Culture Now investigates the contemporary American condition to shift perspectives in struggling U.S. cities. By integrating public policy, urban studies, contemporary culture and its spatial manifestations, Culture Now reframes the current conversation. The use of demographic, infrastructural, and cultural evidence immediately extends this discussion across disciplines, and encompasses institutional and political models of the public.

Since August 2010, Thom Mayne, Design Director of Morphosis, Karen Lohrmann, and a group of advisors have been leading 14 architecture and urban design graduate students in an inquiry about the dynamics of culture, now. By identifying existing systems and correlations, dependencies, initiatives and interactions, the studio examines spatial, communal, economic and ecological transformations as instruments of change.

While developing a methodological evaluation approach and applying specific selection criteria, the studio focuses on the following eight cities: Atlantic City, NJ; Mobile, AL; Cleveland, OH; Flint, MI; Merced, CA: New Orleans, LA; Toledo, OH; and Tucson, AZ. As of Fall 2011, in collaboration with 10 other U.S. universities, Culture Now will broaden this endeavor to include additional cities across the country.

Thom Mayne
Karen Lohrmann

Dylan Barlow
Emily Cheng
Grady Gillies
Cheng Ha
Christopher Harris
Matthew Kendall
Wayne Ko
Jai Kumaran
Layton Petersen
Stacey Rigley
Clayton Taylor
Bryan Tranbarger
Sepa Sama
Yang Wang

Funding for Suprastudio 2010-2011 has been generously provided by:

Herta and Paul Amir
Joyce and Aubrey Chernick
Ralph and Shirley Shapiro
Hathaway Dinwiddie
F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.
Buro Happold
Davis Langdon
John A. Martin & Associates
Balfour Beatty Construction