SCI-Arc Gallery exhibitions are an intersection between the various communities in which the institution participates: architecture, urban planning, design, and art. The gallery provides a space where practitioners, professionals, faculty, students, and the public can learn about and experience provocative architecture.
Located within the school and in the same vicinity as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Disney Concert Hall and REDCAT theater and gallery, the Japanese American Museum and the Chinatown galleries, the SCI-Arc Gallery is the only cultural institution in Los Angeles committed to exhibiting experimental projects by contemporary architects.
The gallery program allows exhibitors to experiment with new materials, concepts or fabrication methods, reflecting SCI-Arcís encouragement of an experimental approach to construction materials and its emphasis on learning through building. Less concerned with identifying design trends, the SCI-Arc Gallery aims to exhibit work that provokes critical discussions of current building practices. Each of the six yearly exhibitions is executed as a workshop in which students work closely with the invited architect to assist in the fabrication and installation/de-installation of the exhibit.
Since it opened in 2002, the SCI-Arc Gallery has commissioned more than 50 installations by established architects and designers, including Michael Maltzan and Zaha Hadid, as well as emerging architects such as Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, Elena Manferdini, among others.
In 2004, SCI-Arc inaugurated the Library exhibitions as a complement to the SCI-Arc Gallery exhibitions. The program has included exhibitions of built projects, design proposals, and student work, fabricated and installed by SCI-Arc students and faculty as well as architects and students from around the world. These formal, didactic exhibitions are often accompanied by a public panel discussion or presentation to further investigate the work.