Architecture News

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Dr. Ila Berman provides an overview of some of the critical ideas foregrounded in the conference and a potential set of directives through which to frame ongoing and future initiatives.

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Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 by Allison Byers

While a winner has not yet been selected, Tex-Fab’s new APPLIED: Research Through Fabrication competition has already produced interesting results as four semi-finalists emerge. The competition solicited proposals that best displayed “research through computational fabrication.” The four proposals selected in the first round of adjudication address acoustics, structure, construction, material, and surface effects, each using on digital modeling and fabrication techniques.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Watching their Carnaval float moving down Mission Street as part of San Francisco's massive annual parade, laden with dancers from the Brazilian troupe Sambaxé, accompanied by the vibrant beats of the Brazilian musical group Blocura and the powerful moves of the Brazilian ABADA Capoeira troupe, TV cameras rolling, people cheering from the sidewalks and the rooftops high above. . . It was a triumphant moment for CCA faculty member Sandra Vivanco and the 15 students in her Body and Spectacle course.

The Carnaval parade was the culmination of a semester of hard work and intensive collaboration -- not only among the CCA students, but also in coordination with a group of high school students enrolled in the Out of Site Youth Arts Center, the city of San Francisco, experts in construction and transportation, and beyond. The CCA course was offered under the auspices of Diversity Studies and attracted a correspondingly wide-ranging bunch, from Architecture and Interior Design to Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion Design, and Painting/Drawing.

The students designed not only the Carnaval float structure, but also the costumes and props that made its appearance in the parade a real performance rather than just a potential site for one. They had done as much work as they could in the CCA shops, and then transported the pieces to Pier 40, where the city graciously donated space for final assembly.

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Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 by Allison Byers

Two teams from CCA were on June 5 awarded top prizes at 2X8 TAUT, the tenth annual architecture and design student competition and exhibition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter (AIA | LA). Fractals of Knowledge, by Osma Dossani, took second place; and FRESNOW, by Alex Decicco, Francis Silagon, and Hugh Vanho, took third.

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Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Allison Byers

To get a sense of Jason Kelly Johnson’s vision for buildings of the future, drop by the Buckminster Fuller show on view at SFMOMA through July 29. Johnson’s San Francisco-based studio Future Cities Lab was one of the firms chosen to represent Fuller’s legacy in the Bay Area. You’ll see the motorized model for the HYDRAMAX Port Machine, a waterfront “urban-scale robotic structure” that harvests rainwater and fog, designed by Johnson and his partner Nataly Gattegno—a dynamic concept that makes today’s built environment look positively lazy by comparison.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Allison Byers

The research Proposal by Michael Ippolito from the California College of the Arts proposes a radical rethinking of architecture and landslides. The Marin Headlands is home to over twenty landslides. The most notable and fastest acting landslide in the Headlands is located on the Oceanside of the park between rodeo cove and Tennessee Valley. It is known as place that has been left behind and rendered a volatile wasteland. This wasteland has consumed many man-made structures including eight abandoned military buildings, and two roadways.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 by Allison Byers

If you've ever imagined plunging into a Mobius strip, I have just the exhibition for you: "Architecture in the Expanded Field," at the San Francisco campus of the California College of the Arts.

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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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