SCI-Arc is the only cultural institution in Los Angeles committed to exhibiting experimental projects by contemporary architects. SCI-Arc has two exhibition spaces on campus.
Opened in 2002, the SCI-Arc Gallery provides a space where practitioners, professionals, faculty, students, and the public can learn about and experience provocative architecture. The exhibitions exemplify the intersections among the various communities in which the institution participates: architecture, urban planning, design, and art.
The gallery program allows exhibitors to experiment with new materials, concepts, and fabrication methods, reflecting SCI-Arc’s 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. All of the exhibitions are executed as workshops in which students work closely with the invited architect to assist in the fabrication and installation/deinstallation of the exhibit.
Since it opened, the SCI-Arc Gallery has commissioned more than fifty 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, Florencia Pita, Alexis Rochas, and Marcelyn Gow, among others.
In 2004 SCI-Arc inaugurated the Library Gallery 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.