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SCI-Arc Future Initiatives, Postgraduate Program




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Studios

Summer 2012 / Studio Peter Zellner /  Maribor 2012 AI Worldwide Projects

Spring 2012 / Studio Peter Trummer / Porter Ranch Redux: The Figure and It’s Unfolded Ground

Fall 2011 / Peter Zellner and Alfonso Medina / Transit Hub / West Los Angeles: Figures and Fields

Summer 2011 / Studio Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto / California High Speed Rail

Fall 2010 / Studio Peter Zellner / Downtown….. Again

Spring 2010 / Studio Peter Zellner / Urban Rivers

Fall 2009 / Studio Peter Zellner / LA Boulevards

Summer 2009 / David Bergman and Peter Zellner / Beijing Thesis Projects

Spring 2009 / Studio Andrew Zago / Studio Detroit: Empty Density

Fall 2008 / Studio Peter Zellner / LA Civic Center

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MARIBOR 2012AI 100YC WORLDWIDE PROJECTS

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Summer 2012
Instructor: Peter Zellner and David Bergman

The 2012Ai [Architectural intelligence] 100YC (100 Year City) project explores future visions and ambitions for the City of Maribor, Slovenia from 2012 until 2112. 100YC is the name of a one hundred year study to explore innovation in architecture that can carry forward a vision for future cities.

Working individually with the Future Initiative program’s core and visiting faculty, students generate deliverables—individually and as part of a group—that form the basis of a dissertation quality research presentation and exhibition.

There will be a curated selection of the work displayed within the Australian and Slovenian pavilions of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
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PORTER RANCH REDUX: THE FIGURE AND IT’S UNFOLDED GROUND


Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Spring 2012
Instructor: Peter Trummer
Teaching Assistants: Ursula Frick and Thomas Grabner

From the stand point of urbanism the city has mainly been defined as a problem between the figure and its ground. The intention of associative design is to take materialist position towards urbanism whereby the figure/ground problem is replaced by a problem between form and matter, between the figure and its unfolded ground. The aim of associative design is to produce new figure ground diagrams actualized by the property matters of the urban territory.

Phase 1: The Territory
Production of territorial map of intensive properties

Phase 2: The Architectural Diagram
Design of an architectural diagram

Phase 3: Models of Populations
Computational technique workshop: grasshopper scripting

Phase 4: Process of Actualization
Actualization of the architectural diagram on the territory
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TRANSIT HUB  / WEST LOS ANGELES: FIGURES AND FIELDS

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Fall 2011
Instructor: Peter Zellner
Teaching Assistant: Alfonso Medina

The SCIFI Fall 2011 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. The SCIFI Fall Studio promotes and develops an understanding of urban research, urban design and documentation while addressing the urban designer’s responsibilities within this process. The studio allows for independent research activities to occur within the structure of a shared thematic studio focused on a comprehensive research, planning, urban design and documentation approach.
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CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Summer 2011
SCIFI Guest Faculty: Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto

High Speed Rail technology is evolving rapidly, and the potential of the system to affect patterns of urbanism is unprecedented.  The notion that an architectural project for High Speed Rail technologies might concentrate only on buildings or stations is anachronistic and short-sighted. Since the nineteenth century, infrastructure has been overtly utilized as a model resulting in the amplification of systems of movement, distribution, and control.  While the proliferation of these systems has necessarily been attendant to modernization, they are rarely questioned or seen as anything other than discrete components of a hierarchy no greater than its parts.  The great potential of taking on the design implications of new transportation technologies lies in the wider implications and effects of the system.
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DOWNTOWN….. AGAIN

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Fall 2010
Instructor: Peter Zellner

Problem Child
Downtown is LA’s perennial ‘urban problem child.’ We return to its dilemmas again and again. But, the more Downtown matures the more Downtown continues to exhibit dysfunctional urban behaviors.

For fifty or more years Downtown LA has continued to vex civic leaders, planners and architects alike. Despite hundreds (if not thousands) of planning proposals, Downtown just can’t be tamed. Its problems‐ lack of connectivity, limited green space, patchy density and endemic homelessness‐ are not unique to any American city but Downtown LA does seem exceptionally challenged. In planning, as in governance, Downtown LA’s problems don’t just stay the same, they keep getting bigger:

Downtown can’t get its act together. After over a decade of discussions and negotiations, the $3‐billion, Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue complex has been shelved for at least another two years. The project, alongside the planned new Los Angeles Civic Park, sit on top of a tragic series of incomplete visions to rebuild Downtown’s Bunker Hill, a key recurrent site in the contest to improve LA’s center.

Downtown lacks selfcontrol.
The developers of the Wilshire Grand tower project are planning to knock down Wilshire Grand hotel and replace it with 65‐stories of electronic billboard: “…large‐scale animated and static signs designed to convey a business, product, service, profession, commodity, activity, event, person, institution, brand, or any other commercial or noncommercial message” End quote.

Downtown is unruly and maybe ungovernable.
After five years of false starts and broken promises, the City of Los Angeles has once again replaced its Chief Planner while simultaneously restructuring the CRA or Community Redevelopment Agency. Continuity? Forget about it.

Staging Interventions
The more it stirs up trouble, the more Downtown requires a disproportionate amount of attention and corrective behavior relative to its more mature, suburban Southland cousins. Downtown does not need any more good intentions, what it needs is an intervention.

This studio will proceed by attempting to address Downtown’s persistent urban challenges by identifying and then ignoring its tendencies. Rather than proposing solutions that are liable to be reinforcing and enabling we will stage a series of interventions that will break bad habits, identify action plans and achieve some sort of crisis resolution. At 3 scales and on 3 sites we will attempt to create prototypes for resolving LA’s Downtown dilemma.

In the place of laissezfaire planning we will develop and explore proactive and progressive planning techniques. Instead of planning for the future by looking to the past or to foreign models, we will release Downtown of external criteria, thereby freeing us as a studio to focus on the facts on the ground, and then from there on theinvention of radical strategies for provocative Downtown developments generated ex novo.
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URBAN RIVERS

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Spring 2010
Instructor: Peter Zellner

Students join leading urban landscape architect Laurie Olin, who frequently incorporates water systems in his work, for a studio on the status of urban rivers in North America.
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LA BOULEVARDS

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Fall 2009
Instructor: Peter Zellner

The scale, diversity and uses of boulevards in Los Angeles — an issue particular to the city’s development — are investigated. The project was conceived in collaboration with the City of LA’s Urban Design Studio.
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BEIJING THESIS PROJECTS

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Summer 2009
Instructors: David Bergman and Peter Zellner

Research focused on the regional effects of Beijing’s Five-Year Plan. Students investigated issues in the context of China’s globalization and focused on the use of the plan and its consequences for contemporary urbanization. Using tools such as Scenario Planning, students attempted to unravel both the logics of themed zoning and the legacy of the 2008 Olympics.

The results were exhibited in China as part of “Divergent Convergence: Designing China,” a ground-breaking exhibition of academic research and design work by 15 leading Western schools of Architecture, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cornell and the Architectural Association. SCI-Arc’s contribution followed student travel to China, led by David Bergman, in conjunction with a studio led in Los Angeles by Peter Zellner. The exhibition was curated by Joseph Grima, director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, along with Jiang Jun, editor of Urban China magazine, Charlie Koolhaas, artist and writer, and Qin Lei, editor Domus China Magazine.
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STUDIO DETROIT: EMPTY DENSITY

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Spring 2009
Instructor: Andrew Zago

The program turned its attention to the district scale, working with guest instructor Andrew Zago in Detroit. The spring studio traveled to Detroit to create proposals for the development of a four block stretch of Woodward Avenue in Midtown. The goal of these proposals was to use architecture, rather than planning, as a spark for urban imagination and as a provocation for discourse on the city’s future.
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LA CIVIC CENTER

Studio: SCIFI
Semester: Fall 2008
Instructor: Peter Zellner

Students developed a reuse plan for the site of the old State Civic Center Building in Downtown Los Angeles. This studio introduced students to the core ambitions of the program, its tools and city formation by working for one semester on the ground in Los Angeles, the paradigmatic global city. The studio placed particular emphasis on understanding and translating urban policy and management into tangible urban arrangements, with an emphasis on producing new urban models and policy proposals for LA.
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SCI-Arc's SCIFI is an intensive research-based, post-professional degree program and think tank dedicated to generating pertinent examinations of contemporary civic design, city formulation, and urban regulation.


www.sciarc.edu

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