UCLA Suprastudio 2010-2011
Initiated in the summer of 2010, Culture Now seeks to instigate a critical dialogue about the nature of art and culture in the American city. In the fall of 2011 the project expanded into a collaborative platform, call the Culture Now Project, supported by 12 other universities across the country.
The Culture Now Project is an immersive investigation into the intersection of public policy, urbanism, contemporary culture and its spatial manifestations. This study of social, political, and cultural evidence immediately extends the dialogue across disciplines and encompasses institutional and political models of the public.
The Culture Now Project reconfigures the traditional architectural view of the city, beyond the boundaries of built matter. To reactivate the complexity inherent in the city, we seek to define, establish, program, and implement the material and immaterial substance that drives contemporary urbanity and culture. The search for new possibilities also demands embracing the actual challenges, changes, and potentials of the architectural profession.
The overuse and subsequent decline of urban environments is a common problem in many mid-size cities across the United States. Through the exploitation of industrial, social or ecological resources, cities shrink, production centers fade and environmental resources are tapped leaving foreclosed homes, abandoned warehouses and unclaimed land behind as tarnished territories desperate for repurposing.
These contaminated sites, once definitive of a city’s development, now stand as the visual manifestation of urban exhaustion, an idea that permeates the city fabric and breeds anxiety about a community’s future. It is in these locations where opportunity resides and a cultural armature can intertwine with the social, political and economic mechanisms of the city to realize a new potential.