Casual, unscripted, and intimate, The Arc episodes present themed discussions that investigate existing contemporary ideas and attitudes around architecture, juxtaposing them with disciplines and topics outside of architecture.
The Arc is a venue for conversation, recorded at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, and led by SCI-Arc faculty and History + Theory Coordinator Marrikka Trotter.
This episode is about flatness. It begins with an examination of what flattening the curve would actually look like in a sustained way with Megan Halbrook, a doctoral student in infectious disease epidemiology at UCLA. We then ask what it would mean for architecture to flatten its disciplinary gaze with Peter Trummer, professor of urban design at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Innsbruck, and faculty at SCI-Arc.
Megan Halbrook is a doctoral student in infectious disease epidemiology at UCLA. Her research interest is focused on the anthropogenic factors that drive disease transmission, specifically surrounding food, culture, and habits of hunting, agriculture, and marketplaces.
Peter Trummer is a professor for urban design and head of the Institute for Urban Design at the University of Innsbruck. He is also visiting faculty at SCI-Arc, where he teaches both Design Studio and History + Theory.
In architecture dimensions are crucial, ranging from prosaic units of scale and size to deeper and subtler considerations of a building’s qualities and surface effects.
This episode is about dimensionality, about its artifice, its strangeness, its unexpected qualities. SCI-Arc History+Theory Coordinator, Marrikka Trotter, will consider how dimensions coexist across vast distances of space and time with UCLA postdoctoral scholar in Astronomy and Astrophysics Louis Abramson, various dimensions of architectural representation with SCI-Arc senior faculty and Visual Studies Coordinator Devyn Weiser, as well as the perspective of a multi-layered queer aesthetics with art historian, curator, and author Andy Campbell.
This episode asks what neon tubes and transportation routes might bring in terms of fresh life to the drawing space of contemporary architecture. It also considers the new scales of materialities emerging architects are bringing to bear. When does a line become a lining, when can a pipe seem graphic? What does it mean to build worlds out of gas and glass or to reimagine traffic as a line of flight? Or when does it make sense to leave lines behind, in the immense and growing pile of architectural techniques and conventions we are comfortable discarding, at least for a time.
‘Lines’ discusses with SCI-Arc History+Theory Coordinator Marrikka Trotter, SCI-Arc design faculty Kristy Balliet, artist Lisa Schulte, and LA Metro’s Dr. Joshua Schank what neon tubes and transportation routes might bring in terms of fresh life to the space of contemporary architecture. It also considers the new scales and materialities emerging architects are now employing in the field.
In recent years, there’s been a preoccupation with roughness in architecture; in tools, in textures, and in materiality—potentially as a response to the indistinct disenchantment with the ubiquity of ‘smooth’ digital imagery. The discipline is beginning to think about using things the way that they were not intended to be used, and therefore having to stay within certain rule sets and certain prescriptive forms of practice.
Episode 2: ‘Roughness’ speaks to activist, art and architectural historian, and SCI-Arc Teaching Fellow Liz Hirsch about what it means to sleep rough in Los Angeles, where homelessness has exploded and has become one of the most critical issues facing the population of the city. Then the episode looks at a recent exhibition in the SCI-Arc Gallery by design faculty Mira Henry, called Rough Coat, whose installation demands for the reexamination of what we think about certain ordinary architectural materials while also profoundly challenging what we consider to be architecture. Finally, we will consider the idea of roughness in the culture of BDSM, where it becomes a form of empowerment and also way of inflicting pleasure rather than pain.
Examining ‘Scale’ through the prevalence of architectural models with Tom Wiscombe, discussing the usefulness of models within film with production designer for James and the Giant Peach
and Nightmare Before Christmas Bill Boes, and delving into the way that scale is interpreted within the brain with neuroscientist Dr. Yawende Pearse.
SCI-Arc Undergraduate Program Chair Tom Wiscombe's work involves creatively reimagining the role of models in architectural design. Dr. Yewande Pearse, a researcher at the Lundquist Institute at UCLA with a PhD in neuroscience and genetics focusing on rare diseases of the brain, investigates DNA—the smallest building blocks from which we are made—as well as the simultaneously massive datasets that track mutations across entire populations. Finally, Bill Boes, production designer and art director best known for his work on productions like Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Planet of the Apes, and Alien, will talk about how scale factors into filmmaking.
Introducing: The Arc
The Arc is a venue for conversation, recorded at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, and led by SCI-Arc faculty and History + Theory Coordinator Marrikka Trotter. Concepts such as Scale, Dimensionality, and Roughness will be explored in depth by experts in other disciplines, as moderated by Trotter, creating a lively, engaged dialogue which opens fresh avenues and approaches to the canon of architectural thought.