In our current speculative housing boom, Southern California finds itself in an unprecedented affordability crisis across all sectors of the market. Cities and counties statewide are looking towards novel solutions that provide access to more housing. The accessory dwelling unit (ADU) has gained interest as a possible strategy to ameliorate the lack of housing. By adding a second dwelling unit to a single-family property, density is created in an incremental, additive approach. Once a complex and expensive endeavor, adding a second unit to a house is being made easier with new permitting pathways.
Join us as we look beyond the immediate need for housing, and ask what might the ADU mean for life in Southern California? Modernist zoning has segregated our city across spatial, cultural and ecological boundaries; however, ADUs present the rare opportunity to diffuse the cost of urban investment across thousands of single family homes, challenging these barriers. Can ADUs serve more than a housing function? Could they be cultural, commercial and communal? How would this change the way we commute and gather together as Angelenos? What can we learn from other cities with far higher densities also facing growth? In the context of Taipei City, how does “Rooftop Urbanism” challenge or supplement the effort of urban renewal initiatives facing older city districts, and how can that logic be applied in L.A.?
Jimenez Lai, Founder & Leader, Bureau Spectacular; Faculty Member, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design
Dana Cuff, Director, UCLA cityLAB; Professor, UCLA Architecture & Urban Design
Nicholas Hopson, Co-founder and Partner, Hopson Rodstrom Design Workshop
Michael Contento, Design Director, R&A Architecture & Design; AIA/LA Urban Design Committee
Geoffrey von Oeyen, President, LA Forum for Architecture & Urban Design; Principal, Geoffrey von Oeyen Design / von Oeyen Architects; Faculty Member, USC School of Architecture