Architecture News

Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Refract House
CCA, 2012
Hardcover, 68 pages, $25

Refract House explores the evolution of CCA's solar-powered house (a joint project with Santa Clara University) that competed in the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The competition brief was to design, build, and operate a maximally energy-efficient, attractive, and comfortable solar-powered house. Every detail was considered by the CCA student team, from the landscaping and the solar collection arrays to the furniture and plateware (made of California mud). CCA's house was awarded first place in architecture and communications, second in engineering, and third overall. It outperformed contributions from such renowned schools as Cornell and Virginia Tech.

The Refract House book reframes the team's efforts within a larger context of contemporary architectural practice. It is divided into four parts, addressing the conceptual trajectories underlying the project, the different design strategies that were explored, the integration of technological systems, and the material fabrication. It also discusses the implications of the project in terms of architectural education today. It features full-color photographs and renderings of every phase of the house's development. There is an introduction by CCA Architecture Director Ila Berman and essays by Ila Berman, Nataly Gattegno, Andrew Kudless, Tim Hight, Kate Simonen, Peter Anderson, Matt Hutchison, and Oblio Jenkins.

Purchase a copy by emailing Lia Wilson in CCA's Architecture Program: lwilson@cca.edu

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Posted on Monday, February 20, 2012 by Allison Byers

Hard to say which came first, the metaphor or the stairs. When local textile maven Susan Chastain decided to transform her 1928 Marina-style Potrero Hill home into what she calls a grown-up dwelling (that is, on a par with the high-class abodes she's outfitted with her custom-made draperies, pillows and headboards for the past two decades), she may not have truly comprehended the symbolic implications of new staircases.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages, $29.95

Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), SFMOMA's assistant curator of media arts, coauthored this book chronicling and illustrating more than 100 SECA Award recipients from the late 1960s to the present, including CCA alumni Squeak Carnwath, Desirée Holman, Mitzi Pederson, Laurie Reid, Leslie Shows, and Kathryn VanDyke, among others. Featured faculty include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa, Thom Faulders, Chris Finley, Donald Fortescue, Amy Franceschini, Clay Jensen, Jordan Kantor, Shaun O'Dell, Maria Porges, and Mary Snowden.

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Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 by Allison Byers

Places, an interdisciplinary journal of contemporary architecture housed on the Design Observer Group website, recently featured the work of CCA’s URBANlab. Nancy Levinson reports, “Bridging multiple programs and formats, URBANlab is dedicated to connecting the intellectual and disciplinary resources of the academy with the practical spheres of public planning and municipal institutions in order to investigate the challenges and potentials of the urban environment in the 21st century.”

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Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

Joseph Becker in the Dieter Rams exhibition at SFMOMA [photo: Michael Armenta]

Joseph Becker (BArch 2007) comes from a creative family: In the 1980s, his parents combined their film and education backgrounds to open Southern California's first Gymboree kids' program, and his sister has her own fashion line. His North Hollywood high school actually offered classes in set design, and he further developed what he calls "a taste for space" with classes in architecture and design at UCLA and Art Center College of Design. He arrived at CCA in 2002 to formally begin his undergraduate studies with a plan to become a product designer, but he switched to architecture during his first year. He is now an assistant curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

How would you sum up your CCA experience?

There was a real sense of connection to San Francisco. With the Architecture faculty made up of professors who were also designing independently, I knew I was learning from people who were actually doing things. The studio environment, with late late nights and a palpable energy buzzing around you, was catalytic. You could get everything out of it if you put in the work, and if you were motivated by your own inquisitiveness.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by Jim Norrena

In the landmark exhibition Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices, and Architectural Interventions new work by Architecture associate professor David Gissen and Architecture visiting faculty members Mason White and Lola Sheppard (333: Architecture Summer Studio) is currently on display through February 18 at the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

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Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Architecture student Vonnie Bower [photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle]

Architecture student Vonnie Bower was recently featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article (“Welder gets her chance of a lifetime on Bay Bridge,” by Edward Guthman) that highlighted the experienced welder and pile driver for her work in the rebuilding of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, a dream-come-true opportunity for countless persons -- male and female alike – in and out of the construction industry.

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Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Biodynamic Structures final presentations [photo: Jim Norrena]

For a second year in a row California College of the Arts hosted the summer Biodynamic Structures architecture workshop. The annual two-week intensive workshop, which took place July 11-22 on the San Francisco campus, is made possible through the Visiting School Program of the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Renowned writer Ishmael Reed joins the MFA Program in Writing faculty

For additional information about CCA's 2011-12 faculty hiring, read the latest Academic Newsletter by Provost Mark Breitenberg.

New Full-Time Faculty

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Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Architecture faculty and students investigate CCA's facilities as part of innovative course

What better way to measure the energy output of the college than to start from within?

Well, that’s exactly what Architecture students did while taking the Energy Analysis seminar; they methodically measured the energy levels of existing campus buildings to document where and how energy is being used within the 25 facilities on the college’s San Francisco and Oakland campuses.

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