City of Artificial Extrusions

The studio will investigate the urban model of the detached city through the design of a mixed-use, high-rise tower situated on a property around an existing shopping mall in Redondo Beach, California.

While recent research in design has generated a set of theoretical inquiries into the dissolution of boundaries; this trajectory is being countered by the opposite phenomenon of privatized, isolated programs. Rather than viewing such autonomous and detached monocultures as fissures within the inclusive mentality of globalization, the studio will embrace these organizational models as opportunities to promote another form of connectivity through the precise demarcation and delineation of borders.

The tower and the socle will be utilized as the primary building type to investigate the model of the detached city. Although assembly techniques in high-rises have been evolving steadily, the programmatic effects caused by economics, zoning regulations, cultural identities, and geographies has been developing in a state of flux. These two trajectories propagate two design predilections. The first adheres to the efficiencies gained from repetition and interchangeability. The second relies on the idiosyncrasies gained from simulation and dynamics. In seeking to explore a third, alternative model; the studio proposes the exacerbation of extrusion for the massing of the tower and socle type, one that privileges the investment of design energy on the plan over the section. Instead of treating the tower and the socle type as directionally neutral, the vertical predilection intrinsic within this type will be explored to the extreme.

The studio will begin by conducting research on built and speculative precedents of tower and sole types as means of cohesion, control, and sanction of variations. A studio field trip to Los Angeles is tentatively planned in September to study the context of the site as well as the heritage of object-type buildings in the city. With this initial research, each student will proceed to design a 1,000,000 cuft residential building on the site around the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach. Throughout the semester, the individual objects will be reinserted into the site at different stages of development to inform the overall design of the detached city.

Irregular Schedule:
Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston studio will meet Thursdays and Fridays on an irregular schedule. They plan on being available to students extra hours on days of their visits, and skyping as often as needed on off weeks.
Friday, August 29
Thursday, September 11
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13 (optional)
Monday, September 22 – Wednesday, September 24 Pending LA Studio Trip Thursday, October 9
Friday, October 10
Thursday, October 30 MIDTERM REVIEW
Friday, October 31
Thursday, November 6
Friday, November 7
Monday, November 17 (will meet with students in accordance to their availability)
Tuesday, November 18 (will meet with students in accordance to their availability)