Architecture is currently at the cusp of a paradigm shift, where the environments we occupy are becoming increasingly virtual and mobile. Considered as an ecosystem of technologies rather than a tectonic assemblage of materials, architecture is shifting toward a dynamic and non-physical form of experience, becoming a transdisciplinary medium that merges the worlds of fabrication, gaming and media design. UCLA A.UD IDEAS Technology Studio investigates the design of new media in digital and physical forms, and its potential to radically transform the human experience.

Deep Urbanism: Technocritical Architectural Narratives for
Human/ Machine Society

In the world of surveillance capitalism designed to collect and monetize on data, digital representations of ourselves and our environments are harvested by CCTV cameras, drones, internet bots, social media platforms and their allies for social, economic and political manipulation and control. Since the MO for these platforms and how they monetize our actions are opaque, how do we create useful and engaging methods to understand the impact of our digital behaviors? Data is inherently invisible, ubiquitous, complex and intangible. It has no scale, no materiality and no perceivable properties through our senses. Its impact can only be measured through its subjectivity and influence in the social sphere. Through instrumentalizing architecture, the objective of the Deep Urbanism studio is to demystify the inner-workings of the algorithms that hold increasing influence over our decisions, emotions, and sense of self by turning them into media that are comprehensible through our spatial perception. By subverting their innate purpose and objectifying them, the studio aims to hack such computational systems of surveillance and control in order to exploit them for their creative potential for architectural production.

What is a Technocritical Architectural Narrative?
City as Technology in the Age of Anthropogenic Climate Change

Since the formation of architecture as a distinct discipline, extrapolating architectural and urbanistic scenarios regarding the future has been a mainstay of the practice. Largely focused on technology and its implications on lifestyle, these speculations widely varied based on their approaches, but 3 main categories emerge as the most popular interpretations: utopia, dystopia and analytic realism. Based on these 3 categorical distinctions, the studio is asked to take a critical position and craft a scenario about an emergent urbanism of the near future in the era of anthropogenic climate change.

While taking a research-based approach toward technology, politics, geography, science, economy and design, the studio views architecture and urbanism as forms of technology, aiming to propose imaginative yet plausable projections of the near future using machine learning, gaming engine based photorealism and XR storytelling through augmented and virtual reality as primary generative and representational tools.

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