Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Los Angeles, CA


Spring 2012 Public Programs at SCI-Arc Announced

By sciarcnews
Nov 28, '11 8:31 PM EST
(L to R): Thom Mayne/Morphosis/Phare Tower; Peter Cook/Kunsthaus Graz Museum/CRAB Studio; Anthony Vidler/Stirling at Work/The Cooper Union
(L to R): Thom Mayne/Morphosis/Phare Tower; Peter Cook/Kunsthaus Graz Museum/CRAB Studio; Anthony Vidler/Stirling at Work/The Cooper Union

Award-winning Architects, Designers, Artists Featured in Lectures and Exhibitions
Admission to SCI-Arc events is always free

Los Angeles, CA (November 28, 2011) – The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to announce its Spring 2012 schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions. As SCI-Arc gears up for its 40th anniversary, our still young school is renewing its commitment to educate architects who will imagine and shape the future through assembling an unprecedented roster of award-winning architects, urban historians, writers, designers and artists to be hosted at SCI-Arc throughout 2012, for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary art to technical practice. Events and exhibitions at SCI-Arc are always free to the public.

The spring 2012 schedule features:

January 18:  Cliff Garten
January 25: Michel Rojkind
February 1: Sylvia Lavin
February  8: John Enright
February 10: Exhibition discussion with Ramiro Diaz Granados and Eric Owen Moss
February 15: Juan Herreros
February 22: Peter Trummer
February 29: Ricardo de Ostos
March 7: Phillippe Rahm
March 14: Thom Mayne delivers the 2012 Raimund Abraham Lecture
March 21: Anthony Vidler
March 28: Nicholas de Monchaux
April 4: Alex McDowell
April 6: Exhibition discussion with Peter Cook and Eric Owen Moss
April 20: 2012 Spring Show & Undergraduate Thesis

Lectures are free and open to the public in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall and are broadcast live on

January 18, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Cliff Garten: Civic Material
Artist, Cliff Garten Studio, Venice, CA
American artist Cliff Garten is sought-after for his evocative and nuanced site-specific sculpture. Garten creates large-scale sculptures that seamlessly integrate within urban space, landscape, and infrastructure environments. His body of work has been praised for the way it utilizes light to create energy, inspires interest in public activity, and reframes a sense of place within public and private realms. Over the past twenty years, he has completed more than 55 artworks for public and private places throughout the U.S. and Canada in collaboration within significant architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering projects. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Americans for the Arts Public Art Network, and American Society of Landscape Architects. His studio is based in Venice, Calif.

January 25, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Michel Rojkind: Over Stimulation
Founding Partner, Rojkind Arquitectos, Mexico City
Michel Rojkind is the Founding Partner of Rojkind Arquitectos. He studied Architecture and Urban Planning at the Universidad Iberoamericana and has based his practice from Mexico City to other latitudes thriving in this creative, chaotic environment, rethinking possible interventions of architecture at a worldwide level.  He has been a guest professor at various universities, and has lectured internationally.

February 1, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Sylvia Lavin: Field Trip
Director, Critical Studies and MA/PhD Programs, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design, Los Angeles
Sylvia Lavin is a widely published critic and historian who received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her most recent book, Kissing Architecture, was published by Princeton University Press (2011.)   Quatremere de Quincy and the Invention of a Modern Language of Architecture (1992) and Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture (2005) were published by MIT and The Flash in the Pan and Other Forms of Architectural Contemporaneity, is forthcoming.  Lavin has been a guest curator for the Hammer Museum, CCA and Ace Galleries and is currently working on a large scale exhibition, Fin-de-Sixties LA: From Pop to Postmodern Architecture. She is the Director of Critical Studies at UCLA and of Hi-C, a design/research group that supports architecture in the public realm. Ms. Lavin is the recipient of a 2011 Arts and Letters Award.

February 8, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
John Enright: Recent Threads
Principal, Griffin Enright Architects, SCI-Arc Undergraduate Program Chair, Los Angeles
John Enright is Co-founder and Principal of the Los Angeles-based Griffin Enright Architects, with partner Margaret Griffin. His firm’s work has been extensively published nationally and internationally, and has received dozens of awards for design excellence including, local, state and national AIA Awards and The American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. Griffin Enright Architects recently completed the award winning St. Thomas the Apostle Education Campus in Los Angeles, Calif., as well as a wide range of projects from installations to residential and institutional projects. They are currently at work on a mixed-use project in Venice, Calif. and a series of projects in China. Enright is Undergraduate Program Chair at SCI-Arc and has taught design studios and technology seminars at SCI-Arc, Syracuse University, The University of Houston, and USC. His academic research focuses on design and building technology including Building Information Modeling and new digital paradigms as applied to fabrication and construction.

February 15, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Juan Herreros: Dialogue Architecture
Principal, Herreros Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain
“The architectural profession has undergone unprecedented changes in recent years. The profile of the typical architect, neatly located at the apex of the design and construction pyramid, has faded in the working processes. The ancient metaphor of the orchestra conductor is slipping through our fingers to be replaced by an architect who is obliged to listen and to engage in dialogue, to effectively explain and communicate the fundamentals of their proposals. In a world in recession, the paradigms also change while the concepts of prestige, need, quality, luxury and interest do the same. The new type of architect has to read, interpret, describe, and activate a reality which day-by-day becomes increasingly imperfect while at the same time becoming full of poetic potential which needs to be exploited in order to become the motor for transforming the world.” Juan Herreros is a PhD Architect, Chair Professor and Director of the Thesis Program at the Madrid School of Architecture, as well as a Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He has previously taught at EPFL, Lausanne, Architectural Association, London, Princeton, and ITT in Chicago. In 1984, he founded together with Iñaki Abalos the office Abalos & Herreros, in 1992 the Multimedia International League, and in 2006 his current office, HerrerosArquitectos, through which he pursues his professional, teaching and pedagogical activity.

February 22, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Peter Trummer: The Aggregated Figure and Its Unfolding Ground
Head, Institute of Urban Design, University of Innsbruck, Austria
“Ludwig Hilbereimer has argued that a single building is no longer an ‘object,’ but only the place in which the assemblage of single cells assumes physical form. The intent of this lecture is to argue that from the viewpoint of urban flow of capital, the disciplinary problem being to understand any urban figure as an aggregation of inhabited cells. The lecture will demonstrate this thesis on several design projects developed within the last six years.” Peter Trummer is Professor and Head of the Institute for Urban Design & Spatial Planning at the University of Innsbruck. He was Head of the Associative Design Program at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam from 2004 to 2010. Trummer practiced architecture with UN Studio before establishing his own firm in 2001. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis on “population thinking in architecture.” He lectures, teaches and is invited as a critic at the Berlage Institute, Architectural Association, University for Applied Arts in Vienna, IAAC, SCI-Arc, University of Pennsylvania and Rice University. Recently he has published Essays in AD, Arch +, Hunch, Volume and Manifold.

February 29, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Ricardo de Ostos: Ectoplasmatic Manifestations
Co-founder, NaJa & DeOstos, London
“Between dream and nightmare Ectoplasmatic Manifestations presents architectures that respond to extreme infrastructures unveiling a catalogue of spatial tales of horror and hope. The lecture will discuss architecture as a body for manifestation of narratives of the phantasmagorical public, horrifically entertaining and toxically green, while at the same time interrogating the role of the architect in relation to contentious environments and contemporary pervasive technology.” NaJa & deOstos is a London based architectural studio exploring symbiotic relations between emerging cultural patterns and architectural narratives. With a strong research-based design focus attitude, Nannette Jackowski and Ricardo de Ostos seek to generate an adventurous (and sometimes excitingly dangerous) but beneficial built environment through critical and challenging speculation. Jackowski and de Ostos are Unit Masters at the Architectural Association and at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Together they are authors of The Hanging Cemetery of Baghdad (Springer, 2007) and Pamphlet Architecture 29: Ambiguous Spaces (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008).

March 7, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Phillippe Rahm: Meteorological Architecture
Principal, Phillippe Rahm Architectes, Paris
“Climate change is forcing us to rethink architecture radically, to shift our focus away from a purely visual and functional approach towards one that is more sensitive, more attentive to the invisible, climate-related aspects of space.  Slipping from the solid to the void, from the visible to the invisible, from metric composition to thermal composition, architecture as meteorology opens up additional, more sensual, more variable dimensions in which limits fade away and solids evaporate. The task is no longer to build images and functions but to open up climates and interpretations.” Philippe Rahm is an architect based in Paris. In 2008, he was one of twenty architects invited by Aaron Betsky to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and in 2009 Editions Archibooks published his book, “Architecture Météorologique.” He was appointed director of the Symposium on Architecture and Climate: Towards an Atmospheric Architecture held at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Rahm is currently working on a number of projects, including office buildings in France and Italy.

March 14, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Thom Mayne: What’s Next?*
Founder and Design Director, Morphosis, Los Angeles
Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972 as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and research.  He is a founding faculty member of SCI-Arc and Distinguished Professor at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design.  He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010, appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and honored with the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2000.  With Morphosis, Mayne has been the recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize, 26 Progressive Architecture Awards and over 100 American Institute of Architecture Awards. Morphosis works have been published extensively and the firm has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and 25 monographs.
*The 2012 Raimund Abraham Lecture has been generously supported by gifts from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and John Cordic/RJC Builders.

March 21, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Anthony Vidler: James Frazier Stirling: Notes from the Archive – Crisis of Modernism
Dean, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, The Cooper Union, New York
“Jim Stirling was a bird-watcher; not a trainspotter, nor a blogger, nor a twitterer. He walked the landscape, travelled the architectural tradition, and watched society in all its forms and functions.  Out of this he forged an architecture that was at once entirely personal and fundamentally public. Assembled in its volumes and spaces of circulation as a complex amalgam of historical allusion and brilliant innovation, Stirling's architecture was neither post-modern nor modern: it was simply contemporary. This lecture ransacks the archive to present his drawings as multiple iterations of a working method—a process of design that demonstrates the "patient search" that architecture was, and still should be.” Anthony Vidler, a historian and critic of architecture, is Dean and Professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.  Trained in architecture at Cambridge University in England, with a PhD in history and theory from TU Delft, he was a member of the faculty of the Princeton University School of Architecture from 1965 to 1993, serving as the Chair of the Ph.D. Committee, and Director of the Program in European Cultural Studies. In 1993 he took up a position as Chair of the Department of Art History at UCLA, before coming to The Cooper Union in 2001. He has curated several exhibitions, most recently, Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling, Architect and Teacher at Yale University, The Tate Britain, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Vidler, whose works have been published widely, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Architecture, 2011.

March 28, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Nicholas de Monchaux: Fashioning Apollo
Architect, Oakland, California; Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UC Berkeley
“On July 20, 1969, the bodies of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were protected from a lunar vacuum by only twenty-one layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. The twenty-one-layer spacesuit offers an object lesson. It tells us about redundancy and interdependence and about the distinctions between natural and man-made complexity; it teaches us to know the virtues of adaptation and to see the future as a set of possibilities rather than a scripted scenario. These are particularly important lessons for our own era, where architects grapple daily with the conflict and concurrence of nature and technology; at the core of the space age, the exchange defines our own historical moment.” Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect who works at the urban intersection of nature and technology. He is author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural history of the Apollo 11 Extra-vehicular garment. He received his B.Arch with distinction from Yale, and his M.Arch from Princeton. Since 2006, he has been an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UC Berkeley. His work has been published and reviewed in Log, Architectural Design, The New York Times, and Wall Street Journal and his design proposals for buildings, cities, and landscapes have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

April 4, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall
Alex McDowell: Building Worlds – Terraforming the Narrative Space
RDI, Production Designer, Los Angeles
“As interplanetary scientists hypothesize about the deliberate modifying of planets to make them habitable, this discussion will suggest a radical and transformative approach to designing space, allowing us to create and collaborate virtually and intuitively, and to sculpt new visual narratives as we imagine unbounded worlds. Our experience o narrative media is changing rapidly as traditional storytelling disciplines expand and merge. A new breed of ‘maker’ is emerging who freely traverses the traditional silos of storytelling; creating worlds across media and across culture.” Alex McDowell is one of the most innovative and influential designers working in narrative media, with the impact of his ideas extending far beyond his background in cinema. McDowell advocates an immersive design process that acknowledges the key role of world-building in visual storytelling. Since moving to LA from London in 1986, McDowell has designed for a diversity of directors including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, David Fincher, Zack Snyder and Steven Spielberg. Currently, he is working on Man of Steel with director Zack Snyder. He recently completed In Time, directed by Andrew Niccol, and worked as Visual Consultant for the Aardman/ Sony animated feature Arthur Christmas. With many awards for his film design, McDowell was named a Royal Designer by the Royal Society of Arts in the UK. McDowell is adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and visiting artist at MIT’s Media Lab. He is also co-founder and creative director of 5D|The Future of Immersive Design, a global series of distributed events and 5D Institute, an education space for an expanding community of thought leaders across narrative media.


January 13—February 26 in the SCI-Arc Gallery
Ramiro Diaz-Granados/Amorphis: Go Figure*
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 7-9pm
Exhibition Discussion: Friday, February 10, 7-9pm
Architect Ramiro Diaz-Granados and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the exhibition.

Seeking to shift the role of the figure from a metaphorical device to a subliminal one, Go Figure promotes simultaneity in the evolution of the delineated figure by distributing cartoon and visceral features across a three-dimensional, spline based form. The installation showcases a figure repeated four times into two symmetrical pairs. Each pair is situated in the gallery according to different transversal regulating lines stemming from the relationship between the ground and the ceiling. One pair is centered within the space; the other is centered under one of the structural bays. Together they fill the space in a composition that confounds the legibility of each figure in favor of more sensate qualities, with allusions to calligraphy and graffiti.

Ramiro Diaz-Granados is Principal of Amorphis, and is a full-time design faculty member and the graduate portfolio coordinator at SCI-Arc. A full service architectural design studio located in Los Angeles, Amorphis is engaged in speculative and building practices with an emphasis on a hands-on approach to experimentation. With services ranging from the design of objects and furniture to interiors, buildings, and landscapes, the studio limits the number of projects at a given time in order to produce deeply idiosyncratic works. As an advocate for a vitalist-materialist ethos in the production of architecture, Amorphis pursues a design agenda that oscillates within a matter/geometry complex. Prior to founding Amorphis in 2009, Diaz-Granados was co-principal of F-Lab with Heather Flood, where they won and placed in several competitions, including the SCI-Arc "Conference Room Table" (built), L.A. Forum "Liner Competition," and Mercedes-Benz "National Trade Show Pavilion." He also worked for and collaborated with the award-winning firm Gnuform. From 1997 to 2002, he was co-principal of Arxis, a Los Angeles architectural practice, where he designed and built several projects in Southern California and Mexico. Diaz-Granados received his Bachelor of Architecture from SCI-Arc in 1996 and a Master of Architecture from UCLA in 2003, during which he was awarded the Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Traveling Fellowship in Architecture.

*Go Figure is supported in part by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

April 6—May 13 in the SCI-Arc Gallery
Peter Cook/CRAB Studio, London: Six Dreams – Six Targets
Discussion and Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 7-9pm
Architect Peter Cook and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss discuss the exhibition.

Peter Cook’s Six Dreams—Six Targets installation in the SCI-Arc Gallery introduces a six-zone, almost completely light-tight experiential space with projection screens and a sonic chamber, in an enclosure dependent upon a single point of entry, with no part of its internal physicality being visible from the outside. More details are forthcoming in the spring.

A noted English architect, writer, and educator, Peter Cook is a founding member of the 1960s radical experimentalist group Archigram. As Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London, Cook has been a pivotal figure within the global architecture world for over half a century. His design for the Kunsthaus Graz (2003), with Colin Fournier, was a runner up for the Stirling Prize, bringing Cook’s work to a wider public. His achievements with Archigram have been the subject of numerous publications and public exhibitions and were recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004, when Cook was awarded RIBA’s highest award, the Royal Gold Medal. In 2007, he was knighted in the UK for his services to architecture and teaching. Cook continues to curate, organize and exhibit around the world. He practices with Gavin Robotham as CRAB (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau); he has built in Osaka, Nagoya, Berlin, Frankfurt, Graz and Madrid, among others. Cook taught architecture from 1990 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, until he retired in 2005. He is currently a visiting faculty member at SCI-Arc.

April 23—May 9 throughout the SCI-Arc Campus
Spring Show 2012 & Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition
Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 7pm
On view throughout SCI-Arc, the Undergraduate Thesis presentations and end of year display of work from both Graduate and Undergraduate design studios as well as Visual, Applied and Cultural Studies offer examples of work by some of the best emerging architects and designers in the country.

Public Programs

Parking and admission are free. No reservations are required. Lectures, talks, and discussions are broadcast live online at

SCI-Arc Public Programs are subject to change beyond our control. For the most current information, please visit or call 213-613-2200.

Parking and Hours
The entrance to SCI-Arc's parking lot is at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles, between Traction Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm; the Library Gallery is open daily from 12pm-6pm.

About SCI-Arc
The Southern California Institute of Architecture is dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is an independent, accredited degree-granting institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc’s approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members—most of whom are practicing architects—work together to re-examine assumptions, create, explore and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc is once again ranked second in design and computer applications in the recently released 2012 America’s Best Architecture Schools survey from Design Intelligence, and #1 graduate and #2 undergraduate architecture school in the Western U.S. SCI-Arc is located at 960 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
For more information, please visit