Redefining architectural education in a major research university.
Los Angeles is a city beaming with possibility. As home to UCLA, a growing population, new businesses in nearly every industry and the hub of the entertainment world, change in the urban infrastructure is not only desired, it’s necessary.
Tackling how to bring these changes is cityLAB, an innovative program exploring cost-effective strategies to resolve housing and revitalization issues specific to California and Westwood Village. Founded by professors Dana Cuff and Roger Sherman at UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Design (A.UD), cityLAB strives to investigate large concepts and how to apply the findings at a local level as well as to cities around the globe.
A cityLAB priority is rethinking car traffic as it relates to economic sustainability. A cityLAB-sponsored competition generated two remarkable ideas for transforming Westwood by including more pedestrian activity, more bike accessibility, less traffic congestion and one-stop parking solutions, increased public transit, shared public open space, more literal green (trees and landscaping), more round-the-clock vitality and more neighborhood services. To these progressive solutions, cityLAB has added considerations for end users, including cost, materials, footprints and even legal issues. And cityLAB proposes using these plans to reconfigure cities around the globe.
CityLAB is just one of the many innovative ways A.UD seeks to change the face of major cities everywhere. Through its IDEAS initiative for cross-disciplinary research and collaborations among students, faculty and industry partners, A.UD challenges and expands the current boundaries of architectural practice. IDEAS serves as an incubator, dedicated to applying emerging new technologies and possibilities for innovation and interdisciplinary growth. In support of its mission, A.UD has expanded its master’s program to feature yearlong, post-professional studios during which students will study with world-renowned architects to develop new applications for architectural expertise. “Los Angeles is a unique place right now for architecture and architectural education, because here, there’s an industry of high-technology and automobile design,” says Greg Lynn, professor at SupraStudio.
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