Inside SCI-Arc


Sponsorship Opportunities
Sarah Sullivan
SCI-Arc Chief Advancement Officer

Media Inquiries
Georgiana Masgras
Press images available upon request.

The Magic Box

SCI-Arc’s new technologically transformative digital fabrication lab, the Magic Box, opened its doors at the beginning of spring 2015. The lab expands the school’s experimental approach to design and emphasis on learning through providing students with access to a one-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional facility providing access to several different methods of fabrication and assembly.

The 4,000-square-feet, 2-story digital fabrication facility is located at the south end of the SCI-Arc building and connects to the school’s existing Robot House and Analog Fabrication Shop to form the RAD Center (an acronym for robotics, analog and digital).

The SCI-Arc Shop, Robotics Lab and new Magic Box occupy more than 12,000 sq.ft., forming one of the largest and most advanced fabrication facilities at an architecture school. The Magic Box houses three times as many high-speed laser cutters, 3D scanners and ABS plastic printers as were previously available to students.

Embracing and integrating the most up-to-date technologies from the moment they become available, the lab provides students with the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available to build, vacuum form or 3D print their models to life using a wide array of materials, from wax to translucents, to plastic, to flexible materials, to metal. These models then undergo further experimentation with the help of 6-axis robots, which have been in use at SCI-Arc for more than 3 years.

The 3D-printing equipment available in the Magic Box includes power printers, ABS printers, clear plastic and paper 3D printers. The lab also features several new laser-cutters and CNC machines. The second floor area provides ample work space for students.

Experimentation and making at SCI-Arc will continue to evolve once the campus expansion is complete this summer with the renovation of the SCI-Arc woodshop. Together with the revamped woodshop and existing cutting-edge robotics lab, the new digital fabrication lab will provide a one-of-its-kind platform for research, experimentation and prototyping.

The Magic Box has so far been supported through generous commitments totaling $400,000 to date from SCI-Arc's growing community of donors. At the forefront are trustees Abby Sher and Scott Hughes (M.Arch '97), who enthusiastically endorsed the project with lead gifts. Major grants from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and The Ahmanson Foundation have also provided critical support for the project. The new facility is the first capital addition to the SCI-Arc campus since its purchase by the school in 2011.

Azure Magazine: A Field Guide to Architecture Education
Architect's Newspaper: At SCI-Arc, The Magic is Inside the Box
Architect Magazine: SCI-Arc Planning New Digital Fabrication Lab
LA Downtown News: SCI-Arc to Build 'Magic Box' Facility

With the new Magic Box, SCI-Arc enlarges its capacity to produce conceptual and technical magic.
Eric Owen Moss,
SCI-Arc Director

"By creating the RAD Center, SCI-Arc reinforces its most critical priority to prepare students to work with today’s most revolutionary technologies, in an environment designed for tomorrow’s world."
Ming Fung, SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs

Support the Magic Box!

SCI-Arc invites you to join in the effort to build the new state-of-the-art Magic Box by making a gift today. We have already received lead gifts from two trustees and are now seeking support from the broader community—alumni, parents, and friends. Naming opportunities will be available for key spaces throughout the addition and a permanent Donor Wall will recognize donors to the project.

The collective giving of the SCI-Arc community plays a vital role in supporting innovation and experimentation at the school and we hope you will consider being part of this exciting project. For more information on the Magic Box or about how to make a gift, please contact Sarah Sullivan, SCI-Arc's Chief Advancement Officer at 213-356-5319 or at