Projects and Works
cityLAB director • UCLA faculty • PhD Architecture (UC Berkeley)
BA Psychology and Design (UC Santa Cruz)
Dana Cuff is a professor, author, and practitioner in architecture. Her work focuses on affordable housing, modernism, suburban studies, the politics of place, and the spatial implications of new computer technologies. Cuff's research on postwar urbanism was published in a book titled The Provisional City (MIT 2000), and she recently edited Fast Forward Urbanism with Roger Sherman (Princeton Architectural Press 2011). She founded cityLAB in 2006, and has since concentrated her efforts around issues of the emerging metropolis. Dr. Cuff is widely published, the recipient of numerous fellowships, and lectures internationally.
(Photo Credit: Emelie Asplund)
Senior Fellow • UCLA faculty • PhD History (Stanford)
Jon Christensen is 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. He is a journalist-in-residence at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a senior researcher in the California Center for Sustainable Communities, as well as a senior fellow at UCLA’s cityLAB. He is editor of Boom: A Journal of California, a quarterly magazine published by the University of California Press that brings scholars, researchers, journalists, writers, artists, photographers, policymakers, advocates, and the public into common conversations about California in the world. And he is a regular columnist at LA Observed. He is currently finishing a book entitled “Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature” and is engaged in a multidisciplinary digital environmental humanities research project on nature in cities, as well as a large collaborative project to crowdsource a new, public environmental history of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jane Blumenfeld has been affiliated with cityLAB since its inception in 2006. Blumenfeld has nearly four decades of experience as a professional planner, primarily in the public sector, where until 2010 she was Acting Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning and Head of the Citywide Planning Division. Jane was instrumental in implementing some of Los Angeles's most innovative urban policies, including the Small Lot Ordinance and the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance. Her planning career has touched upon almost all major contemporary concerns, from smart growth and bicycle plans to sustainable building and transit-oriented development. Her contribution to cityLAB focuses primarily on affordable housing, and more particularly, backyard housing. She received her Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Project Director, Urban Humanities Initiative
Jonathan Crisman works through several media and personas: he is Executive Director of 58-12 Design Lab, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which produces place-based research and media in order to creative positive social change; he is Principal of No Style, S. P., a proprietor of design goods and services whose value neutral approach finds that neat things can come from nearly anywhere; and he is part of Subjective Objective, an artistic endeavor whose aim is to give the harried contemporary subject a break. He holds an appointment in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA where he is Project Director for the Urban Humanities Initiative, and he holds degrees in geography, architecture, and urban planning from UCLA and MIT.
Senior Research Associate
Aaron Cayer is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at UCLA. Trained as an architect, Aaron holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in architecture and sociology from Norwich University in Vermont. He has served on the Board of Directors for the AIA of Vermont, practiced architecture in a variety of settings both in Europe and in the U.S., and has presented urban and architectural research to a broad range of academic audiences. His research focuses on theories of practice within architecture, and his dissertation examines the economic and cultural forces surrounding the emergence of multi-firm architectural organizations during the 1970s and 1980s.
William studied in Bristol, Rotterdam and Lund, gaining bachelors and masters degrees in graphic design and anthropology. His masters thesis linked the complex series of interactions between the research site of urban design, and the laboratory. The text looks at the complexity of architectural research in contrasting environments, it draws on first-hand fieldwork undertaken in Brazil and Switzerland. Prior to coming to UCLA William was visiting researcher at HKDI DESIS Lab, investigating urban density and self-built communities, and project member of Urban Transition Øresund (Malmö and Copenhagen municipalities). He has lectured, taught workshops and served in the jury at Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong University, ETH Zürich, Malmö University, Berlin University of the Arts, Ardhi University Dar es Salaam and SESC São Paulo.
former cityLAB co-director • UCLA faculty • Licensed Architect
MArch (Harvard GSD) • BA Design of the Environment (U Penn)
Roger Sherman was co-founder of cityLAB in 2006 and co-Director until 2015, when he assumed his current position at Gensler architects to undertake urban design projects. As principal of Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design in Culver City, his work and research deals with how new modes of collective life may be produced by harnessing the self-organizing logics of cities. His book "LA Under the Influence: Negotiating the Complex Logic of Urban Property" (Univ of Minn.) uses game theory as a means of understanding the stakeholder dynamics of urban development, and its formal potentials. Most recently, he co-edited, with Dana Cuff, "Fast Forward Urbanism:Reconnecting Architecture and City" (Princeton) Mr. Sherman also organized and edited "RE American Dream: Six Housing Prototypes for Los Angeles" (Princeton 1995). His work has earned wide recognition, including in Newsweek and CNN, and at the 2010 Venice Biennale ("Playa Rosa") and 2009 Rotterdam Biennale ("Duck-and-Cover: Thinking Out of the Big Box"); and has received numerous awards, including form the AIA (RePark, FreshKills Landfill End Use Plan, Staten Island); and Railyard Park (a repurposed railyard-cum-public space in Santa Fe, NM).
Dr. Per-Johan Dahl
Dr. Linda Samuels