Fabricated Homescapes VENTULETT RESEARCH & DESIGN STUDIO - FALL 2 0 2 0


This studio is a space of questioning and investigation, to reframe our ideas about housing and its urban role and to refresh obsolete paradigms. Here and through the agency of architecture, we design dense mix-use prototypes that creatively speculate with contemporary forms of domesticity and urbanity able to reinstate lost urban values.

Different sites in Downtown Los Angeles, CA, are taken as testing ground to materialize ideas and develop site-specific proposals.

The work you will find on this site has been developed by students of Georgia Institute of Technology during the fall of 2020 in the M.Arch Design + Research Studio directed by Débora Mesa Molina, the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design.


S Hill St / W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA

Common Grounds is a collection of buildings, unique in form yet common in construction, that are stitched together by the communal spaces in between. The project’s organic pattern encourages residents to develop agency over their individual space while providing common ground where shared experiences cultivate a culture of community.

Quynh is becoming a versatile designer of the built environment by adding architecture and city planning to her background in landscape architecture. Her interest in housing is rooted in her experience as a second-generation immigrant, whose family moved frequently. For her, the concept of 'home' should embody both dignity and joy, and should be a tangible reality accessible to all.

PART PARCEL by Prerana Kamat

5th / San Pedro, Los Angeles, California

Part and Parcel refers to a portion of something that is integral with the whole, which in the case of this project refers to housing modules that together form the community parcel. The design seeks to solve problems of affordable living among the growing senior population and the students of LA with the proposal of an inter-generational mixed-use vertical structure which not only provides for spaces to inhabit but also to grow produce and sell the surplus in the grocery store which will be accessible to the general public, thereby promoting a self sustainable living environment.

Prerana is an architect, artist, and designer from Bangalore, the "Garden City of India." Born in a close-knit dense neighborhood and being constantly surrounded by people- family and friends play an integral role in her life. Her upbringing directly reflects on what home means to her- an environment that nurtures one to be the best version of oneself.

STACKED SUBURBIA by Samantha Phelan

687 Alameda St, Los Angeles California

This affordable housing project is a new take on the American Dream and suburban culture. It combines everyday housing typologies and community to create a new

Samantha is a designer from the suburbs of New Jersey and has since been redefining her idea of home as she moved to college, Washington DC and now Atlanta. Moving apartments every year or so, has home defined as a piece of mind and community. Now living amidst a pandemic the sensation of home is more important than ever.


921 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles, California

Bracing Transition is transitional living for young adults (18-25) that are experiencing homelessness in LA. Providing young adults with support at this vulnerable age is essential to getting them on their feet. The project aims to provide these young adults with a sense of community, with connections to other people going through similar situations, and with important resources that the area is currently lacking.

Carly is a designer and aspiring architect interested in using design and the built environment to address issues like sustainability and equity. Home and the idea of it has changed for her over the years, having spent time living in South Jersey, Charlottesville, Venice, and now Atlanta. Home is family, friends, laughter, memories, and comfort.

ARCADE ABODE by Paola Leticia Santiago Toledo

6th / San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Why an arch housing structure for homeless citizens with disabilities? Most importantly, how do they reassemble? These unsettled neighbors might be impaired, but are strong, adaptable, and develop high levels of resistance. Just like arcade structures! For this reason, this project intends to celebrate their endurance by providing a space for empowerment, flexibility, and independence.

Paola is an aspiring architect passionate about improving the architectural field by promoting the principles of equity, sustainability, and resilience. Originally from Puerto Rico, she grew up amongst family and friends within a gated single-family home community. After the 2017 Hurricane event, she worked with rapid response proposals to support and reinforce damaged structures that belonged to low-income communities that were left stranded with only debris and despair. After that life-changing experience, she understood the feeling of "Home" to be abstract, considering that it might be any space that a person identifies as comfortable, resistant, familiar, and where the heart truly resides.

PLUG / PLAY by Kunal Chhatlani

7th and Wall Street, Los Angeles

The project seeks to explore the diversity and shared spaces as a catalyst in achieving affordability in housing. By juxtaposing need of the diverse users during a day, this project proposes a solution to optimize space utility by creating possibilities of sharing some programmatic spaces. These programmatic spaces holds potential to be extend communal space creating avenues for incidental interactions. Plug / Play responds by creating a system made from a single prefabricated panel which has the potential of creating functional and resilient spaces. Diversity through modularity is created by various permutation and combinations of spatial arrangement from one single prefabricated module design. The module can be used differently on various sites based on factors of density, growth and efficiency.

Kunal is an architect and designer from Mumbai, India. Coming from India's most diverse and dense cities, he was brought up in a neighborhood where community was an integral part of living. That's why home for him has always been a balance between private and communal gathering spaces.

INSIDE OUT by Aishwarya Somasundaram

Los Angeles - Intersection of Main 3rd and 4th street

This project caters the homeless students or the hidden homeless population. The key aspects of the design is affordability and sustainability. This is achieved by looking at the building from the smaller scale and starting the process by designing the wall, furniture etc for achieving an optimised solution. Importance is also given to sustainable construction materials, construction techniques and pre- cast components for achieving the same.

Aishwarya is an architect from India. She is passionate for design and loves to take up challenging design problems.

THE STAGE by Vinita Kuhikar

353 S Alameda St.

Integrating the creative minds of different spheres to promote collaborative and stimulating Live - Create - Perform spaces. The project aims at providing artists an opportunity to exhibit their work which brings their art to the community, bringing back the thriving art district and also helps them generate revenue. Creating flexible modular spaces reusing materials from Hollywood set construction as it is an essential part of the identity of LA. The flexibility of the modules enable the housing to become THE STAGE.

Vinita is an aspiring architect, designer and artist from India. She likes to surround herself with like minded creative people. Her designs value culture and community and her idea of home is a comfort space that allows exploration and personal growth.

UNFASTENED by Manushi Sheth

Parking lots in Downtown Los Angeles

Unfastened is a Rapid Re-Housing project for the unsheltered individual homeless adults with a component of Safe Parking for the unsheltered living in vehicles. The project is proposed as a parasitic modular structure that comes as a kit of parts, partially to be assembled by the inhabitants of the project. The nature of the program allows a short life for the home. The design focuses on quick, cost effective and efficient interventions to facilitate instantaneous improvement in the quality of living for the homeless while the city officials are preparing for longer term solutions.

Manushi is from Mumbai, India, where she has completed her Bachelors in Architecture. She is interested in looking at contextual problems and allowing the needs of the site guide her design approach. Transitioning from living among a multigenerational family of 9 all her life to living all by herself for graduate studies, she identifies 'home' as a space that the user has control over, not just spatially but also socially.


Adaptive Prototyping

Buildings are static but cities are kinetic. Can buildings be resilient that can adapt and evolve to a city’s ever-changing program and the lifestyles of the people who inhabit them? Affordability can be viewed from two lenses, that of a dweller and a developer. Regenerative Habitat seeks to find solutions for affordable housing by proposing an adaptive system of habitation. A resilient matrix of dwelling spaces and shared spaces which is compatible with the interests of developer and aspirations of people. The proposal seeks to integrate profitability with livability by providing strategies for optimizing dwelling typologies based on urban needs and context, along with equity of spatial quality. An interface that promotes a hybrid form of living by not only allowing the dweller to choose the configuration of spaces but creating opportunities for further expansion based on his mobility in the social strata.

Ameya is an Architect and Designer born and brought in one of the rapidly progressing metropolitan city, Mumbai. Coming from a city which is constantly transforming and adapting to its urban flux, he believes that dwelling spaces should also react to the needs of the user for a personalized experience. A place which can adapt and change with time and provide equitable spaces.

OPEN PASSAGE by Sharod Bryant

9th / San Pedro, Los Angeles, California

The streets within the Fashion District of LA are filled with shops, entertainment, and businesses. Typologies that are absent for the community are affordable housing, access to public green space, markets selling fresh produce, and health facilities. This project introduces these lacking aspects of the community in one place. Open Passage's openness lends itself to effortlessly house a variety of programs at its base with housing on top. With it's exterior circulation and units that are between open atriums and the outside, the building is able to be naturally ventilated and allows for light to pass through to all its levels. Residents have access to a multitude of various green spaces all throughout the building and the community is able to enjoy the lawn at the ground level.

Sharod is an aspiring architect and designer who enjoys the innovation that can be found within architecture. Born and raised in Southwest Georgia with an excitement for sustainability and creating a positive impact on the environment. Growing up in the country is a stark contrast to the city living he does now, no longer being able to open the door and spending time with loved ones in the backyard. To him, home is where family and friends can come together to eat, laugh, relax, and just enjoy each other's company.

Junction by Robb Conklin

1000 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Junction looks to offer affordable housing options for Los Angeles families. While offering affordable housing, the complex will also hold a childcare and an employment assistance office to help combat a few difficulties facing families. Junction also looks to Los Angeles’ love of the single family home to create better apartment living. Junction looks to close the gap in the square footage disparity taking place between single family homes and apartments in L.A. It also is offering larger private outdoor spaces, as well as, a public park to help with access to the outdoors that disproportionately affects families.

Robb is from Atlanta, GA completed his Bachelor of Arts in Art History at The University of Georgia. After graduating he worked for a heavy timber company where he gained his first work experience in construction and architecture. Structure and the construction process is a strong influence on his projects, as seen in Junction.

Many people and works of architecture have directly and indirectly contributed to making this project possible providing knowledge, resources and much more.

THANK YOU to Beth and Tom Ventulett for their generous gift to Georgia Tech School of Architecture, the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design, that has made this site, and the discussions and work contained in it, possible. The intention of the Ventulett Chair is to develop significant initiatives to advance architectural design, architectural education, and the knowledge base that supports them. Débora, the current chair holder, has undertaken this mission with the aim to build fruitful synergies between academic and professional worlds; to engage students in the discussion of urgent topics, like housing, public infrastructures and the quality of urban life; and to make them aware of their potential to influence change. Cities need young generations that care about what they do!

Created By
Debora Mesa Molina