What we think the world looks like is largely determined by fiction and entertainment – extraordinary shared languages through which we exchange ideas and engage with our environment. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of media in the production of culture.
Given the critical role contemporary media plays in our lives, it is urgent to widen the scope of architecture beyond just buildings alone. Why shouldn’t architects design the next Hollywood blockbuster? Virtual reality environments? Viral videos? Political campaigns? In SCI-Arc Edge’s Fiction and Entertainment program, we engage the techniques of popular culture to imagine and visualize alternative worlds. Deeply embedded in the entertainment industry of Los Angeles, this program is a place to start telling new kinds of stories about the emerging conditions of the twenty-first century.
The Fiction and Entertainment program is organised as a year-long thesis project. The three-semester sequence begins with a focus on worldbuilding, moves into storytelling in the second semester, and ends in the final semester with a focus on production. Within this framework, students are encouraged to develop their own unique body of work that may take the form of short films, animations, music videos, documentaries, video games, VR environments, theatre experiences, or performances. The core of each semester is the design studio in which students develop their own project through group and individual work with program coordinator Liam Young and program faculty Alexey Marfin. The studio is supported each semester by a design lab which is a platform for supplementary workshops, talks, and mentoring sessions led by world renowned filmmakers, concept artists, screenwriters, and animators from the entertainment industry.
The Fiction and Entertainment program incorporates industry partners and intellectual collaborators drawn from companies such as Framestore, the Sundance Institute, Disney Imagineering, Vice Media, Netflix, Digital Domain, and Imaginary Forces.
The Fiction and Entertainment Masters program provides individual teaching sessions to equip students with a wide range of industry standard production and post-production skills. Depending on the conceptual direction of each student’s project, they can learn visual effects workflows ranging from digital compositing, hard and soft surface 3D modeling, simulation and FX, texturing and rendering, VR and game engines, as well as traditional techniques in cinematography, editing, direction, and working on set. Whether going into the independent and freelance industries or the commercial world, the program is focused on empowering students to both be able to produce their own work and to work within industry-standard pipelines in larger studios.
Although students in the program are given the space to develop their own interests, passions and agendas, there is a direct focus on preparing for the careers that will enable them to continue this direction after graduation. Students are exposed to a broad cross section of professionals from the film, game, commercial, visual effects, and design industries and are supported to develop a body of work that will help them to transition into their chosen field. Recent graduates from the program are now developing careers in production design, creative direction, video games, visual effects, commercial and TV production, media art, and design research. A number of our recent graduates have written about their professional experience after the program in the ‘Graduate Experiences’ section of this webpage.
SCI-Arc is grateful for the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Applicants must submit the SCI-Arc Online Application Form and the non-refundable $85 Application Fee.
Completing an application is a two-step process.
The following document must be submitted directly to SCI-Arc:
– Official College Transcripts
The following materials must be submitted through SlideRoom:
– Copy of College Transcripts
– Personal Statement
– Resume/Curriculum Vitae
– Letters of Recommendation