Housing+ is a year-long program of lectures, exhibitions and studio inquiries focused on a topic that is of particular relevance to Woodbury School of Architecture. The school brings together students, faculty, administrators and community partners to address the topic of housing in the 2019-20 academic year. Implicit in this call for new models of housing is a call for new models of practice.Apply Request Information Take a Tour
Alumnus Joseph Ruiz Tapia (BArch ’13) has studied and worked around the world, from Germany and Spain to the United States and Mexico. We recently caught up with Joseph to discuss how he is reevaluating housing practices in contemporary cities and creating alternative models for urban dwellings.
Professor Marcel Sanchez-Prieto’s architecture practice CRO Studio recently completed a social housing prototype for Tecate, Mexico. Designed as part of Housing Laboratory Apan, the project was directed by the Institute for the National Fund for Workers, or INFONAVIT. Established in 1972, the institute aims to help working class and low-income citizens secure permanent housing.
Alumnus Ojay Pagano (BArch ’04) established an architecture and development practice to work on his own projects in San Diego. After earning a bachelors at Woodbury, he came back to complete a MSArchRED degree and learn the ins and outs of building and bringing projects to life.
A team of Woodbury students and alumni came together to build new supportive housing in Tijuana, Mexico. The project was completed with architecture firm Gregg Maedo + Associates for Project Mercy, a non-profit organization working to improve living conditions for families in impoverished areas outside of Tijuana.
Woodbury BArch graduate Kishani De Silva was recently named a FUSE Corps Executive Fellow with the The Community Development Commission and Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles. FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit that partners with local government to help urban communities.
Woodbury School of Architecture invites students, faculty, administrators and community partners to join Housing+ and submit ideas for lectures, exhibitions, studios and project partnerships. The Year of Housing is open to topics that address housing and new models of practice.
The Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development (MSArch RED) program seeks to build upon the unique perspective and ethos of the architect. Through small class sizes and individual attention, we foster close mentoring relationships between faculty, staff and students.
Implicit in the call for new models of housing is a call for new models of practice. Housing + aims to develop projects that positively transform the built environment. Discover faculty who are designing and building new projects in Los Angeles, San Diego and around the world.
Faculty & collaborators are invited to define Housing+ projects as a means of examining the future of practice. Recent calls to action that ask architects to help with the housing crisis contain within them a larger critique of the discipline and profession of architecture. It is not housing per se that we have turned our backs on (every school teaches housing studios) but rather the processes and values, embodied most vividly in housing as a project, that are currently throwing the whole discipline into question. Indeed, most buildings are now shaped by non-architectural parameters embodied in housing: policy, economics, the rule of the marketplace, bureaucracy, techniques of construction administration, and codes. That we have turned our backs on housing is simply evidence that we have turned our backs on broader pressures facing the profession.
Eames, Schindler, Neutra, Morgan, Greene & Greene, Wright, Williams, Gehry, Lautner; dingbats, craftsman bungalows, courtyard apartments, McMansions: From avant-garde to vernacular, Southern California’s best-known architecture is unquestionably domestic. Paradoxically, in a region where over 80% of our cities are zoned R1, the scale of California’s housing crisis is striking. The shortage is estimated at 3-4 million housing units, with over 130,000 homeless, constituting a staggering quarter of the national total. It’s time for architects and designers to rethink California’s housing typologies.
In her introduction to the book Housing as Intervention, Karen Kubey states that “though it was Modernism’s central project, ‘housing’ is often considered separate from ‘architecture.’” She cites Susanne Schindler in stating that housing is a ‘socioeconomic product to be delivered at the least possible cost’, while architecture is considered a ‘cultural endeavor.’ With regulatory constraints, financial and developer pressures, and community NIMBYism, the traditional role of the architect in housing design, particularly affordable housing, has eroded. As author Sam Lubell observes, “All it takes is a visit to the Inland Empire, Orange County, the outskirts of Sacramento or many parts of Silicon Valley to understand that the mass-produced housing stock in our country has become, with a few welcome exceptions, architecturally, urbanistically, and morally bankrupt.”
Woodbury School of Architecture Housing Studio