zago Architecture (2008), alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ’03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ’93) of BallNogues Studio (2007), former SCI-Arc Director Neil Denari (2009), and visiting critic Greg Lynn (2010). Founded in 2004, Manferdini’s practice, Atelier Manferdini, is based on a multi-scale methodology and embraces the philosophy that design can participate in a wide range of multidisciplinary developments that define our culture. Recently, Atelier Manferdini completed the design and construction of Bianca, a 200-foot-long cruise ship in Japan; an inverted crystal cathedral installation for the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery; and a site-specific canvas installation for the Kyoto Seika University. Manferdini’s Lucid Dream, an interactive installation for Sephora’s newly opened store in New York’s Meatpacking District, has won a Gold Pencil Award at the 2012 One Show Design, and has been nominated for inclusion in the “In Book” category of the 2012 Design & Art Direction Awards out of London. The studio is currently at work designing a 250,000 sq. ft. master plan in Macerata, Italy, which includes 80 apartments, a museum and an open theater.


15

Campus news

SARAH SULLIVAN NAMED CHIEF ADVANCEMENT OFFICER AT SCI-ARC

SCI-Arc Leadership Director Eric Owen Moss Director of Academic Affairs Hsinming Fung Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso Undergraduate Program Chair John Enright

Sarah Sullivan

Chief Operating Officer Jamie Bennett Board of Trustees Chairman Jerry Neuman Vice-Chair Joe Day (M.Arch ’94) SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss

In March, SCI-Arc announced the hiring of Sarah Sullivan as the school’s new Chief Advancement Officer. “Great background. Great foreground. Great promise,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “She’ll finally put the director of development position where we want it.” Sullivan has over 20 years of experience working in cultural organizations and institutions of higher education in Southern California, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Getty Museum, The Hammer Museum, Art Center College of Design and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). For over ten years, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in development, notably Director, Campus Development Initiative at Art Center and Executive Director of Development at CalArts. She has broad experience in fundraising and working with boards, faculty and students to increase scholarship, capital, project and unrestricted support. While at CalArts, Sullivan played a key role in securing funding to complete The Wild Beast, a new music pavilion designed by Hodgetts + Fung. Sullivan holds a master’s degree in Medieval History from the University of California, Los Angeles and bachelor’s degrees in French and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. “It’s an honor to have been selected as SCI-Arc’s new Chief Advancement Officer at such an exciting moment,” Sullivan said. “I greatly admire the institution’s commitment to architectural experimentation and look forward to working with the talented SCI-Arc community.”

Secretary Tom Gilmore Faculty Representative Andrew Zago Alumni Representative Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03) Student Representative Chris Skeens (M.Arch ’13) Board Members at Large Rick Carter Bill Fain Anthony Ferguson Frank O. Gehry John Geresi Russell L. Goings III William Gruen Scott Hughes (M.Arch ’97) Thom Mayne Merry Norris Greg Otto Kevin Ratner Michael Rotondi (B.Arch ’79) Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93) Nick Seierup (B.Arch ’79) Abby Sher Dan Swartz Tedd Tanner Honorary Members Elyse Grinstein Ray Kappe Ian Robertson

Student work in the NAAB team room.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board Visits Sci-Arc In March, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)—the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture—visited SCI-Arc to determine continuing accreditation. The previous full visit of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) was conducted in November 2006. After an additional Focus Visit, SCI-Arc was granted a six year extension of term. The NAAB team was impressed with the vitality of the programs at SCI-Arc, and with the great support from students, faculty, administration and staff, who so aptly embody the school’s adventurous, forward-looking spirit. The review team thought the building—its location, size and organization—to be ideal for the activities taking place within it and a major asset to the school. The intellectual endeavor of SCI-Arc was a central topic during NAAB’s wrap-up presentation. The review team also emphasized

the innovation and academic prowess within SCI-Arc’s way of teaching, its infrastructure, and its position. SCI-Arc met 11 NAAB conditions with distinction. This is a rare accomplishment for a school and a testament to both the commitment of faculty, staff and students, and the meticulous efforts of those involved in preparing for the NAAB visit. Those conditions met with distinction include Design Thinking Skills, Visual Communications, Applied Research, Sustainability, Comprehensive Design, Building Envelope Systems, and Collaboration. Next steps include a draft Visiting Team Report (VTR) that will describe in detail the team’s comments and recommendations. In July, the NAAB Commission Board will meet to review the report, as well as feedback from SCI-Arc, and vote on the length of SCI-Arc’s extension of term, which can be up to six years.


16

RICK CARTER, ABIGAIL SCHEUER (M.ARCH ’93) and ABBY SHER JOIN BOARD OF TRUSTEES The SCI-Arc Board of Trustees has added three new members to its ranks: Rick Carter, Abigail (Abby) Scheuer (M. Arch ’93) and Abby Sher. Each brings unique design and philanthropic perspectives to the SCI-Arc board. The 25-member board is chaired by land-use attorney Jerry Neuman, who stated: “At the center of SCI-Arc is creativity and an enduring ability to challenge convention and change it for the better. Rick, Abby and Abby personify these core values. They bring an incredible amount of expertise, vision and leadership to the board and our school, and we are pleased to welcome them to the SCI-Arc community.” Academy Award winner Rick Carter is a noted art director and production designer, who has envisioned and created some of film’s most memorable environments. His groundbreaking work with digital technologies has defined new possibilities in design and storytelling. Carter began his career in the analog world, working with Hal Ashby in the 1970’s. While working on The Goonies in 1985, Carter met the film’s writer and director Steven Spielberg and the two developed a close working relationship that endures to this day. Along with Spielberg, Carter has worked with many of Hollywood’s leading directors including Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron. His films include Back To The Future II and III (1989 and 1990), Jurassic Park and its sequel (1993 and 1997), Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Avatar (2009), and Spielberg’s upcoming Lincoln (2012). Carter’s work has been recognized with three nominations for an Academy Award: Forrest Gump; Avatar, for which he won the Oscar for Art Direction (an honor he shared with Robert Stromberg); and War Horse (2011). Abigail Scheuer received her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc in 1993. While in school, she interned with architect Peter Eisenman and SCI-Arc founding faculty Ray Kappe. Upon returning to New York, Scheuer worked for the architecture firm Perkins Eastman, then at a boutique firm specializing in high-end residential projects, and also co-founded Atema Scheuer Design with fellow SCI-Arc graduate, Ate Atema (M. Arch ’93). Atema Scheuer Design focused on commercial and residential projects.

During this time, she was a member of the Women in Architecture and Housing committees of the AIA NY Chapter. With the birth of her daughter, Scheuer became a full time mother and focused on fundraising, advocacy and community outreach. She is on the board of KiDS of NYU Medical Center Foundation and the Jazz Foundation of America; is a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) New York Council, and the Studio Partners Leadership of Studio in a School which supports visual arts programming in NYC public schools; and co-founded the Green Team collaborating with NYC Partnerships for Parks and the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Since 2010, Sheuer has served on the SCI-Arc Alumni Council, recently co-hosting the Alumni and Friends New York event at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Alumni and Friends Los Angeles event at the L House in Culver City. Abby Sher grew up in Los Angeles in a house designed by mid-century modernist Douglas Honnold and from an early age, architecture has been an important influence in her life. Sher studied French Literature at UCLA, followed by a Masters degree in Linguistics. Later, while working as a Clinical Linguist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, she authored the Diagnostics Specifications Manual (DSM) III category “Elective Mutism.” In the 1980s, Sher developed Edgemar on Main Street in Santa Monica. Under her guidance, the Edgemar Farms egg-processing plant was transformed into an inventive mixed-use center designed by SCI-Arc trustee Frank Gehry. Sher enjoys a wide range of interests that have found expression in a variety of diverse and imaginative projects. Her creative pursuits have included making an award-winning documentary film about the Pacific Northwestern woodsman and artist Dudley Carter (1891-1992); founding the Santa Monica Museum of Art as part of the development of Edgemar; performing the political performance art piece A Red Line Connects Us for six months in 2006, and writing an accompanying blog; and performing the Ramayana at REDCAT in 2010 with the CalArts Balinese gamelan group, Burat Wangi. Sher has served on the boards of several social justice, social service and homelessness organizations including Chrysalis, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Westside Family Health Center, and The Shefa Fund. She is interested in contemporary “new music” and provided the lead gift and name for the CalArts outdoor music pavilion, The Wild Beast, designed by Hodgetts + Fung.

SCI-ARC AND CALTECH RE-SELECTED TO COMPETE IN U.S. ENERGY DEPARTMENT’S SOLAR DECATHLON 2013 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that SCI-Arc and Caltech have been selected to compete in the U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon 2013, to be hosted for the first time in Southern California. “It’s an honor and a privilege for SCI-Arc to again join our Caltech partners and the U.S. Department of Energy in re-imagining the sociology of contemporary housing, the use of alternative fuels, and the application of innovative construction technologies,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. SCI-Arc and Caltech will leverage their strong partnership to once again gather some of the brightest architecture and engineering minds to design and build the solar house of the future for the 2013 competition. Students have already begun a two-year process to design, construct and test their homes before reassembling them at the competition’s new site. “We are once again entering the Solar Decathlon competition with the attitude that the future of solar energy and sustainability need not be exclusive to other values we hold dear; that design and architectural invention regarding the future of housing can be as much of a cultural and conceptual endeavor as it can be one of efficiency and conservation of global energy resources,” said John Enright, the Undergraduate Program Chair at SCIArc. “The students, faculty, and administrations of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Team are well prepared to take up the challenge and work together to create a house that integrates state of the art engineering and energy efficiency with inventive design approaches.”

SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha CHIP Solar House at the California Science Center.

Abigail Scheuer

Rick Carter

Abby Sher


17

alumni news and events

Main Event 10, Los Angeles, November 2011 1. Eric Owen Moss, ME10 Honoree Ian Robertson, Hsinming Fung, Nerin Kodribegovic (M.Arch ’03)

message from the alumni council

2. Debbie Mackler (M.Arch ’94), Tom Stauman (M.Arch ’91), Elissa Scrafano (M.Arch ’90), Peter Grueneisen (M. Arch ’90), Elizabeth Gibb (M.Arch ’89) Pacific Northwest Alumni & Friends Event, Portland, October 2011 3. Cherry Lietz Shelling (M.Arch ’97) 4. Eric Cheong (M.Arch ’94) Los Angeles Alumni & Friends Event, L-House, Culver City, March 2012 5. Guests at the L-House 6. Randy Spiwak (B.Arch ’79), Bill Simonian, John Souza (B.Arch ’74) 7. Cara Lee (M.Arch ’96) and Adam Polk (M.Arch ’06) 8. Paul Macherey (M.Arch ’08), Joe Tarr (M.Arch ’08), Lucas Worthing (B.Arch ’08), Sanne Kampinga (M.Arch ’08), Marc Borrowman (M.Arch ’08) 9. Ardi Tavangarian (B.Arch ’80), Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93), Ella Scheuer, Laura Doss, David Hertz (B.Arch ’83) 10. Elisabeth Neigert (M.Arch ’10), Eric Owen Moss, Ian Robertson, Darin Johnstone, Monique Birault (M.Arch ’92) New York Alumni & Friends Event, MoMA, February 2012 11. Deborah Schneiderman (M.Arch ’96), Andrew Zago, Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93), David Nosanchuk (M.Arch ’96), Jackie Greenberg (M.Arch ’95) 12. Breanna Carlson (M.Arch ’03), Matthew Lutz (B.Arch ’04), Evan Tribus (M.Arch ’04), Alison Rothbaum 13. Far left Gordon Kipping (M.Arch ’95), other guests, far right Elizabeth Gibb (M.Arch ’95)

Dear Fellow Alumni, As SCI-Arc prepares to turn 40 this year, there is a lot to reminisce about. Whether you were a student on the Jefferson Campus in Santa Monica, on Beethoven in Mar Vista, or in the Santa Fe Freight Depot Building in Downtown LA—each generation of alumni has been instrumental in creating the history of the school. There are many qualities that make SCI-Arc unique, but perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of being a SCI-Arc alum is having had the opportunity to grow with the school and be part of its maturation from conception through its now permanency as an institution. Although we are no longer students, as graduates and professionals in our various disciplines we have another opportunity to influence the direction of the school and contribute to its success for the future. Two years ago, I joined the SCI-Arc Alumni Council. This year, I am the most recently elected alumna to join the Board of Trustees. I have found it very rewarding to become reconnected with the school and urge you all to do the same. There are many opportunities to visit, volunteer, or support the range of ongoing initiatives of the school. Please contact Aimee Richer, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs, to get involved. I hope you will join me in supporting SCI-Arc, and I look forward to seeing you over the next year of 40th Anniversary celebrations for the school. Abigail Scheuer (M.Arch ’93) Alumni Council Member SCI-Arc Board of Trustees

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE SCI-Arc graduates are part of a global community of alumni, faculty and friends who stay connected to the school through events, lectures, exhibitions, and continuing education opportunities that happen around the world. SCI-Arc encourages alumni to get involved in the life of the school. These alumni share their thoughts on continuing their involvement with SCI-Arc as a member of the Alumni Council: Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03) Principal, Lehrer Architects LA

“I always felt that attending SCI-Arc was a formative experience in my life and that the connections forged then, were to be for life. Now, almost a decade out, I wanted to re-affirm some of those connections. The work we’re doing at the Council right now is to bring everyone from the last 40 years closer together.”

Alex Pettas (M.Arch ’06) Project Architect, Marmol Radziner

“In my opinion, SCI-Arc is the most innovative school of architecture—it’s renegade, an upstart. I had a great experience at SCI-Arc and always wanted to give something back to the school. I got more deeply involved when the Alumni Portal was being planned. As a former web developerand coder, it was a natural fit.” Lilliana Castro (B. Arch ’09) Founder & Design Director, ARCHEFFECT Design

“While completing my years at SCI-Arc, I became very involved with community projects and the student union. In 2006 I led the first Midnight Meeting at SCI-Arc to organize voice and carry out goals and ideas the students envisioned. I joined the Alumni Council due to my experiences and what I learned from them—we are a very powerful tool when we organize.”


18

BRIGHT IDEAS FROM A SCI-ARC ALUMNUS While many SCI-Arc graduates build from the ground up, New York based SCI-Arc Alumnus David Nosanchuck (M.Arch ’93) designs from the inside out. Nosanchuk’s interiors and product collection, comprised of lighting, furniture, and rugs, has been featured over the last decade in publications including Elle Décor, Metropolis, New York Magazine, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, and the New York Times. Nosanchuk credits his design skill and inspiration to his time at SCI-Arc, where he gained an appreciation for “the precision of how materials come together—not how dimensions define them.” Such precision is evident in one of his most recently completed pieces, the N1R table lamp. The lamp was featured as part of the “Made in New York” exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York in March of this year and is described as a geometric 3D puzzle comprised of horizontal and vertical frosted acrylic plates. The N1R table lamp, as well as a rug and bench designed by Nosanchuk, will be featured as part of the permanent collection at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Now that David has established his name and style with his interior collections, he has expanded his project work to largerscale projects, and is currently working on the design of a 9000 sq ft modernist residence in the Hamptons. The NIR Table Lamp.

TAKING THE ‘EDGE’ OFF CONVENTION

SCI-ARC SCHOLARSHIPS Christopher and Hildegard Kennedy have generously founded an endowed ‘Second Career Scholarship’ at SCIArc, the first alumni-endowed scholarship at SCI-Arc.

Forbiddenedges, the design firm founded by alumnus Christopher Kennedy in 1999 when he finished his M.Arch at SCI-Arc, earned its name in part, as result of Chris’s first career as a dentist. What Dr. Kennedy observed in his near 30 years of practice was that conventional medical and dental offices too often inhabited

If you are interested in discussing options for establishing a scholarship at SCI-Arc, please contact Sarah Sullivan, Chief Advancement Officer at sarah_sullivan@sciarc.edu or 213-356-5319.

2

spaces that were sterile, impersonal, and created a hierarchical barrier between patients and doctors—‘edges’ that acted as obstacles to best practice and success. The idea of physical space being restrictive, combined with his personal philosophy of challenging convention, resulted in forbiddenedges: “going to the edge of acceptable ideas and attitudes and then pushing beyond them.” Never one to accept limitations, Chris embarked on his second career in the early ’90’s, when he collaborated with a mentor in an effort to improve the quality of his life. Reflecting on his experience with renovation projects as a hobby, Chris identified his long-held passion for design and immediately started looking into architecture programs. Having been accepted into Georgetown Medical Dental School prior to graduating from Berkeley in the early 1960’s, Chris had incredibly high standards for returning to the world of education following his professional career. Those high standards saw Chris and his wife Hildegard visit fourteen schools across the U.S. and Canada for an entire calendar year in pursuit of an architecture program with a bottom up rather than top down approach: “It wasn’t just avoiding mediocre schools; SCI- Arc sang a song like none of the others. The dean of another school said he would go to SCI-Arc in a flash.” 3

It was Chris’s second visit to SCI-Arc when he realized he had found his fit. He was sure he had ‘blown’ the interview when he openly criticized the design choices of a now-famous architect. Instead, Chris was met with the response: “if you feel that strongly about something, you should examine why you feel that way.” The open-mindedness and challenge of convention made Chris sure that SCI-Arc was the right place to start his formal architectural education. Once enrolled in SCI-Arc, Chris was accepted as ‘just another student’ despite his age and experience gap. Adapting to the open and unregimented attitudes was the initial challenge, but Chris reports that he “loved it,” and credits SCI-Arc with introducing him to “some of the great teachers in his life.” Although Chris is humble about his design skills, describing his final thesis project as ‘lousy’, faculty, including Michael Rotondi recall otherwise: “Chris Kennedy was one of our success stories. He not only got along with all the students, he acted as a mentor. A very talented guy.” Following his graduation in 1999, Chris was able to combine his dentistry experience with his SCI-Arc design education and find a niche in designing dental, medical, and podiatry practices across the 4


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17

alumni news and events

Main Event 10, Los Angeles, November 2011 1. Eric Owen Moss, ME10 Honoree Ian Robertson, Hsinming Fung, Nerin Kodribegovic (M.Arch ’03)

message from the alumni council

2. Debbie Mackler (M.Arch ’94), Tom Stauman (M.Arch ’91), Elissa Scrafano (M.Arch ’90), Peter Grueneisen (M. Arch ’90), Elizabeth Gibb (M.Arch ’89) Pacific Northwest Alumni & Friends Event, Portland, October 2011 3. Cherry Lietz Shelling (M.Arch ’97) 4. Eric Cheong (M.Arch ’94) Los Angeles Alumni & Friends Event, L-House, Culver City, March 2012 5. Guests at the L-House 6. Randy Spiwak (B.Arch ’79), Bill Simonian, John Souza (B.Arch ’74) 7. Cara Lee (M.Arch ’96) and Adam Polk (M.Arch ’06) 8. Paul Macherey (M.Arch ’08), Joe Tarr (M.Arch ’08), Lucas Worthing (B.Arch ’08), Sanne Kampinga (M.Arch ’08), Marc Borrowman (M.Arch ’08) 9. Ardi Tavangarian (B.Arch ’80), Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93), Ella Scheuer, Laura Doss, David Hertz (B.Arch ’83) 10. Elisabeth Neigert (M.Arch ’10), Eric Owen Moss, Ian Robertson, Darin Johnstone, Monique Birault (M.Arch ’92) New York Alumni & Friends Event, MoMA, February 2012 11. Deborah Schneiderman (M.Arch ’96), Andrew Zago, Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93), David Nosanchuk (M.Arch ’96), Jackie Greenberg (M.Arch ’95) 12. Breanna Carlson (M.Arch ’03), Matthew Lutz (B.Arch ’04), Evan Tribus (M.Arch ’04), Alison Rothbaum 13. Far left Gordon Kipping (M.Arch ’95), other guests, far right Elizabeth Gibb (M.Arch ’95)

Dear Fellow Alumni, As SCI-Arc prepares to turn 40 this year, there is a lot to reminisce about. Whether 11

you were a student on the Jefferson Campus in Santa Monica, on Beethoven in Mar Vista, or in the Santa Fe Freight Depot Building in Downtown LA—each generation of alumni has been instrumental in creating the history of the school. There are many qualities that make SCI-Arc unique, but perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of being a SCI-Arc alum is having had the opportunity to grow with the school and be part of its maturation from conception through its now permanency as an institution. Although we are no longer students, as graduates and professionals in our various disciplines we have another opportunity to influence the direction of the school and contribute to its success for the future. Two years ago, I joined the SCI-Arc Alumni Council. This year, I am the most recently elected alumna to join the Board of Trustees. I have found it very rewarding to become reconnected with the school and urge you all to do the same. There are many opportunities to visit, volunteer, or support the range of ongoing initiatives of the school. Please contact Aimee Richer, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs, to get involved. I hope you will join me in supporting SCI-Arc, and I look forward to seeing you over the next year of 40th Anniversary celebrations for the school.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE 12

SCI-Arc graduates are part of a global community of alumni, faculty and friends who stay connected to the school through events, lectures, exhibitions, and continuing education opportunities that happen around the world. SCI-Arc encourages alumni to get involved in the life of the school. These alumni share their thoughts on continuing their involvement with SCI-Arc as a member of the Alumni Council: Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03) Principal, Lehrer Architects LA

“I always felt that attending SCI-Arc was a formative experience in my life and that the connections forged then, were to be for life.

13

Now, almost a decade out, I wanted to re-affirm some of those connections. The work we’re doing at the Council right now is to bring everyone from the last 40 years closer together.” Alex Pettas (M.Arch ’06) Project Architect, Marmol Radziner

“In my opinion, SCI-Arc is the most innovative school of architecture—it’s renegade, an upstart. I had a great experience at SCI-Arc and always wanted to give something back to the school. I got more deeply involved when the Alumni Portal was being planned. As a former web developerand coder, it was a natural fit.” Lilliana Castro (B. Arch ’09) Founder & Design Director, ARCHEFFECT Design

“While completing my years at SCI-Arc, I became very involved with community projects and the student union. In 2006 I led the first Midnight Meeting at SCI-Arc to organize voice and carry out goals and ideas the students envisioned. I joined the Alumni Council due to my experiences and what I learned from them—we are a very powerful tool when we organize.”


18

BRIGHT IDEAS FROM A SCI-ARC ALUMNUS While many SCI-Arc graduates build from the ground up, New York based SCI-Arc Alumnus David Nosanchuck (M.Arch ’93) designs from the inside out. Nosanchuk’s interiors and product collection, comprised of lighting, furniture, and rugs, has been featured over the last decade in publications including Elle Décor, Metropolis, New York Magazine, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, and the New York Times. Nosanchuk credits his design skill and inspiration to his time at SCI-Arc, where he gained an appreciation for “the precision of how materials come together—not how dimensions define them.” Such precision is evident in one of his most recently completed pieces, the N1R table lamp. The lamp was featured as part of the “Made in New York” exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York in March of this year and is described as a geometric 3D puzzle comprised of horizontal and vertical frosted acrylic plates. The N1R table lamp, as well as a rug and bench designed by Nosanchuk, will be featured as part of the permanent collection at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Now that David has established his name and style with his interior collections, he has expanded his project work to largerscale projects, and is currently working on the design of a 9000 sq ft modernist residence in the Hamptons. The NIR Table Lamp.

TAKING THE ‘EDGE’ OFF CONVENTION Forbiddenedges, the design firm founded by alumnus Christopher Kennedy in 1999 when he finished his M.Arch at SCI-Arc, earned its name in part, as result of Chris’s first career as a dentist. What Dr. Kennedy observed in his near 30 years of practice was that conventional medical and dental offices too often inhabited spaces that were sterile, impersonal, and created a hierarchical barrier between patients and doctors—‘edges’ that acted as obstacles to best practice and success. The idea of physical space being restrictive, combined with his personal philosophy of challenging convention, resulted in forbiddenedges: “going to the edge of acceptable ideas and attitudes and then pushing beyond them.” Never one to accept limitations, Chris embarked on his second career in the early ’90’s, when he collaborated with a mentor in an effort to improve the quality of his life. Reflecting on his experience with renovation projects as a hobby, Chris identified his long-held passion for design and immediately started looking into architecture programs. Having been accepted into Georgetown Medical Dental School prior to graduating from Berkeley in the early 1960’s, Chris had incredibly high standards for returning to the world of education following his professional career. Those high standards saw Chris and his wife Hildegard visit fourteen schools across the U.S. and Canada for an entire calendar year in pursuit of an architecture program with a bottom up rather than top down approach: “It wasn’t just avoiding mediocre schools; SCI- Arc sang a song like none of the others. The dean of another school said he would go to SCI-Arc in a flash.” It was Chris’s second visit to SCI-Arc when he realized he had found his fit. He was sure he had ‘blown’ the interview when he openly criticized the design choices of a now-famous architect. Instead, Chris was met with the response: “if you feel

SCI-ARC SCHOLARSHIPS Christopher and Hildegard Kennedy have generously founded an endowed ‘Second Career Scholarship’ at SCIArc, the first alumni-endowed scholarship at SCI-Arc. If you are interested in discussing options for establishing a scholarship at SCI-Arc, please contact Sarah Sullivan, Chief Advancement Officer at sarah_sullivan@sciarc.edu or 213-356-5319.

that strongly about something, you should examine why you feel that way.” The open-mindedness and challenge of convention made Chris sure that SCI-Arc was the right place to start his formal architectural education. Once enrolled in SCI-Arc, Chris was accepted as ‘just another student’ despite his age and experience gap. Adapting to the open and unregimented attitudes was the initial challenge, but Chris reports that he “loved it,” and credits SCI-Arc with introducing him to “some of the great teachers in his life.” Although Chris is humble about his design skills, describing his final thesis project as ‘lousy’, faculty, including Michael Rotondi recall otherwise: “Chris Kennedy was one of our success stories. He not only got along with all the students, he acted as a mentor. A very talented guy.” Following his graduation in 1999, Chris was able to combine his dentistry experience with his SCI-Arc design education and find a niche in designing dental, medical, and podiatry practices across the nation through his practice forbiddenedges (www.forbiddenedges.com). One of the first successful projects of his new firm included the work of his so-called ‘lousy’ thesis—realized into a first-class built project.


19

ALUMNI NEWS AND EVENTS

SCI-Arc Alumni Council 2012

ALUMNI GALLERY AND PORTAL LAUNCHED

Lilliana Castro (B.Arch ’09) Joshua Coggeshall (M.Arch ’97) Michael Cook (M.Arch ’95) Beth Gibb (M.Arch ’89) Julee Herdt (M.Arch ’88) Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03) Santino Medina (M.Arch ’06) Mirai Morita (M.Arch ’06) Paras Nanavati (B.Arch ’04) Dean Nota (B.Arch ’76) Alex Pettas (M.Arch ’06) Michael Poris (M.Arch ’90) Steven Purvis (M.Arch ’06) Johnny Ramirios (B.Arch ’05) Abby Scheuer (M.Arch ’93) Pia Schneider (M.Arch ’86) Christian Schulz (M.Arch ’01) Elissa Scrafano (M.Arch ’90) Elita Seow (B.Arch ’03) Cherry Snelling (M.Arch ’97) Eva Sobesky (M.Arch ’90) Steven Morales Suarez (B.Arch ’04) Joe Tarr (M.Arch ’08) Steve Wagner (M.Arch ’84) Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

In January of this year, the Exhibits and Media Outreach Committee of the Alumni Council launched the SCI-Arc Alumni Portal, an online gallery and news source created by alumni for alumni. The portal is a vital link to upcoming events, relevant resources, and most importantly, an opportunity for alumni to exhibit their work. The call for entries resulted in almost 250 alumni projects received. These submissions are the first in initiating an archive and searchable database of the ongoing work of SCI-Arc alumni. The portal is updated weekly and features a wide range of projects. It can be found at www.sciarcalumni.org The effort was conceived and executed by volunteer work of the Alumni Council Exhibits and Media Outreach Committee consisting of: Lilliana Castro (B.Arch ’08), Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03), Santino Medina (M.Arch ’06), Alex Pettas (M.Arch ’06), and Steven Purvis (M.Arch ’06). Special thanks to Alex Pettas, whose donated work on the project was valued at over $10,000.

Crater Lake installation, Kobe Biennale, 2011. Fumio Hirakawa (M.Arch ’05), Marina Topunova (M.Arch, ’06).

Chief Advancement Officer Sarah Sullivan Associate Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Dawn Mori Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs Aimee Richer Development and Alumni Affairs Associate Rebecca Silva Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Associate Frances Muenzer

Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Edmund M. Einy, FAIA (B. Arch ’86) Design Principal.


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ALUMNA MAKES FIRST ALUMNI PLANNED GIFT TO SCI-ARC

CLASS OF 2012 ALUMNA Selected to Represent Canada at the 2012 Venice Biennale SCI-Arc graduate student Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (M.Arch ’12) is one of the winners of the National Exhibition of Migrating Landscapes, a nation-wide, open ideas competition for creating Canada’s official entry to the 2012 Venice Biennale, entitled Migrating Landscapes. Her submission is among 18 projects selected to represent Team Canada at the prestigious event. Shaw-Collinge’s three models were created to replicate the frame of the cabin that her Great Grandfather, Jean Paulin built on the trap line near Ft. McMurray. One of the cabins was constructed from deer hide sourced from her family in Ft McMurray, another cabin with crocheted fabric and the last cabin with zip ties. The method of construction incorporates materials and techniques passed down from her Métis family emphasizing craft and technology. Themed around migration and cultural identity, the Migrating Landscapes competition invited young Canadian architects and designers, aged 45 and under, to reflect on their migration experiences and cultural memories, and design dwellings onto a new landscape that would be showcased through a series of seven regional exhibitions across the country. Tiffany Shaw-Collinge was born in Calgary and raised in Edmonton, AB. She received a Diploma of Fine Arts from Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University, Nova Scotia. She is currently in her final year at SCI-Arc, and is expected to graduate with a Master of Architecture degree in September 2012.

For someone full of life and still years away from retirement, it may seem unusual to designate a gift to SCI-Arc payable upon death; but Monique Birault (M.Arch ’92) has a strong conviction that design—and SCI-Arc—should be as firmly included in her legacy as they are rooted in her daily life. Monique’s “love affair with the built environment” began when she went on a family trip to Greece and visited the Acropolis. Although she didn’t understand the significance of the architecture at that young age, she was inspired by the energy that she felt. That energy followed through her adolescence as she grew up in Silverlake surrounded by the architectural Case Study work in Los Angeles that would commemorate the era of her upbringing. Surprisingly, Monique did not pursue design as her first career choice—opting instead for Music, then International Relations and Business. Her first job following graduation from the University of Redlands in the 1980’s found her managing retirement plans for middle-income earners; an occupation that required extensive travel and meetings in the private homes of her clients. But it was the insight into people’s homes that Monique found most interesting, and she began considering a transition into a design-focused career. Monique’s interest in architecture was further defined as she considered further education. When she was asked: “Do you want to move walls or pick carpets?” there was no question it was the former, and so began to explore architecture programs. In 1988, Monique was introduced to SCI-Arc through the Making and Meaning (M+M) program, at which point she described herself as ‘hooked.’ Immediately following the completion of M+M, Monique enrolled in the M.Arch program at SCI-Arc and fully immersed herself in the life of the school. In collaboration with thendirector Michael Rotondi, Monique helped to establish an advisory council of students, staff, and faculty, and continued her leadership position at SCI-Arc by participating on the Board of Trustees between 1995-2001. With her combined degrees in Business and Architecture, as well as full-licensure as an architect with the AIA, Monique found her professional niche in project management. Her suite of professional projects includes the Getty Centre, Pepperdine University, and USC to name just a few. Monique also designs jewelry and has her own company called ‘Adorn Thyself’ which supplies to boutiques in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In February of this year, in acknowledgement of the 40th Anniversary fundraising campaign, Monique made a planned gift to the school. Although she has no plans for SCI-Arc to collect any time soon, Monique recognizes the value in planning for the future, and encourages others—who may not have immediate capacity—to support the SCI-Arc by including the school in their estate plans. “I am thrilled to be the first alumna to make such an important contribution to the school. This simple gesture will support young minds challenging the main stream, and help ensure the future of SCI-Arc.”

PLANNED GIVING A planned gift is a thoughtful way to provide for the future of the school without drawing upon your immediate financial resources. It may mean including SCI-Arc in your will or trust, naming SCI-Arc as the beneficiary of an insurance or retirement plan, or through another designation from your estate. By including SCI-Arc in your future plans, you ensure that SCI-Arc will be able to remain at the forefront of architectural education. If you are interested in discussing planned giving options, please contact Sarah Sullivan, Chief Advancement Officer, at sarah_sullivan@sciarc.edu or 213-356-5319.


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ALUMNI NEWS AND EVENTS

OPEN SEASON 2012 Open Season facilitates introductions between current students and SCI-Arc alumni in the professional design world, encouraging alumni and professional partners to observe and potentially recruit students. Guests and attendees at the Spring Open Season career event included the following alumni: John Lodge (M.Arch ’94) Commercial Realtor, Coldwell Banker Santino Medina (M.Arch ’06) Senior Project Consultant, Gehry Technologies Monica Gutierrez (M.Arch ’09) Project Consultant, Gensler Kristen George (M.Arch ’10) Designer, Gensler Marisol Mejia (B.Arch ’08) Designer, Gensler Ruben Markarian (B.Arch ’05) Designer, HNTB Eugene Park Interaction Designer, HUGE, Inc. John Winston (M.Arch ’04) Principal, John Winston Studio Dan Weinreber (M.Arch ’02) Associate Principal, KGM Architectural Lighting Keith Mckloskey (M.Arch ’02) Design Director, KTGY Group Peter Gruenstein Principal, Nonzero Architecture Nerin Kadribegovic (M.Arch ’03) Director of Operations, Lehrer Architects Martin Mervel (M.Arch ’81) Principal, SLab Architecture Michael Miller (M.Arch ’00) Senior Associate, Steinberg Architects

And additional representatives from the following companies:

ALUMNUS EXHIBITS THESIS PROJECT IN LOS ANGELES Young alumnus Michael Nesbit (B.Arch ’12) exhibited his undergraduate thesis project, Towards (Ph2)latness, in a group show hosted by Studio Sereno. On view May 5-20th, Protostellar: Survey of Los Angeles Student Art Work featured 16 artists from 9 schools. For the past 14 months, Nesbit has conducted a series of exercises that have tested the cycle between technique and representation. His thesis project represents construction diagrams of the drawing. By placing emphasis on the drawing and not the object, Nesbit’s Towards (Ph2)latness re-inserts the role of judgment back into representation, allowing the drawing to produce something far greater than what it originally represented. In Nesbit’s own words: “Architecture is built on our ability to use representation as an effect for production… from sketch to model, from model to drawing, from drawing to building. Along the way we use judgment as an affect for guiding our creative process. Within our contemporary discipline, we have been given an extensive tool set that has pushed architecture forward, but due to instantaneous output of new techniques the process has eliminated many of our previous entry points. This thesis looks to bring back judgment.”

DLR Group/WWCOT Lehman Smith McLeish Morphosis Architects OLIN Pfeiffer Partners Shimoda Design Group HDR Nova Lighting AECOM

ALUMNA HEATHER FLOOD RECEIVES C.O.L.A FELLOWSHIP Alumna and faculty member Heather Flood (M.Arch ’04) of F-lab has been awarded one of the 2012 C.O.L.A Individual Artist Fellowships from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Flood’s fellowship will culminate in an installation at the Municipal Art Gallery in September. Flood is a designer of information, graphics, and architecture. In 2007, she founded F-lab with Ramiro Diaz-Granados and is now the sole principal of the firm. F-lab is a research based design practice committed to the production of architectural form and its relationship to contemporary culture, both pop and sub. F-lab’s recent commissions include a retail expansion strategy and store prototype for a new frozen yogurt brand, the design of a single family residence in Los Angeles, and the design and fabrication of the winning scheme for a board of director’s conference table. In addition to her professional practice, Flood teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs at SCI-Arc.


class notes

1970s Jeffrey Weinstein, AIA (B.Arch ’78) opened an art gallery, Ojai Gallery 353, in the home he designed and built in Ojai, Calif. His gallery features Coastal Central California and Ojai Valley plein-air, oil, pastel and watercolor paintings, photography, abstract art, nudes, ceramics, and large-scale free-standing steel sculptures by Ojai, Ventura and Santa Barbara artists. David Gibson (B.A. ’79), over the past three decades, has designed projects of most varieties including commercial offices, hotels, health care facilities, churches, high density residential, production (tract) homes, and multiple custom homes. He was regional architect for Pulte Homes, designing housing for Arizona, Nevada and California for several years before founding his architectural firm, Collaborative Group Architects. Gibson also patented a highly energy efficient, easy to install lightweight panel system that is resistant to hurricane and earthquake forces, termites, pests, mold, salt, air, chlorine and freeze/ thaw cycles. Nick Seierup, FAIA (B.Arch ’79) of Perkins+Will led a design presentation to the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the new 1 million sq. ft., 500-bed King Saud AbdulAziz Specialty Children’s Hospital (KASCH) located in Jeddah. The sustainable project tracks the 2030 Challenge and includes a crust-like concrete exterior within which a glass and steel tower is revealed. This is the highest level presentation the firm has made to the royal family in the Middle East. Seierup is Design Director in the downtown Los Angeles office of Perkins+Will, where he has been Principal since 2000.

1980s Edmund M. Einy, FAIA (B.Arch ’83) received a 2011 AIA San Francisco Valley Design Award for his Blair IB Middle School in Pasadena, Calif. The 42,000 sq. ft. project that opened in late 2011 demonstrates a more flexible teaching arrangement of universal classrooms, outdoor teaching opportunities and community involvement. Einy’s House in Alibaug project, which received a AIA Design Award in 2010, is currently under construction in the coastal town of Alibaug, India. Morgan Connolly (M.Arch ’85) of Morgan Connolly Architects is currently at work on a Napa Valley winery/hospitality complex, where construction is to take place over three stages starting in June. Designed to initially produce 50,000 gallons of wine annually, the facility includes more temperature controlled zones than a facility of this size commonly houses. The zones allow the owner and winemaker to experiment with subtle variations in the wine-making process. Before founding his practice

in early 2000, Connolly worked with architect Allan Greenberg.

1990s Angela Brooks (M.Arch ’91) and partner Lawrence Scarpa of Los Angeles-based Brooks + Scarpa are currently at work on a 32-unit affordable housing project in Santa Monica. A second project, the Research and Tech Lab in Monterrey, Mexico, is currently under construction. Most recently, Brooks spoke at the AIA Lecture Series in San Antonio in May. Jason Shirriff (B.Arch ’92) is currently serving as Vice-President of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI). His architectural design sketch, hybrid drawing Rome Vertical Spa received an Award of Excellence in ASAI’s Architecture in Perspective competition. Shirriff recently updated his LEED AP credential to Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C). As project architect and associate at HKIT Architects in Oakland, he has been leading the firm’s efforts to transition to BIM. Jeremy Levine (B. Arch ’93) of Jeremy Levine Design and his wife Robin of Eco-me.com were featured in the April edition of Pasadena Magazine. Their private residence was featured on the cover. Jennifer Siegal (M.Arch ’94) won the commission to design an Information Technology building for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The Zshaped 54,000 sq. ft. prefabricated building is composed of 100 stacked steel-framed mods. Her Taliesin ModFab has been featured in Intériuers magazine’s May issue on Mobility and Architecture, and the iMobile in Bracket. Andrew Davies (M.Arch ’95) launched public art exhibition Art Train in June, a project he conceptualized as part of his thesis project while at SCI-Arc. Art Train is a moving mobile public art project designed to bring awareness and agency to environmental issues in Toronto and Hamilton, Canada. www.no9.ca Elizabeth Lenell Davies (M.Arch ’95) is working in collaboration with Toronto School Board to integrate sustainable architecture and urban design programs within Grade 7 classes across 44 schools. The goal of the project is to infuse real-world interdisciplinary aspects of the architectural profession with the required curriculum, and provide eco-literacy learning in the classroom. Carlos Madrid III (M.Arch ’95) has completed a headquarters building for Envision Energy in Shanghai and a new classroom and office building on the USC Health Sciences Campus in Los Angeles. He is currently at work on an enhancements project for the Central Terminal Area at LAX and a confidential island hotel and spa. Madrid is an associate principal/ design lead at AECOM in Los Angeles.

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Joerg Ruegemer (M.Arch ’95) recently completed the 125 Haus, a moderate-size 2,400 sq.ft. modern architectural residence in Park City, Utah. The residence embodies an interdisciplinary research and design project for a highly energy-efficient, sustainable residential case study priced at market rate for the Northern Utah and Intermountain West Cold Climate Zone. Its construction, energy saving potential, cost efficiency, and return on investment (ROI) will be documented, evaluated, and analyzed throughout a two-year post-occupancy monitoring period after completion of the building. Fred Castillo (B.Arch ’96) recently established his architectural photography business and a new website at www.derfoto.com. Castillo has pursued his interest in photography throughout his architecture career, while designing stores for Guess and BCBG, and serving as director of architecture at Starwood Hotels and Resorts in New York. David Montalba (B.Arch ’96), AIA, was selected as one of Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40, honoring young AEC leaders across the country. He was featured, along with 39 other honorees, in the April issue of BD+C. Montalba Architects’ project, Washington Square Park Dental, was featured by Inc. Magazine, while the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals highlighted two of the firm’s recent projects for inclusion in their annual exhibition that coincided with the AIA Grassroots Conference in Washington D.C. Stuart Magruder (M.Arch ’97), principal of Studio Nova A Architects founded in 2005, has been elected the 2012 President of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter. Magruder also received the AIA National 2012 Young Architects Award. Christian Unverzagt (M.Arch ’99) teaches at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture, where he was recently promoted to Assistant Professor of Practice in Architecture. He is also the Design Director of M1/DTW, a multi-disciplinary studio based in Detroit that has recently completed a number of projects including the Signal-Return Letterpress studio in Detroit’s Eastern Market and the Mills Pharmacy + Apothecary. M1/DTW also designed the catalogue for the University of Kentucky’s River Cities Project for the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. An exhibition of Unverzagt’s print work was recently on view at Signal–Return in Detroit, Mich.

2000s

Stephen Gabor (M.Arch ’00) and Patrick Allen (M.Arch ’00) of Gabor+Allen have recently finished design and construction from the ground up of a contemporary Santa Monica single family home, added a second story artist’s studio to an early

Koening-Eisenberg residence, and are in the process of completing a green renovation to a historic 1920s-style apartment building featuring PV electric production, grey water irrigation, rain water harvesting, and locally sourced and produced materials. Reaching out to the community, Gabor+Allen donate their time to the SPARK program, as mentors to junior high school students interested in learning about architecture, interior design, and construction. Dong Woo Kim (M.Arch2 ’09) and Sang Dae Lee (M.Arch2 ’04) participated in a group exhibition of work by seven architectural designers of Korean descent. Dubbed “Inside Out: 7 Architectural Thoughts,” the show brought up the topic of “Koreaness” to the Korean American Community, and was hosted at the Korean Cultural Center in June. Chinmaya Misra (M.Arch ’01), principal of CHA:COL, recently completed the firm’s first interior loft renovation, a 1,574 sq. ft. space rethought as a series of areas for parents and children to rest, work and play. The project was featured by the Los Angeles Times in February. Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ’03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ’04) of Ball-Nogues Studio won the second edition of the Pavillon Spéciale competition in Paris. Hosted by the École Spéciale d’Architecture, under general director Odile Decq and curator Matteo Cainer, the project features a Ball-Nogues led workshop with university students to create a pavilion for summer events in the heart of Paris. Jeremy J. Quinn (M.Arch ’03) received a fellowship for a four-week residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt., where he will be working on sculpture and video installation projects. In 2011, Quinn became a Senior Designer at 5+Design in Hollywood, where he has been designing projects in Abu Dhabi and Seoul. Camia Young (M.Arch ’03) was invited to teach with Derek Kawiti a design course at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning. Together they self-published Future Christchurch, a collection of 27 design proposals developed by architecture students who took their course in fall 2011, investigating an aspect of Christchurch and developing design proposals ranging from urban strategies to buildings and parks. Cameron Schmitt (M.Arch ’04), director of design and construction at SBE Entertainment in Los Angeles, in the last six months has opened the Greystone Manor Nightclub in Los Angeles, Mercato Di Vetro Restaurant in West Hollywood, Hyde Lounge at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, and two Katsuya Restaurants in San Diego and Houston. Fumio Hirakawa (M.Arch ’05) of Studio 24° has been nominated as finalist for the 2012 AZ Awards in

Temporary and Demonstration Architecture from AZURE magazine of Canada. His project, Crater Lake, was also exhibited at the Kobe Biennale 2011. Benjamin Luddy (M.Arch ’06) and Makoto Mizutani (M.Arch ’05) of Los Angeles-based design practice Scout Regalia were featured in the April issue of Sunset magazine. The story featured their live-work space in Echo Park as a laboratory for prototyping new products. Gordon Magnin (M.Arch ’06) recently exhibited his work in a group show at the Southwestern College Art Gallery in San Diego. His work has also been published in Cutting Edges and Doppelganger, two publications by Gestalten out of Berlin. Magnin was also profiled by several magazines including Oakazine, Cake-Mag and Nu-Modé. Emily White (M.Arch ’06) and Lisa Little (M.Arch ’06) of Layer LA are exhibiting their Loose Horizon installation at the Pasadena Museum of California Art through October 2012. A physically engrossing and intellectually stimulating spatial construction, their project combines a computational approach with a perceptual one, rendering a truly engaging environment for visitors. Shaunt Yemenjian (M.Arch ’06) of Spacio│Design recently completed renovation of a landmarked Pasadena mid-century modern home originally designed by Harold B. Zook. The residence was among the five homes featured on the Pasadena Heritage Society’s “American Modern” tour in March.

2010s Sheng-ping Lin (M.Arch ’11) was part of the design team at J.J. Pan & Partners in Taiwan who designed the National Library of Public Information in Taichung—Taiwan’s first digital library that opened in May 2012. Carmen Sanchez (B.Arch ’11), who was part of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Solar Decathlon 2011 team, is currently interning for Hector Reyes Architects in San Diego. She has also been accepted into the Structural Engineering Master’s Program at University of California, San Diego, which she will begin in September.

SCI- Arc regretfully notes the passing of the following alumni: Roy Ray (B. Arch ’82) Steven Kay Kearns (B. Arch ’80)


Southern California Institute of Architecture 960 East 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

(clockwise from top left) thom mayne, jeffrey kipnis, peter eisenman

SCI-Arc Magazine Issue No. 4 (Spring 2012)  

SCI-Arc Magazine Issue No.4 Editor-in-Chief: Hsinming Fung Contributing writers: Hernan Diaz Alonso, Georgiana Ceausu, Hsinming Fung, Todd...

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