UCLA Architecture and Urban Design is a leading player on the international stage of contemporary architecture. Working with world-class faculty from established Pritzker Prize winners to the upstarts of tomorrow, our students integrate the most creative approaches to design, advanced developments in technology, and rigorous approaches to architectural thought available today.
Using Los Angeles, one of the world’s greatest 21st century cities as model, laboratory and provocation, innovative programs give students the means and the vision to enter contemporary design culture as architects, urbanist thinkers and critics.
Our senior design faculty is among the most progressive in understanding and exemplifying these transformations: Thom Mayne, Greg Lynn, Neil Denari, Craig Hodgetts, and Mark Mack. In analyzing history and theory as they impact architecture and urban design and contribute to the understanding of visual culture, we are further strengthened by the internationally recognized contributions of Sylvia Lavin, Dana Cuff, and Diane Favro.
A.UD offers four distinct graduate degrees, two professional and two academic. The Master of Architecture I (M.Arch.I) degree is a three-year professional program that provides a comprehensive education in Architecture. The M.Arch.I program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). M.Arch.I students may also complete a concurrent degree with Urban Planning. The one-year Master of Architecture II (M.Arch.II) degree provides a second, advanced professional degree combining theoretical studies and practical applications in specialized areas. Students enrolling in the M.Arch.II program usually hold a professional five-year undergraduate degree in architecture or the equivalent.
Academic degrees offered by the Department include the two-year Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, which prepares students for research and teaching in fields related to architecture and urban design. The Ph.D. is an advanced research degree organized around the interests of the faculty. The length of time to completion averages six years of study.
Within these degree options there are various areas of concentration: design, technology, and critical studies in architectural culture. The Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees best accommodate specialization in the academic aspects of the architectural discipline.
UCLA now offers an undergraduate degree (BA in Architectural Studies). The B.A. in Architectural Studies is a two-year major that begins in the junior year of residence. The sequence of courses designed for this degree meets two objectives. The first provides an understanding of architecture and urban design as a humanist discipline, which engages cultural and social studies, and the history of architecture and cities. The second provides—at the same time for those interested students—a preparation for accelerated graduate professional studies.
UCLA Architecture and Urban Design Master of Architecture I
The Master of Architecture I (M.Arch.I), accredited by the NAAB, is the basic professional degree in architecture at UCLA. It is offered to students who want to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to practice architecture professionally. It consists of three years of study, including design studios, required course work, and electives.
The three-year professional degree curriculum prepares students for the practice of architecture by providing a focused framing of today's cultural, ecological, political and technological questions with a view to what architects may bring to bear on such complex issues. At each stage of the curriculum, A.UD graduates become equipped to not only lead the professional field but also to construct new opportunities for it by positioning their design skills within a rapidly changing world.
The three-year sequence is divided into two periods of study.
i) The first of these periods is a two-year foundation, known as 'Core', in which students complete six design studios of increasing scale and complexity. They simultaneously take courses in the History and Theory of Architecture; Architectural Programming; Computation; Environmental Design; Representation and Visualization; Structures; as well as a range of complementary cultural and technical elective courses. This core period provides students with the foundation and knowledge necessary to clearly articulate strong architectural concepts; and formal and organizational principles in terms of culturally informed approaches to such factors as context, materials and building systems.
ii) The second period of study is the culminating third year, in which students choose from an array of one-year long thematically focused Research Studios; as well as two Advanced Topic studios (to be completed in the first two quarters.) and a number of elective courses. Research Studios are led by senior design faculty and are structured around specific concerns. The three-quarter Research Studio comprises a first quarter of research; a second quarter of hypothesis definition and development; and a final quarter of design resolution. This structure provides students with opportunities to develop and expand particular positions in architecture by rethinking existing problems, establishing new directions, and making well-informed and progressive conjectures with which to shape the built environment.
A collaborative spirit pervades the three-year A.UD curriculum fostering an environment in which students and faculty develop a collective intelligence composed of multiple, yet focused, points of view. Through this shared set of interests, students develop methods and techniques for producing new architectural intelligence, plausible speculation and the capacity to invigorate the field and attract to it new audiences.
As a graduate program in a top tier research university, the M.Arch.I builds on the broad knowledge base of the entering student body and integrates these diverse worldviews into a practice oriented pedagogy that is both open to broad cultural questions and a pragmatic view of architecture today. Core studios encourage those with previous architectural training to question assumptions formed prior to their arrival. At the same time, knowledge of other disciplines, brought by those new to architecture, is reframed such that it plays an important role throughout the program. This admixture of student backgrounds has proven fruitful over the 50 year history of training architects at UCLA and has produced young architects who are aware of the influence that other fields of knowledge have on architectural thought and production. UCLA A.UD’s longstanding dedication to communicating clear and articulate architectural ideas fosters critical thinkers who become leaders in practice, academe, and on the global stage.
 The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture.
 Academic backgrounds include A.B., B.A., B.S. (including four-year B.A. or B.S. in Architecture), non-architecture undergraduate degree or four-year nonprofessional degree in Architecture.
Serving as an incubator for the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, IDEAS is at the vanguard of the 21st century with a post-professional degree program focused on real-world issues. IDEAS differs from a traditional educational model in its ambition to develop new methodologies for creating architectural design.
Globally recognized for its innovative platform that aggregates rigorous cross-disciplinary design research, IDEAS creates successful collaborations among students, faculty, and industry leaders to question, challenge and expand the current parameters of architectural practice. The platform is also an engine to explore architecture in conjunction with Los Angeles’s most prevalent industries and forward thinkers leading the fields of design, entertainment, aerospace, transportation, and technology. Through yearlong research initiatives, the program focuses on relevant applied research themes to investigate the wave of contemporary breakthroughs and capture opportunities for interdisciplinary growth and new applications. IDEAS also cultivates long-term relationships with industries and world influencers through a popular cross-disciplinary public lecture series.
IDEAS offers a unique environment for the vibrant and intensive program SUPTRASTUDIO with four concurrent studios running parallel and taught by professors who are leaders in their field — Thom Mayne, Craig Hodgetts, Mark Mack, and Guvenc Ozel. SUPRASTUDIO connects each studio to a related theme such as strategic thinking, sustainability, contemporary culture, lifestyle, autonomous cars, mobility, sensing technology, robotics, extreme environments, the journey to outer space, virtual reality, entertainment production performances, and media-enhanced experiences.
A major factor to the success of IDEAS is the ability to forms teams among SUPRASTUDIOS and collaborators who together explore contemporary urban challenges. The IDEAS incubator has brought design, technology, and research to breakthroughs in high profile crowd-sourced projects such as Hyperloop, high-performance architecture with Boeing and Cirque du Soleil, 3D-printing design and technology with Autodesk and urgent issues of sustainability with UNICEF in Haiti. This new model of education investigates practical matters to prepare graduates who create architecture and design for the future.
To create and build new design concepts, the IDEAS campus provides a studio environment adjacent to technology laboratories with access to two of the largest industrial robots available in a university setting, cutting edge fabrication, 3D-printing and augmented reality tools.
IDEAS operates in a 15,000 square-foot facility located in a dynamic neighborhood of Culver City in Los Angeles, approximately 8 miles south of the main UCLA campus in Westwood. The neighborhood is an eclectic former industrial area transformed through contemporary architectural interventions since the late nineteen-eighties that serves as home to creative design and entertainment companies.
SUPRASTUDIO is a post-professional program that leads to a Masters of Architecture II degree. Students engage in real-word issues through intensive research to develop new methodologies of architectural design. The program offers extensive research opportunities in studios led by world-renowned figures in architecture. SUPRASTUDIO partners student researchers with industry collaborators exploring topics as diverse as strategic thinking, sustainability, contemporary culture, lifestyle, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous mobility, sensing technology, robotics, extreme environments, the journey to outer space, virtual reality, entertainment production performances, and media-enhanced experiences.
Students have the opportunity to investigate architectural design and its cultural and social context to further their educational agenda. For example, students may engross themselves in a master-plan for a futuristic city for 10,000 where everyone is connected and uses autonomous cars led by Craig Hodgetts; or they could rethink the static buildings that house event performances to produce architecture that employs advances in temporary staging/pop-ups, robotized movements, and light led by Mark Mack; or they can tackle comprehensive critical analyses on the modern history and politics of cities, data-driven research of planning infrastructure and social issues, concluding with design proposals developed in collaboration with city governments and community partners led by Thom Mayne; or they could investigate the intersection between the digital and the physical worlds, looking at the cusp of living in mixed realities where interactive environments challenge traditional fabrication techniques and spatial assemblies with virtual and augmented realities, robotics and smart space applications led by Guvenc Ozel.
Previous collaborations with Walt Disney Imagineering, Toyota Motor Sales, Boeing, Cirque du Soleil, City of Los Angeles, City of Madrid, JumpStart Fund / Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc., Gehry Technologies Inc., Mayor’s Institute on City Design, National Endowment for the Arts, President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, UNICEF, and UNESCO have already generated a new set of design problems, research interests, scholarships, and practices to which students, faculty, and collaborators would not have otherwise had access.
SUPRASTUDIO TEACHING TEAMS 2017-18
Interim Chair: Neil Denari
Hitoshi Abe, Design
Dana Cuff, Critical Studies, Urbanism
Neil Denari, Design
Diane Favro, Critical Studies, History
Craig Hodgetts, Design
Sylvia Lavin, Critical Studies, History, Theory & Criticism
Greg Lynn, Design & Technology
Mark Mack, Design
Michael Osman, Critical Studies, Theory & Criticism
Thom Mayne, Design
Jason Payne, Design
Ben Refuerzo, Design
Heather Roberge, Design & Technology
1317 Perloff Hall
Los Angeles , 90095-1467