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Applied Studies focuses on cutting-edge methods of building design, construction, documentation, and delivery to link aesthetic impulses to contemporary building technologies.

Herwig Baumgartner portrait grey background

“SCI-Arc is and has always been geared towards speculating about the future of design and construction technologies.”

- Herwig Baumgartner, Applied Studies Coordinator

Heading titleUnderstanding the Built Environment

Applied Studies at SCI-Arc tasks students with investigating how the world is constructed, what constitutes an environment, and speculating about the ways in which the architecture of the next century might respond to global change.

Foundation courses cover topics such as building methodology, structural analysis, material development and tectonics, acoustics, lighting, and environmental systems. Advanced courses explore the design consequences of the continued material and technical development of architectural proposals in the built world.

robot arm model assembly and photoshoot

Heading titleLearning from Leading Practitioners

Applied Studies faculty have played leading roles in the design and construction of iconic buildings including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Caltrans building, and BMW Welt, among others, during their tenures at global architectural firms such as Gehry Partners, Morphosis, and Coop Himmelblau.

Intensive Applied Studies workshops enlist top engineers, technologists, and architects from some of Los Angeles’s most innovative architecture and engineering offices to teach students to critically engage construction techniques and interpret their spatial and social consequences.

Throughout the Applied Studies curriculum, engineers from notable firms such as Arup and Buro Hapold provide students with one-on-one project consultation, simulating a professional environment and demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between pedagogy and practice.

Previous guest lecturers in Applied Studies have included Transsolar climate engineer Christiane Sauer, Mark Fahlbusch of structural engineering firm Bollinger Grohmann, and architect and roboticist Gilles Retsin.

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Design Development study by Sepideh Emamzadehei, Alessio Grancini, Erica Li, and Haotao Wang.

faculty with student groups in classroom

Heading titleEngaging the Practice of Building

Elective courses in Applied Studies offer students the opportunity to further research and experiment with the specialized and emergent technologies currently redefining the conventions of architecture as a discipline and practice.

Recent elective courses have explored information modeling, parametric design, generative structures, composite tectonics, material research and development, complex assemblies, energy design, biomimicry, and robotic fabrication.

gray glass sails drawing by student