Southern California Institute of Architecture: Innovating postgraduate education
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Southern California Institute of Architecture: Innovating postgraduate education

Southern California Institute of Architecture: Innovating postgraduate education

SCI-Arc is where architects become mad scientists. It is where art, science, and industry converge and new futures unfold.” – Hernan Diaz Alonso, SCI-Arc Director/CEO

It was Winston Churchill who once said that while we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us. Everything we are as a global community is empowered by the structures we create, and the process of innovation begins with the art of design. Architecture is the craft that drives human infrastructure. Known as one of the world’s most complex and competitive fields, architects embark on a respected and lucrative profession – a journey that starts with quality higher education.

The Southern California Institute of Architecture, or SCI-Arc, is a recognized hub for progressive architectural study. Promising a unique experience for students pursing both undergraduate and graduate degrees, SCI-Arc is a school that challenges assumptions, creates, and breaks the boundaries of architecture.

“At SCI-Arc, we forecast the migrations of culture,” explains school Director, Hernan Diaz Alonso. “We stare down complex technologies and command them to do our bidding,” he adds. “We are agile and street smart. Where others drown in the complex flows of urban life, we thrive and choreograph its movements…We are builders, leaders, and dreamers.”

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Source: Southern California Institute of Architecture

As the only independent architecture school in the US, successful SCI-Arc graduates gain a competitive advantage. This institution is intent on approaching the subject from an experimental perspective, the likes of which is hard to find at a traditional architecture school. The Institute seeks to change the way architecture is taught to promote innovation, speculation and creativity in every aspect of the discipline.

A leader in postgraduate study, SCI-Arc EDGE, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, is a platform to explore the proposition that everything in the 21st century is a potential architecture problem. SCI-Arc’s highly-specialized one-year postgraduate programs include:

M.S. Architectural Technologies – a course that provides hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technologies or architectural production, as well as a comprehensive conceptual and critical framework.

M.S. Fiction and Entertainment – a program that sees students work with world-famed professionals in film, fiction, animation, marketing, games, and documentary-making to build new forms of creative practice.

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Source: Southern California Institute of Architecture

M.S. Design of Cities – students here investigate the depth and drama of contemporary urban phenomena and dedicate themselves to design innovation.

M.S. Design Theory and Pedagogy – a course that hones students for a new kind of hybrid career that has emerged in the architectural realm: the architect-theorist-educator.

As a global pioneer of design technology, the EDGE Master of Science degree portfolio is perfect for students who aren’t interested in becoming or remaining a ‘building practitioner’, but are motivated to build new career trajectories that leverage architectural knowledge. The very purpose of this unparalleled institution is to find new information and models of inquiry. A school for creative trailblazers, SCI-Arc’s facilities have been purposely-designed to provoke, motivate, and inspire. It’s proud to offer some of the most robust technologies and advanced fabrication facilities of any architecture school in the country.

Here, students have access to the SCI-Arc Shop, Robot House, and Magic Box, occupying more than 12,000-square-feet on-campus with the latest additive and reductive manufacturing machinery and programs, and six cutting-edge Stäubli robots.

Driven by the concept that architects should practice what they teach, SCI-Arc wholeheartedly believes that experienced practitioners can best communicate the complexities related to thinking about – and making – powerful architecture. That’s why the SCI-Arc faculty embraces a range of contemporary approaches to the discipline. Among its many prolific members sit renowned theorists, critics, and historians, as well as some of the most revered architectural professionals in Los Angeles.

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Source: Southern California Institute of Architecture

“SCI-Arc is an institute and not a university—that is one of our many unique strengths. We are not constrained by stubborn bureaucracy, and we are not preservationists of traditional forms of knowledge. We move rapidly into new territories, and we can be both inside and outside of the world. We entangle ourselves in complex ways, and we write our own rules of engagement and research,” Alonso concludes.

“The ethical questions of architecture are poignant for an institute so dedicated to innovation. It isn’t hyperbole to posit that the very existence of architecture as a profession and as a way of thinking and knowing is at stake. Architecture needs its own heroes, but more importantly the world needs architects to take on that position and to conjure images of what the future might become. We experiment and keep taking risks to remake the real.”

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