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09.13.13
SCI-Arc Celebrates 2013 Thesis Weekend & Commencement Ceremony

This past Sunday, September 8th, SCI-Arc hosted its commencement ceremony for the 2013 graduating class, welcoming more than 850 guests who came to celebrate the 160 graduates and undergraduates receiving their degrees.

Commencement speakers, directors and faculty are seated on stage at SCI-Arc's 2013 graduation ceremony on Sunday, September 8th.

The towering pavilion designed by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of PATTERNS, with its intricate system of textiles wrapped around the steel frame, shielded the audience from the intense Southern California sun, becoming brightly saturated with color as the sun set behind it.

The event began with an introduction by Director Eric Owen Moss, who described thesis weekend and the Graduation Pavilion as expressions of SCI-Arc’s values. He continued with introducing the 2013 commencement speakers: Jean-Louis Cohen, Architect and Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at the New York University Institute for Fine Arts, and Eva Franch i Gilabert, Principal and Founder of OOAA, Barcelona and Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.

SCI-Arc Graduation 2013 from SCI-Arc on Vimeo.

Cohen characterized SCI-Arc as the intersection of L.A.’s architecture culture and a culture of subversion, which continue to make the school an essential source of new ideas about space, construction and geometry, while Franch commented that while her education stressed what architecture was, SCI-Arc’s culture stresses what architecture could be. Franch also advised recent graduates to resist becoming either one of the three dominant types of architect–the Enabler, the Iconographer, or the Agitator–but strive to be all these at once, a fourth type she named the "SCI-Arc Architect."

Alumnus Stuart Magruder (M.Arch ‘97) encouraged the new graduates to get licensed and contribute an architectural viewpoint to public debate. As the student speaker, graduating M.Arch student Stefano Passeri described his educational experience as learning how to change, and learning from each other, in a community where it’s impossible not to share.


A SCI-Arc graduating student receiving his diploma

SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs Hsinming Fung went on to present the Alpha Rho Chi Medals, Henry Adams Medals, Henry Adams Certificates and SCI-Arc Service Awards. Next, Graduate Programs Chair Hernan Diaz Alonso and Undergraduate Program Chair John Enright, presented the graduating B.Arch, M.Arch 1, M.Arch 2 and ESTM and SCIFI students with their diplomas.

A highlight of the event was Director Eric Moss’ announcement of the merit awards for best undergraduate and graduate thesis, and the SCI-Arc Gehry Prize recognizing outstanding graduate thesis work.

The 2013 Gehry Prize was awarded to Stefano Passeri (M.Arch 2) for his project, Office Building, exploring interiority through ideas of mass and centrality. His thesis advisor was Hernan Diaz Alonso.

Nine graduate thesis projects and one undergraduate project were selected to receive 2013 merit thesis awards. Graduate students honored were Elias Arkin (M.Arch 1) for My Dinner with Object, coordinated by Andrew Zago; Emily Chen Choi (M.Arch 1) for Deep Façade, coordinated by Florencia Pita; Yong Ha Kim (M.Arch 2) for Biological Growth, coordinated by Hernan Diaz Alonso; Laura Kwak (M.Arch 1) for Stroke coordinated by Eric Owen Moss; Yi-Chen Li (M.Arch 2) for Rendering: Between Drawing and Form, coordinated by Andrew Atwood; Mackenzie Elaine Murphy (M.Arch 2) for Architecture of Affair, coordinated by Coy Howard; Joseph Francis Ramiro (M.Arch 2) for Cartooning Disbelief, coordinated by Elena Manferdini; Jonathan H. Schnure (M.Arch 1) for Inline Profile, coordinated by Dwayne Oyler; and Marie-Sophie Starlinger (M.Arch 2) for Naked, coordinated by Elena Manferdini.

The undergraduate merit thesis award went to Simon F. Alvarez and Antonio Carmelo Follo for their XO thesis project advised by Dwayne Oyler and Devyn Weiser, presented at the Undergraduate Thesis & Spring Show in April 2013.

An exhibition of the selected graduate thesis projects will be on view September 16-26 in the SCI-Arc Gallery, where on Friday, September 20, the Gehry Prize and merit thesis winners will join Director Eric Owen Moss for an exhibition opening reception. More about the 2013 Selected Thesis Exhibition >>