Studio News

Spring 2014


cityLAB Hosts "Hidden in Plain Site" Workshop
July 25, 2014

On July 25th, cityLAB colleagues and partners gathered at the Hammer Museum to participate in "Hidden in Plain Site", a workshop designed to discuss cityLAB's future projects and research directions. Specifically, we sought to gather a group of creative thinkers and agents of change to begin to extrapolate some of Los Angeles' key urban issues and contemplate promising solutions. Conversations were guided by three broad topics: emerging lifestyles (moderated by Dana Cuff), limited resources (moderated by Jon Christensen), and advanced technologies (moderated by Roger Sherman).

The end result was an inspiring evening that sparked engaging conversations and generated several potential research initiatives to govern our efforts as cityLAB approaches its milestone ten-year anniversary. A big thank you to everyone that was involved.


cityLAB Launches Ambient Informatics Project

Created in partnership with UCLA's Jeff Burke and REMAP, cityLAB launched its Ambient Informatics project as a way of combining aesthetics, technology, and innovative design to create a new public experience in Westwood Village, Los Angeles. In order to achieve this, the studio is in the process of constructing "Ida and Dactyl" a sidewalk installation that employs a beacon system within the core (Dactyl) of a translucent bench (Ida). The end product, resembling the astroid and its moon, is the inspiration for its playful name and will employ real time Bruin Bus transportation data to transmit information through subtle, non-symbolic representations.

For more information on the Ambient Informatics project, visit the project page, here


cityLAB Completes Backyard Homes Report

In recent years, backyard homes (also referred to as secondary units, granny flats, garage apartments, etc.) have been demonstrating an interesting paradox: while most residents can imagine a positive use for a backyard home of their own, widespread opposition to secondary units prevails. "Backyard Homes & Local Concerns", a report created in partnership with UCLA Luskin School of Affair's Vinit Mukhija, addresses these and other existing local concerns about secondary units and explores the ways by which those concerns might be addressed. Sponsored by the Haynes Foundation, cityLAB recently completed this study in April.

Related Links
• To download the full report, click here
• For more information on the project, see: Backyard Homes


Year One of the Urban Humanities Initiative is Complete

The Urban Humanities Initiative, UCLA's three-year interdisciplinary program to create and establish the "urban humanities" has completed its first year. Graduate students in the fields of architecture, planning, and the humanities coalesced to form research groups investigating urban issues utilizing creative methodological approaches. Year One's area of study was Tokyo, Japan, and the 2013-2014 class participated in a yearlong study on Tokyo's Shinjuku Station, culminating in a week-long trip to Japan. The groups' research findings were later put on display in the School of Architecture and Urban Design's "RUMBLE" exhibit.

For more information on the Urban Humanities Initiative and to stay updated on recent events and news, visit the UHI website


Announcing: New cityLAB Team Members

cityLAB is pleased to welcome Jon Christensen as its senior fellow. Jon is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the Department of History, and the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. Also joining the cityLAB team as "Project and Research Manager" is UCLA graduate, Carla Salehian, who received her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the Luskin School of Public Affairs with a concentration in Design and Development. Finally, Ryan Conroy, a recent UCLA Bachelor's in Architecture graduate has been selected as cityLAB's most recent research associate.

For complete bios and contact information, visit our "People" page

Hidden in Plain Site Workshop  

Hidden in Plain Site Workshop  

Ambient Informatics:  "Ida" Foam Mold in Process

Urban Humanities Initiative:  Year One Students in Japan