Los Angeles Portraits - A study of urban identities

Year Long Research Studio - M.Arch.I Third year Thesis at UCLA A.UD in 2020

Today, there is an urgency to address our cities’ cultural messiness. This research studio explores Los Angeles’ lush diversity by uncovering its multiple layers of resolution. We will speculate – through interactive storytelling – on the near future of cultural space. We will be working with machine aesthetics, photogrammetry, and cinematographic techniques.

Architecture is a field that is part of a larger media culture. It is inclusive and thrives through multiple mediums. In this specific research studio, we will be interested in architecture as a visual apparatus. We will be concerned with representation. Architecture most speculative proposals emerged out of ways of seeing, and we will design with all these different layers of representation. Sourcing from the beaux-arts understanding of the act of rendering through the words; entourage, mosaic, and poché, in order to understand their evolution and what they have become today.

#CHINATOWN@HOME by Chieh-Ting Chuang 

In Matthew Hunter’s Modeling: A secret history of following, he mentioned the difference between “copy”, “mimic” and “follow”. While the copy is a direct replicate of the original target, mimicking comes with some alteration but still maintains the honesty to the original target. Following is in a different realm altogether. Although it is still honest with the origin, it set up rules for people to learn from and thus producing what he calls “make-believe” objects that are different products than the original.

I explore different views of “following” in this project. In the first quarter we use convolutional neural networks technology to transfer the original super flat images of the openings in Chinatown into a highly ornamental image. By using 3D scanning, the result of the imperfect geometry introduces the sense of adding resolution to the original ornaments and thus transform Chinatown’s super flat architectural style into a highly decorated ornamentation.

#Chinatown@Home is a speculation on the technology behind photogrammetry. It explores frictions between texture and volume. Chinatown is a recognizable architectural style that has been copied in every major city. I explore the idea of following through the use of mapping technologies and convolutional neural networks wrapping our exterior and interior domesticity.

Reaction to #CHINATOWN@HOME /// Fresh reveal! --- Check the game here --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwZqU_xImWg&t=6s

UCLA Diversity Pavilions by Sam Crawford

Sunset dresses Up! by Yu Han

DTLA New Media Theatre by Hideyo Kameda

Shaping form – Forming Shape by Kristiana Burgi


Scaling Up! by Yifan Zhang

Students work by March I  - UCLA A.UD - 2020 - Los Angeles
Yara Feghali / 2024