Los Angeles Metro Off-Campus Program

Elevation of affordable housing complex in San Francisco

Contact Information

Faculty Coordinators
Stephen Phillips, sjphilli@calpoly.edu

Staff Coordinator
Arlene Gomez, agomez25@calpoly.edu, 001.805.756.1316

Web pagewww.calpolylametro.com


The new Los Angeles Metro Program in Architecture and Urban Design immerses aspiring architects in a multicultural urban setting--rich with amazing learning, practicing, and networking opportunities. The program is designed to engage local architects, alumni, and the many institutions in Los Angeles to support student education and future career goals. In addition to our unique curriculum that will focus on Los Angeles—its architecture, history, urbanity, and culture--we will reach out to the local community to enhance our program's learning structure through visiting lecturers, digital design workshops, internships, and public events. This is an exciting new program that will introduce our students to living and working in Los Angeles, and assist them to begin their careers as contemporary architects.

The LA Metro Program for 2011-2012 will incorporate a two-quarter suite of fourth-year courses offered in the Winter and Spring 2012. For the Winter and Spring Quarters, students will live in Los Angeles, and return on occasion to Cal Poly to participate in reviews and exhibitions.

The design studio will be a regular full studio meeting MWF that will focus on design, theory, technology, and urbanism—most likely an extremely technology driven institutional/infrastructural multi-use project located in Los Angeles. The first quarter will emphasize research, site analysis, diagramming, programming, and architectural studies and schematic design investigations. The second quarter will emphasize design development, technology, detailing, wall sections, skin studies and rendering/presentations skills. Please note: Gehry Technologies has agreed to work with us in 2010-2011 and we hope to develop that relationship intensively for 2011-2012.

During the Winter and Spring Quarters there will also be professional studio/internships on TTH (12-16hrs/wk total) that will count for educational credit. These internships will provide students a valuable work experience that will assist them to find jobs when they graduate and introduce them to the Los Angeles architecture community. Firms interested to participate include: Morphosis, Michael Maltzman Architects, Global Design Workshop, AC Martin, Eric Owen Moss, Steven Ehrlich, HMC, Michael Folonis, Cuningham Group, AC Martin, Marmol Radziner; Patterns, Atelier Manferdini, Testa & Weiser, Emergent, CLAB, Joey Shimoda, Griffin/Enright, Mark Mack, Neil Denari, B+U, Hernan Diaz Alonso, and many others. Every reasonable effort will be made to match students to an internship program of their interest and/or choice. Internship opportunities, selections, and assignments will be determined during the Fall Quarter for Winter Quarter—Winter Quarter for Spring Quarter. Students will have opportunities to intern in two different offices.

A History/Theory seminar will be offered in the winter and will count toward the Arch. 420 requirement. This theory seminar will be integrally related to Los Angeles architecture and urban design. Seminar, Library and Special Collections access has been offered in part by the Getty Research Institute in coordination with their ongoing exhibition project that focuses on Los Angeles architecture and urban design from the 1940s to 1990s.

Additional guest lectures, discussions, field trips, digital workshops, mid and final reviews, and public events will also be planned to incorporate, introduce, and involve students within the greater Los Angeles area--its rich and vibrant history and contemporary design culture. Supplementing the design studio, these events will be held either in our studio and seminar space, or at off-site venues, and at other institutions or architecture offices.


Winter (Los Angeles)
Arch 452 (5 units): Fourth year Design.
Arch 480 (4 units): Architectural Internship in a Firm.
Arch 420 (4 units): Los Angeles History/Theory Seminar.

Spring (Los Angeles)
Arch 453 (5 units): Fourth year Design.
Arch 480 (4 units): Architectural Internship in a Firm.
Arch 443 (4 units): Professional Practice, Lecture, and Activity.

All Architecture Courses are Cal Poly courses and will be taught or administered by Cal Poly Professor Dr. Stephen Phillips, AIA

Estimated Program Costs

The following is an estimate based on the experience of previous students. Program fee includes facility rental, workshops, and select activities and travel TBD.

Note 1: Personal expenses vary and depend upon your habits; costs are similar to studying in here in San Luis Obispo. Since students are enrolled at Cal Poly, they generally have the same access to financial aid as when they are on campus.
Note 2: Cal Poly tuition and fees are subject to University increases
Note 3: Please consult with your program coordinator to get an updated room & board, transportation, and books/supplies expenses.

Total per quarter TOTAL (Winter quarter) Total (Winter quarter) TOTAL 1 (Winter quarter)

Item Cost
Cal Poly Tuition & Fees. Pending CE Approval $ TBD
Total 1 $ 3,650.00
Student Roundtrip travel $ 0.00
Lodging $ 1,875.00
Local Bus/Taxi $ 200.00
Cultural and Event Admissions $ 65.00
Personal Daily Spending $ 1,400.00
Total 2 $ 3540.00
TOTAL for one quarter $ 7,190.00
TOTAL for Winter and Spring quarters $ TBD


The Architecture Department wishes to recognize the generosity of HMC Architects Designing Futures Foundation as the sponsors of the 2010-11 / 2011-12 LA Metro Program.

HMC Designing Futures Foundation is a non-profit scholarship foundation aimed at supporting the communities and markets in which we work. Created in 2009 to award scholarships to students pursuing careers in design, health science, and reduction, the Architecture Department is very proud to be a recipient of the foundation’s generosity.

More information

The book Studio Ambition that incorporates work completed by Professor Phillips’ studios from 2006-2009 is also available for purchase.

The book Research Practice that comprises the proceedings from the Research Practice Symposium 2009 is also a great guide to the intellectual interests associated with the studio and the type of events possible.

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