The Woodbury School of Architecture first year BArch studio Natural Tendencies has been honored with a 2017 Studio Prize by Architect Magazine. Coordinated by the chair of undergraduate architecture Heather Flood, and co-taught by Nate Imai and Yi-Hsiu Yeh, the prize acknowledges the most compelling studios in architectural education today.
First year B.Arch. students in the Natural Tendencies studio were introduced to a range of architectural concepts, tools, and skills to lay the foundation for growth. Focusing on tectonics, the studio delved into materials, site and fabrication to produce a comprehensive understanding of design. This studio uses the tectonics of structure and architecture to guide students toward rich spatial and formal investigations. Students were asked to design a 10,000-square-foot rectangular library through four phases.
The studio began with a material exploration in which students built three bar-shaped models of the library by hand. Second, students created models using Grasshopper and digital fabrication, which led students to incorporate GIS data and produce site plans. Students brought these phases together by forming five models based on the synthesis of their previous studies. The simplicity of this approach impressed the jury. “It was nicely crafted,” said juror Renée Cheng. “You could really see what the students were learning in the series of things they produced.”
According to the competition criteria, ‘If the studio course is the bedrock of architectural education, then it follows that as the studio goes, so eventually, goes the profession. By highlighting the most innovative courses in architectural schools across North America, the Studio Prize offers a glimpse into the concepts shaping today’s design students, and into the ways they might influence the built environment in the future.’
The Studio Prize was announced as Woodbury also received a $30,000 sponsorship from Ignacio Rodriguez Architects to support the first year studios. You can find out more about the studio prize in the September Edition of Architect Magazine.
Heather Flood is the Undergraduate Chair of the School of Architecture in Los Angeles. Her work integrates the disciplines and techniques of cultural research, graphic art, and architectural design to create experientially dense environments. Founder and principal of F-lab, Heather’s work has been published and exhibited internationally.
Nate Imai is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Woodbury School of Architecture. He received a Master in Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has worked at the offices of Daly Genik Architects and Michael Maltzan Architecture.
Yi-Hsiu Yeh is a licensed architect and the founder of Yeh Design Lab in Los Angeles. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Woodbury School of Architecture and a Senior Associate at Verse Design LA.