“2×8: Domum” Exhibition Features New Housing Prototypes from Next-Generation Designers Installed in a Progressive Virtual Gallery
And Includes Winners of 2020 AIALA 2×8 Architectural Student Competition

December 9, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA)–Members of the public, architects, designers, students, and those interested in new approaches to the housing crisis are invited to 2×8: Domum, the 2020 exhibition of work by students who participated in the American Institute of Architects’ (AIALA) annual 2×8 student competition. Visit 2×8: Domum, click here. (Chrome, Edge or Firefox browsers are recommended.)

The show is composed of projects designed by thirty exemplary students of architecture from sixteen schools across California, and includes the competition’s ten winning projects. Student designers of the latter were awarded $30,400 in scholarship funds. (Scroll down for a complete list of winning students, their architectural schools, and projects.)

2×8 is an annual program organized by the AIALA through its 2×8 Committee, a dynamic and committed group of young professionals. The program advances AIALA goals in supporting the students on their path towards professional careers—by not just hosting a competition, but by exhibiting all student work, exposing firms to these next generation architects.

About the Progressive Nature of this Year’s Exhibition Design
This year’s show, 2×8: Domum, reimagined what an exhibition of student work could achieve during a global pandemic. The new, virtual exhibition format allows for greater exposure of the work, and provides access to a national, and international audience.

The digital show incorporates animations, gif diagrams, digital models, and video commentary by the students that are connected through a series of graphics that function as scaffolding. “It provides the visitor with a whole and contextual understanding of the project, the pedagogy, and the background of the student and her relationship to the work,” said 2×8 Committee Co-Chairs Tatiana Sarkisian, Assoc. AIA, and Kirill Volchinskiy, AIA. “The limitations of isolation led to a richer, multi-layered experience.” The show was designed by Garet Ammerman, Assoc. AIA, and developed by Bryan Zhang. Close to four hundred students, educators, firm leaders, and design aficionadas attended the show’s opening night.

“The pandemic transformed the typical way in which architectural representation is consumed, through adopting technologies from gaming and film industries, to convey architectural concepts and ideas to an international audience. We would like to carry this forward in subsequent iterations of the program, and maintain the visibility of 2×8 and its participants beyond California,” said Sarkisian and Volchinskiy.

Next Generation Design; Contemporary Societal Issues
Each year, submitted student work addresses a specific theme. 2020’s program asked students to consider and devise solutions to the stark housing challenges facing the region. (“Domum” is the Latin word for housing.) For some students the question is not academic. Even before COVID19, 60 percent of California’s community college students faced housing insecurity according to 2019 data.

“COVID19 aggravated already challenging housing conditions, an area that the AIALA and its members are actively addressing,” stated 2020 AIALA President Greg Verabian, AIA. “Policies that will bring more housing online more quickly are a focus of our advocacy actions. At the same time, Los Angeles firms are actively developing new strategies to produce more housing that supports higher quality of life for all Angelenos, daily. It is essential that next generation designers not only understand existing ideas, but contribute new solutions as well. Collectively, the winners and exhibitors of 2×8: Domum produced sophisticated, applicable concepts that extend beyond ideas and into the demands of the profession.”

The quality of student work is even more commendable, given the conditions many of the students operated under this year. Noted AIALA Executive Director Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIALA, “Students overcame their courses and studios being disrupted, many moved back home, and those who live at home already contended with a much more difficult atmosphere to work in. Students across the state faced housing insecurity. The AIALA is honored to support them and recognize their journey in 2×8, one of the most significant events the AIALA organized.”

The AIALA 2×8: Domum Winners
2020 2×8 scholarships were awarded at two levels. Three projects were recognized with the top tier Domum level, with each honored student receiving a $5000 scholarship. Seven students won Locus level scholarships of $2200. For a list of winners with relevant journey notes, see below.

The 2×8: Domum jury was composed of Paul Petrunia – Founder and Director, Archinect; Jennifer Bonner – Founder, MALL and Associate Professor of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design; and Marc McQuade, AIA – Associate Principal, Adjaye Associates.

“A benefit of having a virtual jury was we were able to introduce the work of participating students on a national stage,” said committee co-chairs Sarkisian and Volchinskiy.

View the winners on the AIALA website by clicking here, or cutting and pasting this url into your browser: https://www.aialosangeles.org/aiala-events/2×8/2×8-winners-2020/

The 2020 AIALA 2×8:DOMUM winners and scholarship recipients are:

Domum Level
($5000 Scholarships)

Many Villages, Sometimes
Violeta Smart
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
(Scholarship sponsored by AIA National)

Jury Notes
The jury was struck by Violeta’s project for the intensity of drawings, spectacular spaces and insistence on making an architecture of “many.” The programmatic position for a village is timely. Behind the color palette of pink and blue hues is a sophisticated set of sections and elevations that contain a mix of both repetitive housing blocks and shared public space.

Joy Cluster
Nadthachai Kongkhajornkidsuk
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
(Scholarship sponsored by Montalba Architects)

Jury Notes
This project stood out because it reminded the jury of Tim Smith’s original “5 over 1” housing blocks that first originated in LA. The student doesn’t reference this housing type, but the jury sees a visual link. By creating a series of spaces that meander through public and private, Nadthachai used these modular units to break down the concept of a monolith and create unique aggregates that address an entire housing block.

Street Tectonics
Athenna Lim
Cal Poly Pomona
(Scholarship sponsored by DLR Group)

Jury Notes
Athenna interpreted the homeless tent as the modern-day primitive hut, using observed qualities of transient shelter to drive the mixed-use low-income housing. The quality of the drawings struck the jury on this project, as well as the relevance of the program and the depth of the narrative. The project is unwavering in its proposal that architecture is required to cultivate dignity and self-image for the city’s vulnerable population.

Locus Level
($2200 Scholarships)

Black Beacon Spire
Daniel Silva
East Los Angeles College

Jury Notes
Through his inspiration for set design, Daniel created a beautifully illustrated storyboard portraying how his design acts as both a gateway and beacon for the city. By grouping programs together and truly analyzing his context, his project focused on bringing the community together in an innovative way.

Inside the Kaaba: An Exploration of Admittance
Eithar Alsayagh
Woodbury University – Interiors

Jury Notes
This project proposed a great concept for applying Augmented Reality within an existing structure. Through techniques of visualization and superimposing a new layer of information, Eithar provides a way to access an exhibit in any place in the world with inadmissible interiors. The project is timely, and deals with the shared COVID experience.

Partially Similar: Lineaments
Ezinnika Emeh
Woodbury University

Jury Notes
Ezinnika’s project is beautifully conceived and drawn. The last drawing is of particular interest because of the dynamic quality as a hybrid drawing: shadow, linework, form, poche, circulation are stunning. The jury looks forward to following this person’s work in the very near future.

Urban Micro Units
Jong (Andrew) Oh and Daniel (Huicong) Yu

Jury Notes
Jong and Daniel’s project is typologically rigorous. Andrew and Daniel’s project nicely balances between a slab building and a building that reads as aggregates. This alchemy of types also resolves the deep plan by introducing compelling voids at its center. It is clear this duo has wrestled with conceptual narrative and materiality in interesting ways.

Josh Haag

Jury Notes
Josh approached this adaptive reuse project by creating a modular system that significantly differed from the existing structure, altering the spatial qualities of the building. The project responds to the pandemic through modularity and innovative design solutions.

Rethink Housing/Nurture Community Project
Selina Gottloeber
Pasadena City College

Jury Notes
With a strong emphasis on community, Selina explored solutions that advocate for co-living in a modern world. She drew inspiration from nature and healthy environments, and was mindful of our current situation with the pandemic. By creating a safe coliving situation, even down to the specific materials chosen for surfaces, this project reimagines what a co-living home should look and feel like post COVID-19.

Stephen Curtiss
East LA College

Jury Notes
The project has a strong relationship between the facade, form and structure. The student referenced ancestral heritage to derive the form into a compelling design that incorporates the cultural communities of the neighborhood.


2×8: Domum Credits

Featured Institutions
Cal Poly Pomona / Cal Poly San Luis Obispo / California College of the Arts / California State University, Long Beach / College of The Canyons / East Los Angeles College / Glendale Community College / Los Angeles Institute of Architecture & Design / New School of Architecture & Design / Otis College of Art And Design / Pasadena City College / Southern California Institute of Architecture / UCLA Architecture & Urban Design / University of Southern California / Woodbury Burbank – Architecture / Woodbury Burbank – Interiors

Jennifer Bonner – MALL + Harvard GSD
Marc McQuade, AIA – Adjaye Associates
Paul Petrunia – Archinect

Exhibition Design Garet Ammerman, Assoc. AIA
Development/UX Bryan Zhang
Chairs Tatiana Sarkisian, Assoc. AIA / Kirill Volchinskiy, AIA
Vice Chairs Alycia Cornelius, Assoc. AIA / Chuc Nguyen
Media Krystyna Howell, Assoc. AIA / Adam Ballard / Alex Gordon / Sara Zavala
Sponsorships Adam Ballard / Thomas Wen / Christian Estrada
Events Chuc Nguyen / Luciana Varkulja
Schools Daniela Gordillo / Anisha Prakash, Assoc. AIA / Tatiana Sarkisian, Assoc. AIA
Graphics Aly Cornelius, Assoc. AIA / Kirill Volchinskiy, AIA / Ehsaan Mesghali
Web Design Sara Zavala
Web Development Kirill Volchinskiy, AIA / Anisha Prakash, Assoc. AIA / Daniela Gordillo / Tatiana Sarkisian, Assoc. AIA
Unity Development Bryan Zhang / Eduardo Martinez, Assoc. AIA
Advisors Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIALA / Clay Holden, AIA / Ismar Enriquez, AIA / Francisco Arias, Assoc. AIA / Jenda Michl, Assoc. AIA / Joice Kuo, Assoc. AIA

Scholarship Sponsors + Partners
DLR Group / Montalba Architects / HMC Architects / Steinberg Hart / STIR Architecture / C.P.O’Halloran Associates Inc / KFA Architecture / Clay Holden Architects / Archinect / HKS / Arcadia Inc / California Lighting Sales / Allegion / SCI Lighting Solutions / PABCO / CO Architects / Design, Bitches / Ceramic Technics / BIMsmith® / Arc Document Solutions / Fuscoe Engineering / Verdical Group, LLC / Waveguide LLC


Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIALA
Executive Director, ACLA
Executive Director, AIALA
Tel: (213) 639-0777 x-21.
Email: carlo@aialosangeles.org