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Mission & Vision

A thriving creative community is the alchemy of ideas, values, talent, and technique.

UCLA Architecture and Urban Design is a champion of ideas and their articulate expression. Our exceptional faculty teach students to engage the world around them, to see ideas as productive forms of response, and to leverage design and writing as expressions of newly curated perspectives.

Through rigorous inquiry, we interrogate contemporary urban issues and propose possible futures with equal measures of expertise, optimism, and vision. These ideas are grounded in a critical engagement with the history and theory of architecture and the future contingencies of contemporary culture.

As part of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, our department is in close contact with other forms of creative cultural production, including the UCLA Departments of Art, Design Media Arts, and World Arts and Cultures/Dance, as well as UCLA’s public arts institutions—UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and the Hammer and Fowler Museums.

Our faculty and students represent a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. We see this as crucial to fostering a robust intellectual and ideological debate. Across our collective work, a number of values are shared.

Design and its Intellection

The design process is complex alchemy, resulting from clarity of thought and the application of interdisciplinary forms of expertise. We focus on design AND its intellection by teaching rigorous methods of inquiry and research. Design is shaped by the questions we ask, the contexts we interrogate, and the methods of engagement we adopt.

Critical Exploration of Technology

Technology accelerates change to our methods and tools as well as to our contexts. This change often occurs more quickly than our analysis of technology’s effects. We attempt to predict technology’s role in the built environment, envisioning its possible effects for critical reflection.

Cultivating the Transformative Effects of Media

Ideas are communicated through text, drawings, images, simulations and other forms of representation. As media changes, so too does our ability to communicate and indeed, imagine. We investigate the role of media in the construction and communication of thought.

Engaging Urban Cultures

The built environment is an expression of the culture generated by social, political, and economic structures. Nowhere is this more visible than in cities. We imagine our urban futures through design and research, developing the ideas and technologies that connect people, environments, and the infrastructures that support them.

Los Angeles from above

AUD and UCLA benefit from being situated in one of the great cities of the world: Los Angeles, where innovation and idiosyncracy thrive, new frontiers are forged, and Things Get Made.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

As a community of creators, scholars, teachers, and activists, UCLA and the School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts) uphold principles of anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion as integral to our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that values difference, rejects inequity, and actively works to advance social justice and amplify historically underrepresented and excluded voices.

As a leading institution of culture and creativity, UCLA Arts promotes these values across the arts and architecture and, more broadly, in our communities. We recognize the opportunity and responsibility we have to shape a more just future by cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and accessible community of students, faculty, staff, and arts supporters. As we engage in this mission critical work, we must reckon with the violent histories that precede us and upon which we build. UCLA Arts acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples.

Together, we will work creatively to build a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable future for our school that models and supports the transformation needed in society.

School of the Arts and Architecture: Anti-racism, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
UCLA Graduate Division: Diversity in Admissions