“GIST: Distilling Human Experience” is a project for Society of Art Los Angeles and a visual studies course at SCI-Arc developed by artist and faculty Natou Fall. An experimental approach to screen writing and set design, the course and gallery installation interrogate collective storytelling, identity, and environment. How can we as a group of individuals create a story together, one vague enough to be played by anyone, and earnest enough to evoke feeling? Using a set of narrative building blocks, themes such as “MY GRIEF” “MY PLACE” “MY SPIRIT,” students created The Story of Z. In it the protagonist struggles and overcomes an obstacle of profound change. Their journey unfolds in five moments, scenes, acts. Each is manifested through language and material. The installation featured a sequence of mini-stage sets; shape, textures, colors, sounds, and images were brought together to create abstract interpretations of the protagonist’s physical and psychological environment. This story could be about anyone and set anywhere. GIST is an invitation to use your imagination.
In this film SCI-Arc Channel takes an up-close gaze at the graffiti that brings the urban and architectural surfaces of the SCI-Arc building and the Arts District to life.
“Graffiti gives a voice to the walls.” - Malina Suliman
As we continue with remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, this 360-degree 4K tour of the SCI-Arc building provides a unique opportunity to experience the building while it is currently empty. The guided tour will take you throughout the full length of the historic Santa Fe Freight Depot.
Architects Frederick Fisher and Partners (FF&P), alongside Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company and Buro Happold, designed and built Santa Monica City Hall East, the largest building of its type to qualify for Living Building Challenge certification – the most stringent green building standard in the world. In this film, SCI-Arc Channel speaks with the lead project architects Frederick Fisher (Founding Partner at FF&P), Joe Coriaty (Managing Partner at FF&P), Marisa Kurtzman (Partner at FF&P), and Matt Kelley (Partner at FF&P) to discover the myriad ways in which the project addresses sustainability, resiliency, community and wellness. With a 100 year projected lifespan, City Hall East is a crucial demonstration project of how one city advocates for civic transparency alongside the needs of a changing future.
SCI-Arc and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Complete Innovative, Sustainable and Affordable Home for Local Veteran and Family.
L’Abékédaire is a multilingual architectural manifesto by WAI Architecture Think Tank (Cruz García and Nathalie Frankowski) spoken in English, French, and Spanish, translated by SCI-Arc students into eight languages. “Anti-capitalism articulates anti-racist actions … Brutalisme basculement banalisé brutal … Critical continuously confused, changing concept …” L’Abékédaire (French for “ABC”) is delivered in the form of a tautogram in which every word of each of the 26 alphabetical sections begins with the same letter. Sustaining this language game from A to Z, García and Frankowski exhaustively dissect the disciplinary, global, political, cultural, social, historical vocabularies that define the apparatus of contemporary architecture. Like the “lectores leyendo literatura liberadora, lecciones lingüísticas, lideraron legiones, logrando luchas liberadoras,” García and Frankowski perform as multilingual “loudreaders” who both indict and celebrate the histories and futures of architecture as a radical practice. SCI-Arc’s own radical multilingualism as a community multiplies the play of words through a student collaboration between WAI Architecture Think Tank, translating L’Abékédaire into Arabic (Sophie Akoury), Chinese (Qingyang “Karl” Zong), French (Sophie Akoury), Marathi (Shraddha Kemse), Spanish (Jorge de Ovando), Turkish (Ayse Eda Tarakci), and Russian (Maria Kuraeva, Marusia Popova, and Jessica Skitalinsky), displayed as an array of eight simultaneous subtitle layers.
Conceptualization: John Cooper and Hou, Chi-Chia
Patrice Derrington [Holliday Associate Professor/Director - Real Estate Development Program at Columbia GSAPP] and Erik Ghenoiu [Head of Research, Faculty Director of the Urban Pasts and Futures Lab with generous support of the W. M. Keck Foundation), and faculty member in History and Theory at SCI-Arc] discuss real estate and housing, considering the history of real estate development and the current challenges related to producing more equitable housing in today’s cities. Derrington talks about the origins of real estate development in the 17th century with Covent Garden in London. Derrington reflects on how her students’ work strives for urban equality by considering social and community needs. She also emphasizes the significance of the user’s concept of economic value with respect to the spaces they inhabit. Ghenoiu raises the possibility of technology disrupting existing capital models and stresses the importance of rethinking how economic decisions are made regarding housing. Ghenoiu and Derrington also discuss the Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance as a productive model for bringing together technology, grass roots initiatives and policy in transforming the built environment.
Voices from the SCI-Arc community reflect on the role of architecture as an optimistic act. This short film highlights student work from the 2020-2021 academic year in the context of the SCI-Arc building undergoing a process of virtual rewinding.
SCI-Arc students share their impressions in response to the question: “What is SCI-Arc?”
In addition to Ray Kappe’s many accomplishments and honors as a professional architect, SCI-Arc celebrates his vision and tenacity as a leader, a teacher, a colleague and an inspiration to architects around the world. A world-renowned architect widely considered one of the great innovators of modern architecture, Kappe skillfully led SCI-Arc for fifteen years as founding director and chairman of the board, having the pedagogical experience and financial expertise, as well as the interpersonal skills, to enable the school’s growing success and global influence.
SCI-Arc former board member, honorary trustee and art maven Merry Norris was passionately devoted to SCI-Arc and its students. We honor the memory of her many contributions to SCI-Arc and to the Los Angeles art world. Norris was widely known as an enthusiastic supporter and advocate for cultural and civic life in Los Angeles, dedicating a nearly 35-year career to facilitating art and design in the city. Championing public art awareness and design excellence through her role in numerous major activities, Norris was instrumental in the founding and building of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) from 1979 to 1984, and was appointed in 1984 as one of the city’s first Cultural Affairs Commissioners. In addition to being named the first Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA/LA) in 1990, Norris is the first person in the chapter’s history to be elected as a public member to the Board of Directors of AIA/LA in 1995, where she served for 14 years.
Take a tour of Stereobot’s [stereobot.com] design for a gateway and pedestrian bridge for the LACoMotion Autonomous Driving Conference with Stereobot Founder and SCI-Arc Faculty Alexis Rochas on SCI-Arc Channel.
Stereobot Founder [stereobot.com] and SCI-Arc Faculty Alexis Rochas and Alejandro Aguirrechu, Stereobot Team (SCI-Arc, B.Arch ’15) share Stereobot’s innovative design for a housing solution that mobilizes technology for both disaster relief and long-term housing in Puerto Rico.
Danny Wills [SCI-Arc M.S. in Design Theory & Pedagogy candidate - EDGE Postgraduate Program, and Co-founder of SPACE SALOON] and Gian Maria Socci [Faculty INDA - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and Co-founder of SPACE SALOON] explore how contemporary surveying technologies and collaborative design + build projects are implemented in a new understanding of site and landscape