Inside SCI-Arc


Anna Neimark Discusses Kremlin Form at ACSA Annual Conference

SCI-Arc design faculty Anna Neimark will present a paper at the 102nd ACSA Annual Meeting held April 10-12th in Miami Beach, Fla.

Titled Kremlin Form, Neimark's presentation will discuss work done in a visual studies seminar under the same name offered at SCI-Arc in fall 2012.

The problem Neimark posed to her class was the construction of a unifying drawing format for representing the site of the Moscow Kremlin through purely formal means. The resulting axonometric drawings were central to the seminar, offering a way to represent complex form in a singular unifying format.

Students considered different types of isometric construction techniques, concentrating on the vertical axonometric projection that conflates the plan and elevation into one compositional plane. They took their inspiration from John Hejduk’s representational strategies of the Seven Texas Houses that utilize the nine-square grid, the Diamond Houses that rotate the grid 45 degrees, and the Wall Houses that crop and extrude those rotated objects.

Neimark’s ASCA presentation is scheduled April 10, 2pm. Click here for more info about the ACSA event.

Wilshire Blvd. Field Study by Urban Operations Featured in Archizines Exhibit

SCI-Arc design faculty John Southern’s critical field survey, Wilshire Star Maps, is part of the Archizines exhibition on view at the University of Hong Kong/Shanghai Study Centre through March 9th, 2014. The two-part, limited-run publication produced by Southern and his LA-based office, Urban Operations, presents the latent formal and programmatic potential of the otherwise unnoticed skyscrapers along Wilshire Boulevard.

Often described as L.A.'s main street, Wilshire represents a cross-section of both the cultural and economic components in the city, with Korean puppy-mills sharing floor space with high-priced Hollywood attorneys, many of whom are ensconced within the same nondescript office towers that make Wilshire easily identifiable from above. While Wilshire may be a flimsy stand-in for L.A.'s missing urban skyline, it represents a fertile breeding ground for future zoning mutations which will no doubt manifest themselves as Los Angeles densifies.

Taking this into account, the Urban Operations-produced Star Maps, much like those used in the tourist industry to find the homes of Hollywood film stars, present a pliable fiction that exists in real time, offering up the potential for dreams to spring from an overtly banal reality which unfolds along Wilshire's 17-mile traverse from Downtown to the Pacific.

Both editions of the Wilshire Star Maps have been archived at the UCLA Fine Arts Library and the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The critically acclaimed touring exhibition Archizines celebrates the resurgence of alternative and independent architectural publishing around the world. Curated by Elias Redstone and initiated in collaboration with the Architectural Association, Archizines now features 100 architecture magazines, fanzines and journals from over 20 countries that provide an alternative to the established architectural press. Edited by architects, artists and students, these publications provide new platforms for commentary, criticism and research into the spaces we inhabit and the practice of architecture.

More about John Southern and Urban Operations at

Zellner Recruited to Head AECOM SoCal Design Office

Long time SCI-Arc faculty Peter Zellner has been recruited by design behemoth AECOM to head the firm’s Southern California design office. Zellner, currently in charge of SCI-Arc’s Future Initiatives post-professional program, will continue to teach at SCI-Arc as he assumes his new role with AECOM.

For the past 15 years, Zellner has been heading his own award winning architectural design, planning and research practice, ZELLNERPLUS, out of Venice, California. Dubbed a “maverick architect of galleries,” Zellner has designed public and private art galleries, residences, institutional facilities and corporate spaces in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Among recent projects, his acclaimed Matthew Marks Los Angeles Gallery, opened its doors in 2012.

Zellner holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he participated in the Harvard Project on the City led by Rem Koolhaas. He received a Bachelor of Architecture with First Class Honors from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, where he also taught between 1994 and 1997. He has also held Visiting Professorships in Architecture at UC Berkeley, FIU, University of Southern California, L’Ecole Speciale d’Architecture, and the University of Innsbruck.

Bryony Roberts Re-Imagines Downtown Houston for ArCH

A new exhibition, Lobby Urbanism, curated by SCI-Arc design faculty Bryony Roberts, with Maia Simon and Sophie Jonson, opens tonight at the Architecture Center, Houston (ArCH) with a panel discussion followed by reception.

Bryony Roberts curates Lobby Urbanism exhibition at Architecture Center, Houston (ArCH)

Roberts' show examines how tower lobbies function as interiorized public spaces, connecting surface streets, underground tunnels, and interior commercial spaces. She focuses on four Houston case studies that have the potential to activate both interior and exterior public space: One Allen Center, 1000 Main, Wells Fargo Plaza, and the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The exhibit features architectural drawings and models of the overall network of tunnels and lobbies, as well as drawings of proposed design interventions.

The show opens with a panel discussion tonight, featuring architects, developers, planners, and community development organizers who will discuss the potential for architecture to create more accessible public space in the Houston downtown area. Bryony Roberts will present ideas behind the exhibition, Kristopher Stuart from Gensler and Joel Ambre from Skanska will discuss the new Skanska tower downtown, Douglas Oliver from Morris Architects will describe the new Marriot Marquis Convention Center Hotel, and Albert Pope of Rice University and Susan Rogers of the Community Design Resource Center will offer their responses.

Read more about the show at

Rotondi & Greiman Curate, Design A+D Exhibition

SCI-Arc longtime design faculty and alumnus Michael Rotondi (B.Arch ‘73), together with former faculty April Greiman, designed the space for the Armin Hofmann: Farbe/Color exhibition currently on view at the A+D Museum.

Curated by Greiman, the exhibition showcases one of the legendary Swiss graphic designer and educator’s portfolios, as well as 16 studies of his prints. The show represents Hoffmann’s work in the built environment as physical, color interventions into the museum itself.

Farbe/Color is on view through January 19th. More about the exhibition, including opening times, at

Ilaria Mazolleni Discusses Recent Book at Triennale di Milano Event

SCI-Arc design faculty Ilaria Mazzoleni will host a book signing event and discussion about her new book, Architecture Follows Nature, at the Trienalle di Milano on Thursday, December 19, starting 7pm.

Organized as part of a series of lectures celebrating 150 years from the founding of the Polytechnic University of Milan, the discussion features Mazzoleni (an alumna of the school) and Silvia Piardi, Director of the Design Department at the university, in a conversation about biomimetic principles for innovative design.

The Triennale di Milano is located at Viale Alemagna 6, Milan. Admission is free and open to the public.

More at

SCI-Arc Faculty Hosts Advanced Design Workshop in Athens, Greece

As the fall 2013 term is coming to an end, design faculty Erick Carcamo and partner Nefeli Chatzimina of X|Atelier are preparing to kick start an intensive workshop of advanced architectural design hosted by their office this Winter 2013 in Athens, Greece.

Part of an ongoing academic research which introduces participants into contemporary discussions of formal exploration in Architecture and Art, the workshop explores innovative, potential architectural expressions of the current discourse around form through computational tools such as Autodesk MAYA.

Focused on technique elaboration, material intelligence, formal logic efficiencies and precision assemblies as an ultimate condition of design, the X|Atelier workshop introduces a discourse based in the use of multi-layered techniques and production processes allowing for control over intelligent geometries, calibration of parts, and behavioral taxonomies, normalizing an innovative held of predictability. Within this context, each student operates within an expertise towards intuition by means of software and advancement of the discipline through a precise contemporary understanding of architecture’s reliance on surface performance, unspecified systems, scale within scale, mechanical parts and absurd precisions to expand its discourse.

Dubbed ‘Ornamentism,’ the workshop is privately organized by X|Atelier Principals and is under the auspices of the Benaki Museum, the Helenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of Fine.

Workshop session is scheduled December 15th – 23rd and will be hosted at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece. Read more at

Oyler Wu Collaborative Named 2013 Design Vanguard by Architectural Record

SCI-Arc design faculty Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler of Oyler Wu Collaborative were named Design Vanguard 2013 by Architectural Record, who published a profile of the firm in the magazine's December issue.

The Netscape pavilion designed by Oyler Wu Collaborative for SCI-Arc served as backdrop for two consecutive graduation ceremonies hosted by the school in 2011 and 2012

“‘We started doing installations to keep ourselves working when we didn’t have clients,’ says Oyler. They’ve also reaped the benefits of being on the faculty at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), an institution that both encourages their why-not-try-it? spirit and has given them a regular venue to showcase the results. Oyler and Wu have built a project side by side with their students on the campus nearly every year since 2008.” (Architectural Record, December 2013)

This year’s roster of emerging firms picked by AR editors represent diverse backgrounds and attitudes toward design and the profession. Hailing from Europe, North America, and Asia, architecture practices recognized this year include: Hector Fernandez Elorza Architects, William O’Brien Jr., Rural Urban Framework, Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office, Marc Fornes/TheVeryMany, JOHO Architecture, Grupo Aranea, S-AR and Para-Project.

More about 2013 Design Vanguard nominations at

Elena Manferdini Completes Permanent Public Installation

SCI-Arc design faculty Elena Manferdini recently completed a permanent public instllation for the entry way of the Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center, a full service facility accommodating families and children in South Los Angeles. The project is part of the Civic Projects promoted by the LA County Art Commission.

Elena Manferdini│Nembi │Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center, Los Angeles

Italian for “clouds,” Nembi (shown here) has been designed with the intent to create a strong relationship with the iconic green color bands of the Health Center's concrete façade. The artwork wraps the concrete wall at the right of the ramp, folds back to occupy the ceiling above it and finally folds onto the front façade, where it connects with the existing green strips on the building elevation. Specific areas of the artwork have been perforated to filter the light coming from the existing light fixtures in the ceiling above the main hospital entry gate.

The figural geometry of the clouds emerges from a series of bi-dimensional drawings produced by the iterative use of a script. This algorithm traces arcs of variable radii linking them together in a continuous composition of variable scales and connections.

The term Nembi has been chosen because the ensemble of lines has the ephemeral qualities of clouds in the sky. This word reflects on the act of “looking up” and hints to the idea that Hubert Humphrey is a place of care and hope. On the other hand the figural geometry of the rainbow stripes emerges from a close reading of the existing building and its iconic stripes that characterize the concrete façade.

Manferdini teaches design studio and visual studies at SCI-Arc, and coordinates the school’s Graduate Thesis process. More at

Pita & Bloom Shortlisted for MoMA P.S.1 2014 Young Architects Program

Design faculty Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom, who have formed the new Los Angeles based collaborative Pita & Bloom, were recently announced as finalists of the MoMA P.S.1 2014 Young Architects Program (YAP).

pita & bloom at PS1 MoMA

Now in its 15th edition, the competition challenges emerging architects to design a temporary installation within the walls of the P.S.1 courtyard.

Winners will be announced in early 2014, and if selected, Pita and Bloom will build an installation for MoMA’s annual summer “Warm-Up” series.

The 2014 shortlist includes Collective-LOK (Jon Lott of PARA-Project, William O’Brien Jr. of WOJR, and Michael Kubo of over, under), Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (Cristina Goberna & Urtzi Grau), LAMAS (Wei-Han Vivian Lee & James Macgillivray), and The Living (David Benjamin). YAP is an annual collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in New York.

Previous YAP winners from SCI-Arc include: alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘94) of Ball-Nogues with Liquid Sky (2007); SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso of Xefirotarch with SUR (2005); and SCI-Arc Applied Studies Coordinator Tom Wiscombe of Tom Wiscombe Design with Light-Wing (2003).

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash