2D Play ~ The unfolded section

Platformer, Ludology, and Graphic Identity

UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - MArch & MSAUD - Spring 2023

To be an architectural designer today is to design with software. This technology seminar aims at critically addressing our relationship with and towards software. We will work together with our software to design a 2D platform game. Horizontal endless scrolling game where the player jumps and runs across the screen. By designing games, we relate to software through play. We exchange agency with the software and design with shared authorship. We want to be in a playful relationship with the software we use as it is the only way to ‘world travel’ as Maria Lugones puts it.

Check out the Monaverse space here:  https://monaverse.com/spaces/2d-play-~-the-unfolded-section?invite=T1RRd01ERTFNZzp1cy8q

You can download our apps here:

apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/2d-play/id6449720488

android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.UCLA_AUD_Yara_Feghali.Play_2D

Students work by UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - MArch & MSAUD - Spring 2023

House to Housing 401

UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 1st year - Spring 2022

Los Angeles has served as a storied context for the single-family home as both a site of architectural invention and cultural desire and as an instrument of wealth creation. These dual narratives persist today despite economic realities that make both stories far less suitable to their intended audiences. This studio will unpack these dual narratives in order to survey their histories and understand their widespread effects. The impact of these LA histories mirrors those of the US housing market more broadly. In turn, these social, political, economic and environmental effects have severely limited housing supply, affordability and sustainability, and have shifted the site of the architectural problem from house to housing. It is this shift that the studio will engage as a set of spatial, organizational and social potentials for design to interrogate.

The value of homeownership has underpinned not only the American economy, but the very image of American life for much of the past century. Homeownership provided a foothold on the economic ladder, stability in community life, and the fantasy of manifest destiny at the heart of the “American dream”. However, with the collapse of the housing market and the transformation of the economy over the past decade, the housing dream—which masked the many exclusions it had been built upon—has been revealed as such. The barrier to entry into the housing market has become impossible for most and is especially steep in Los Angeles where home prices have skyrocketed and fueled waves of gentrification and displacement, further eroding the economic prospects of Angelenos and social and cultural fabric of the city.

While the promise of homeownership is inextricably linked to the image of life in Southern California, more than 75% of Angelenos rent housing, at a cost far exceeding the recommended 30% of household income. Because 80% of Los Angeles’s residential land is restricted to single family occupancy, the city, and the state, recognize zoning restrictions as a significant obstacle to housing supply and affordability. State and local officials are adopting new policies to address affordability and to reduce further exurban spawl and its associated deleterious impacts on transportation, air quality and carbon emissions. The recent adoption of two state laws allows by right development of up to four units on parcels currently zoned for single family use. Despite these aggressive steps to encourage private development of housing supply, the economics of housing production and deep-seated notions of individualism, private property and lifestyle all conspire to keep housing production at low levels. The average cost of a single-family home in California now exceeds $800,000. Low-income housing units are hardly more affordable, averaging over $500,000 per unit. Given that these costs include the high costs of land especially around urban centers, shifting from house to housing engages density as one vector toward greater affordability.

Students work by UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 1st year - Spring 2023

Building design with Landscape Studio 413

UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Winter 2023

This studio will focus on the order and organization of a building for plants—their development, preservation, and study. In taking on the particularities of such a program we are also turning our attention to the order of things more generally. As we move away from the conventions that govern human-centered architecture, making a building for both plants and humans (as well as their associated ecologies) will necessarily challenge many of our underlying organizational assumptions.

More often than not, the origin of architecture is located as an act of shelter, demarcating and establishing the boundary between the human and natural world, producing a categorical distinction where perhaps there isn’t one. Not only is this narrative one-sided, it is also inaccurate. Architecture has always had to address the needs, functions, and necessities of non-human subjects. Grain silos, animal habitations, storage units, power plants, server stations, and distribution centers, are all central to our built environment even as their forms and organizations relate to functions, measures, and behaviors different from our own. Living in the anthropocene, we can no longer invest ourselves in these dichotomous imaginaries, as we know the deep, intractable, and catastrophic relationship this stages. 

Extinct in the Wild refers to the The International Union for Conservation of Nature ranking just shy of extinction, in which a species can no longer exist outside of human care and intervention. In this studio will use the term as a conceit to question the imagined binaries between architecture and the natural world, to situate our work in the realities of our current moment, and in so doing to return to perennial epistemic questions that underscore architectural work.  

Students work by UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Winter 2023

Building design with Landscape Studio 413

UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Fall 2022

The fourth studio in AUD’s M.Arch I Core series and the first studio of second year, ARCH 413 initiates a move from more introductory studio problems of first year to increasingly comprehensive, complex, and real-world problems pursued through the second and third year. Building design indicates this course’s primary mandate as a continuation of previous building design studios, the building problem now being somewhat larger in size than those of first year (though not as large as buildings assigned in later studios) with more challenging programmatic requirements. Additionally, this studio introduces landscape as a subject and discipline unto itself, a field of study and work that often coexists around and through architecture. This course works to integrate building and landscape in novel and projective ways and requires that landscape be integral to the project. Further still, the design problem implicates urban design intentionally, encouraging its priority in the project by virtue of both site selection and program requirements.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP, or simply DWP) oversees the largest municipal infrastructure in the United States. The scale of this network of streams and rivers, lakes and reservoirs, dams, aqueducts, culverts, pipes, stations, substations, and power lines is vast, spanning several western states. Physical evidence of this infrastructure is everywhere but goes unnoticed: everywhere yet nowhere at once. Usually its invisibility occurs secondarily, the inevitable side effect of ubiquity. In certain cases, however, the suppression of the system’s physical presence is purposeful, a conscious decision by its architects and engineers to hide certain objects in plain sight. This is especially true of the substations, buildings that fade into the urban background through dead iconography. This studio explores these substations for their potential to inform design at the intersection of infrastructure and architecture.

Students work by UCLA - Architecture and Urban Design - M.Arch 2nd year - Fall 2022

Reality + - 2022

Interaction, Virtual Reality, and Spatial Web

SCI-Arc VS 2741 01 - Fall 2022

Reality + investigates the potential of virtual worlds within architectural spatial research.

Let’s dive into the exciting universe of the spatial web! We navigate the agitated waters of online collaborative spaces by looking at existing platforms like Decentraland, Monaverse, and Sansar. We learned about the core structure of Web 3.0 and understanding virtual worlds through the lens of Angela Washko, McKenzie Wark, David Chalmers, Alexander Galloway, and Joe Hunting’s We met in VR.

As of September 2022, there are more than 500 companies that are building the metaverse, 300 more than September last year. During the pandemic virtual living, gaming, socializing, and trading has exploded, and McKinsey estimated the metaverse at a $5 trillion market value by 2030. Architecture is a field of spatial design, and it is time to jump into the design of online virtual spaces.

These online collaborative social spaces are modeled after iconic movie sets from production designers Hannah Beachler, Alex McDowell, Adam Stockhausen, and Nathan Crowley.

These metaverses are minted on Monaverse.

Check them out here
Reality + Lobby https://monaverse.com/spaces/reality-+-lobby?invite=TnpBMU16UXpNQTphc2lh
The Tale of Hanna Hall https://monaverse.com/spaces/the-tale-of-hanna-hall?invite=TWpnd01qTXpOZzphc2lh
Zeitgeist Dispatch https://monaverse.com/spaces/zeitgeist-dispatch?invite=T0RnNE5EZzVNdzphc2lh
Hanna Pink pool in the forest https://monaverse.com/spaces/pink-pool-in-the-forest?invite=TlRRek5ETXlOdzphc2lh
Chauncy's Living Room https://monaverse.com/spaces/chauncy's-living-room?invite=TVRjM01EZzBOdzphc2lh
Jenny’s Holiday Party https://monaverse.com/spaces/jenny's-budapest-hotel-lobby?invite=TlRnd056UTVOQTphc2lh
Dream Alley https://monaverse.com/spaces/salih's-backyard?invite=TmpjNE9UUTJNQTphc2lh
Somewhere nowhere https://monaverse.com/spaces/somewhere-nowhere?invite=T0RnNU1ESXpNZzphc2lh
Charlie & Chocolate Factory https://monaverse.com/spaces/charlie-and-chocolate-factory?invite=TnpNMU1EVTRNZzphc2lh
Chloe Black Panther Street https://monaverse.com/spaces/chloe-black-panther-street?invite=Tnpjek5UWTI6YXNpYQ
Anna's Spa https://monaverse.com/spaces/anna's-spa?invite=TkRrNE5qZzJNUTphc2lh
Dream Office https://monaverse.com/spaces/dream-office?invite=TWpreU9EVXo6YXNpYQ

Students work by SCI-Arc VS 2741 01 - Fall 2022 Students: Albarrak Salih, Chakhal-Salakhova Anna, Cheng Wei-Chun Jimmy, Cook Jenny, Huang Chenxi Chauncy, Leon Kimberly, Lin Sijie Chloe, Nyby Hanna Lovise, Park Hanna, Smirova Anastasia, Zhang Xinyu Dawson.
Yara Feghali / 2023