Team Members:
Sweta Elizabeth Joseph, UCLA
Nikita Kumar, UCLA
Anshul Malhan, ArtCenter
An opportunity to redesign our urban futures with recommendations on evolving architecture, transportation and society. ArtCenter's Graduate Transportation Systems and Design program, along with the UCLA IDEAS graduate program looked at the iconic Sunset Strip in West Hollywood to envision what the future of smarter transportation (e.g. autonomous cars) and smarter systems could change about the Sunset Strip.
To understand how new technologies could impact our lives, it is important to understand implications of past technologies and how we naturalized to their effects.
Look beyond the buzzwords. Critically examine the site (What does it represent? What is the context?) and the way interactions among people and objects occurs today in mobility, technology and social life.
Through speculative design, we identified the contextual characteristics about Sunset Strip, West Hollywood and came up with design principles to explore futures of our society. Next Nature's work "Society of Simulations" which described how micro-experiences on apps and online media are essentially simulations of reality that we consume daily at an increasing rate, and how we find these simulations representations more meaningful than reality itself. 
Exacerbating this trend into the future, we considered a counter-trend where there would be 'moments of respite, rebellion and protest' to simulations. Our minds, no matter how well designed the simulations are, will always want to look for reality. For such moments of yearning for 'the real', we envision how architecture and mobility can be a medium to achieve that.
Urban space as a relief from the simulation
Using prominent counter-culture centers of today as spaces of relief in the future.
Using sightlines from the voids as guidelines for built forms
Picking the area around what is today Pandora's Box, the built spaces around it were reimagined.
Abstracted section view of the Susnet Strip as imagined. Travellers not travelling to the Sunset Strip as their final destination are pushed into the terrain rather than taking up valuable surface space.
Now that we have our urban edifices, how would mobility be able to weave through this context?
This project was featured in 2 exhibits at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York and A+D Museum, Los Angeles. Check it out here


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