Updated information regarding tuition, ancillary and miscellaneous fees and program specific cost estimates are available here.
SCI-Arc FUTURE INITIATIVES
Master of Design Research in City Design, Planning and Policy
1 YEAR (three terms)
Future Initiatives at SCI-Arc is an intensive research-based, post-professional degree program and think tank dedicated to generating pertinent examinations of contemporary civic design, city formulation, and urban regulation.
The Future Initiatives curriculum takes a sequential approach to understanding and rethinking city making. Students focus on identifying adaptive and holistic—rather than rigid and segmented—responses to economic, social and environmental pressures. As a center for research and discussion, the program connects academics, theorists and architects with public agencies and those in private development to generate debate around the role of cities and urban systems. The Future Initiatives program promotes and extends its academic mission nationally and internationally via its publications, public forums, exhibitions and competitions.
Established in 2005 to complement other programs offered at SCI-Arc, Future Initiatives draws on the resources of the school, its faculty and the surrounding community. Additionally, it draws on the expertise of a global network of peers established to support its mission.
The Future Initiatives program is open to students who hold a professional degree in architecture or a bachelor's degree or equivalent in any field; it requires attendance in the fall, spring and summer terms.
Curriculum: Future Initiatives provides an integrated curricular focus on urban-scale issues. It is positioned as a center for the discussion of contingent and variable planning strategies and the development of new tools for urban research and design. Combining intensive research into the near-term future of cities with the use of open source design tools, Future Initiatives aims to invent new ways of modeling and testing variable design scenarios.Back To Top
Working over three sequenced terms, Future Intiative students develop solution-seeking research and design grounded in the study of the history of urban and regional development methods, city planning and city management tools. In the fall term, the Future Initiatives program begins by introducing students to fundamental planning problems by operating at the scale of the urban parcel. In the spring term, our research and design work quickly jump up in scale to encompass a series of complex issues associated with work within the urban district. Finally, in the summer term, the program investigates the wide variety of issues associated with regional urban planning. By moving from the unique and particular to the global and generic, Future Initiatives students gain expertise in the subject of city making through a comprehensive, nuanced understanding of design at all scales.
Skills and Knowledge Integration: Future Initiative students integrate skills from across SCI-Arc's programs, including design technologies, cultural studies and hard technology applications. The Future Initiative program is calibrated to incrementally build research skills, urban design expertise and unique strategic thinking about cities and urban regions. The sequencing of context and city-scaled based teaching and intensive workshop-based learning is intended to inculcate understanding of city formation along with mastery of urban research methodologies and design tools.
Final Projects and Research: The program culminates in the production of directed design or research projects in the final semester. Working individually with the Future Initiative program's core and visiting faculty, students generate deliverables—individually and as part of a group—that form the basis of a dissertation quality research portfolio. It is envisioned that students will be able to apply these experiences as part of an ongoing dialogue.Back To Top
The Future Initiatives program promotes and extends its academic mission nationally and internationally via its publications, public forums, exhibitions and competitions. Additionally, it draws on the expertise of an extensive network of peers established to support its mission.
Los Angeles Cleantech Corridor & Green District Competition/2010
Imagining an innovative urban vision for the recently designated Los Angeles Cleantech district in downtown Los Angeles was the focus of SCI-Arc's Future Initiatives program. Under the direction of faculty member Peter Zellner and David Bergman, the post-professional degree program has once again partnered with The Architect's Newspaper to sponsor its latest open ideas competition, Los Angeles Cleantech Corridor & Green District Competition.
The competition asked architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for Los Angeles' Cleantech Corridor, a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA. It asked entrants to move beyond industrial uses—creating an integrated economic, residential, clean energy, and cultural engine for the city through architectural and urban strategies.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, civic, business, and architecture and design thought-leaders gathered at SCI-Arc to review and celebrate the Cleantech 2010 winning projects. An exhibition of the projects was on view in the SCI‐Arc Library.
Competition jurors included Stan Allen, Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University and Principal of Stan Allen Architect; Hsinming Fung, Director of Academic Affairs at SCI-Arc and Principal of Hodgetts+Fung Design and Architecture; Cris B. Liban, D.Env., P.E., Environmental Compliance and Services Department Manager at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Michael Maltzan, Principal of Michael Maltzan Architecture; Dennis McGlade, President and Partner of OLIN; Romel Pascual City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor, Energy and Environment; Nikolas Patsaouras former president of the Board of the Water and Power Commissioners and former board member of the MTA; and Donald Spivack, Deputy Chief of Operations and Policy of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.
A New Infrastructure: Innovative Transit Solutions for LA/2009
An open ideas competition invited architects, engineers, urban planners and students to propose new ideas for LA County's transit infrastructure. The Future Initiatives competition, developed in partnership with The Architect's Newspaper, encouraged entrants to develop solutions that dramatically reconfigured the relationship between transit systems, public space and urban redevelopment. Competitors were encouraged to work within the parameters of LA County's Measure R, which provided major new funding for infrastructure. More than 70 entries from five countries were received.
The competition jury included Thom Mayne, principal and founder of Morphosis Architects and professor at UCLA; Aspet Davidian, director of Project Engineering Facilities at LA Metro; Neil Denari, professor at UCLA and principal at Neil M. Denari Architects; Gail Goldberg, director of planning for the City of Los Angeles; Roland Genick, urban designer for the Exposition Line; Cecilia V. Estolano, CEO CRA/LA-Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles; Eric Owen Moss, director of SCI-Arc and founder of Eric Owen Moss Architects, and Geoff Wardle, director of advanced mobility research at the Art Center College of Design.
Following an exhibit of the winning entries in the student and professional categories, public forums were held at Metro Headquarters, the MAK Center at the Schindler House, GOOD Space, and as part of the AIA Mobius/ Dwell Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The competition launched numerous other conversations about the future of transit infrastructure in Los Angeles. The entries and surrounding commentary are the subject of a book published by the SCI-Arc Press.Back To Top
Each semester the Future Initiatives program sponsors a series of public forums in order to generate debate and dialogue around the future of cities and urban regions.
The City after the Economy/Fall 2008: This symposium explored the urban consequences of the fiscal downturn by asking a panel of presenters and respondents to consider what urban design opportunities it might open up. The status of urban growth and redevelopment was viewed in light of effects regulation of financial markets might have on real estate, development, urban culture, planning and architecture. An often singular conversation around issues of capital and its movement was expanded to a multivalent one embracing cultural production, aesthetics, ecology and social movements. The panel included presentations by David Bergman (The Credit Crisis and the City); Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, founders and principals of Work AC, New York, (49 Cities); and Rene Peralta, architect and founder of Generica, Tijuana, and associate professor at Woodbury University, (Mimetic Acts of Urbanism). Guests invited to offer response to those presentations were Joshua Decter, director of Public Art Studies Program at USC Roski School of Fine Arts; Eric Owen Moss, director of SCI-Arc and principal at Eric Owen Moss Architects; Kevin L. Ratner, president of Forest City Residential West, Inc., and Stephanie Smith, founder of Ecoshack. Moderating the exchange was Peter Zellner, SCIFI coordinator.
Neville Mars: From Book to Buildings/2009: China-based Future Initiatives Network member Neville Mars addressed the potential and problems of the practice of architecture in China. Mars, director of the Dynamic City Foundation in Beijing, presented a range of projects, from commercial architecture and urban design to documentaries, art installations, urban research and creative writing. Throughout, his presentation at SCI-Arc, Mars shared his passion for China's evolving metropolitan centers. The Dynamic City Foundation specialized in rapidly changing environments in an effort to combat what he has called "the present dream and the future nightmare" of people-packed mega-cities in China.
Midtown Detroit / April 2009: At the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, SCIFI students led by faculty member Andrew Zago presented new urban visions for the city's Midtown. Following introductory remarks by SCIFI Program Coordinator Peter Zellner and Zago (the architect who designed the MOCAD building), three student teams shared their proposals for the development of a four block stretch of Woodward Avenue. A public discussion followed the presentations and the students' work was exhibited at MOCAD.
From Mumbai to LA / September 2009: In a roundtable discussion, Indian urbanist Prathima Manohar detailed the infrastructure and transit issues Mumbai is experiencing in the face of dramatic population growth and escalating poverty. Manohar is founder of The Urban Vision, a Mumbai-based foundation furthering thinking on sustainable urban development. The discussion included a comparison of urban development in Mumbai and Los Angeles, focusing on the re-densification of sprawling cities, the challenges of implementing mass transit in established urban zones, and the effects of megacities on climate change. The discussion was presented in partnership with the Architect's Newspaper.
Other new Urbanisms / November 2009: Organized by SCI-Arc's Future Initiatives program, the Other New Urbanisms Symposium explores the possibilities and pitfalls of innovative and contemporary approaches to city making. As the second in a series of planned SCI-Arc Future Initiatives (SCIFI) symposia, this event aims to broaden the discussion of the "new" in urbanism, with the hope of discussing a range of contemporary approaches to urban design that integrate new attitudes towards cultural production, aesthetics, and ecology.Back To Top
The SCI-Arc Future Initiatives Network is a global peer-based academic research council dedicated to supporting the Future Initiatives program's academic mission. The network promotes innovative teaching and content delivery. Members interact with the SCIFI studio in person and via remote web-based conferencing tools.Back To Top
SCIFI is open to applicants with a professional degree in Architecture or a Bachelor degree or equivalent in any field. SCIFI welcomes interdisciplinary applicants from fields such as architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, real estate and geography.
It is recommended that students entering the SCIFI program are familiar with the following software: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, After Effects, AutoCAD, Rhino, Maya and 3ds Max.
The early decision deadline for Fall 2013 admission into the MDesR SCIFI Future Initiatives post-graduate program is March 1, 2013. Regular admissions deadline is April 15, 2013. Late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The application for the SCIFI post-graduate program is available ONLINE.Back To Top
For more information about the SCIFI post-graduate degree program or to schedule an informational interview, please contact SCI-Arc's Admissions Office at email@example.com or 213 356 5320.
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Director of Academic Affairs, SCI-Arc; Principal, Hodgetts+Fung
Reiser+Umemoto, RUR Architecture
University of Innsbruck
Reiser+Umemoto, RUR Architecture
SCIFI Global Network Members 2012-2013
Dean, Princeton University School of Architecture
Stan Allen Architect
Director, Ecole Special d'Architecture, Paris
Neil M. Denari
Neil M. Denari Architects
Professor, UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design
Professor, Ohio State University
Laurie D. Olin
Founder and Partner, OLIN, Philadelphia and Los Angeles
Assistant Professor and Director, Department of Urban Speculation, School of Architecture, UIC, Chicago
The Architect's Newspaper
Founder and Principal, Michael Maltzan Architecture
Architect and Chairman of the Dynamic City Foundation, Beijing
Professor, UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design
Associate Professor, Woodbury University School of Architecture, San Diego
Michel Rojkind Arquitectos, Mexico City
Head, Institute of Urban Design, University of Innsbruck, Austria